DO NOT BUY MERLIN ENTERTAINMENT DISCOVERY, GOLD & PLATINUM ANNUAL PASSES before seeing this video!

DO NOT BUY MERLIN ENTERTAINMENT DISCOVERY, GOLD & PLATINUM ANNUAL PASSES before seeing this video! These passes are effectively the rebranded Merlin Entertainment Standard and Premiere annual passes of days gone by.

We’ve used annual Merlin Passes in both pre and post covid world and can see the difference. The main issue is what you discover after you’ve purchased your passes that you wish you knew before you purchased your passes. By watching this video, you’ll be able to see a couple of these key considerations and discover that what is written on the tin, may in fact not be the case.

Merlin Entertainment Passes give access to:
LEGOLAND Windsor Resort UK
LEGOLAND Discovery Centres
The London Eye
SEA LIFE Centres
Thorpe Park Resort
Alton Towers Resort
Blackpool Tower
Chessington World of Adventures
Madame Tussauds
Shreks Adventure
The London Dungeon (and other Dungeons)
Warwick Castle

Time codes to the Video:

0:00 Introduction
1:00 New Discovery, Gold & Platinum Annual Passes vs Old Standard & Premium Passes
2:45 Questionable Customer Feedback
3:35 What they don’t tell you that you wish you knew
4:00 “Throttling” / “Capping” Annual Passes – Problems booking annual tickets
5:15 Merlin Entertainments Double Dipping on Customers
5:45 Non-Disclosure of Ticket Allocation Opaque Process
6:35 No Annual Members Access vs Non-Annual Full Price Access
7:05 Queue Times at LEGOLAND Getting Longer – Removal of Hotel Priority Ride Hour
8:50 What Access do you Truly Have to Attractions?
9:28 Undefined and Ambiguous Terms & Conditions
12:00 Short Term Gains at Long Term Expense – Alienating Current Customers
13:13 Is It Worth It?
14:30 Alternative Attractions
14:48 Summing Up

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Transcript from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here. In this video we are going to ask if the newly rebranded Merlin Entertainment Annual Discovery, Gold and Platinum passes are worth it? We’ve used annual Merlin Passes in both pre and post covid world and can see the difference.

The main issue is what you discover after you’ve purchased your passes that you wish you knew before you purchased your passes. By watching this video, you’ll be able to see a couple of these key considerations and discover that what is written on the tin, may in fact not be the case.

Originally we purchased a Merlin Premium passes in May 2019 so got to experience the attractions in both pre and post covid environments, up until November 2020 (due to corona virus, the passes were extended by 5 months beyond their initial 12 month period due to attractions being closed during lockdown).

We have a number of videos on Merlin Entertainment attractions, what they were like post covid, and full time lapse walk throughs of a number of attractions. Check out our Merlin Entertainment Attractions play list for these videos linked around this video.

New – Discovery, Gold and Platinum Annual Merlin Entertainment Passes

Just this week Merlin have announced new passes and changed their offering. Their passes use to be called a standard pass, premium pass and VIP pass. The VIP pass is pretty much gone. The standard pass use to offer access except for school holidays and bank holidays. The premium pass pretty much had access all year round.

There were additional benefits to the passes which use to include 20% off food outlets within the parks, some free parking options and a number of £15 tickets for friends and family. These were largely icing on the cake as the key aspect you are paying for is access to get in the front door at attractions.

Now, the new range of Merlin Entertainment passes are called Discovery, Gold and Platinum.

The discovery pass is new and seems to offer 180 days Monday to Friday, excluding weekends and school holidays. So effectively appealing to nursery kids and family who can go during the week during slow times.

Gold pass appears to offer most days excluding bank holidays and other key dates. It is somewhat equivalent to the old standard pass but slightly  different.

The platinum pass seems to not have any date exclusions, can be offered year round. It is pretty much the equivalent of the old premium pass. The old premium pass was in the ball park of £170 a year (depending upon whether new or renewal). The new equivalent is £239 which is a 40% price increase, or a 76% price increase if you look at the post introductory price of £299.00). This is massive for effectively the same thing – granted there are some tweaks around the edges but largely the same.

The usual marketing trick of repacking something old, with a few changes so it is something new and they can distance themselves from this massive price increases and confuse the issue with it being an allegedly new product.

Questionable Customer Feedback

In Merlin’s communications they have made reference to these changes are based upon customer feedback. I do think this is disingenuous. On September 18th, 2020, we received their survey and filled it out. It was 12 questions and would offer you a choice between an A option and a B option, and was heavily skewed.

It was literally do you want horrible option A, which is a significantly restricted access to a single attraction for an expensive price, or horrible option B which is access to all parks at a significantly expensive price with numerous exclusions? You were choosing the lessor of 2 evils in essence. What they really needed was a 3rd option C allowing you not to choose either cause they were both unpalatable. But this didn’t happen.

There was no place in the survey to provide any written feedback so came across to us they have already pre-determined significant price rises and it was just what form that would take and/or what would draw the least resistance and backlash from customers.

What they don’t tell you that you wish you knew?

Have you ever purchased something and then gone to use it to discover all the little caveats and effective restrictions you weren’t really told about upfront. Or directed to the small print where there is an exemption that you weren’t told existed up front with rubbery marketing wording that is presented to be implied one thing but then actually means something else. For mine, these new Merlin Passes have a couple of these and they are significant  .

The biggest single issue we’ve experience in the post covid experience is the actual booking of tickets, This is where it becomes really murky, and where what’s written on the tin, doesn’t meet up with reality.

“Throttling” / “Capping” Annual Passes – Problems Booking Annual Tickets

The issue is around what we like to call “capping” or “throttling” of annual pass numbers to the park. Numerous times since covid, we’ve found attractions allegedly completely booked out and nothing available to Merlin Annual pass holders. However, if you were to go to the attraction website and wanted to pay full price for the day as a completely new customer, you could buy tickets without a problem.

Initially when attractions reopened July 4th, 2020, after the national lockdown, numbers were definitely restricted at attractions – but we also found shortened trading hours, many park specific attractions closed etc. See this video for what LEGOLAND was like shortly after reopening  in mid July 2020. Effectively you were getting less for the same money, so the question of value starts to arise.

By the end of summer 2020 however, you wouldn’t even know there is a pandemic and park numbers felt pretty much back to normal. You can see our subsequent LEGOLAND video for details on this. We experienced the same thing at Chessington World of Adventures and have produced a video on that at the time as well.

Merlin Entertainment “Double Dipping”

We found this throttling of annual pass holders across the board at the London based Merlin attractions – LEGOLAND, Chessington, The Aquarium, London Eye etc. To us it felt very much like double dipping by Merlin. People have paid in advance for their annual passes then, struggle to use them as Merlin show preference to non-annual passholders who want to pay.

So annual passholders have paid and not gotten what they had paid for, while Merlin in essence go and resell an annual passholders spot for a second time to a new customer. This completely undermines and destroys the value of an annual pass. Great for Merlin as they effectively get paid twice for only delivering the 1 service or product.

Non-Disclosure of Ticket Allocation

This is part of the process that is opaque. It really needs to be disclosed what percentage of daily tickets are allocated to annual members vs non annual members. Is it 10%, 50%, 80% of the daily park capacity? Pre-covid this wasn’t an issue. But in a post covid world, that allocation fundamentally affects if/how you can use your annual pass, hence its value/viability and what it is you are actually purchasing.

