We have had an epic week of family fun this week, exploring the North West and making the most of our Merlin passes to gain entry into the many attractions that are based up here, but one thing is making me feel ranty.
I love getting photo’s on rides of us looking as though we are having a great time, or pulling silly faces when a ride is a little more scary than we thought, and most theme parks do an offer of 4 photo’s for £20 (or £25 at Alton Towers yesterday).
It now seems that the theme parks / attractions have taken this to a whole new level.
At Manchester SeaLife Centre and Legoland Discovery Centre they take your photo on a green screen before you even walk in the doors, giving you a ticket to take around with you. You don’t get the option to say no thank you, and then when you exit the attraction you get the kids demanding to see the photo and tears when you refuse to pay £10 to buy it.
Twice I have had Isaac in tears because he wanted a driving licence when he went on the Driving School rides, once at Alton Towers and again at Legoland Discovery Centre as again they take a photo of him on a green screen and then give the hard sell of passing their driving test and needing to get their driving licence. An extra £10!
Possibly the hardest sell was at Warwick Castle though. They had various events dotted around which were really good fun, but again you have to pose on a green screen as you go through, with no option to say no. At the exit you get the actual photo’s thrust under your nose and feel obliged to buy them.
I understand that theme parks are businesses and need to make money, however, most families are on a tight budget and don’t need the pressure of kids demanding the cute photo’s of them superimposed on a photo of a skeleton ball!
Give us photo opportunities for us to take photo’s for free and we will probably spend money on merchandise in the gift shop, buy food in the restaurant or at the very least offer these photo’s in some sort of offer package like the ride pictures.