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Background information of your organisation:


In 2014 Merlin
Entertainment (owners of Alton Towers) extended their park, adding the CBeebies
Land, a unique children’s theme park, providing rides and attractions but also
educational visits for children aged 3-6 years. A branded agreement with one of
the UK’s most popular children’s TV channels owned by the BBC provides Alton
Towers with a great competitive advantage within the leisure industry.

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Alton Towers have a
very clear mission statement “Alton Towers Resort exists to make Britain happy!”
( From research in 2010 there’s evidence that
it is a very busy attraction, dominating a large proportion of its industry and
this is before they introduced their new fantasy land in 2014: “Alton Towers is
the most visited theme park in the UK, with more than half of all adults having
been there.” (


However, from
previous research it can clearly be identified that there are numerous issues
within the services of CBeebies Land which need to be developed into greater
knowledge in order to be resolved and continue to ensure that Alton Towers is
succeeding in its mission statement objective. The report will outline results
from the research, which will clearly identify the greatest problems with
CBeebies Land’s services and conduct specific and achievable objectives to
support the development of CBeebies Land success!


Review of the
organisations micro and macro environmental factors:


In order to identify
Alton Towers/CBeebies Land’s opportunities and threats within the industry a
marketing audit using macro and micro analyses were done:


Macro Environment – P.E.S.T




The increase in
national minimum wages could prove to be a threat to CBeebies Land and Alton
Towers, as they will have to accommodate this into their expenses due to having
to potentially raise their employee wages. If there is an increase is work
place pensions then this will have a similar affect on CBeebies, both resulting
in Alton Towers having to reconsider their prices of tickets, in order to
ensure their profit margin continues to stay at the same level following the
rises in expenses.


However this could
also be presented as a opportunity for Alton Towers, people will have more
income resulting them in potentially spending more money on leisure products
and services, Alton Towers could take advantage of this and make new offers to
increase their footfall through the park, potentially increasing profits.




From the
user-generated content, there are numerous requests by customers for a separate
car park and entrance for CBeebies Land; an environmental threat arises
following this idea, which is the cost of developing in a rural area. Alton
Towers is building on land, which is protected by several laws so the cost and
arrangements of this could be proven as a larger cost to Alton Towers than




In 2015 the
£18million ‘Smiler’ ride at the extreme thrill section of Alton Towers crashed,
this left a few customers seriously injured and impacted the reputation of
Alton Towers greatly. (LINK ON REF LIST) Due to
this incident social threats have arose for CBeebies Land, the customer
behaviour of families visiting CBeebies Land will have been impacted, with the
parents being more mindful of safety precautions and customers being afraid of
visiting with the fear of another incident.




There has been a increase in the number of people using UGC such as Trip
Advisor, Google Reviews, Facebook Page Reviews etc. Due to this customers who
have visited the attraction can share different content about their previous
experience. This can prove to be a threat for CBeebies Land as negative
comments could defer future customers off, but reversibly positive, as good
feedback will attract some people. From this it is important for Alton Towers
to provide a great service, because this sharing platform can impact millions
of potential customers decisions.


Micro Environment – Porters Five Forces




Alton Towers has the
exclusive rights to CBBC themed rides at their park; due to this there are no
competitors, which offer CBBC themed attractions. However there are similar
attractions available at competitor’s attractions such as Thomas Land at
Drayton Manor, LegoLand, Gulliver’s Kingdom; these are great competitors, but
there is also smaller competitors such as the midlands Twin Lakes, which offer
children’s rides and activities around their park.


Threat of New


Theme parks, thrill
rides and attractions are expensive to initially set up, due to this the threat
of new entry is certainly lowered. This industry requires a large finance to
set up and many health and safety regulations to follow and technology advances
required to build and maintain. Due to Alton Towers successful past and
ownership by Merlin Entertainment they have the a large income to build new
rides, develop their current parks etc giving them great advantage if a new
competitor enters the market.


A threat of new
entry to the children’s attraction market could be a current competitor
developing their park and gaining an agreement with a well-known children’s TV
channel, for example Disney or Nickelodeon. This would develop a great threat
of substitution and competitive rivalry.


Threat of


As stated in
competitive rivalry there is some competition, but very little which offer what
CBeebies Land does. Other substitutions could be different types of leisure
activities, such as soft play centres, indoor trampoline & space centres. These
all offer activities for CBeebies Land customer range 3-6 years to do.


Differences in
prices for competitors such as Twin Lakes online pay/day pass, certainly could
impact customer choices, to compare Alton Towers charge an adult £33 all year
round & Twin Lakes peak season would be £19.99. Twin Lakes provides a
cheaper option for customers however they don’t get the experience of CBBC
themed attractions.


Supplier Power:


The suppliers of
CBeebies Land is the BBC, they sell Alton Towers the rights to the CBBC themed
attractions. If BBC were to finish this agreement then Alton Towers wouldn’t
have a choice but to close this part of the park, adjust the ride names,
designs etc otherwise it may be copyright which could damage Alton Towers
financially. The supplier certainly has power in this situation so it is Merlin
Entertainments duty to ensure they keep a close relationship with their
supplier, in order to keep the competitive advantage.