Even though you’ve purchased an annual pass, through Merlin Pass ticket allocation, Merlin can throttle the value of what you are paying for and you don’t actually know what you are paying for in essence. This for us was one of the single biggest factors in deciding not to renew our passes – we have no idea of what we are paying for. What an annual pass means in a post covid world is different to in a precovid world and it is going to take people getting burned by this to realise.

No Annual Members Access vs Non-Annual Full Price Access

It was always really frustrating to find days we wanted to go to attractions there was no Merlin Pass ticket allocation available. But for those very days Merlin passholders couldn’t get tickets, if we wanted to purchase tickets as one offs and pay full price, not a problem. Pre covid we’d never been denied access on any day that we chose to go, including peak times during summer school holidays.

Without some sort of disclosure of annual pass ticket holder allocation, from the outset you are sold a product that can never be honored, or the product sold can never live up to how it has been sold, and is sold under false pretenses.

Queue Times at LEGOLAND Getting Longer – Removal of Hotel Priority Ride Hour

We have pretty much been to LEGOLAND every October half term break for the last 3 or 4 years. This year, the queues throughout the day on major rides were the longest we’d ever seen. They were pretty much 90 minutes throughout the entire day, from opening time to closing time. In our 3 minute full tour video of LEGOLAND from Summer 2019 we made reference to going early being a great tip. Now it doesn’t matter. The first and last hour of opening don’t see dramatically shorter queues anymore.

One reason is people staying in the LEGOLAND hotels use to get early access and be able to ride for the first hour of the day before general crowds, as the rides would start at 9am. Now they get early access to stand in the queue from 09:30am and the rides don’t start til 10am. In essence, you get early access to stand in a queue for 30 minutes. This then has a domino effect blowing out queue times for the entire whole day. 

Merlin are obviously doing this as they can save an hour of staff wages across the park at the expense of blowing out queue times. This was a last-minute change made to hotels several days before the October 2020 half term holidays without any compensation or offset. So many people booking a hotel stay have had one of their main benefits taken away, early access to actually being on the rides, that came with staying at the hotel.

During summer 2020, Merlin also charged annual pass holders an additional £1 per ticket to book. I understand this stops people booking and taking other people’s opportunity to visit and then don’t show up, but it was an additional cost none the less.

For any annual pass holder who visited the park having paid this additional surcharge (which could be argued was outside the terms and conditions of the annual pass) should have gotten a voucher to use in the park, refund or something as a goodwill gesture. In the end, it was just another revenue stream for Merlin, over and above what you thought you’d already paid for (and in any other circumstance, would have been).

This is the other problem is beyond not knowing what access you truly do have to attractions, the variations being made to the passes feel very much like what you think you are buying and what you end up getting are two different things.

Now you have to book so far in advance, the weather becomes a real lottery and makes planning for the day that much more difficult. Previously you could get a week or so out, see what the weather is like and then plan according. You could go a day earlier or later depending upon the circumstances. School holidays we’ve found you now have to book at least a month in advance for any hope of getting a date you want. Now if you are stuck with a date that is raining, with little kids, what really are your alternatives?

Short Term Gains at Long Term Expense – Alienating Current Customers

We understand trading conditions have been tough but the solution opted for here is to massively increase prices while significantly reducing the value and experience of the product. This is very short term thinking and detrimental to the long term. The old saying, “once bitten, twice shy” springs to mind.

Merlin are probably anticipating that with no foreign travel available, everyone will be having staycations so extract maximum value from customers who probably won’t be long term customers as once they can travel again, they will.

The problem becomes in alienating your otherwise long-term customer who won’t return in 2-3 years time when things return to normal. We were a little surprised that in the lead up to our annual passes expiring and even after that had happen, there wasn’t an email or an offer to try to get us to renew. It can be said that attracting a new customer can cost 10 times what it takes to keep an existing one, so on the surface doesn’t make sense.

Maybe Merlin know with a local captive market that can’t travel, they are going to have strong demand for their passes. Why would they want to take a returning customer at a discount when they can have a new customer at a significantly higher full price? I get the sense they aren’t calculating the lifetime value of customers and interested in maximizing the short term, at the expense of the long term.

So overall, is it worth it?

From our point of view and what we’ve experience, on paper sounds brilliant, but the reality is very different. There is no point having an annual pass if due to opaque throttling by Merlin, you can never really use the thing. If you can’t get in the door, what is offered past the door has no relevance.

In a pre-covid world, the annual passes were great value. You only needed to go 3 or 4 times in a year to be in front. Having the passes also made you more inclined to visit attractions or if you did go, and felt like half a day was enough, you wouldn’t have a problem leaving a little early as you knew you had value out of the day.

In previous years we certainly made the most of the passes visiting most attractions multiple times a year and really enjoying.

In a post-covid world, having the ticket allocation throttled means it is too unpredictable and no point paying for something you can’t use. If it was a matter that once the ticket allocation is exhausted on a day for everyone, annual and non-annual members alike, on a first come, first served basis, you might think fair enough. But that isn’t how it works.

Imagine you are at the LEGOLAND gates, or any other Merlin Attraction and being told you can’t get in with your annual pass as it is full. But someone rocks up after you, pays full price at the ticket office and then can walk through the turnstiles, but you can’t. In the real world that wouldn’t be tolerated but somehow by shifting the ticket booking system online, that is exactly what is happening.

Having paid your annual membership, that leaves an incredibly sour taste in your mouth.

Alternative Attractions

We won’t be renewing and haven’t. We will look at alternatives, such as castles and non-Merlin attractions (click around the video for some of these other options), as these are proving to be much better value. When times are difficult, businesses that thrive are the ones that offer value. We think Merlin has lost sight of this and only thinking in terms of short-term wins.

Summing Up

If you’ve gotten something out of this video, don’t be afraid to hit that thumbs up button. Here are some videos on Castles outside the Merlin Entertainment ecosystem that have been great value. Here is a playlist of Merlin Entertainment attractions and quick full walk throughs. Alternatively, here is what LEGOLAND was like at the end of summer 2020. Thanks very much for watching. That’s all from us here at Family Bricks and do consider subscribing to the channel.

AMONG US Mashup

AMONG US - Various Altogether Working 01 50 percent
AMONG US – Various Altogether Working 01 50 percent

Had a recent You Say I Draw Livestream and put together this group of Among Us Characters

How many of them can you name?

List of Characters

Spawn

Kermit the Frog

Mickey Mouse

Indiana Jones

Buzz Lightyear

Woody

Optimus Prime

Skelator

He-man

Shawn the Sheep

Batman

Steve / Minecraft

Sonic the Hedgehog

Super Mario Brothers

Morty

Rick

Chewbacca

Emilie – ReZero

Bart Simpson

Gromit

Wallace

Pikachu

SpongeBob SquarePants

Mr Spock – Star Trek Motion Picture

Superman

Blue Among Us

Xenomorph

Ghostbuster

Aiger Akabane

Groot

Paddington Bear

Lara Croft

Asoka Tano

Mandolorain

The Child / Baby Yoda / Grogu

ET

Marty McFly

Doc Emmett Brown

Elsa

Hellboy

Fred Flintstone

Green Power Ranger

Deadpool

Wonder Woman

Princess Leia

Clone Trooper

Chicken Fall Guy

Iron Man

Wakko Animaniacs

Fry Futurama

Pink Panther

Pac-man

Spartan Halo

Flash

Queen Elizabeth II

Slimer

Winnie the Pooh

Casper

Gruffalo

Aquaman

Leonardo

Michelangelo

Raphael

Donatello

Frosty the Snowman

Santa

Grinch

Ginger Bread Man

Elf

Ways to Save Money at Amazon | Amazon Hacks | Amazon tips and tricks | Keepa.com

In this video we will show you one of the key ways to save money at Amazon.com and get products for the best possible prices. We use this all the time and saved thousands from Amazon. Its also great as applies to Amazon globally so not just limited to amazon.com or amazon.co.uk or amazon.ca

This is done largely with https://keepa.com/ and what is shown here is done with the free version as at time of recording.

