It's easy for days out to get expensive fast, especially when the whole family is involved. However, there are a number of schemes – including the Merlin Pass – that can bring down that price a little.

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To try and help, we’ve got guides on how to spend less on family days out, like how to get cheap Alton Towers tickets, how to get cheap Chessington tickets and even a guide to what is Shrek’s Adventure? Now, however, we’re also bringing you a guide to how to get into all three.

You see, with the Merlin Annual Pass, you can get access to over 25 incredible experiences and attractions across the country. From educational visits like the SEA LIFE centres and Warwick Castle, to landmarks like the London Eye and Blackpool Tower. Plus, you can also get entry to all your favourite theme parks like LEGOLAND, Alton Towers, Chessington, and Thorpe Park.

The pass gets you at least 200 days entry to all of these attractions as well as additional perks and discounts on your days out.

But what exactly is the Merlin Pass? And how does it work? Well, that’s what we can answer for you in this guide. Below, you’ll find exactly how the Merlin Pass works, where it can take you, what different types you can buy, and of course, how much it costs.

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You've come at exactly the right time, as you can currently snag some pretty impressive savings on the Merlin Annual Pass thanks to the Wizards Wanted Sale.

You can also get more savings on Merlin attractions over on Virgin Experience Days, from Alton Towers to Warwick Castle.

So, grab the kids and the Factor 50 sun cream, because you’re about to have a magical holiday.

Buy the Merlin Annual Pass from £99 £79 per person

Save on Merlin attractions at Virgin Experience Days

Jump to:

What is the Merlin Annual Pass?

Rattlesnake Chessington World of Adventures Resort
Rattlesnake Chessington World of Adventures Resort

The Merlin Annual Pass is essentially a membership card that gets you into some of the UK’s top theme parks, landmarks, and family days out. From The London Dungeon to LEGOLAND, the pass allows you access to multiple attractions across the UK and can be used over at least 200 days in the year.

Described as “the ultimate passport to a year of epic togetherness” the annual pass is the easiest way of seeing all these attractions in a short space of time like the holidays. With 29 options available, you’ll be able to go from place to place without having to keep buying individual tickets.

How does the Merlin Annual Pass work?

The Merlin Pass gives you at least 200 days of entry to 29 family attractions across the UK.

There are four types of passes – Discover, Silver, Gold and Platinum – which offer you a wider selection of dates as they go up in price. For the more basic memberships, you’ll come across a greater number of “exclusion dates” where you can’t get free entry to the attractions, but for the higher priced memberships, you’re looking at fewer exclusion dates and extra perks like free parking. But, for all the passes, you still get entry to the same amount of parks and experiences like Chessington, Thorpe Park, Alton Towers and more.

Each pass can only be used by one person and will carry their name and photograph. This means that families will need to purchase a pass per each member for everyone to get access.

Once you’ve bought the Merlin Pass, you can’t just turn up at the gates of these attractions, instead you’ll need to pre-book. Your pass will arrive digitally and will include a barcode and unique pass number, using these you can then find the date and time you wish to enter your attraction and can also enter the pass details for other members in your family. Then, voila! It’s time to head off on your epic day out.

Buy the Merlin Annual Pass from £99 £79 per person

Save on Merlin attractions at Virgin Experience Days

Where can you go with the Merlin Annual Pass?

The Merlin Annual Pass gives you access to 29 locations across the UK, from major theme parks to local SEA LIFE centres. Here is the full list of attractions you can visit:

  • Alton Towers Resort
  • Chessington World of Adventures Resort­­
  • LEGOLAND Windsor Resort
  • The London Eye
  • Thorpe Park Resort
  • SEA LIFE London
  • National SEA Life Centre Birmingham
  • SEA LIFE Manchester
  • SEA LIFE Blackpool
  • SEA LIFE Brighton
  • SEA LIFE Weymouth Adventure Park
  • SEA LIFE Great Yarmouth
  • SEA LIFE Sanctuary Hunstanton
  • SEA LIFE Scarborough
  • SEA LIFE Loch Lomond
  • SEA LIFE Bray
  • Warwick Castle
  • The Blackpool Tower
  • Madame Tussauds London
  • Madame Tussauds Blackpool
  • Shrek’s Adventure! London
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Birmingham
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester
  • The London Dungeon
  • The Blackpool Tower Dungeon
  • The York Dungeon
  • The Edinburgh Dungeon
  • The Bear Grylls Adventure
  • Peter Rabbit: Explore and Play

Buy the Merlin Annual Pass from £99 £79 per person

Save on Merlin attractions at Virgin Experience Days

What are the different types of Merlin Annual Pass?

