Is a Merlin Pass Worth It in 2024?

In this post we provide an overview and honest review of the Merlin Pass and ask the question – is a Merlin Annual Pass worth it and will it save you money? We’ll give you an understanding of what a Merlin Pass is, cover the different membership options, and explain the difference between the Merlin Pass and Merlin membership.

Quick answer- is a Merlin Annual Pass worth it in 2024?

Yes, a Merlin Annual Pass is worth it. A pass entitles you to free entry into all 15 attractions, plus discounts on retail, food and hotels. If used to it’s full potential you can save a fair amount of money, making a Merlin Annual Pass absolutely worth it.

This comes with a caveat to use your own judgement on this. You actually need to use it to get the savings so if you live hours away from any of the Merlin attractions and you’ll only be able to visit twice a year then you’re not going to save any money and it won’t really be worth it. 

What’s in this post?

If there is a section of this post that you’re particularly interested in you can skip straight there by clicking on that section in the contents below. If not, then continue reading to learn all about the Merlin Annual Pass.

What is a Merlin Annual Pass?

A Merlin Annual Pass is a membership with the attraction group Merlin that grants free access to all Merlin attractions including (but not limited to) Legoland Windsor, Alton Towers, Sea Life Centres and Thorpe Park. In addition there are other benefits like a discount on food, hotels and other retail perks. The membership is available digitally, via a physical membership card, or both depending on which membership option you choose.

What are the membership options?

There are four membership options for the Merlin Pass. All have different price points, availability and perks, and you can find out more about each option below.

Discovery Pass 

The discovery pass is the cheapest of all four passes at £99 annually with no monthly option (current 2024 prices) and as such comes with the most limited availability calendar. This pass doesn’t allow access on some weekends, school holidays, bank holidays and special events. Additionally, you get no extra benefits like discounts on food and hotels.

Silver Pass 

The silver pass is available at £169 annually or £10.99 monthly (current 2024 prices). For this price you get 295 days access but you can’t use your pass during school holidays, some dates around bank holidays, and special events without an additional fee. You do get some additional benefits but it’s the minimal level so 10% off retail, food and beverages at the Merlin parks, as well as 20% off hotels through the Merlin Holiday Club.

Gold Pass

The gold pass is available at £239 annually or £15.99 monthly (current 2024 prices). Included in this price is 340 days access and your only restriction is around bank holidays or special events without incurring an additional cost. You can also enjoy free car parking at the theme parks and Warwick Castle, 20% off retail, food and beverages, and 20% off of hotels through the Merlin Holiday Club.

Platinum pass

The platinum pass is the most expensive of all the passes at £299 annually or £20.99 monthly (current 2024 prices). For this whopping amount you get the same additional benefits as the gold pass but with 364 days access. You’ll also get a Platinum membership pack in the post that contains several additional perks including, vouchers for a freestyle drinks cup and re-fill vouchers, £5 off fast track, and some share the fun vouchers that enable you to book £19 tickets for friends and family.

What attractions are included in a Merlin Annual Pass?

There are 15 attractions included in the Merlin Pass with the most recent being Cadbury World. The full list of attractions can be seen on the map below and listed underneath.


Here’s the full list of attractions available to all Merlin Pass holders;

  1. Alton Towers Resort
  2. Chessington World of Adventures Resort
  3. Legoland Windsor Resort
  4. The London Eye
  5. Thorpe Park Resorts
  7. Warwick Castle
  8. The Blackpool Tower
  9. Madame Tussauds
  10. Shrek’s Adventure London
  11. Legoland Discovery Centre
  12. The Dungeons
  13. The Bear Grylls Adventure
  14. Peter Rabbit: Explore and Play
  15. Cadbury World

What are the Merlin Annual Pass benefits?

To help you understand what perks are included in a Merlin annual pass I’ve created the table below that breaks everything down by membership level. There are over 60 additional benefits not listed below including 20% off at welcome breaks, and up to 50% off iFLY, Snorkel and Shark Dive. You can find out what additional benefits are available with your pass type on the Merlin Passholder Hub.

PerksDiscovery PassSilver PassGold PassPlatinum Pass
How many pre-books can you have at any one time3 per attraction3 per attraction3 per attraction6 per attraction
Free car parking at the theme parks and Warwick CastleNoNoYesYes
Up to 10% off retail, food and beveragesNoYesNoNo
Up to 20% off retail, food and beveragesNoNoYesYes
Up to 20% off hotel stays with Merlin Holiday ClubNoYesYesYes
Discounted tickets to visit on restriction daysNoYesYesNo
Share the Fun Vouchers (£19 tickets for friends and family)NoNoNoYes
Cost£99 pa£169 pa or £10.99 pm£239 pa or £15.99 pm£299 pa or £20.99 pm

Things to consider before buying a Merlin Annual Pass

  • Retail, food and beverage discounts are ‘up to’ 10% and 20%, they’re also only valid at Merlin run places (no third party food stalls or restaurants) meaning you’re not guaranteed that discount
  • One of the added perks is 50% off the cost of a face value ticket. However, this is off the gate price (even though you can’t buy in person tickets at most attractions now). What this means in practice is that the 50% off friends and family ticket for Alton Towers is £34 but it’s only £35 to buy a standard day ticket online – not quite 50%!
  • Regardless of whether you pay annually or monthly your contract is for one year so if you pay monthly you won’t be able to cancel for 12 months. 
  • With a monthly membership there is a joining fee to be paid, this is between £39 and £59 depending on the membership option you go with. They regularly run promotions where you can sign up to a monthly pass with no joining fee so keep your eyes peeled for that to save some money.
  • The main theme parks close during off season (roughly end of October to late Feb/early March) and are only partly open for special events (fireworks, Santa visits etc) so you’re getting 6 months full use.

Merlin Annual Pass FAQ

Do you need to pre-book?

You do need to pre-book at all Merlin attractions to guarantee entry. By all means, if you’re passing one and decide to stop then try your luck but if they’re fully booked you’ll be denied entry.

What is the difference between an annual pass and annual membership?

They mean exactly the same thing and have the same benefits with the only difference being that the pass is a one-off annual payment and the membership is a monthly payment with a joining fee.

At what age do you need a Merlin Annual Pass

Entry to most Merlin attractions is free to under 3’s or under 90cm. You can buy a Merlin Pass for someone under the age of 3 but there is really no need.

Can you use someone else’s Merlin annual pass?

You cannot use anyone else’s Merlin Pass. They are named with a picture of the owner to prevent abuse. The pass will be revoked if you’re caught.

How to buy a Merlin Pass?

You can buy a Merlin Pass on their website. When you purchase you’ll need your bank card for the payment and a digital headshot style photo of each person who will require a pass.

Summary: is a Merlin Annual Pass worth it in 2024?

In summary there are many pros and cons to getting a Merlin Annual Pass but for me the positives are still enough that it is 100% worth it based on the free attraction visits alone. 

We have the platinum passes, however when we renew we’ll likely downgrade to the gold pass. In my opinion, the additional benefits of the platinum don’t outweigh the cost jump from gold unless you use all of the benefits and we just don’t.

With a pass it seems like there are so many opportunities to have a free day out with the kids without forking out over £100 every visit. The flexibility to pay annually or monthly means that the pass is an affordable option for everyone, even if you can’t afford a hefty upfront payment.

While some of the perks don’t really feel like perks (like the friends and family discount) with the recent news of plans for a universal studios in the UK well underway I think we’ll see Merlin really stepping up their game into 2024 and beyond.

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