Over Half of Brits Feel Taken for a Ride by Theme Parks

Sep 09, 2011, 03:00 ET from Gocompare.com

NEWPORT, Wales, September 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Alton Towers comes out on top but less than 5% of consumers think theme parks offer good value for money

For many families the school summer holidays wouldn't be complete without a trip to a theme park. However, new research from Gocompare.com has found that with a family day out to a top UK attraction costing up to £105.60* in admission tickets alone more than half of Brits (54%) feel theme parks have become a very expensive holiday treat. In fact, less than 1 in 20 (4.6%) of the people surveyed thought they offered good value for money.

Research highlights include: 

  • 54% of Brits think theme parks have become very expensive
  • Just 4.6% think theme parks offer good value for money
  • 61% think the food and drink inside theme parks is too expensive
  • 55% spend most of the day queuing for rides
  • 34% would not pay the full advertised admission price
  • Alton Towers is the nation's favourite theme park

Aside from the cost of getting through the entrance gate families are also feeling stung by the high cost of food and drink once they're inside. 61 per cent of Brits feel that the prices charged by theme park restaurants, cafés and drinks stalls are a rip off.

And to top it all, despite the high cost of admission and refreshments, according to most visitors an experience which promises a day filled with thrills and excitement is more about aching legs than white knuckles. 55 per cent of people say they spent most of their day out queuing for rides.

The survey also asked consumers to name their favourite theme parks and despite admission for a family of four costing over £100.00 it was Alton Towers in Staffordshire which emerged as the clear winner. One respondent who voted had this to say: "The park we visit and enjoy most is Alton Towers...we are a family who love theme parks but they are expensive and with the hike in the cost of petrol for the journey they are becoming an increasingly expensive treat."

Disney World in Florida came a creditable second place bearing in mind the 4000 mile journey Brits have to take to get there. And although the five day admission ticket to the Disney World resort was an eye watering £823.00 for a family of four it still prompted some of the most favourable comments: "Disney World has a magical atmosphere. Every part is excellent." And "I adored Walt Disney World in Florida..."

Brits Top 10 Favourite Theme Parks 

                                                    Admission for family
    Rank Theme Park              Location           of 4
    1    Alton Towers            Staffordshire, UK  GBP100.80 - 1 day
    2    Disney World            Florida, USA       GBP823.00 - 5 days
    3    Thorpe Park             Surrey, UK         GBP105.60 - 1 day
                                                    $597.96 (GBP361) - 4
    4    Universal Studios       Florida, USA       days
    5    Disney Land             Paris, France      GBP194.00 - 1 day
    6    Chessington             Greater London, UK GBP88.20 - 1 day
         Blackpool Pleasure
    7    Beach                   Lancashire, UK     GBP88.00 - 1 day
    8    Drayton Manor           Staffordshire, UK  GBP83.80 - 1 day
    9    Legoland                Berkshire, UK      GBP97.00 - 1 day
                                 North Yorkshire,
    10   Flamingo land           UK                 GBP95.00 - 1 day

Jeremy Cryer, head of travel insurance at Gocompare.com commented, "Our research shows that most visitors to theme parks come away with a less than glowing view of their day out. Expensive tickets, overpriced food, and hours spent queuing for rides seem to be how most Brits remember their day out.

"Alton Towers emerged as the UK's favourite theme park but operators clearly have some work to do when it comes to customer satisfaction."

SOURCE Gocompare.com