Thursday, September 16, 2010

Merlin Takes Over The London Eye

The London Eye was rebranded The Merlin Entertainment's London Eye in 2009 after British Airways terminated their sponsorship in 2008. This is now one of the group's several attractions which includes Madame Tussauds wax museum.

After almost ten years since visiting this attraction, I decided to visit it once again to see if much has changed. The only big change was the London Eye 4D film added at the time Merlin began its sponsorship. Included in the price of the ticket, it is a short 3D aerial film of London viewed in a cinema near the ticket desk. The 4D experience is what makes this fun stuff. Dry ice invades the theater then when it starts to snow in the film, it starts to snow in the cinema. The film shows children playing with bubbles, the audience is surrounded by bubbles. The experience extends to rain and fireworks as well.

The film is short at 8 minutes and may be purposed to hold visitors rather than have them wait in line to board the London Eye. During this off-peak September weekday, the crowds were small and I almost skipped the film.

Then it was time to board the capsule. You should be warned that the Eye does not stop to board. Staff lines you up in threes and you then board while the capsule moves along the level of the boarding platform.

Inside is very comfortable with air conditioning, seating and spectacular views from all parts of the capsule. The ride lasts about 30 minutes so take your time taking photographs.

Various packages are offered that combines the Eye with other attractions under the Merlin banner. The standard prices:

Individual Price On the DayOnline Prices
Adults (16 Plus)£17.95from£10.00
Child (4-15 years)£9.50from£5.00
Child (Under 4)FREEFREE
Family of Four**-from£30.00

More info at Visiting hours vary depending on the time of year (Tube: Waterloo). Check out the book Eye: The Story Behind the London Eye which offers various perspectives on the vision that would become a permanent part of the London skyline.


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