#amazon #amazonas #amazonprime #amazonia #amazonmusic #amazonseller #amazonfba #amazonite #amazonkindle #amazonhandmade #amazone #amazonbooks #amazondeals #amazona #amazonmp3 #AmazonPrincess #Amazonparrot #AmazonBestSeller #amazonrainforest #amazonecho #amazonian #AmazonIndia #amazonmerch #amazons #amazonriver #amazonfashionweek #amazonalexa #amazonwoman #Amazonfashion #mattelder

Transcript from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here and in this video we will show you one of the key ways to save money at Amazon and get products for the best possible prices. We use this all the time and saved thousands from Amazon. Its also great as applies to Amazon globally so not just limited to amazon.com or amazon.co.uk or amazon.ca .

This video is bought to you bay Macatsim Holiday Homes in Margate and Broadstairs. Great for a week’s holiday or a weekend escape, being just over an hour east of London, UK. Treat yourself to amazing sunsets, a LEGO wall or great food. Visit www.macatsim.com and mention this Youtube video, we’ll will look after you.

Keepa.com

So the way we are going to find good deals on amazon and ensuring we are getting the best price is with keepa.com . Its two things, both a website and also a pluggin. So first of all we will have a look at the actual website itself, go to keepa.com.

As you can see it is available for most browsers extensions. What is really good about it is down here you can see, its keeping track of all the different prices across all the different amazon websites. So US, UK, Germany and all that sort of thing. So it is monitoring about 1.5 billion products.

So when you first come here you need to select the amazon that your interested in. It comes up with a default of amazon.com So for us we need to change to the UK , so it is going to be uk.co. So switch across to that.

Searching for a Product

Then what you can do is go to your search functionality, and you enter in what you are looking for. In this case I’m going to be looking for the Beexcellent Gaming Headset. So just click on there and it will bring up all the listing results that is has found on the products list on amazon. So we want to go down to this green one down here.

Which is the Gaming headset and tells you that it is £24.99 , colours, different codes. So if you actually click on the link itself, it then brings up this price graph history. So you can sort of see for this one here it is tracking the price. It generally comes up with the last 3 months as the default view. So you can switch it to the last month, back to 3 months, or a year or the “All” is for however long it has been listed across the whole amazon website. But we will just stick to the 3 months for the time being.

You can see here that it is listed at £24.99. And then as you go into the past here, in late October , it is £21 and it is jumping up and down. And then down here you have the red dots which shows when it was listed as lightning deals. So it was listed as a lightning deal as £18.69 for however long that was and you can see over the last 3 months it has been listed there 3 times. Or if you go out to the last year, you can see it has been listed about 5 times.

So it gives you a sense of where the prices is going and where it has been historically. So you can see that £24.99 is kind a reasonable sort of price. Certainly it has been lower. If you can catch it as a lightning deal that would be great. And then as we headed into lockdown you can really see the price spiked and come back down.

And it will also show over here the colours codes. If it is an amazon product it will have and amazon orange line so you can see that, and then “new” and “used”, which you can turn on and off just by clicking the buttons there. Its not showing up on here as it looks like it is only been listed by a reseller.

Maximum Price You Want to Pay

So what we can do is we might be looking at this and don’t want to pay the £24.99, but we can’t just keep on coming back and checking when is it going to get down to £21, when is a lightning deal or something like that. So the way that you do that is go across to this tab here “Track Product”.

And what you can do is enter in the minimum price you’d want to be notified that the price has dropped below that. So in this case we will go through and enter £20.00 on Amazon or the “New” one done by a 3rd party, and enter in £20.00 there as well, cause either / or.

It will give you some information as well, generally in terms of what the current price is, when it has been discounted and by how much , the averages over the last 90 days and so on and so forth. And then you can specific how long you want to track for. So you can go anywhere from 2 weeks up to 10 years, and then you press “Start Tracking”.

And when you press “Start Tracking”, it will then ask you to log into your account. We just go up here and you login and register. The usual sort of thing of entering your email and confirming it, and then you start tracking it.

Keepa on Amazon

Now that’s all very well and good but it might be painful to be on amazon and always having to coming back to Keepa each time and trying to go backwards and forwards. So what they also have too is the extensions.

So if you go to main page for the add ons / plugins / whatever depending upon your browser. So they have the main ones here. So in the case I’m using Chrome so if you wanted to then install your plugin you go and click on the Chrome store, and it comes up in a new brower window.

I’ve already got it installed but normally there would be a button here to install the add on, extension, plugin / whatever it is. So once you’ve done that, we come over to Amazon and enter the same thing in terms of that “Beexcellent Gaming Headset for Xbox 1”. And then we will go through and find that green one again here.

You can see on amazon how it is tagging it as one of its best sellers. And then you can come in and see this here. This comes up as your normal sort of page and what happens is if you just scroll down just a little bit, it will then put that keepa graph actually on the page itself, so you can then really see inline what the graphs and what the price history has been.

I know sometimes depending upon the browser and the machine it might come up as actually just a keepa button there and you might have to click on it and bring it up. Generally the graph will only come up when you scoll down and you have to leave it and wait for a sec, and then it will be like it is refreshing and getting the data sometimes.

Pretty much all the same functionality as what we saw on the website so you can see the time going back out , see all the lightning deals there, and this is where it starts to get interesting. It is saying that it is £24.99 there, but then if we go up here, it has the recommended retail price and it is crossed out and it is £34.00.

Is the RRP Misleading?!

So it is saying that it was £34.00 and now it is £24.99. And this is where it can be a little misleading and this is also too where it can be really good for the graphs and have a look. You can see prior to it being £24.99, no it was actually cheaper than that, and you actually have to go back to the beginning of June to actually get that £34.99 price.

So that is where it is really good , cause I’ve noticed this quite a bit on the amazon products, when you are looking at it, it will have a high recommended retail price (RRP) , which it either hasn’t been or it hasn’t been recently. And this is a really good example, you have to go back, what is that, almost 4-5 months to get that recommended retail price (RRP).

So if you just looked at this blind and go “oh, it was £34.99 and it has been reduced down to £24.99”. Whereas in actually fact 3 weeks ago it was £21.99, and then it has gone up in price. So it is just something to help you be aware of that.

Across All Amazon Product Categories

And the same sort of thing you can go in here and track the product and get it when it is a good deal. It works across all the products on the amazon website. So here I’ve got some hardware which in this case is a Von Haus 44 multi drawer which I use for sorting and storing LEGO, and you can check a video here about how I do that. And you can see I’ve purchased this about 10 times and the last time I’ve made a purchase was earlier in the year.