Other suppliers
would be the companies who design, produce and maintain the rides at CBeebies
Land, keeping it modern and safe. If the external companies who supply this
service raise the costs then it may cause losses for Alton Towers, which may
encourage them to raise their prices of tickets.


Buyer Power:


Customers of Alton
Towers as a whole are less price sensitive because the park provides the best
thrill rides in the UK, however as many of the UGC has proven the CBeebies Land
customers are more sensitive to the price with many people saying they wont be
returning due to the high price for the level of satisfaction when visiting. If
the prices raised more customers of CBeebies Land would be sensitive, outlining
some power within the buyer and how Alton Towers need to understand theirs a
limit to what they can charge.


The buyers have
power when visiting as groups, Alton Towers recognise larger families aren’t
willing to spend excess amounts for everyone to visit together which is why
Alton Towers offer deals for larger parties, making the individual prices


Alton Towers
accommodates for different social groups to some of their competitors, for
example social groups with lower income may choose alternative attractions which
are cheaper such as Twin Lakes & Gulliver’s Kingdom, where as Alton Towers may
attract higher income customers who are willing to pay that little more for
branded thrill rides.  


Review of internal capabilities:

Resource-Based View
allows the internal environment of Alton Towers/CBeebies Land, in terms of
their resources and capabilities to be discussed and support the decision of a
strategic action.


Alton Towers have a
selection of tangible assets, for example Merlin Entertainment own 370 hectares
of land within the park grounds, this gives them a great advantage if applying
to build any new rides, but also offers their customers a great amount of
English countryside in which they can explore and walk around when visiting the
park, with great views and nature trails. (370 hectares
ref from case study)


Alton Towers has
several properties on site and a short distance just off the park grounds. They
own an aquarium, which is within the park, and included during the day pass
visit, this is an additional attraction to the CBeebies Land & classic
thrill rides, which gives them competitive advantage in the market. Followed by
their “five hotel options at Alton Towers catering for the visitors who want to
spend more than one day at the resort or who live some distance from it”. (Five hotels ref from case study background) This
provides a great incentive to customers who don’t want to rush their way around
the park, possibly missing some rides due to queues, especially as Alton Towers
offer free access to the park for a second day for customers who stop in the
hotels. Again this is a great competitive advantage, as customers can have a
relaxing, travel free experience for more than one day.


Following on from
some example of their tangible assets, some of Alton Towers intangible assets
provide them with a great advantage. The CBBC licensing in which Merlin
Entertainment have agreed with BBC provides them with a unique offer for
customers, having this intangible asset means customers looking for a CBBC
themed park only have one option within the Leisure Industry which attracts
them millions of customers a year.   


CBeebies Land is
located in the centre of the United Kingdom making it accessible for everyone
around the country with some travelling. Also being located on the border of
the Peak District National Park provides the attraction with a beautiful,
scenic location, for both while visiting but also when travelling to the
attraction, passing by mountain views and old villages.


Tacit knowledge is a
great asset in which CBeebies Land has, with Alton Towers Park being within the
industry since 1980 they have gained knowledge of technology, customer service,
dealing with negative media and the list goes on. This provides them with
advantage when growing their park, developing the brand and most importantly
having a relationship with customers.


Critical Literature Review:


Identifying problems
with CBeebies Land is not hard, to start begin with searching on one of the
most common attraction websites available; Trip Advisor. Unfortunately for
Alton Towers the first text, which catches your eye is a negative comment.
However as an attraction CBeebies Land overall rating is 4/5 (Appendix 1),
which is a positive impression, but as you look deeper, you cant help to notice
the high amount of bad comments. Finding numerous different negative comments
such as prices, queue times, customer service, product quality and it


One Trip Advisor
review addressed their experience at CBeebies Land as a “Total rip off”,
following up this with “I understand that its admission for the ‘whole park’
but when you have a toddler with you people are not going to go into the main
park on the rides!” “We were gobsmacked to see how small the park was”. (Appendix


Another Trip Advisor
had similar comments with “£32 each for 4 people and got on 2 rides, biggest
waste of money”. “Also cant believe they charge you to park”. “Every queue was
over an hour”, their overall comment of the trip was “an absolute joke”.
(Appendix 3)


A review from August
2017 described their visit as “Extremely Disappointed” followed by “waited in
long queues from start to finish”, “an hour/45 minutes wait each ride”, “paid
£112 & then had to pay £6 parking”. (Appendix 4)


This customer was
speechless for their overall experience, beginning the review with “meh”,
following with lists of issues surrounding CBeebies Land, “rides kept breaking
down and we were given fast track vouchers to revisit the rides we’d been
waiting in queues for”, “there really isn’t many rides”, “need subsidised
tickets for families just using CBeebies”, “£50 is extortionate for a handful
of rides and a few walk abounds”. (Appendix 5)


Within the reviews
there are numerous different opinions of issues with CBeebies Land, however
price and queues are a continuous problem which is arising, with many customers
commenting on the value for money, so price proves to be a major issue,
followed up by the charge for the attraction parking spaces. Another major
issue proves to be the queue times, with customers complaining they’re waiting
to long, their children are getting restless & again relating back to
price, they aren’t experiencing enough attractions for what they pay. 

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