0 Current Deals
If you bring any 500ml plastic bottle to one of four Merlin theme parks - Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Legoland or Chessington World of Adventures, you can recycle it in a reverse-vending machine to exchange for a voucher for 50% off. The voucher's valid at 50 Merlin locations, and you can get it until Fri 19 Oct.
The 50% off discount is valid on the walk-up price at each attraction, once for one person only. It's valid until Fri 19 Oct at Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, Wed 31 Oct at Chessington World of Adventures and Sat 1 Nov at Legoland Windsor Resort and 31 March 2019 for all other attractions. See full T&Cs.
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2for1 Thorpe Park, Legoland etc via £1 chocs
Get one 'free' ticket with vch on selected Cadbury packs20+ attractions
Look for promotional packs of Cadbury chocolates, including Dairy Milk Giant Buttons and Crunchie Rocks (norm £1ish), to get a voucher for 2for1 entry at more than 20 Merlin attractions.
The voucher's valid until 31 July 2019 at Thorpe Park, Legoland, Alton Towers, Chessington, Sea Life centres, the Dungeons, Madame Tussauds and more. Some dates are excluded at selected attractions, including some in August - see 'more info' below.
Just present the voucher at your chosen attraction when buying one full-price on-the-gate adult ticket (usually up to £60) and another person will gain free entry.
Promotional packs (like the ones above) are expected to be in stores until Aug 2018, but they're subject to availability, so could be snapped up sooner.
How much can I save?
As on-the-gate tickets cost up to £60 at Legoland, this deal could save you £59 if you buy one of the cheapest promotional packs of chocolate and want two tickets. Even compared with buying tickets online in advance, where they’re generally cheaper (but still as much as £47 each at Legoland), you'd save a significant amount with this deal.
There’s also the added benefit of not having to commit to your plans seven or more days ahead – allowing you to wait and see what the weather’s like, and simply rock up at the gate with your voucher.
Before using the voucher, you should compare this offer against others to see if there's a better one for you (see all theme park deals).
The participating attractions are Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, Thorpe Park, Legoland Windsor, Warwick Castle, Shrek’s Adventure! London, Madame Tussauds London or Blackpool, The London, York, Edinburgh or Blackpool Tower Dungeons, The Blackpool Tower Eye or The Blackpool Tower Circus, Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester, Sea Life Bray, Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park and Jurassic Skyline, Sea Life centres and sanctuaries in the UK (Birmingham, Great Yarmouth, Loch Lomond, Blackpool, Gweek, London, Oban, Brighton, Manchester, Scarborough and Hunstanton).
The age classification for an adult ticket varies between attractions so make sure you check before you go. Also check the venue's individual opening dates as some are closed at certain times of the year. For example, Chessington and Legoland Windsor are closed in November. There are also some extra excluded dates listed below:
- All attractions: 25 Dec, any secondary ticketed events/hotel events/concerts/Christmas events
- Legoland Windsor: every Fri, Sat and Sun in Aug, 1-2 Sep, 1 Dec 2018 - 1 Mar 2019
- Thorpe Park: every Fri, Sat and Sun in Aug, 1-2 Sep, 19-31 Oct
- Alton Towers: every Fri, Sat and Sun in Aug, 1-2 Sep, 3-4 Nov
- Chessington, Warwick Castle, Sea Life London Aquarium and Madame Tussauds London: every Fri, Sat and Sun in Aug, 1-2 Sep
- Shrek’s Adventure! London: every Fri, Sat and Sun in Aug, 1-2 Sep, 31 Dec
- The London Dungeon: every Fri, Sat and Sun in Aug, 1-2 Sep, 27-29 Oct
- The Blackpool Tower Circus: 6 Oct-4 Nov
- The Blackpool Tower Dungeon: 27-31 Oct
- York and Edinburgh Dungeons: 27-29 Oct
2019 exclusion dates will be available at the end of the 2018 season. Promotional vouchers don’t guarantee entry into attractions in the event of venue capacity being reached. Voucher can't be used with any other offer or concession, reward or loyalty schemes, pre-purchased/advance tickets, online or call centre bookings, combination tickets, two day passes, annual passes, Q-bot, Fastrack, rail inclusive offers, secondary ticketed events, hotel events, concerts or group bookings. Only one voucher can be used per person and per transaction. See full T&Cs.