And you can see at the moment it is £37.99 and you scroll down and you get the keepa graph and in this case the last year. Generally always paying about the £25-£30 for it and sort of see that recently it has been relatively highly price. And it isn’t til you go back to the beginning of the year, funnily enough pre lockdown when the prices seemed to be more around that £25-30 mark.

And again if you go out to the “All” view, it has been available for 1760 days, so basically since about 2016. And you can see just a general trend upwards, and allowing for inflation. Originally you could pick it up quite a bit for $18-19.

Registering a Keepa Account and Tracking

So once you’ve registered for your keepa account which is free, you can login in and actually come over here to “Track” , and see exactly all the different products you are tracking. So if you go “Tracking Overview” here, it will then bring up all the products that I am tracking.

So in this instance I’ve got about 35 different items I’m keeping a track of. So there are some things I get quite a bit like art supplies and materials. So if you scroll down you can see one of the things I’m keeping track of is a Prismacolour Marker 72 markert set, which is an item I like to buy from time to time. It is one of those recurring things.

However, the price can vary quite wildly. Even just looking at it in the last 3 months, you’ve got it here at one stage it was £313.00 , the it was £260.00 bascially, and at the moment it is down to £202.00. And then if you go out to the year view, you can see for quite a while, pretty much since lockdown started, it was up around over £300.00. So that is a huge variation in terms of it was £300.00 pounds then, and now it is like £202.00. So it is quite a huge variety and gap in there.

So as you can sorta see there, the dotted line is my desired price. So when it goes less than £225.00 I’ll get an email which will say “hey, this has now dropped below that desired price” and you can jump on it straight away.

Sometimes when these prices drop, if it is a deal or something like that, lots of people will get those alerts, people will be going through on the websites or it pops up in different other websites as being on sale and you need to be quick sometimes to jump onto these.

When is this Ideal to Use?

So this works really, really well for products which either which  you are interested in getting but you don’t need them right away so you can just wait for a little bit to see what happens, or other consumable products you’ll get quite regularly from time to time.

I hope you found that useful and if you have, and learnt something from it then, certainly give that thumbs up button there. We’ve always found it a great tool as sometimes you are on the amazon website and you are looking at something that is on sale and you’ll look at the recommended retail price and looks like a great deal. But then when you use the keepa you can actually see no wait a minute, that recommended retail price is not accurate, it doesn’t reflect the current situation. And you feel much better that no wait a minute, I’m not being dupped here or mislead.

Its always great when you are keeping track of an item you want to purchase at some stage, you get that email saying that it has gone below your desired price level, you can jump on it straight away and pick it up knowing that you got it for a good price or below the upper limit of what you’d like to pay for it.

And the other thing with getting all these alerts is you don’t constantly have to be going back and checking the website and things like that. And particularly with some of the lightning deals, they might only pop up for a couple of hours, and if you are quick and on top of it, you can get it for a really good price.

Summing Up

Thanks very much for watching. That’s all from us here at Family Bricks. If you like what you see and want to be able to pick up tips and tricks on how to save money, consider subscribing to the channel. Here is a video showing you how to save money at LEGOLAND. Or here is a video showing you a quick walkthrough of the Tower of London and the Crown Jewels. Or a video on Pet Portrait artworks.

Alton Towers Accommodation & Hotels Review Splash Landings CBeeBies Land Luxury Treehouse Stargazing

In this video, we are going to review the accommodation in and around Alton Towers. This will include Alton Towers Hotel, Splash Landings Hotel, CBeeBies Land Hotel, Woodland Lodges, Luxury Treehouses, Stargazing Pods and the Hilton at St George’s Park, Burton Upon Trent. We will try to give a comprehensive overview as getting complete information is a bit of a challenge.

We will touch upon where the accommodation is located in relation to the park and the general area. We’ll look briefly at getting around including the monorail (or lack there of) and Sky Ride (with current restrictions), and what that means overall.

Further information on the Holiday Homes / Airbnb / Short Term Lets can be found at http://www.macatsim.com/

Both flats, Broadstairs and Margate are about 75-90 minutes east of London UK. Margate has a LEGO themed Holiday Lets / Airbnb Short Term Stay awith a LEGO Wall. Broadstairs has an iconic red London bus bunk bed (at time of recording).

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction – Alton Towers Resort UK Accommodation
0:43 Map Overview of Alton Towers Resorts Accommodation
1:38 Google Maps Accommodation & Park Overview
3:42 Alton Towers Hotel Review
5:16 Splash Landings Hotel & Waterpark
5:35 CBeebies Land Hotel – Alton Towers Resort
5:51 Luxury Treehouses
6:09 Woodland Lodges
6:23 Stargazing Pods
6:39 Hilton Hotel at St George’s Park, Burton Upon Trent Review
8:30 Summing Up

#altontowersresort #splashlandings #stargazingpods #rollercoaster #themepark #wickermanride #scarefest #hiltonmemories #nationalrollercoasterday #competition #rollercoasterday #halloween #uk #luxurytreehouse #woodlandlodges #happy #fun #coaster #cbeebiesland #ride #wickerman #parkaholicnaeuropa #amazing #thrilling #madetothrill #amusementpark #photographer #altontowershotel #scaremaze #altontowersscarefest

Transcript from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here and in this video, we are going to review the accommodation in and around Alton Towers. This will include Alton Towers Hotel, Splash Landings Hotel, CBeeBies Land Hotel, Woodland Lodges, Luxury Treehouses, Stargazing Pods and the Hilton at St George’s Park, Burton Upon Trent. We will try to give a comprehensive overview as getting complete information is a bit of a challenge.

This video is bought to you bay Macatsim Holiday Homes in Margate and Broadstairs. Great for a week’s holiday or a weekend escape, being just over an hour east of London, UK. Treat yourself to amazing sunsets, a LEGO wall or great food. Visit www.macatsim.com and mention this YouTube video, we’ll will look after you.

Map Overview

Ok we are just going to start off with this map as a bit of an overview. So you can sort of see here this is the Splash Landings Hotel , which then has the waterpark there. This is the Alton Towers Hotel and then in the back of that there you have CbeeBies Land Hotel , over here is the 5 Enchanted Luxury Treehouses and over here you have the enchanted village.

Now on this map because it is 2018, it doesn’t have in this area here, the stargazing pods. And then over here you have the golf and the monorail. Now  I get that this is an infographic but this showing here the amusement park is much further straight off to the right of screen. So it is a little bit misleading thinking that it is you know right behind and everything like that when its actually not.

Google Maps

And that is what you are going to find with this. Trying to get up to date information is actually quite a bit of a challenge. So if we have a look on Google, the satellite view, you can sort of see this is it rotated 180 degrees. So you have the Splash Landings Hotel here, The Alton Towers Hotel here, the CBeeBies Land Hotel is down here, the enchanted village luxury ones there, the enchanted village and the stargazing pods are actually in this field as they only built them a year or so ago. And this treetop one is not shown at all.

Then you have the golf over here and the monorail station there. But just to give you a bit of an idea of size, to walk from the Alton Towers Hotel where we stayed, in and around and through here and come through the carpark to the side entrance there, it is about 8minute walk. So if you are over in one of these ones here, you need to be allowing 15 minutes or so.

Difficult Getting Around

Recently the monorail station is actually closed, so it makes it really difficult to get around the park cause normally the monorail can take you straight to the front entrance. The park is really spread out and if we zoom out a little bit you can see this is then the rest of the park. You normally come in here which is the side entrance for the hotel guests.