There are four different types of Merlin Annual Pass, all giving you access to the same number of UK attractions. Where they differ is in terms the days you can visit these attractions and the various discounts and perks you can get while there.

As we’ve said, the cheaper memberships will include a larger number of dates you can’t book on. This often includes peak visit times like Saturdays and the summer holidays, so you’ll need to think carefully about if it’s worth it before you buy.

Meanwhile, the more expensive packages will have far less exclusion dates and will also give you additional benefits like special offers on food and drink and sometimes free parking.

Here’s a closer look at the four types of passes on offer:

Discovery Pass

The Discovery Pass is the most basic package. It gives you over 200 days of entry to the different attractions but at off-peak times only. This means it can’t be used over the summer, Easter and Christmas holidays or any of the half-term periods. It also excludes several Saturdays and sometimes whole weekends, so you’ll have to think carefully if your children are school age.

The up-side however, is that the Discovery Pass is the cheapest. It is normally £99 per person and seeing as Alton Towers Day tickets start at £36 per person, you’d be making your money back in less than three visits!

However, you can currently snag the Discovery Pass from just £79 per person, a saving of £20 on the original price.

Buy the Discovery Pass from £99 £79 per person at Merlin Annual Pass

Save on Merlin attractions at Virgin Experience Days

Silver Pass

The Silver Pass is an instant step up, giving you over 300 days access to all the different attractions. The exclusion dates will now only be for peak dates like Bank Holiday Mondays and October Half Term, although you still won’t be able to book for almost the whole of August. With the Silver pass however, you can get a discount on tickets if you still want to visit on these restricted dates, as well as 20% off certain hotel stays and 10% off food, drink and retail while you’re visiting.

You can get the Silver Pass on either a yearly or monthly membership. The annual membership typically costs £169 per person, but has been reduced to just £129. The monthly costs £10.99 a month with a £19.99 joining fee.

Buy the Silver Pass from £169 £129 per person at Merlin Annual Pass

Gold Pass

Now up to 340 days entry, the Gold Pass only excludes a very small number of dates such as Bank Holidays and the long Easter weekend. With this, you can also get free parking at the theme parks and Warwick Castle, plus 20% off food, drink, retail, and hotel stays. There’s also a £5 discount on FastTrack vouchers and a free lanyard and card holder that comes in the post.

The Gold Pass typically costs £239 for the year, but is now available for £189 in the Wizards Wanted Sale. You can also snag one for £15.99 per month with a £24.99 joining fee.

Buy the Gold Pass from £239 £189 per person at Merlin Annual Pass

Platinum Pass

Lastly there’s the Platinum Pass, with absolutely no exclusion dates (aside from Christmas Day). Like the Gold Pass, this membership will get you 20% discounts on all the attraction extras and £5 off FastTrack tickets. In fact, the only significant extras compared to the Gold are a free Coca-Cola Freestyle cup, which comes with a lanyard and two re-fill vouchers, and Share the Fun vouchers, which allows you to get £19 tickets for family and friends.

Now on sale, the Platinum Pass is available for £239 per person, a £60 saving on the original price of £299 a year. It's also available on a monthly basis for £20.99 with a £29.99 joining fee.

Buy the Platinum Pass from £299 per person at Merlin Annual Pass

How much is the Merlin Annual Pass?

As we’ve said above, each pass goes up in price starting at £99 and going up to £299 for the year. For the Silver, Gold and Platinum passes you can either sign up to a yearly or monthly cost, but we would recommend paying yearly, if you can, as this will actually work out cheaper.

How to buy the Merlin Annual Pass

To buy a pass for yourself, all you have to do is head to the Merlin Annual Pass website and select “Buy Passes.” Then, you can pick which pass you want (Discover, Silver, Gold, Platinum) and will have to fill in your personal details, including a photo. After that your digital pass will arrive and you can enjoy dozens of attractions across the country.

Buy the Merlin Annual Pass from £99 £79 per person

Save on Merlin attractions at Virgin Experience Days

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We've got even more money saving tips for you, like how to get cheap cinema tickets and how to get cheap Disneyland Paris tickets. Plus, we can give you the best animal experiences.

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