Thorpe Park/Alton Towers season pass for the same or less than a day ticket?
Also see how similar Legoland & Chessington passes stack upOngoing
'Pay for a day, come back all year/season for free'. That's how Merlin is billing its Thorpe Park and Alton Towers annual/season passes, but are they as good as they sound?
While it's true the Thorpe Park and Alton Towers passes - which are the same price for adults and kids - are either as cheap or cheaper than the most expensive on-the-gate tickets, easily-obtained 2for1 vouchers and discounted online tickets bought in advance mean you'd have to visit the same park at least a twice for the pass to save you any money.
The cheapest way to visit can depend on group size, how many kids are going and whether it's a peak or off-peak day. Our table below breaks down all the costs for Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland Windsor, so you can work out what's best. See our theme park guide for more deals.
The attractions are generally open every day from April to October, though pass holders sometimes have to pay an extra charge during special events and on peak weekends in Aug-Sep.Theme park annual/season pass vs single day ticket costs
Pass price per person, any age Pass expiry Full-price on-the-gate day ticket Tickets booked online 5-7 days in advance Thorpe Park (buy / T&Cs) £49 12 months £49-£55 adult, £44-£50 child £30 per person £55 Nov 2018 £55 adult, £48 child £33 adult, £27.50 child Chessington (buy / T&Cs) £65 12 months £50 adult, £46 child £29 per person Legoland (buy / T&Cs) £70-£110 12 months £47-£60 per person £32-£47 per person
If you live near Thorpe Park, we think it offers the best-value pass - it's the only one that can be cheaper to buy than an on-the-gate ticket. However, if you live closer to one of the other attractions, or just prefer a different one, a pass may still save you money but you'll likely have to visit more times for it to beat using a 2for1.
Want to visit multiple theme parks?
If you plan to make multiple trips to Merlin attractions, you should consider buying an annual Merlin pass, which gets you unlimited visits to 32 attractions including Legoland, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Sea Life, Madame Tussauds, London Dungeon, London Eye and the Blackpool Tower. They cost £179 per person at full price, or if you're buying for between three and five people (max three over-12s) you can get them at the reduced 'standard family' rate of £139 per person.
Merlin annual passes are usually discounted a few times per year, normally in January and June by £40-£50 (or £20-£30 for family rate ones). Given you could also go to many attractions using a 2for1 voucher (see our Theme Parks guide), you need to make multiple visits during the year to make it worth buying an annual pass, so you’d need to weigh up whether you’re likely to save money or not.
2for1 Legoland, Alton Tws etc with £3ish cereal
Adults go 'free' vch on selected Kellogg's cereals and snacks30 attractions
Look for promotional packs of Kellogg's cereal and snacks, including Rice Krispies, Frosties, Crunchy Nut and Squares (norm £2ish-£4ish at most supermarkets), to get 'free' adult entry via a voucher for 30 Merlin attractions until 30 Jun 2019.
Effectively this is a 2for1, as you must buy a full-price on-the-gate child or adult ticket to get the free adult entry, but this could actually work out better than a 2for1 ticket if you're an adult going with a child as generally child tickets tend to be cheaper than adult ones.
The vouchers can be exchanged for entry on the day at Merlin attractions including Legoland, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington, Sea Life centres and sanctuaries, the Dungeons and Madame Tussauds. Some dates are excluded and these vary between attractions - see 'more info' below.
Promotional packs will be readily available in stores until mid-April, after which they'll be harder to find.
How strong is this deal?
While attraction prices vary, the most you could save with this offer is £57ish based on peak Legoland Windsor ticket prices (norm £60 each on the gate, so £120 for two, but you could get two for £63ish with this deal).
As it covers a large range of attractions and the vouchers are valid for over a year, this is a particularly strong deal if you and one other person are considering visiting one of the participating venues.
However, if you’re only interested in visiting a specific attraction, possibly more than once, and aren’t going in a pair, it’s worth checking to see what other deals are available. Find ticket prices for other attractions and see our round-up of theme park deals to check which works best for you.