You come in and get the skyride which comes up here to the main castle building itself or then straight across here. And this is the main entrance. The problem with covid is you use to be able get on it and go to the main entrance. Now you can only get on it and go in this direction.

So if you are staying with kids in the CBeeBies Hotel or something like that, the main CBeeBies Land is over by the main entrance, which is over here. Which is a fair walk across there. Part of the reason they have the cable cars is this is actually a gorge straight through here so getting over to one of these areas is not as simple as it might look like. So that just gives you a bit of an overview of where the hotels are in relation to the actual park itself.

For a full walkthrough and tour of the actual park and the hotel area, click around the screen and you’ll see a video on that.

Alton Towers Hotel

We stayed at Alton Towers Hotel which has an explorer’s theme. The room had a good layout with a Moon base theme. Included was a full English breakfast buffet that had a good selection and never felt overcrowded. There is also a restaurant but need to watch out for not being open for food service.

You have to order through the app but won’t block you from ordering when it is closed. Only way we found out cause couldn’t get the app to take Merlin discount and then told by staff that actually not preparing food, even though the app will let you order it.

When go in, you will have a temperature check you and they give a wrist band, which you may have to show later.

There is a side access to Splash Landings waterpark, this is an additional charge. Only disconcerting aspect is possible to go from Splash landings, in through the back to get to Alton Towers Hotel without a swipe card.

You also get 9 holes of Extraordinary Golf for each night that you stayed – its ok but starting to show signs of age and could use a bit of a facelift. And free parking is also included.

As with all the accommodation, you have to prebook. Depending upon the time of year, might need to do this well in advance,  particularly if you want to get a specific type of themed room.

Inside the Moon Themed Room

OK, so we have the room, which has a double bed, out to the view, which as you come back into the family room, so you also have kids beds themed out in steampunk/moon

There is also an Xbox in the room with a LEGO Marvel SuperHeroes game.

There is also a general courtyard and garden space. Would imagine in the warmer months of the year this would be quite pleasant and there was a tiny playground with equipment.

Splash Landings Hotel

Next Hotel over is the Splash Landings Hotel which has the water park in it, closest to the park side entrance and now closed monorail. It has a Caribbean theme, and rooms can be Beachcomber, Ice Age or Pirate Room. It also has entertainment, buffet breakfast, golf rounds and free parking included. Don’t think access to the water park is included but worth double checking.

CBeeBies Land Hotel

CBeeBies Land Hotel Obviously targeted a younger ages, there are live shows and special games. Themed rooms include Bugbies, Octonauts, Swashbuckle or In the Night Garden. There is a buffet breakfast at the Windmill Restaurant.

Luxury Treehouses

Luxury Treehouses are ironically one of the furthest from the entrance but can have a special buggy service. Each sleeps up to 8 people, has a small kitchen or takeaway service. Each has its own hot tub overlooking the forest. VIP Parking is included with each having its own personalized name plate. Other meals are shared with Crooked Spoon restaurant

Woodland Lodges

Woodland Lodges are private luxury cabins each with their own deck. Can’t help but think of hobbits and middle earth when I see these – must be the round doors. Each log cabin has a separate kids sleeping area. The Crooked Spoon is used for breakfast and meals.

Stargazing Pods

Stargazing Pods are very minimalist and cater for those on a budget. You can sleep up to 4 in a pod with communal showers. A complimentary breakfast on the go is provided and like all other accommodation at Alton Towers, early access to the park is provided. There is even a central playground for the kids to explore.

Hilton at St George’s Park, Burton Upon Trent

And then there is the Hilton hotel about 35 minutes away that we stayed at for one night, Home of England sports clubs. So whenever they are playing , they can train at the facilities down here. They also have a pool which we went into and you have to book that, and it is really limited slots, so you have to call at 6:30 in the morning to book a slot.

But as with other things, if you are paying additional/full price, you’ll find you can get in and more slots are available. So it isn’t too bad as there was only about 4 groups of people in there the whole time.

Hilton Family Room … Bit Small

And this is the family room. Basic enough, a little bit on the same size for a Hilton and then on the outside you can see through to the different sports grounds, fields that they have.

The bathroom is tight and sort of squishy. You do have a continental breakfast but they will serve it to you down here in the restaurant.

So the Hilton at St George’s Park, it was adequate for what it was, little bit on the small side and a little bit on the expensive side and obviously just making the best that they can with the corona virus situation.

Hilton on a Map

So the Hilton at St George’s is here, and it is about a 20 mile drive or 37  or 40 minutes to do it. The thing we did find is that because all these are little country roads and back lanes, is that a number of them were closed for maintenance. So then the GPS didn’t pick it up so you are circling back around and everything like that.

So if you are trying to hit a time to get to Alton Towers, just be aware that some of these roads and things might be closed so you might be doubling back and around. So Allow for additional time. Its sort of north of Birmingham. We went up there a day early from London so that we could maximise our time in the park.

Summing Up

If you’ve enjoyed and / or gotten something out of this video, then hit that thumbs up button and or consider subscribing. Would you go? If you’ve been to one of these hotels, what did you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Thanks very much for watching. If you are interested in having a full park time lapse walkthrough of Alton Towers and picking up some tips to maximise your day, check out this video here. For a review of the 3 Mazes and Darkest Depths experience, click this video here. Otherwise this video has a similar time lapse tour of the whole of LEGOLAND. Or finally this video will give a time lapse tour of Chessington World of Adventures.

That’s it from us here at Family Bricks, until next time when we talk about all things lifestyle.

DO NOT GO TO ALTON TOWERS UK before seeing this video!! Full Alton Towers Tour in under 15 minutes.

DO NOT GO TO ALTON TOWERS RESORT UK until you’ve watched this Video!! This is a full tour of ALTON TOWERS RESORT UK park in under 15 minutes. This has some hints and tips on how to get the most out of your day, and a time-lapse walk through of the park. This will help you get familiar with the park, layout and attractions.

We run through a few ideas to help navigate the day. Alternatively if you are curious about the park and might never make it there, here is a chance to visit the park “vicariously”.

What is ALTON TOWERS RESORT UK like with Covid-19 guidelines in place now that the theme park has reopened? Is it worth going? We look to answer these questions following our recent family visit in October 2020.

Further information on the Holiday Homes / Airbnb / Short Term Lets can be found at http://www.macatsim.com/ Both flats, Broadstairs and Margate are about 75-90 minutes east of London UK. Margate has a LEGO themed Holiday Lets / Airbnb Short Term Stay awith a LEGO Wall. Broadstairs has an iconic red London bus bunk bed (at time of recording).

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction – Alton Towers Resort UK
0:46 At Alton Towers Front Gates
1:41 History of the Park
2:01 Sky Ride
3:00 Rollercoasters
4:30 Alton Towers Castle
4:40 Rollercoasters in the X-Sector
5:10 3 Mazes
6:09 Splash Landings Water Park & Hotels
6:46 Monorail Closed
8:03 Outdoors at Night
8:23 Kids Cbeebies Playground
8:42 In the Night Garden Boat Ride
9:34 Sharkbait Reef by Sea Life Aquarium
10:40 Is Alton Towers Worth It? Is it Worth Travelling to?
11:30 The Gardens
12:15 The Gardens … at night!!
13:15 Alton Towers Castle … at night!!
13:34 Summing Up

#altontowersscarefest #altontowersresort #rollercoaster #themepark #wickermanride #scarefest #altontowersresort #win #nationalrollercoasterday #competition #rollercoasterday #halloween #uk #sw8 #winitwednesday #happy #fun #coaster #thesmiler #summer #christmas #ride #wickerman #parkaholicnaeuropa #amazing #thrilling #madetothrill #amusementpark #photographer #gaming #scaremaze

Transcript from the Show (Partial)

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here and in this video, we are going to do a full tour of Alton Towers Resort England UK in about 10 minutes. This was filmed mid October 2020 during their Scarefest setup, so will also cover off what Alton Towers Resort England UK is like now with covid 19 measures in place?  Is it worth going and what is the experience like etc.? We will cover this in the video and give our thoughts and first-hand experience as a family.

