Merlin Entertainments

Merlin Entertainments main aim is to deliver memorable experiences to more than 65 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands. They are a global leader in location-based, family entertainment.

Merlin Entertainments – A Global Organisation

Merlin Entertainments are Europe’s Number 1 and the World’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, after Disney based on annual attendance. They operate over 120 attractions, 18 hotels and 6 holiday villages in 25 countries, across 4 continents.

Alton Towers Hotel
Alton Towers Hotel

Merlin Entertainment’s headquarters are based in Poole, Dorset, UK. Since its formation in 1999, Merlin’s strategy has been to create a high-growth, high-return family entertainment company via two distinct products, Midway Attractions and Theme Parks.

Midway Attractions

‘Midway’ attractions are high quality, branded, indoor attractions. These have a typical 1-2 hour dwell time, located in city centres, shopping malls or resorts. There are over 100 Midway attractions across 22 countries, with a number of established chainable brands including the likes of SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, The Eye (observation attractions), The Dungeons and LEGOLAND Discovery Centres.

Theme Parks

Merlin’s Theme Parks are large multi-day outdoor destination venues, often incorporating on-site themed accommodation. The Theme Parks are organised into two specific Operating Groups, based on the brands.

• LEGOLAND Parks – LEGO themed interactive theme parks appealing to younger families with children aged 2-12. The LEGOLAND Parks estate currently spans numerous countries with Windsor being the location of the UK park.

• Resort Theme Parks – Nationally recognised destination Theme Parks arranged around a central theme. UK Resort Theme Parks include Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Warwick Castle. Merlin Entertainments also operate Gardaland in Italy and Heide Park in Germany.

On-Site Accommodation

The trend towards shorter, more frequent breaks has supported the growth of Merlin’s themed on-site accommodation within its theme parks. Merlin has over 4,100 rooms across a variety of accommodation formats including four-star hotels, lodges and glamping.

New Developments

Merlin Entertainments are constantly forging new relationships and developing new attractions in partnership with market-leading brands. Merlin are in the process of extending their experiences in a number of different markets with exclusive agreements to develop a range of attraction formats based on various intellectual properties.

Merlin Magic Making

Merlin Entertainments are supported by its unique internal department, Merlin Magic Making, providing development, creative, production and project management expertise. Merlin also operates a function dedicated to opening new attractions which incorporates site finding, construction, resourcing and initial operation.

Being a Force for Good is at the heart of Merlin’s ethos and the company aims to make a difference to the communities linked to its business. Merlin’s Magic Wand is a charity helping disadvantaged and sick children experience the magic of Merlin’s attractions, and SEA LIFE Trust promotes and contributes to marine conservation around the world.

For an insight into how Merlin delivers memorable experiences to its many millions of visitors to its attractions visit Merlin Backstage.
Visit Merlin Entertainments Official Website for more information.

UK Attractions owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments include:

Theme Parks

Alton Towers Resort

Alton Towers Resort - Runaway Mine Train

Alton Towers Waterpark

Alton Towers Waterpark

Chessington World of Adventures

Monkey Swinger - Chessington World of Adventures Resort

Thorpe Park

Samurai - Thorpe Park


LEGOLAND Windsor Resort - LEGO City Driving School

Midway Attractions

* London Eye
* The Blackpool Tower
* Jurassic Skyline
* Shreks Adventure
* Legoland Discovery Centres
* Warwick Castle

The Dungeons

The Dungeons are uniquely thrilling attractions that will whisk you way back to the UK’s most perilous past. See, hear, feel and (ahem) smell the chillingly amusing characters of the ‘bad old days’ as they come to life before you.

* London Dungeon
* York Dungeon
* Edinburgh Dungeon
* Blackpool Tower Dungeon
* Warwick Castle Dungeon

Madame Tussauds

Get Closer to the stars at Madame Tussauds.

* Madame Tussauds London
* Madame Tussauds Blackpool

SEA LIFE Centres

SEA LIFE aquariums are fantastic family attractions with stunning marine habitats and displays.


SEA LIFE Aquariums can be found in the following towns and cities.


London Attractions

Merlin Entertainments midway attractions are often grouped together in major cities, for example in Central London you will find:

* The London Eye
* Madame Tussauds
* The London Dungeon
* Shreks Adventure
* SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Blackpool Attractions

In Blackpool Merlin Entertainments operate a group of attractions within close proximity to each other:

* Madame Tussauds
* Blackpool Sea Life Centre
* The Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Big Ticket
Blackpool Big Ticket

Enjoy discounted entry to 6 fantastic Blackpool attractions, all conveniently located in close proximity to one another on Blackpool’s famous promenade.

Manchester Attractions

In Manchester’s Trafford Centre (a large indoor shopping centre and leisure complex), you will find two of Merlin Entertainments Midway attractions located alongside each other.

* Legoland Discovery Centre
* Manchester Sea Life Centre

Birmingham Attractions

* Legoland Discovery Centre
* National Sea Life Centre Birmingham
* The Bear Grylls Adventure

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Merlin Entertainments was last modified: February 19th, 2024 by Dan