Our Trip To Warwick Castle

For Halloween, we visited Warwick Castle as part of our Merlin Annual Pass ambassadorship. It had been recommended to us by a few friends as a lovely place to visit in general so we couldn’t wait to see what it had to offer.


We took a walk through a scary feature and then we headed to the Horrible Histories maze for Jack’s benefit. He has been watching a lot of Horrible Histories recently and is loving it so he was very excited for the maze. My mum took Olivia whilst Steve and I took Jack round the maze. It was lots of fun even if we did get a bit lost, trying to find the next section, haha.

We then headed further towards the castle to see what Halloween events were on. Unfortunately we found that although Warwick Castle is usually very family friendly, it didn’t seem to be the case for Halloween. Halloween is obviously a scary time of year but with it being a family friendly place, you’d think some of the events would be okay for kids. There was only a handful of things that Jack could do – and he did mention being bored at one point as there was just so little for him to do at his age. Halloween there is only really enjoyable if you are over the ages of 8 for some things and 12 for others.

Steve and I managed to do quite a few things – we headed to the seance which was certainly very creepy, the doll’s house which made me shudder and the plague section which may have caused me to shriek in fright. We headed for lunch too but the one small restaurant is crammed into this tiny little space and it was quite stressful trying to get food on such a busy day.

Not all was lost though when it came to Warwick Castle for the kids though. Steve took Jack up the steps so that he could look out on the ground below and he had so much fun. It was all he talked about on the way home – he is such an adventurous soul and loves nothing more than exploring with his Daddy.

Whilst we were a little disappointed with what Warwick Castle had to offer for kids of Jack’s age, we have heard that it is much better at other times of the year so will definitely be heading back soon. However it was a great event for Steve and I as we got to do plenty of the different events there as a couple and it was nice to spend time with just him.

I am a Merlin Annual Pass Blogger Ambassador, I was given a Merlin Annual Pass to do this review with my family and I was not paid to do this post. If anyone would like to confirm any details in the post, please email info@merlinannualpass.co.uk

Our Day At Alton Towers With Our Merlin Annual Pass & What Merlin Events Are On This Halloween

alton towers

As mentioned before, Merlin Annual Pass are kindly providing us with a year of fun as a family. You can get yours here and we have already visited Legoland (review here) and Chessington World of Adventures (review here). Right at the end of the Summer holidays, we decided to visit Alton Towers.

As always, we took our passes along for our free entry – our standard passes enable us free entry to the park and discount in many places across the park, especially the eateries (always handy!). Parking is not included in our passes but that’s fine, I’m more than happy to pay a few pounds parking for a brilliant day out.

Alton Towers is quite a drive from us so we set off quite early so we didn’t get there too long after opening. Jack had been desperate to go for months as he really wanted to check out CBeebies Land and he was so super excited when he finally realised where we were going to. As you can imagine, Alton Towers in the summer holidays was always going to be super busy so we had to plan our day accordingly. We started at CBeebies Land and ended at CBeebies Land and now Jack is desperate to go back and stay in the hotel!

We hopped on the monorail from the car park to the park and I can quite honestly say Jack would have been happy riding around on that all day if he could – he loved it!

The day started off rather wet and the queues in CBeebies Land were long so Jack went on a couple of the rides with shorter queues and we went to explore the park, deciding to come back later on when most people would be starting to leave and the queues would be shorter.

alton towersWhilst exploring the site, we came across a very exciting sight – a new ride being built. It was fascinating seeing the workmen working on it and we can’t wait to see the finished product.

alton towers

We had great fun going across the site on the Skyride – you are hundreds of feet up in a gondola and you get to see the beautiful sights of the Alton Towers park. It really is a breathtaking ride and I’d happily go round for ages if I could.

alton towers

As we do at all Merlin attractions if they have one on site, we visited the Sealife centre. We were pleasantly surprised by the size of it and we had fun looking at all the different sea creatures. Olivia has just started noticing animals and creatures so she found this really fascinating. We also took advantage of a Fast track ticket at this time to jump onto a ride which had massive queues – the Congo River Rapids was very popular so we thought the £15 (3 £5 singular Fast track tickets) for the three of us was very reasonable to bypass the massive queue. Steve got soaking wet!

alton towers alton towersWe managed to visit a couple of other rides before heading back to the CBeebies part of the park – we visited Hex which Jack was terrified and confused by. In the pitch black, he wasn’t too sure what was going on but having been on the ride before myself, I knew what to expect. He still maintains that we went upside down in the ride and he is still very confused by it!

Hungry, we popped into the pizza and pasta buffet on site. There are plenty of eateries to choose from but a buffet always gets our vote. Even without our Annual Pass discount, the restaurants are very reasonable in price – you can feed a family of four for under £40 which I think is brilliant.