You can also book online
To guarantee entry and beat the queues at selected attractions, there's also an option to book your tickets online in advance using unique codes found inside Kellogg's cereal packets (though you'll still pay the on-the-gate price). Technically, these codes can be combined with the physical vouchers to obtain two free adult tickets with two full-price child tickets purchased - see 'more info' for full details.
Ensure you take the voucher with you on the day. It can only be used against the gate price, not the discounted online price. The age classification for an adult ticket varies between attractions so make sure you check before you go. Valid for standard entry tickets only.
Also check the venue's individual opening dates as some are closed at certain times of the year. There are also some extra excluded dates in 2018 listed below (2019 exclusion dates will be available from the end of the 2018 season):
- 21-31 Aug and 25 Dec at all attractions
- 30 Mar-15 Apr, 21, 22 and 28-29 Jul, 4, 5 and 11-12 Aug, and 31 Dec at the Coca-Cola London Eye
- 14-17 Apr and 31 Dec at Shrek’s Adventure! London
- 14-17 Apr and 27-29 Oct at The London Dungeon
- 6-Oct-4 Nov at The Blackpool Tower Circus (The Blackpool Tower Eye is open subject to weather conditions)
- 19-31 Oct at Thorpe Park
- 27-31 Oct at The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, 27-29 Oct at The York and Edinburgh Dungeons
- 1 Dec-1 Mar 2019 at Legoland Windsor
Promotional vouchers aren't valid at secondary attractions and don’t guarantee entry into attractions in the event of venue capacity being reached. Offer can't be used with any other offer or concession, reward or loyalty schemes.
Or book online in advance using promo codes on cereal packets
To guarantee entry in advance, you can book tickets online (excludes The Blackpool Tower Circus) at a special Merlin website ahead of your visit. To do this, you need a unique code found inside promotional packs of Kellogg’s cereal only, on the underside of the carton flap.
This method of redeeming the offer requires you to pay the gate price in advance and print out your tickets. At selected attractions, you can scan these tickets and walk right through the gates, enabling you to beat the queues.
If you register and print a voucher from Days Out Guide then buy a National Rail ticket, you can get 2for1 entry to over 300 UK attractions, including SeaLife Centres, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, Alton Towers and Legoland Windsor when you present both at the attraction. See the full theme park list or the zoo and wildlife list.
You need to print a voucher for the relevant attraction (follow the link above and search for it) AND have a valid rail ticket bought from National Rail on the same day for a single or day return ticket, or within the days of travel for a return ticket.
What if I live near the attraction/am travelling by other means?
It's worth doing this even if you are not travelling by train as a cheap single ticket can be available for a couple of quid, far cheaper than the entry ticket price (Legoland Windsor is the most expensive at up to £60 on the gate).
Just stop by the nearest station on your way and pick one up, then present both to get your 2for1. Crucially, your rail ticket must show that you have travelled to one of the stations nearest the attraction. So for Thorpe Park, you need to have a ticket with an end destination of Staines or Chertsey.
The offer's ongoing, but check the voucher for each individual attraction's restrictions, as these vary. See the full T&Cs including which tickets are valid.
Excludes Oyster cards, Freedom Passes, and tickets and travelcards bought from London Underground. Can't be used with other offers or promotions.
Convert Tesco Clubcard points into Tesco Boost tokens* and on some theme parks you get four times the vouchers' face value to use on tickets, eg, £5 in points converts into £15 worth of Boost rewards. Here are some of the places you can visit:
The London Dungeon*
Blackpool Pleasure Beach*
Legoland Discovery Centre*
Madame Tussaud's London*
For how to fully maximise Clubcard points, see the Loyalty Schemes guide.
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Latest Expired Deals
Discounted 1-yr Merlin theme parks pass £129
Norm £179. Unlimited entry to Legoland, Alton Towers etc
You can get an annual 'standard' Merlin pass via this link at the discounted price of £129 per person until 11.59pm on Mon 12 Feb. After that, it will rise to the normal 2018 price of £179 per person.
The pass gets you unlimited visits to 32 attractions including Legoland, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Madame Tussauds, London Dungeon, London Eye and the Blackpool Tower.
Warning: The pass can’t be used at central London attractions in August, or at some theme parks during key summer school holiday weekends – check full exclusiions in the 'more info' section below.
Is it worth it?
