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Everything to know before you get your Merlin Annual Pass!

  • Wednesday February 7th 2024
  • Merlin Annual Pass

Map Blog

We’re talking about theme park resorts like Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, aquariums, iconic landmarks such as the London Eye and The Blackpool Tower, and even a medieval castle! But before you buy your Merlin Annual Pass, here are some important things you need to know…  

What’s included?  

Your Merlin Annual Pass gets you access to attractions – but of course only when they’re open! While a lot of our attractions are open year-round (except Christmas and New Year’s Day), a lot of our theme parks close for winter maintenance. So, make sure you look up opening dates and times before you buy your Pass.  

The full list of attractions you can get into*:  

  • Alton Towers Resort  
  • Cadbury World 
  • Chessington World of Adventures Resort 
  • LEGOLAND® Discovery Centres  
  • Madame Tussauds  
  • Peter Rabbit™: Explore and Play!  
  • SEA LIFE Aquariums 
  • Shrek’s Adventure! London 
  • The Bear Grylls Adventure Centre  
  • The Blackpool Tower and Ballroom  
  • The Dungeons  
  • The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort 
  • The London Eye 
  • Thorpe Park  
  • Warwick Castle 

*Please remember that entry is always subject to availability, so when booking a small attraction, it’s best to book in advance to guarantee entry – especially when you want to visit during school holidays, bank holidays, and when theme parks are closed for maintenance.  

For further details please check the attraction websites for information on their operating hours.  

Keeping up to date.  

We have loads of exciting things going on for Passholders from competitions, new perks and discounts to Passholder Days! So that you don’t miss out on all the latest news, make sure you check out the Passholder Hub and sign up to our Passholder newsletter. The newsletter gives you access to exclusive news and discounts you can’t find anywhere else. PLUS, you can follow us on Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok, and check out our blog for Passholder top tips and inspiration! 

Passes Pic

How to use your Pass 

All attraction visits must be pre-booked when you want to visit. There are currently two ways you can pre-book.  

  1. Using the pre-book portal. Simply register for an account, add your Pass details, and then get booking! Platinum Passholders can have up to 6 bookings per attraction at any one time. Other Passholders may have up to 3 bookings for each attraction at any one time. Need further information? Check out our handy guide!  
  2. Booking through the attraction website. It’s possible to prebook on the attraction website, although we recommend using the portal to keep all your bookings in one place. To learn how to book through the attraction website, you can watch this short video here 

Pass Tiers & Exclusion Dates 

When you buy your Merlin Annual Pass, you’ll have the choice between multiple Pass types; Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Discovery. To find out more about what each Pass gets you please visit the handy comparison table, or watch our super quick summary video here 

Some Passes come with restriction dates so please view the restriction calendars to help you choose which Pass is right for you. Restriction dates are the days when your Pass will not be valid for entry to attractions.  

Coke Cup Lanyard Web2

Your Pass & Privilege Packs  

When you order a Platinum or Gold Merlin Annual Pass you will receive a physical card (as well as a Digital Pass) along with a privilege pack. Your Digital Pass will be available immediately; however, your physical Pass can take up to 4 weeks to arrive, along with your pack. Your Pass will usually be found attached to a letter. In Platinum privilege packs you will find a lanyard, a pop badge, share the fun vouchers, £5 off Fastrack vouchers, a voucher for a Freestyle cup, and refill vouchers, along with a strap for the Freestyle cup. In Gold privilege packs you will find £5 off Fastrack vouchers, a lanyard, and a pop badge.  

Membership VS Annual Pass?  

For most Passes (excluding Discovery), you will have 2 payment options to choose from. You can either purchase your Pass outright or you can choose to open a Membership contract where you pay monthly.  

Please note that Merlin Annual Passes will expire after one year, and you will have one month to take advantage of a renewal discount! This discount is available year-round, and you can find out more here 

Your Merlin Annual Pass Membership contract will last for 12 months as a minimum, at which point you may either cancel or continue as a rolling contract. You will not receive a new privilege pack if you choose to continue with the contract.  

Alton Towers Hotel

Short break savings with Merlin Holiday Club

The Merlin Holiday Club* is your exclusive Club that helps you continue your epic adventure into a magical Merlin short break at one of our five fantastical Resort Theme Parks. From exclusive first access to great deals at our incredible themed hotels to the latest offers and savings throughout the season, the Merlin Holiday Club is your key to unlocking the very best hotel rates every time! Learn more about epic short-break savings here. 

* Merlin Holiday Club discounts are not available for Merlin Discovery Passholders. 

Exclusive Passholder perks

As a Merlin Annual Passholder you gain access to loads of exclusive perks and discounts*! Gold and Platinum Passholders unlock free parking at our resort theme parks, up to 20% off shopping and dining at our attractions, Fastrack discount vouchers, 50% off family and friends’ tickets and discounts on magical short breaks with Merlin Holiday Club! Check out the exclusive Passholder extras you definitely won’t want to miss here. 

*Not all pass types unlock perks and discounts. Please check the website for details. 


No, Thorpe Park usually closes from November until March, and Alton Towers and Chessington usually close from Christmas until February or March. Exact dates will vary, please check the attraction websites for further details.  

No, once you’ve purchased your Pass you are locked into that tier for at least one year (12 months.) It’s important you think very carefully about which Pass is right for you, as you won’t be able to change it once your contract is set up.  

You must pre-book your visits or you risk being turned away. Some of our attractions are very small and the spaces available are limited so may need to be booked in advance to guarantee a space. This is especially true during very busy times such as school holidays, especially if the theme parks are closed.  

While most events are included with Merlin Annual Pass (Oktoberfest, fright nights etc), there are some special events which are not included. For example, the Alton Towers fireworks is only included for Platinum Passholders, and the Castle after Dark event at Warwick Castle is held outside of normal operating hours and is not included. The Dungeons at Alton Towers and Warwick Castle are also not included; however, you get a discount to book.