As our day slowly started to come to an end, we headed back to CBeebies Land. With far to travel, plenty of people were leaving before the park closed which we were expecting – and this meant a lot less queuing time in one of the busiest parts of the park. We also came from far away but we didn’t mind leaving later – after all, the kids and my mum were only going to fall asleep in the car anyway!

alton towersalton towersalton towersWe managed to visit Justin’s House Pie-Omatic Factory, the Something Special Sensory Garden, Mr Bloom’s Allotment, the Num-Tums Number Go Round, Nina’s Science Lab, the Tree Fu Tom Training Camp and rounded off the day nicely with a ride on the Get Set Go Treetop Adventure.alton towersalton towersalton towersalton towersThis was a lovely ride to end the day with before we headed back to the car park on the monorail. A nice and gentle ride with some views of the park, it was a lovely way to end our day and we hope to visit it again soon.

We are now thinking about our next trip to a Merlin Annual Pass attraction- we will be visiting a few in the October half term and hopefully getting involved in the Halloween fun. So what is on this Halloween at Merlin attractions across the country – and which are you planning to attend?

  • Fright Nights at Thorpe Park on the 2nd of October
  • Spooky Sees at Sea Life Birmingham between the 14th and 31st of October
  • Howl’o’ween at Chessington between the 20th and 31st of October
  • The Haunted Castle at Warwick Castle between the 21st and 31st of October (we are planning to attend this and will certainly be giving the challenge a go)
  • Scarefest at Alton Towers between these dates: October 7th-8th, 14th – 15th, 20th – 31st
  • The Death Express at The London Dungeon – between 5th October and 6th of November (pass holders cannot use their passes between 27th and 31st of October)
  • All Hallow’s Eve at The Coca Cola London Eye between the 21st and 31st of October

There is so much to do at Halloween, I hope you will join me in giving as many of them a try as you can – we love Halloween in this family!


I am a Merlin Annual Pass Blogger Ambassador, I was given a Merlin Annual Pass to do this review with my family and I was not paid to do this post. If anyone would like to confirm any details in the post, please email info@merlinannualpass.co.uk

Visiting Chessington World of Adventures This Half Term With My Merlin Annual Pass – SALE NOW ON!

Merlin Annual Pass is providing us with a year of fun for our family. This half term we have visited Chessington World of Adventures to check out the rides they had on offer – Jack was very excited to get on the Gruffalo ride; so excited in fact that he dressed up completely in his Gruffalo clothing. That’s dedication for you. As always, we took our Merlin Annual pass as shown below to get into the attraction. Merlin annual passes are fantastic – not only do you get entry to a number of different UK attractions, you also get discounts at food vendors and other different things at the different attractions which is very handy!

Chessington World of Adventures is just a short drive away from us so we got there in good time. After our trip to Legoland where we still have loads to do and will be going back to, we really wanted to maximise our time at the park so bought two of the Fast Track tickets, getting a discount on these because of our Merlin passes. Unfortunately two of the rides weren’t working at Chessington this day or were under maintenance so we couldn’t use the Fast Track for those but they said we could reuse Fast Track on any other rides on the ticket.

We did ask which would be a good Fast Track ticket for Jack as he is only 5 and we were recommended one – however it turned out Jack wasn’t tall enough for most of the rides on the ticket which was a little disappointing. Fast Track tickets can be used by anyone in the group so both Steve and I could have ridden on all of the rides however we had bought the tickets to use with Jack so didn’t use them on these rides.

However we did manage to get on plenty of rides; especially the one Jack was most excited about so all’s well that ends well. We will bear this in mind when buying Fast track style tickets at attractions in the future – we will definitely make sure Jack can ride on all or the majority of the rides before purchasing.

The Rides

We managed to get on a number of different rides – we didn’t manage to get photos of all of them though as some are inside and quite dark or led to us getting very wet – I wasn’t keeping my phone or camera out to get soaked! The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure was lots of fun – there’s a sign saying you will get wet and you go round the ride as the story progresses and you think that you’re at the end – and then suddenly you get soaked! It was great fun and Jack was super glad to be able to get on that ride – it was actually one of the first rides he went on at the park. We also went into Tomb Blaster which turned out to be one of Jack’s favourites – I may have had to help him a little with aiming his laser gun but we had plenty of fun trying to hit the targets!

We managed to also go on some other rides as you can see above – we actually managed to get on quite a few in the last ten minutes thanks to our Fast Track tickets – definitely made them worth their while!

