Merlin Entertainments Group is the leading name in location based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. The world's No 2 visitor attraction operator, Merlin aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 30 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 13000 employees.
Bigger than Universal and second only to Disney, Merlin Entertainments brings together LEGOLAND, Madame Tussauds, The EDF Energy London Eye, SEA LIFE, Gardaland, Dungeons - as well as national brands such as Alton Towers, THORPE PARK, Warwick Castle, Heide Park and Chessington World of Adventures. All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative - and which have great potential for growth in the future.
As one of the world's leading operators of visitor attractions, with 58 attractions in 12 countries and across 3 continents, Merlin Entertainments welcomes over 32 million people to its attractions every year - many of them children. Merlin Entertainments' special charity - Merlin's Magic Wand - has been set up to provide magical experiences to many more children who are seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged and who might not otherwise be able to visit one of our many attractions around the world.
Through Merlin's Magic Wand charity, we seek to provide the means for kids to visit us, or to take part in another similar experiences appropriate to their circumstances. Grants towards the cost of travel and accommodation may be provided if needed, in addition to providing entrance passes to the attraction or experience.
To find out more about Merlin's Magic Wand, eligibility criteria, and how you can apply for an award, go to www.merlinsmagicwand.org, from where application forms can be downloaded.
Merlin's Magic Wand has been established as a UK charitable trust, registered with the Charities Commission in the UK. The Charity is run by a Board of Trustees, who will administer the funds and make awards. Awards may be made in any of the countries in which Merlin operates.
No 2 visitor attraction brand in Europe. SEA LIFE champions the cause of marine conservation through education, awareness and wherever possible, direct action. The 23 SEA LIFE attractions and 3 Marine Sanctuaries are an ideal friendly and authoritative guide to the last great frontier...the seas and oceans of the world and their myriad mysterious and amazing inhabitants. Unrivalled display technology, biological expertise and entertainments skills combine to provide seamless journeys through European and tropical waters, and astonishing close encounters with everything from humble shrimps and starfish to seahorses, sharks and stingrays.
No 3 visitor attraction brand in Europe. Pirate, explorer, fire fighter, whatever the kids aspire to be (and Mum and Dad also wish they were...) LEGOLAND® offers families the opportunity to let their imaginations run free, and 'have a go' in the wonderful world of LEGO®. Kid-powered rides, cool building challenges, a unique mix of interactive attractions, exhilarating coasters, shows that pull the audience into the action and so much more. There is a surprise around every colourful corner, with lively music and astonishingly accurate LEGO® brick models. LEGOLAND® has something for every family member, and dozens of things to enjoy together.
There are currently four LEGOLAND® sites in the UK, Denmark (including the LEGOLAND® Hotel), Germany and USA (California).
Two new LEGOLAND® concepts were launched in 2007 - the first, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center - an indoor interactive attraction to be located in City Centers - opened in Berlin, in April; and LEGOLAND® Atlantis by SEA LIFE, which opened in Billund in March 2007, taking the SEA LIFE experience into the LEGOLAND® environment.
At 135m high, The EDF Energy London eye is the world's tallest observation wheel. During the graceful 30 minute flight, customers can see up to 40km from their fully enclosed, state of the art glass capsules. Since opening in 2000, it has welcomed over 25 million visitors and has won 75 awards for design and engineering, tourism, customer service as well as numerous people's choice awards. In a short period of time, it has become a 21st century symbol for modern Britain and a global icon.
London's most famous visitor attraction, Madame Tussauds, has been providing entertainment, magic and wonder for visitors for over 200 years. Visitors are fully immersed in the world of celebrity, politics, history, music, film and sport, getting up close and personal with their icons and heroes in an inclusive, innovative and interactive environment. The red ropes are gone, and Madame Tussauds' unique experience is rolling out globally with attractions in New York, Amsterdam, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Hollywood, Berlin, Vienna, Blackpool Shanghai and Hong Kong – with a brand new attraction opening soon in Washington DC and Hollywood!
No 3 theme park in Europe and Italy's number one. Gardaland is a special combination of adventure, dream and strong emotions in a wonderful fantasy world. Discover the fascination of a submerged continent, challenge the fury of the rapids in the heart of the jungle, face the dangers of the ferocious sea or experience the emotion of flight aboard a supersonic jet. Everything is possible in GARDALAND. The park includes the GARDALAND Resort Hotel, a magical place where you can spend a fantastic holiday.
