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Legoland owner buys Tussauds, passes Universal as new Number Two in theme park biz

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Published: March 5, 2007 at 11:14 PM

Legoland owner Merlin Entertainment Tuesday bought U.K. theme park operator Tussauds in a billion-pound deal. Tussauds owns parks such as Alton Towers and Thorpe Park as well as the London Eye ferris wheel ride. Merlin, with financing from Universal Orlando co-owner Blackstone Group, in 2005 bought the Legoland theme parks from the family that controls the toy maker.

Throw in Merlin's Sea Life aquariums, and you've now got the new number two theme park company in the world, measured by guest visits, surpassing Universal and trailing only Disney.

Okay, trailing by a country mile. The new Merlin drew an estimated 30 million visitors last year, way behind industry leader Disney's 100+ million.

Here's more detail from UK's The Guardian newspaper.

Readers' Opinions

From Keith Rayment on March 7, 2007 at 8:49 AM
This buy-out offers a chance for an improvement to the hitherto Tussauds portfolio. I have commented on this site before at the lamentable 'state' of Tussauds 'attractions', which are frankly unattractively priced and presented.
The soubriquet of 'Tussauds' to me has always concluded 'rip-off' ...but that may be a generic British thing whereby British tourists/revellers/citizens exist for corporate benefit and not vice-versa.
Sorry to appear negative ...but in conclusion Tussauds sucked.

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