The Animals

Chessington has plenty to offer in the way of animals. Not only do they have a spacious Sea Life centre on site but they also have the zoo and the Zufari ride for you to see different animals such as flamingos, rhinos and giraffes. We all visited the Sea Life centre and the zoo together but when it came to Zufari, Steve and Jack went on the truck and got up close and personal with some gorgeous animals!

We love that Chessington has so much to offer children of all ages – rides, animals, splash zones. Literally everything a child could ever want from an adventure park. As you can see, one of the giraffes was right up next to the truck – how amazing is that?

The Food

There is plenty of different food options on site and we were really spoilt for choice. Of course we got our Merlin Annual pass discount on whatever option we went for and we eventually opted for the burger and chips restaurant, the Vampire Burger Kitchen. There was plenty of food to choose from and the burgers were super tasty – we will definitely be heading back there for a burger next time we go to Chessington.

Now…does a Merlin pass sound attractive to you? Why not pick one up for you and your family?


There has never been a better time to start planning your family’s summer adventures. Enjoy access to 32 top attractions across the UK with a Merlin Annual Pass which is now available for the fantastic price of just £119 per person* during the BIG SUMMER SALE! What a saving!

You can keep the whole family entertained and excited on an escape to Alton Towers Resort, home to some of the world’s most iconic rollercoasters. Go in search of the wart-nosed woodland dweller, The Gruffalo, at Chessington World of Adventures Resort and seek out the popular children’s character on the all new Gruffalo River Ride Adventure, a twisting and turning lazy river tour that will excite all ages! Have fun at the Sea Life Centres or check out the all new LEGO® NINJAGO® World at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort.
What’s not to love? An awesome year awaits Merlin Annual Pass holders with visits to the UK’s biggest and best attractions for a year of unstoppable FUN. Make awesome memories together and say goodbye to grumpy and hello to AWESOME at the Coca-Cola London Eye, THORPE PARK Resort, Dream Works Tours Shrek’s Adventure! London, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Alton Towers Resort, the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort, SEA LIFE Centres across the UK and many many more. Special benefits and discounts will also be unlocked.

The BIG SUMMER SALE starts at 10am on Thursday 1st June and will be ending at midnight on Monday 3rd July 2017.
For more information please visit www.merlinannualpass.co.uk.

I am a Merlin Annual Pass Blogger Ambassador, I was given a Merlin Annual Pass to do this review with my family and I was not paid to do this post. If anyone would like to confirm any details in the post, please email info@merlinannualpass.co.uk

Visiting Legoland This Easter With My Merlin Annual Pass

You may have recently read our post about becoming Merlin Annual Pass Blogger Ambassadors.  This Easter holidays, we picked up our passes and spent the day at Legoland as a family. Legoland is somewhere Jack has always wanted to visit and he couldn’t wait to get round the whole site and see what it had to offer. We are so excited for our year of fun with our Merlin Annual Pass!

Picking Up Our Passes

Since we were yet to pick up our passes, we of course headed to the entrance, in particular the annual pass booth, to sort out our annual passes. My mum had come along with us to keep an eye on Olivia. Getting our passes was fairly straightforward; they simply take your details and take a photo as seen above.

LEGO Star Wars Miniland Model Display & Gallery

We quickly grabbed a snack and a drink from the café near the Legoland entrance before heading to our first thing to see – I’m not sure if Steve or Jack was more excited about the LEGO Star Wars Miniland but they were both in their element. Jack really enjoyed seeing and naming all the characters and every time I turned round, him and Steve were taking pictures and pressing the buttons to see what the models had to offer.

We also took a look at the information about how long it took for the Miniland to be set up and watched a video (sped up) of people creating the models; it really was quite fascinating! Of course, Jack couldn’t resist a light saber battle with Darth Vader!

Walking Around Legoland & Lunch

We took our time going round the park – due to it being the Easter holidays, it was incredibly busy so we took our time deciding what rides to go on and where to go for lunch. We finally opted for City Walk pizza & pasta buffet because who doesn’t enjoy a buffet? It also meant we could take our time and chill out inside; because it was such a lovely day, people were buying their food from the outside stalls which meant the buffet was fairly quiet. Being Annual Pass holders also means we get a slight discount on our food – which is great! The pizza and pasta were delicious as was the salad and there was plenty to choose from which was quickly replenished. They also offer a refillable soft drink within the price of the buffet and there was a variety of those to choose from too.

The Rides

We only managed to get on a few of the rides due to how busy the park was – we will definitely be investing in Q-Bot next time (you can reserve your ride wait time if you choose the regular, reduce your waiting time by half with the express and get on almost instantly with the ultimate). As we didn’t have any, we queued up for a few different rides for quite some time – I think we managed to get on Viking’s River Splash, Aero Nomad, SQUID Surfer and the Atlantis Submarine Voyage throughout the day but we will definitely be going back and getting Q-Bot for one of us and Jack next time to get on more of the rides a little quicker. Queues were totally to be expected at this time of year though and we had plenty of fun on the rides we did get on!

