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Merlin Annual Pass - will it save you money?

Money saving pass offering big discounts on attractions in London and the rest of the UK

Merlin Annual Pass
The Merlin Annual Pass offers great savings for top theme parks in the UK

About the Merlin Annual Pass

The Merlin Annual Pass can be a real money saver if you are a regular theme park goer; many of the attractions are near London but it also has other attractions UK wide, including Warwick Castle, LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Madame Tussauds Blackpool, The Dungeons, Blackpool Tower, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, Alton Towers and Bear Grylls Adventure in Birmingham.

Also included are the 5 London Merlin attractions: London Eye, The London Dungeon, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, Madame Tussauds London and Shrek's Adventure! London, in addition to a London Eye River Cruise.

The Merlin Pass for a family of four for one calendar year will cost a few hundred pounds so this is an investment you will have to make carefully before deciding if the discounts it makes for you are worth saving.

Which type of Merlin Annual Pass to buy?   How much will I save with a Merlin Annual Pass?   What attractions are covered?   How do I apply?   Any other benefits?   Big City Saver pass

The Merlin Annual Pass includes 29 destinations UK wide, with many of them being different branches of the same attraction. There are 13 different attractions in total.

If you are looking for a different kind of pass, that only covers London attractions, Merlin also offer Big City Saver where you can choose from either 2, 3, or 5 different London based attractions which you can visit over a 90 day period.

Merlin Annual Pass - Discovery, Gold or Platinum?

Warwick Castle - included with Merlin Annual Pass
Thrilling Warwick Castle is a great family day out

London Eye - included with Merlin Annual Pass
Take a flight on the London Eye

Deciding which type of Merlin Annual Pass to choose comes down to how flexible you need to be. The main difference between the cheaper pass and the more expensive options for example, is days of availability.

Restrictions on when you can use your Merlin Annual Pass

There are different grades of pass including the Discovery, Gold and Platinum.

The main difference you need to be aware of between the Discovery and Gold passes is the restrictions on which days you are able to use your pass. This is a big one.

The cheaper Discovery Pass for example does not allow you to use it on certain Saturdays if booking within the next three months, and in addition not during any of the UK school holidays or UK Bank holidays - basically anything 'peak rate.'

If you are thinking to attend any of the seasonal events they host (for example, Halloween, Christmas) then this pass would not be suitable for you.

Other considerations

Other differences between the passes are that car parking is not included in the Discovery Pass at theme parks and Warwick Castle, and you forfeit the 'freebies' such as lanyards and vouchers for discounts.

If you think you can work round these restrictions and you would rather save the £50 per person on the difference in price between these two passes, then the standard is right for you.

Purchase your Merlin Annual Pass here

 

Discovery Annual Pass

  • Over 190 days entry into UK attractions
  • Off peak entry only - restrictions apply
  • Smallest price annual pass - cheapest entry on all attractions

Gold Annual Pass

  • Up to 345 days entry
  • Option to pay monthly or annually
  • FREE car parking at the Theme Parks and Warwick Castle
  • Discounts on food and drink
  • Discounts on Merlin hotel visits
  • Money off fast track tickets

Platinum Annual Pass

All of the above plus:

  • 364 days entry
  • Share the fun vouchers - money off entry for friends and family

How much will I save will a Merlin Annual Pass?

Thorpe Park - with Merlin Annual Pass
The Swarm ride at Thorpe Park

A savings calculator on the official website allows you to estimate how many times each year you might visit the attractions and how much money could save based on this.

As a general guide, it is reckoned that you would need to visit at least four attractions in the calendar year to break even; clearly you would want more money saving than this so at least five visits would be recommended, with at least two of these needing to be the more expensive theme park entries.

If you only attended the cheaper attractions such as London Eye, Dungeons or Madame Tussauds just once, you would struggle to make your money back.

The real savings come on any of the four theme parks - Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, LEGOLAND Windsor and Thorpe Park.

What attractions are covered?

Mythica at Legoland Windsor
Mythica at Legoland Windsor

The Merlin Annual Pass includes 29 destinations UK wide, with many of them being different branches of the same attraction. There are 14 differing attractions in total.

These include:

How do I apply for a Merlin Annual Pass?

Chessington World of Adventures - tiger - with Merlin Annual Pass
Tiger at Chessington World of Adventures

Simply go to the Merlin Annual Pass website (link above), select which type of pass you wish to purchase, and then enter your personal details such as name, address and contact details as well as a recent photograph which is required in order to complete your registration.

There is currently no option to purchase a family pass - all passes are the same price, whether adult or child. Children under three do not require their own pass - they go free. Children over three do.