This video is bought to you bay Macatsim Holiday Homes in Margate and Broadstairs. Great for a week’s holiday or a weekend escape, being just over an hour east of London, UK. Treat yourself to amazing sunsets, a LEGO wall or great food. Visit www.macatsim.com and mention this Youtube video, we’ll will look after you.

Is Altons Towers Worth a Visit?

This is a real “it depends£” type  of answer. We had Merlin Passes so price wise we didn’t “feel” it as much – click around the video for a playlist of other Merlin Attraction reviews we’ve visited with our passes. It did feel like there were a lot of extras, 3 Mazes – extra, Darkest Depths – extra, Waterpark – Extra, Alton Towers Dungeons – Extra. If you were paying that ontop of park access, you’d really feel it.

The loss of the monorail and sky ride middle station access restrictions makes getting around a huge park just that more difficult. For mine, that is something they really need to sort out.  

That said, having the park set around a castle like Alton Towers is pretty unique. The Halloween Scarefest and the night atmosphere was great. If rollercoasters are your thing, you’ll enjoy this park. There is a huge variety of attractions and lots of garden trails to explore. Be prepared for lots of walking however.

We are glad we have done it and enjoyed our time, but being that distance from London, it is way down the list of places to revisit. If we lived locally and had a Merlin Pass, then definitely would repeatedly visit.

Summing Up

If you’ve enjoyed and / or gotten something out of this video, then hit that thumbs up button and or consider subscribing. Would you go? If you’ve been, what did you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Thanks very much for watching. If you are interested in accommodation in and around Alton Towers, be sure to check out this video here. For a review of the 3 Mazes and Darkest Depths experience, click this video here. Otherwise this video has a similar time lapse tour of the whole of LEGOLAND. Or finally this video will give a time lapse of Chessington World of Adventures.

That’s it from us here at Family Bricks, until next time when we talk about all things lifestyle.

Alton Towers Scarefest 3 Mazes Toxic Junkyard The Attic Altonville Mine Darkest Depths 2020 Review

In this video we review Alton Towers Scarefest 2020 – 3 Mazes and Darkest Depths Maze. The 3 mazes are:

Toxic Junkyard
The Attic
Altonville Mine Tours

Is the 3 Mazes Ticket worth it? We will have a look at this given the ticket is £22.00 on top of your entry ticket. Darkest Depths is another £6.40 as well.

We also give a rough indication as to where the attractions are located in the park as they are the most easily signposted on the website / app (they are in and around the actual Castle itself). Darkest Depths we had to come back to the following day as one of the actors apparently had a medical emergency so the whole attraction was closed down to deal with it.

#scaremaze#altontowersscarefest#altontowersresort#rollercoaster#themepark#wickermanride#scarefest#altontowersresort#win#nationalrollercoasterday#competition#rollercoasterday#halloween#uk#sw8#winitwednesday#happy#fun#coaster#thesmiler#summer#christmas#ride#wickerman#parkaholicnaeuropa#amazing#thrilling#madetothrill#amusementpark#photographer#gaming

British Museum UK Covid Reopening October 2020. Full Tour. Is It Worth it?! Is it Safe? Same Price?!

What is the British Museum London UK like now it has reopened with Covid 19 measures in place? Is it worth going, what has changed, what is the experience like etc.? We will cover this in the video and give our thoughts and firsthand experience as a family. We will do a quick overview full tour of British Museum London UK in about 5 minutes, as a bit of a virtual tour.

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction
0:36 Entrance & 1 Way System
2:33 Parthenon
4:27 Is the British Museum worth a visit and what is it like? 
5:00 Summing Up

#review #london #history #museum #art #mattelder #regram #exhibition #uk #sculpture #architecture #gold #ancientgreece #wedding #londonwedding #eventprofs #eventprofessionals #luxuryweddings #uniqueweddings #wowweddings #jewellery #niemierkoweddings #weddingplanners #weddinginspiration #weddings #amazingweddings #weddingplanner #ancienthistory #britishmuseumevents #eventprofsuk

Transcript from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here, today we are going to have a quick look at the British Museum October 5th, 2020 and see what it is like with the covid restriction in place on a glorious sunny day in London as always. And we will do a quick walk through and tour of the museum that is currently open

The museum itself undergoing a few renovations with the main columns encased. When you come in you have to prebook your tickets and come at the right time as you cant come in early and you can’t come in after your time slot. So very controlled and rigorous in that respect.

So you come in the main entrance and some areas are closed, no real surprises there. Into the main ticketing and members area. The main entry lobby always an amazing space and looks like they are implementing a 1 way system throughout.

1 Way System

Some more information on the 1 way system and some information you can download.

First stop in is the Rosetta Stone which shows translations between ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. So all in the Egyptian section once you come through and wrap around.

And you have a statue during the old kingdom and they are taking a step forward. Its important  as up until this time everything was generally shown as very static. As you take a step forward, it starts to put movement into the things and makes art and the like much more dynamic. Just over there you’ve got one where it is all feet together and static.

And then you come into which is asyrain which is modern day Iraq and you use to have these statues here, which is a pair of them and they use to guard the entrance to the hallway to the throne room.

Now coming along to minion and crete society

Into a section of the ancient romans and the ancient Greek.

Parthenon

Then into the Parthenon section which is in Athens, the main one which dominates the top of the scenery, and you’ve got part of the freeze with one part there and the other part down there, which is all pretty controversial to have.

This part is from the pediment, the top bit, the triangular part of the façade, and all the sculptures that were bought back from Athens.

And throughout the museum, tiny sections are closed off and there are quite a number like this, flipping around to the other side.

And the kids like to play a game called spot the naked butt, or something similar.

Gives you a better sense, still a reasonable number of people around for a Sunday. So a reasonable number of people but not ridiculously overcrowded. Still not completely vacant or empty either.

Then you have some stuff on King Rameses II  who built a lot of monuments and things to himself. He was king and by the sheer fact he lived for such a long time, he was able to do so many building projects glorifying himself, and one of the last real kings to do that before society crumbled.

Go through to an exhibit on living and dying which is about how people live and die throughout all different cultures. Downstairs is a section on Africa.

In the section downstairs on Africa, all the various tribal arts and the like. Through to the collection of North America and this is Mexico.

Then you come through to the enlightenment room which is looking at the time period when the collection was first put together and broken up into 7 sections. That whole thing of learning and putting collections together.

So is the British Museum worth a visit and what is it like?

Think definitely a bit different experience as now they have the one way path so through. So it is good in the regard that it can quickly take you through the museum and you can quickly hit all the major spots. If you are looking to do some detailed research and want to get up close to some of the artifacts you might have a bit more of an issue as some of the rooms are closed off and everything like that.