I got absolutely soaked on the SQUID surfer – you have to turn to go faster and avoid the spray which is controlled by people in the park, outside the ride! Of course, I had someone continually try to get me and Jack and I took the brunt of it, haha! I came off looking like a drowned rat but it was plenty of fun and Jack loved it!

The best ride of them all has to be the Atlantis Submarine Voyage. Steve was talking about it all day and we finally went on just before the park closed for the day. You all get onto a submarine pod style thing and are then submerged into ‘the lost city of Atlantis’. It was fascinating being up close and personal with fish, sharks and rays and it was all Jack could talk about as we left the park – it definitely made an impression on him.

The Gift Shop

After letting him know that no, we wouldn’t be staying at the hotel (bless him, he really wanted to!), we headed to the gift shop on our way to the exit and let him pick a few things – he chose a cup with Lego bricks in the bottom (of course) and a new water bottle for school – which plenty of his school friends on have already decided they want too!


As we made our way to the exit, we of course had to pass through Miniland and how amazing is it? The level of work that has gone into creating these models is immense and they are truly things of beauty. Just seeing London in Lego form was quite incredible and we could happily have spent hours looking round all of the different cities and stuff if it wasn’t getting late.

We will definitely be visiting Legoland again later in the year and we are also planning to visit a few other Merlin attractions over the next few months – now its just time to decide where to go next!

I am a Merlin Annual Pass Blogger Ambassador, I was given a Merlin Annual Pass to do this review with my family and I was not paid to do this post. If anyone would like to confirm any details in the post, please email info@merlinannualpass.co.uk


Make It A Year To Remember With Merlin Annual Pass | Sale On Now!

I am a Merlin Annual Pass Blogger Ambassador, I was given a Merlin Annual Pass to create this post with my family and I was not paid to do this post. If anyone would like to confirm any details in the post, please email info@merlinannualpass.co.uk

It’s January once more and we all know what January means, don’t we? SALES. Merlin are no different and currently have their annual January sale on for Merlin passes until the 13th of February 2017.  From just £109* per person in the spectacular New Year sale, this amazing offer is one you don’t want to miss out on.

A Merlin Annual Pass opens the door to 32 magical worlds across the UK- wherever you live, you are guaranteed a passport to fun! You can get to experience some of the UK’s biggest and best attractions, including the Coca-Cola London Eye, THORPE PARK Resort, Dream Works Tours Shrek’s Adventure! London, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Alton Towers Resort, LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort, SEA LIFE Centres across the UK and many more. Not only that, Passholders can unlock special benefits and discounts.

If history is your thing, watch it come to life in re-enactments at Warwick Castle, see some amazing underwater creatures at SEA LIFE centres across the country, visit the celebs at Madame Tussauds in either Blackpool or London or perhaps gaze over London’s beautiful skyline on the Coca-Cola London Eye?

With plenty of new additions coming in 2017, this is the year to make the magic happen! In May, the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort will challenge guests to become Masters of Spinjitzu at the all new LEGO® NINJAGO™ World where families can join their favourite NINJAGO heroes in a series of training activities before putting their Ninja skills to the ultimate test on LEGO® NINJAGO™ The Ride – something Jack will love!

 The Gruffalo is set to bring a brand new experience to Chessington World of Adventures Resort in 2017! Expect excitement, an awesome adventure and lots of fun. There will also be a new CBeebies Land Hotel at Alton Towers resort, uniquely designed for young families and bursting with music, stories and adventures for little ones to enjoy. Plus, the UK’s only LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Manchester is re-launching with a Ninjago themed area that little ones will love!  

With a Merlin Annual Pass, you can entertain your children at optimum times of year without any of the stress! It’s time to say yes to fun and creating special lifetime memories!

Premium Merlin Annual Pass holders get priority entry to all of Merlin Entertainments’ UK attractions, automatic membership to the Merlin Holiday Club (an exclusive club with magical treats for Passholders who stay overnight!), discounted entry for family and friends, invites to exclusive Passholder preview events, complimentary standard parking at Resort Theme Parks and a Privilege Pack containing three £5 off Fastrack vouchers** for a single use at selected theme parks and three Share the Fun vouchers where a friend can join holders for £15 each.   

The BIG New Year Sale started at 10am on Sunday 1st January 2017 and will be ending at midnight on 13th February – why not find out more here and grab your pass now?