Merlin Entertainments Group plans to introduce a parking charge for Annual Passholders across its range of UK theme parks, including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, LEGOLAND Windsor and Chessington World of Adventures.
Towers Times reports that terms and conditions have been added to the Standard Merlin Annual Pass, which covers entry to all of the chain's UK parks and attractions. The most significant of these is the introduction of parking charges for Standard Passholders, which have been previously been waived for all passholders.
The move means that those holding a Standard Merlin Annual Pass will now face parking charges of up to £5 at Merlin attractions. Alton Towers already charges this amount, and Theme Park Tourist understands that Thorpe Park is due to increase its current £2 charge to match for the 2011 season. LEGOLAND Windsor currently charges £2, while Chessington World of Adventures is also reportedly set to begin charging for parking in the near future.
The new stipulation, which states that "attraction parking fees are not included", effectively amounts to a price rise for all Standard Annual Passes. Although not yet confirmed, it is believed that Premium Annual Passholders will not face the additional charge.
A range of other terms and conditions have been introduced on Standard Annual Passes, including restricting entry for passholders to LEGOLAND Windsor during August to after 2pm. Predictably, these have not gone down well with existing passholders, with many complaining on the company's official Facebook page.
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