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Small News From The Theme Park Industry

JoshC.

Giga Poster
I didn't want to make a new thread for this, nor does it feel appropriate to put it in the WTF/YAY Merlin threads, so here will do:

Merlin released their preliminary 2018 results today: https://merlinentertainments.biz/results-and-presentations

I listened in onto the podcast and viewed the slideshow too (something which I think is worth doing if you're really interested; nothing can quite fully describe / capture the way the open Q&A session goes sometimes..). There's some interesting points which came up:

-Visitor numbers, revenue, spend per capita, etc all have improved compared to 2017
-Merlin see it as more or less the end of the 'recovery period' following Smiler incident, terror attacks in big locations, etc, so they can now look at starting to 'grow again'
-Merlin are keeping a close eye on 'pop up' style attractions, such as escape rooms, weird museums, esport events*, etc. They're looking at putting these types of things within their attractions, but feel that as a stand alone activity, they are ultimately not profitable enough

Some more attraction-specific stuff:
-Lego Movie World (opening at Legoland Florida this year) is spreading across several Legoland parks over the next couple of years, with it coming to Windsor in 2021
-Discussions about opening a Legoland in China are still ongoing
-The Peppa Pig World of Play play centre attraction that opened in Shanghai last year is being cloned across 10 new locations this year (largely China and America)
-Changheng Ocean World (also known as Sea Life Shanghai), had a huge show centred on two beluga whales. Merlin are moving these whales to a sanctuary in Iceland this year, after many years of planning. They'll probably start advertising more within the Sea Life brand once that move happens (it's not actually mentioned on the Sea Life website at all, and it's hard to find it mentioned on the Merlin website unless it's talking about moving the whales!)
-When speaking of the refurbishment of Colossos at Heide, Nick Varney noted it was very similar to Wicker Man and said "we never pass on an opportunity to copy a great idea unless we have to"

*interestingly, when speaking about epsorts, Varney mentioned the event at Thorpe Park. He said he very much didn't 'get it' (and in my personal opinion whilst listening, he sounded less-than-convinced by it all), and said it was something noted by younger people within the industry as a thing to explore.


So yes, very much by the numbers they're getting, and the front they're putting on, all is very positive and good for Merlin. Then again, you would hope they would since it's just a recovery after a very bad period. Obviously, the situations more locally (especially at some of the parks) aren't quite so good, so it'd be very interesting to know what they thoughts are behind the scenes.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
I listened in onto the podcast and viewed the slideshow too (something which I think is worth doing if you're really interested; nothing can quite fully describe / capture the way the open Q&A session goes sometimes..).
Boo... gotta wait now for them to publish the webcast. Anything in particular to listen out for in the Q&A?
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
Boo... gotta wait now for them to publish the webcast. Anything in particular to listen out for in the Q&A?

Ooh, reading that back I think I might have oversold the Q&A. :p

I more just mean the way Varney answers questions is obviously more telling than the answers themselves (the actual presentation usually comes across as well rehearsed of course, the Q&A you can tell when he's not confident in what he's saying).

The Q&A included some bits about Brexit and how that may affect the UK market (Varney's response was essentially until they know what happens, they can't be sure), a bit more about his views on the impact of the terror attacks and some financial stuff (which I personally don't understand the ins and outs of). I think there was a bit more questioning about the pop ups, but I genuinely can't remember!
 

Thekingin64

Strata Poster
Name is OK i guess. Can imagine it will cause guest confusion though with the similarly named Cannonball Express just across the park.
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
Name is OK i guess. Can imagine it will cause guest confusion though with the similarly named Cannonball Express just across the park.

Cannonball Express will be referred to as Cannonball. Egg-spress will be known as Egg-spress.

It annoys me that they've set it out as 'Egg-spress' and not 'Eggs-press', which feels more logical to me. But aside from that, a cracking name. Anyone that disagrees can cluck off...
 

jayjay

Giga Poster
Cannonball Express will be referred to as Cannonball. Egg-spress will be known as Egg-spress.

It annoys me that they've set it out as 'Egg-spress' and not 'Eggs-press', which feels more logical to me. But aside from that, a cracking name. Anyone that disagrees can cluck off...
God, what a poultry load of jokes
 

SilverArrow

Giga Poster
From someone on UK Theme Parks chat on fb (didn't want to post the name for privacy):
"Just for people who intend to take their children to Gulliver's Land in Milton Keynes; Python (Pinfari Mini Mega coaster) has been removed. Twist N Joist has been moved to it's location ready for a new ride."
 

Crazycoaster

Giga Poster
From someone on UK Theme Parks chat on fb (didn't want to post the name for privacy):
"Just for people who intend to take their children to Gulliver's Land in Milton Keynes; Python (Pinfari Mini Mega coaster) has been removed. Twist N Joist has been moved to it's location ready for a new ride."

Ugh literally a park that lies just down the road for me that I’ve never been to because I don’t know any children I can steal to take to cred whore.
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
Bugger, should have gotten the creds last year when I had the chance. For a company so strict on not letting unaccompanied adults enter the park, I was extremely surprised (and felt somewhat uncomfortable) when they let me roam around the park for free, unaccompanied, after a job interview.

Damn conscious costing me a cred :(
 

CrashCoaster

Strata Poster
Georgia Scorcher at SFOG is (finally) getting a repaint. These photos are from Coaster Studios's Discord server:-
image1.png

image0.png
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Well overdue, so good to see it finally happening. Thanks for sharing. :)
 
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