The Rising Cost of Family Days Out

Mr Monkey's Banana Ride @ Thorpe Park Resort

Merlin Entertainments, which owns and operates some of the UK’s most popular theme parks and attractions including LEGOLAND, Warwick Castle, Alton Towers, Madame Tussauds and Thorpe Park, has introduced a “dynamic pricing system” across its estate.

LEGOLAND Windsor Resort
LEGOLAND Windsor Resort

Theme Parks Introducing Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic Pricing is already employed by most leading airlines and hotel groups such as Easyjet and Travelodge. It has also been used by American theme park operators Disney and Universal for a number of years, the practice uses machine learning to increase prices responsively on the more popular sunny days and holidays, and to reduce ticket prices when there is less demand.

Scott O’Neil, Merlin’s chief executive, likened the data-driven practice to “happy hour” promotions offered by bars, arguing that dynamic pricing would help to “protect the guest experience” during busier times of the year by managing the length of queues for popular rides.

Reducing Queue Times

With queue times often exceeding over 1 hour for the most popular rides at Merlin Theme Parks, including Alton Tower’s Wicker Man and The Swarm at Thorpe Park, this new surge pricing model should help to evenly distribute the daily crowd levels throughout the year, encouraging people to visit on quieter days thanks to lower ticket prices.

The Swarm - Thorpe Park Resort
The Swarm @ Thorpe Park Resort

Increasing Ticket Prices

Despite the fact that theme park-goers are feeling the pinch, ticket prices for many leading UK family attractions are on the rise. This is due to the rising cost of wage bills, energy prices, capital investment and insurance.

Investment in New Rides and Attractions

Merlin Entertainments stated that one of the primary reasons for theme park price increases were due to investment in 14 new rides across its parks, including Nemesis Reborn at Alton Towers, Hyperia at Thorpe Park and Minifigure Speedway at Legoland Windsor; spiking staff bills owing to increases in the national minimum wage; the increased cost of insurance; and the “huge cost” of power bills. Launched coasters with powerful systems that propel trains to high speeds at the beginning of rides can use about 6.67kWh of electricity in a few seconds — close to the usage of a family home over the course of a day. Stealth at Thorpe Park Resort and ICON at Blackpool Pleasure Beach are two examples of roller coasters using this new technology.

Hyperia @Thorpe Park Resort
Hyperia @Thorpe Park Resort

Increased Overheads

One of the The biggest outlays for theme park operators is the rising wage bill for park staff. Theme Parks are seasonal and their part time roles and the requirement to work evenings and weekends tend to attract school leavers and college students looking to increase their income who are often paid minimum wage. This means that the 10% per cent increase in the minimum wage in 2024 will cost approximately an additional £100,000 a year for every 100 employees.

Save On Your Family Days Out

To help avoid these rising costs, see our tips and suggestions for how to save money on family days out. Lot’s of Theme Parks and Attractions offer 2 for 1 entry and you can find some great savings in our Hot Offers.

2 for 1 Entry - UK Theme Parks and Attractions
2 for 1 Entry – UK Theme Parks and Attractions

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The Rising Cost of Family Days Out was last modified: June 10th, 2024 by Dan

Author: Dan

I am passionate about Theme Parks and Attractions. I love riding roller coasters and thrill rides. With two young boys I understand how expensive family days out can be and this was one of the main driving forces behind Attractions Near me. My aim is to help you and your friends enjoy some great days out without costing the earth. Thanks for reading and have a great time - Regards Dan

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