With over 40 rides, shows that pull the audience into never ending adventures, and its unique Hotel Resort.
Merlin's Dungeons are not for the faint hearted! A unique combination of real history, horror and humour bring gruesome historic events back to life in the 21st century. Each Dungeon offers a horror fest linked to their location - highlighting the local history's horrible bits. The Dungeon experience combines live actors, rides, shows and special effects to transport you back to relive those darker times. Led by the world famous London Dungeon, there are now four other Dungeon sites in Hamburg, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and York. Visit if you dare, but be careful you never know who - or what - is just around the corner.
Based in Soltau, Heide Park is North Germany's largest theme park and is situated in 850,000 sq metres of countryside, approximately 65 km from Hamburg. Amongst the 40 rides, the Park is home to the world's tallest drop tower, Scream, as well as Colossus - one of the steepest wooden roller coasters in the world. The Heide Park complex includes a 440 bed holiday centre with Caribbean style huts. A resort hotel, The Port Royal, which opened in July 2007.
The UK's leading and most extraordinary theme park, with something for everyone, whether on a short break with family or a day out with friends. Alton Towers is located in 500 acres of Staffordshire countryside and as well as having rides and attractions for all ages; has two fully themed hotels, a huge indoor and outdoor waterpark, a luxurious Spa, plus a unique Conference Center just a stone's throw away from all the action. Thrill seekers enjoy adrenalin fun on some of Europe's top rides such as Air, Nemesis, Oblivion and Rita - Queen of Speed; and there are special events throughout the season for all the family to enjoy - from Easter to Halloween. New for 2007 - Extraordinary Golf, 'There's Something in the Dung Heap' adventure playground, and The Haunted Hollow - a spooky stroll through the haunted forest!
THORPE PARK unleashes extreme terror in 2009 with the hotly anticipated launch of SAW - The Ride, the first ever horror movie themed rollercoaster. The new coaster will test the nerve of all who dare ride it by placing them at the mercy of the film's master manipulator, Jigsaw, to endure a 'beyond vertical' drop of 100° from a terrifying height of 100ft, as well as three death defying inversions.
For the more extreme thrills, THORPE PARK is the 'must do' destination for adrenaline junkies! Those who are brave enough can ride the 'Unholy Trinity': allow yourself to be propelled from 0-80mph in less than 2 seconds to the jaw-dropping height of 205 ft, as you experience the might of Stealth; feel the heat of Nemesis Inferno as you plunge into the fires of a volcano at an incredible G-Force of 4.5; and if your nerves are still intact, complete the trinity on Colossus, the world's first ten-looping rollercoaster.
THORPE PARK... let the game begin!
Discover more at Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo in 2008! Go underwater and explore the secret world under the sea as Chessington opens a brand new SEALIFE Center housing over 20 marine life displays with species ranging from tiny shrimps and starfish to magnificent sharks and stingrays! Screams, thrills and spills will return to the park from Saturday 15 March, as Vampire wakes from its winter slumber, Dragon's Fury hots up for a spin-tastic summer and playful tigers, cheeky monkeys and lively sealions come out to play.
From the Forbidden Kingdom to Animal Antics, Toadies Crazy Cars to a brand new Children's Zoo Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo promises a hassle free, adventurous family day out everyone will want to explore in 2008.
Warwick Castle, undoubtedly Merlin's oldest attraction, is Britain's Greatest Mediaeval Experience with fantastic themed attractions and a year-round programme of interactive entertainment. Highlights for 2007 include the world's biggest siege machine, thrilling jousting tournaments, breathtaking birds of prey, daredevil knights, a new fully immersive experience - Dream of Battle; and magical winter/Christmas events including an ice rink. Warwick Castle guarantees a mighty day of mediaeval fun.
Earth Explorer is an up-close and personal experience of what makes our amazing Earth tick, and what makes it roar, crack, erupt, tremble, howl, shudder, heave, freeze and boil. A more than interactive adventure among the fascinating natural forces. An exciting, educational voyage of discovery for all ages, Earth Explorer involves you totally. You will see and feel how the four natural forces of earth, wind, fire and water have shaped our world, and how they continue to influence our daily lives.