On the Discovery Pass selection the terms and conditions of acceptance include the restriction days where you will not be allowed to enter using your pass. 

All Merlin Annual Pass-holders now receive a digital pass. This will be e-mailed to you and is ready to use instantly once your purchase is complete.

Gold and Platinum Pass-holders will receive their physical passes and privilege packs (including lanyard, pop badge and vouchers) in the post within 30 days.

You can only pay for your Merlin Pass monthly if you select the Gold or Platinum options. The Discovery Pass has to be paid for in one lump sum.

Purchase your Merlin Annual Pass here


Any other benefits to the Merlin Annual Pass?

Consider getting the Gold Merlin Annual Pass if you are particularly interested in flexibility and the Halloween events. For some, both Thorpe Park's Fright Nights and Alton Towers’ Scarefest are not to be missed. The parks are open until 10pm... riding in the dark is its own special experience; combined with 'horror' mazes in the parks and lots of very spooky fun!

The cheapest pass of all - the Discovery Pass - does not include any of the 'frills' of the more expensive passes. Therefore discounts on food and drinks, merchandise, hotels and other experiences are not available on the Merlin Discovery Pass.

Discounts with Gold and Platinum passes only

  • (The Big One): Friends and Family discounts - up to 50% off when the Merlin pass-holder attends with the group (Merlin Pass-holders must pre-book their entry via the attraction's website in advance. We strongly recommend doing this prior to purchasing your Friends and Family tickets.)
  • Up to 20% off shopping and dining
  • Dungeons walking tour discounts
  • Discounts on Go Ape at Chessington
  • Discounts on fast-track at London Eye
  • Kids eat free at selected Hard Rock Cafes
  • Discounts on theme park resort hotels
  • Animal feeding experiences - discounts
  • Plus heaps more discounts available on the Merlin Pass website

Alternative pass - Big City Saver (previously Merlin's Magical London)

Choose from 2, 3, or 5 London based attractions to use within 90 days

Want a London-centric package that combines the top London only Merlin attractions?

The Big City Saver pass (still for sale as Merlin's Magical London through third party sellers) offers a range of options to combine 2, 3, or 5 different top attractions within London.

The 5 top attractions are: Madam Tussauds, The London Dungeon, London Eye, Shrek's Adventure! London and SEA LIFE London Aquarium.

Find out more about the money saving Big City Saver pass.

Big City Saver Merlin Pass

BIG CITY SAVER LONDON ATTRACTION PASS 2, 3 OR ALL 5 ATTRACTIONS

5-in-1 Merlin's Magical London Pass

HUGE SAVINGS: Buy a 2, 3 or 5 attraction pass
for top London attractions

including:

• London Eye • Madame Tussauds London • London Dungeon • Shrek's Adventure! London • SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Adult from £50 for 2 attractions Child (age 3-15) from £45


5-in-1 Merlin's Magical London Pass

MERLIN'S LONDON ATTRACTION PASS 3 OR ALL 5 ATTRACTIONS

5-in-1 Merlin's Magical London Pass

HUGE SAVINGS: Buy a 3 or 5 attraction pass
for top 5 London attractions

including:

• London Eye • Madame Tussauds London • London Dungeon • Shrek's Adventure! London • SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Adult from £60 for 3 attractions Child (age 3-15) from £54


POPULAR LONDON ATTRACTIONS - ADVANCE PURCHASE AND/OR FAST TRACK TICKETS

London Eye Amazing panoramic flight on the world's highest observation wheel. » Fast track tickets available.
The Shard Tallest building in Western Europe with viewing of London from the top. » Fast track tickets available.
St Paul's Cathedral Cathedral of the Diocese of London, venue for royal weddings. » Pre-book to guarantee entry.
Westminster Abbey Along with St Paul's, England's main religious building.» Pre-book to guarantee entry.
Tower of London Home of the Crown Jewels and a rich thousand year history. » Fast track tickets available.
Madame Tussauds See wax statues of the most famous people in the world. » Fast track tickets available.
London Dungeon The creepiest attraction in town, the London Dungeon. » Fast track tickets available.
Hampton Court Palace   Henry VIII Medieval Palace set in vast grounds. » Pre-book to save money.
The London Zoo World class zoo in the centre of London. » Flexi tickets available.

Every effort is made to keep all our information correct and the advertised prices up to date. We endeavour to be as accurate a source of information as possible but Travellers Toolkits cannot be held responsible for any price differential between our stated prices and those of the companies supplying the product or accuracy of information provided on our sites.