Given you could also go to many attractions using a 2for1 voucher, eg, Legoland for two people costs £55ish with 2for1 tickets (see our Theme Parks guide), you need to make about five theme park visits during the year to make it worth buying an annual pass – more for cheaper attractions.
Buying for three to five people?
If you're buying passes for between three and five people (max three over-12s), you can get them at the reduced 'standard family' rate of £109 per person, going up to £139 on Tue 13 Feb. You don't technically need to be family, or even visit together, so adults can team up to get the cheaper rate.
Got Tesco points?
If you've got Tesco points, you can buy a 'standard' annual pass for £50 in Clubcard Boost vouchers. See our Tesco Clubcard Boost page for more info.
Passes can either be collected from the attraction or in selected cases they can be posted out (allow 7-10 working days for distribution). They'll be valid for one year from the date they're posted to you or from the date you collect them.
To get the group discount select the 'family' rate, which is for groups of three to five purchasing together. A maximum of three adults (which Merlin defines as anyone aged 12+) can get passes at the discounted rate.
Children aged 3+ will need their own pass at most Merlin attractions, although the age at which Merlin charges varies depending on the attraction (see number 33 in the full Merlin annual pass T&Cs). There's no difference in price for children's and adults' annual passes.
The following restrictions apply to the 'standard' Merlin annual pass:
- Thorpe Park, Chessington, Alton Towers, Legoland Windsor and Warwick Castle: no entry on any Friday, Saturday or Sunday in Aug, or on Sat 1 and Sun 2 Sep
- Madame Tussauds London, London Eye, Sea Life London aquarium, DreamWorks Tours Shrek’s Adventure London and London Dungeon: no entry on UK bank holidays 1 Jan, 30 Mar, 2 Apr, 7 May, 28 May, 25 Dec and 26 Dec, or during the whole of August
- London Eye: no entry on 14 Feb
- London Dungeon: no entry from 26-28 Oct
- Only valid for daytime entry at Warwick Castle
- Secondary attractions, entry outside of normal park opening hours and special events may be subject to additional charges
- Parking not included
FREE one-month Kids Pass (norm £7.50)
Gets access to 3,700 offers, eg, kids eat free & cheap cinema
Kids Pass members get access to about 3,700 offers, including kids eat free and up to 40% off cinema tickets. You can't see specific deals before you sign up and we haven't featured it before, so we've blagged a free month trial (usually £7.50) that won't auto-enrol you afterwards - meaning you can try it for free, with no strings attached.
Simply go via this MSE Blagged Kids Pass* link by 11.59pm on Thu 31 Mar to get a free month's membership (you'll then need to download the app for Apple or Android only, see below). Let us know what you think of it in the forum, on Twitter or Facebook.
What it gets you
Offers run across England, Wales and Scotland (plus a few offers in Northern Ireland) and you only need one Kids Pass per household. Kids Pass told us there's no limit on the number of adults or children, but there may be 'certain restrictions', so you'll need to check each offer individually.
It's a closed group so we can’t share the specifics of most deals - but, we've seen a preview, and decent savings include:
- Free child meals at 1,300 restaurants, eg, Brewers Fayre, Strada, Giraffe, Papa Johns and Handmade Burger Co (with a paying adult)
- Up to 40% off cinema tickets, including adult and child tickets at 420 cinemas
- Up to 50%ish off theme parks, including adult and child entry
- 2for1 bowling at 32 MFA bowling centres
How to use Kids Pass
Once you've signed up for the free trial via the link above, you'll need to download the Kids Pass app (for Apple or Android only) and sign in using your login details. Search for offers by category, and click 'claim offer' to get any you want to use.
Every offer you claim will be stored as a document, including instructions on how to use it, in the 'my offers' tab. Redemption methods we found include showing your Kids Pass membership (via the app, under the 'membership card' tab) for kids eat free, quoting a code via telephone to book theme park tickets, and following a link to book cinema tickets online.
Extend your membership after free trial for £1 for two months
If you want to extend your membership, it's £1 for two months after your free month’s trial, then £29.99 for a year (usually £75). Important: If you don't want to be automatically enrolled for a year's membership, you'll need to cancel in the second month, before the £29.99 direct debit comes out. You can cancel by emailing email@example.com or by calling 01612448225.