As for little kids, will depend upon what they are into. Ours were more just running around trying to look at all the naked sculptures and things like that, so they got some stuff out of it.

Summing Up

So that’s it from us at Family Bricks, if you enjoyed the video or got something out of it, please hit the thumbs up button, and have you been, or what did you think or are you tempted to go. Leave us a comment down below. Would be interested to hear what others think and if they have been, what their experience has been.

We’ve been about lately checking out a lot of London attractions in a post Covid world. The castles at the moment are relatively deserted so would highly recommend checking out Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace. Check those videos out here. London Eye at the moment is also really good. Places like LEGOLAND and Chessington World of Adventures, you wouldn’t even know there is a pandemic on.

Thanks for watching. That’s it from us here at Family Bricks. Until next time when we talk about all things lifestyle.

London Eye UK Covid Reopening September 2020. Full Tour. Is It Worth it?! Is it Safe? Same Price?!

What is The London Eye UK like with Covid-19 guidelines in place now that the attraction has recently reopened? Is it worth going? We look to answer these questions following our recent family visit in September 2020 and August 2020. To do so, we will look at what has changed, what is new, what is closed and what the queue times are like.

We will have a look at ticket prices pre and post covid, and surprisingly, there isn’t much difference. What about if you have an annual Merlin pass, what sort of value is there and should we be thinking of renewing them (or not)?

Time codes to the Video:

0:00 Introduction
0:36 Recent Visits and Coronavirus guidelines
1:12 Get there & Public Transport
1:30 Coming Out at Westminister Train Station & Local Landmarks
2:26 Pointing out Landmarks visible from the London Eye Capsule
3:28 Is London Eye UK Worth It?!
4:39 Summing Up

#london #uk #bigben #londonlife #visitlondon #londres #thisislondon #travel #england #afrobeats #wakanda #blackexcellence #mattelder #lineuplookinglit #artists #oneafricamusicfest #londoncity #love #londonbridge #londoner #toplondonphoto #photooftheday #london4all #igerslondon #londontown #timeoutlondon #londonpop #londoneye #ilovelondon #lovelondon

Transcript from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here. What is the London Eye UK like now it has reopened with covid 19 measures in place? Is it worth going, what has changed, what is the experience like etc.? We will cover this in the video and give our thoughts and firsthand experience as a family. We will do a full tour experience on the London Eye in about 5 minutes.

This video is bought to you by Macatsim Holiday Homes in Margate and Broadstairs. Great for a week’s holiday or a weekend escape, being just over an hour east of London, UK. Treat yourself to amazing sunsets, a LEGO wall or great food. Visit www.macatsim.com and mention this Youtube video, we’ll will look after you.

Introduction

We’ve actually been to the London Eye UK twice in the last month. The first time was on at the London Eye UK was August 23rd, 2020 – 6 weeks after it reopened. So it has had some time to bed in the new corona virus safety guidelines. This was interesting as during peak school holidays, they were only allowing 2 family groups in the capsule at the same time.

When we went on Sunday 20th September 2020, they were allowing 4 family groups in the capsule at a time, even after the stricter 6 people max had been bought in a week or so previously. We’ll give you a sense of if London Eye UK is worth visiting, and what it is like now.

Getting There – Public Transport

To get to The London Eye UK you’ll most likely have to take public transport of some form. We took the overground and underground/tube so now you have to have face mask and the trains and train stations are signposted everywhere about this. We caught a 9am train on a Sunday morning so relatively empty and these shots give you a sense of that.

We came out at Westminster train station and you can see Big Ben there just off to the right and so it is a quick trip over the bridge here. And you have the London Eye there on the left and the Sea Life Aquarium London is there on the right a little bit. So a nice leisurely walk across the bridge here. Its really nice to come out and you can see all the iconic landmarks.

In the Area

So you walk along The Queen’s Walk and coming up you have London Sea Life right there , then Shrek’s Adventures and past that is going to be the London Dungeons. We have Merlin Passes premium passes so that means you can get into the fast track queue here, which means you can jump the queue and does make a huge amount of difference, so you don’t have to wait that long. 

Even with the Merlin Passes at the time you had to pay a £1.00 each person but they have removed that now and pay nothing. But you do have to prebook online . So this part of the footage is when we only had two family groups in the capsule and that was brilliant.

Pointing out Some of the Local Sites

Here you’ve got Waterloo train station, the Shard is just there, just off slightly is the Tower of London, Tower Bridge. Then  you’ve got St Paul’s Cathedral over there, Royal Festival Hall, trains leading into Charing Cross Station, Cleopatra’s Needle.

So from Charing Cross Station you come around a little bit and you have Nelson’s Column, and the National Art Gallery. Come a little bit further along and down there you’ve got Buckingham Palace. The flag is up so the Queen is in today. And then you come al little bit further around here and you have Big Ben, which is the actual Bell. The Tower is there and then the Houses of Parliament and obviously at the moment it is undergoing some renovation. Bit further around to the rest of the Thames River.

Is London Eye worth it?

Given that we have been twice within a month, I guess you can pretty much tell absolutely it is worth it. When we went during the school holidays it was fantastic as you only had 2 family groups. Literally it was the 4 of us and 2 other people in this capsule. It was brilliant as normally they have 25-30 people in each capsule. And just being able to have that capsule you could basically walk around the whole thing and you didn’t really get in each others way, you had unobstructed views. That was a big reason why we went back the second time as if would could experience that again, then take advantage of it while you can.

Even with the 4 families groups it was still much better than what it is usually like. Pre covid with so many people in there. Particularly on warm days when there is lots of people in there, its really hot and sweaty and the sun comes in. So even just having further people you are not tripping over each other as much and you are really able to take it in and enjoy it.

Hidden Steakhouse

This is the London Marriot Hotel County Hall and in there is a Gillray Steakhouse and bar. It is a bit of a faff to get into cause you have to come around the side entrance. Totally recommend it as at the moment because it is really quite and difficult to get into and has really good views looking back over The Thames River.

Summing Up

So that was our trip around and takes about half an hour once you get into the capsule. At the moment if you can get along to see it, totally recommend it as the numbers are really way down and it so great an experience once you are in there.

They must be losing money with this so it can’t be sustainable in the long term so get onto it while you can.

If you’ve enjoyed and / or gotten something out of this video, then hit that thumbs up button and or consider subscribing. Would you go? If you’ve been, what did you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Thanks very much for watching.

At the moment with generally no foreign tourists in London, visiting the castles and other attractions are fantastic days out (particularly if you get annual passes that let you into multiple attractions, cause the places are virtually deserted or serious restrictions on numbers with letting people in).

Check out this one on the Tower of London which has 10% of its normal tourist numbers as there are no foreign tourists. Here is a playlist of other Merlin Entertainment attractions and what they are like at the moment. Alternatively, here are other videos you might enjoy.

That’s it from us here at Family Bricks, until next time when we talk about all things lifestyle.

How to Frame a Drawing at Home for Cheap / DIY Tutorial Tips and Mount – Paintings, Artworks, Certificates, Prints A4 A3

In this video we will show you how to mount and frame a drawing at home for about £10, Like this one. We will go from a basic A4 illustration drawing and put it into an A3 frame. It really makes it have a presence and be ready to hang on a wall. This can generally be done for about £10 and you get great results. In this example we’ll be using some Iron Man marker sketches I’ve created.

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We use a couple of Iron Man marker illustration drawings I did as samples. If you’d like to commission a drawing or painting, please email matt@mattelder.com for further details.

Iron Man Livestream Sketch Creation

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction
0:36 Overview – Here is one I prepared earlier
1:04 Picture Frame and Mounting Board Considerations
2:00 Tips for Starting
2:42 Taking off the Back of the Picture Frame
3:52 Mounting Artwork & Fixing Down
7:14 Placing Mount & Artwork into Frame – Get the Orientation right
8:32 The Big Reveal

Transcipt from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here and in this video we will show you how to mount and frame a drawing at home for about £10, Like this one. We will go from a basic A4 illustration drawing and put it into an A3 frame, like this one, with mount to really make it have a presence and be ready to hang on a wall.

This video is bought to you bay Macatsim Holiday Homes in Margate and Broadstairs. Great for a week’s holiday or a weekend escape, being just over an hour east of London, UK. Treat yourself to amazing sunsets, a LEGO wall or great food. Visit www.macatsim.com and mention this Youtube video, we’ll will look after you.

What Are We Doing?

So here is one I prepared earlier and put into a frame with a generic black mount and we are going to take this one and do something similar to it. In the description around the video I will have affiliate links so you can get most of this stuff pretty readily and not for much money.

I also readily use these sorts of frames for my oil paintings as well. So it is something that I use pretty regularly.

Checking Out the Frame and Mount

So we normally get this A3 frame which comes in plastic wrap and then also too, this is a black mount. Which generally recommend using when want to focus the eye in on things and because the subject matter that we have here is quite masculine in terms of Iron Man, it works out well.

But if you had something like flowers or something a bit lighter, you might just want a white mount, cause then it will make it feel like it is breathing a bit more. So if you got to the point where you can see with this one its black with a little bit of white inset there. If you did get the black by mistake and think “ah well, I want to use a white”, you could kind of use the back and have it in showing through but you will see these little corners and things. No ideal but if you are looking to do something, quick, cheap and get it framed, that’s away of doing it.

Preparing the Surface

So the first thing you do is just go through and whatever table surface you are using, ensure that it is clean, cause if it has any dust or dirt, its really going to pick up here. Flip it over, so when you are opening it if you do happen to scour it or anything, it will be on the back. So not the front Perspex or whatever it is.

These just first of all check to see if it is too badly beat up or anything like that. You might have to send it back. Seems ok. We’ll flip it over and you are going to have a whole bunch of these metal things holding the cardboard / MDF in there. So you usually just take a standard butter knife and just get in under there and life them up and be careful when you are doing that. Just go around and do them all.

Now the thing is when you take it out from here, you want the surfaces to remain clean. So certainly when you get it out of here, you are going to be placing it this side down. Cause if you place the other side down, potentially you are introducing a whole bunch of dirt into it.

Even sometimes these have a little bit of dirt on it so just give it a quick bit of a wipe down. You can even feel just a little bit of grit and stuff coming off.

Cleaning up the Glass / Perspex

And the same sort of thing. Usually and you probably can’t see it but there is a bit of dirt and dust in there so just take a lightly damp rag and just go over it as we want to pick all that stuff up. There is nothing worse than going to all this trouble and once it is mounted, seeing dirt under the glass and the only way to get it is to come back in and get it all out again.

Mounting the Artwork

So while that is letting itself dry, we will take our actual image , or document or whatever it is you want to frame and we’ll stick it on the mount. So again just check the mount itself , its all pretty clean, and nothing is too beat up.

So place it down and then we will place whatever the document is, in this case it is this artwork. So what you are going to find is, there is going to be 1,2,3mm overlap between the artwork and that. So you just want to try and center it , little tiny nudges. Unless it gets stuck in their like that , in which case just lift it up and do it again. Theres not much tolerance in it, so it might be a little on the fiddly side. So that is why you get it mostly where you want it and you are just slowly taping it around.

That’s whats nice when you are using a dark countertop, when you are looking through at it, where the paper and the overlap is there , you aren’t really guessing as you have the black surface underneath it.

So pretty close to that there. Then just to fix it down, you can use, you want a low tack tape. Basically what that means is once you put the tape down, after a few years if you want to take it out and redo it, or do something else, maybe put it in a nicer frame or what have you, then if you are using sticky tape or scotch tape or whatever, when you go to lift it up, it is going to peel and rip the paper.

Artist Low Tack Tape

Whereas this is like an artist low tack tape, so it will enable it to come of much easier or you can also use this painters tape that they use for cutting in edges and things. So that put it up on the wall, they paint over it and when they take it off, it leaves a nice crisp line. So whatever you have around.

I’m going to use the artist tape, then just little corners. Now I’m going to try to keep it on the diagonal like that and do all 4 the same. You will notice it when you flip it over if you really look for it, you’ll see the difference there in the corner. Alternatively you could just run tape the whole length all the way around.

But again just looking at something that in the future if you want to go through and reuse the drawing or the mount it is easy enough to come off. You are just looking for something to more or less just hold it there in place.

So we’ve got that and well just lift that up and that is it there. So you just want any little bits of flecks to get off, particularly on the black it is really going to show up.

Placing the Mount in the Frame

And then get our frame from earlier on, you can just see there is a few little bits of fluff and stuff in there which I’m not happy about and want to get out. Not really a deal break but just how OCD you might be with things. We’ll just leave that there for a minute or so to dry.

And that has been left to dry so now we’l just come along with our picture, we will just need to remember which way is up. It won’t be too hard or much of an issue here because we can see through, but when we go to hang it, we just need to make sure we know which way it is.

Keeping Track of the Orientation

So pop that in there, just come back to our backing mount, and again the reason we want to know which way is up so we know which way to put these, cause this is where it is going to hang off. So for this one because it is going to be there, we put this one here so when you hang it can go like that.

So then if you had it more in the orientation where you might have a portrait or something , you’d do it like that so that was at the top so the head is in there. So with these little metal pins that are here, you might have to gently massage it past the point.

Or in the case of this one over here, it has come a little too far unstuck, too far down so just bend that back a little bit. Make sure that is all in there and it is all good. Now it is just a quick matter of going through and flattening these down.

Flatten Down Metal Tabs

Ok so we’ve gone through and flattened all these down so now the big reveal when we flip it over and there we have it. And now that is on there you can just see a few little areas that have a bit of dust and flex , from this side so we’ll go through and give that a quick little wipe down.

Other Illustrations from a Livestream

These were some illustrations I did on a livestream, so if you click around the video you’ll be able to see how it was created. And here was the other one so I’ve got a couple there and my son is really into Iron Man at the moment, so I’ve done a couple of these and he just wanted them so figured I’d do some quick frames like this , won’t break the bank but will give a lot of punch and effect.

Then he also did this Iron Man LEGO mosaic for his birthday so there will be a link around the video where you can see his review on that as well.

If you’d like to commission a sketch or painting, please get in contact with me at matt@mattelder.com

Summing Up

If you found this video useful, give that thumbs up button a press, always love getting those. If you want to be super awesome, then consider subscribing to the channel.

If you’d like to see a quick overview and time lapse of how I created one of these pet portraits, click here.

To see the livestream video where these Iron Man pieces were created, click here.

Alternatively, here are some other videos you might enjoy.

Thanks for watching and that’s it from us here a Family Bricks. Until next time when we talk about all things lifestyle.

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