The Bear Grylls Adventure

The challenge

Having partnered with the Bear Grylls franchise, Merlin Entertainments Ltd were faced with designing and opening a brand new kind of theme park. Unlike their existing portfolio, this park bought about a whole new set of design challenges;

  • Design an experience for the digital savvy consumer of today

  • Provide a payment solution in a park where guests go wallet free

  • Keep the guest up to date on their complex itinerary so they don’t miss a thing


What we did

Firstly we helped the business to identify and understand their challenges. We then set about finding an appropriate technological solution. From there we designed the end to end digital guest journey and did the UX for the customer portal and wearable interface. We then worked closely with all the internal teams and multiple partners to deliver a successful launch.

Throughout the project we delivered a number of services

  • Strategy

  • Product propositioning

  • Defined the business challenges

  • Market research

  • Customer journey mapping

  • User requirements

  • UX design of a wearable and customer portal

  • Prototyping

  • User testing

  • Management of 3rd parties

  • Video production

  • Website redesign

  • Operational training

  • Deployment

  • UAT

  • Reporting

  • Customer feedback


The outcomes

  • The first UK theme park to give visitors an integrated wearable

  • The highest rated Merlin attraction, voted 4.8*/5 on trip advisor and Google

  • 18% higher ATV using the BearTag over conventional payment methods

  • Conversion rate tripled and average order value went up 40% after the website redesign

Client feedback

Bear Grylls Adventure delivered Merlin’s first interactive wearable, but more importantly delivered an end to end digital guest journey done at scale. From the new redesigned website right through to the lockers at the end of day, our team has been at the heart of the design process. Unanimously fantastic praise from the board and now being talked about openly with the city and investors.

Kieran Harvey, Director of digital products and services, Merlin Entertainments

“It’s fucking brilliant”

Nick Varney, CEO Merlin Entertainments

“You have truly enriched our experience as partners to Merlin digital and there is no doubt that our product is better for your input.”

Andrew Jacobs, MD Europe, Accesso


Customer feedback

“Reading through the website and what the activities involve, it really does get you excited about visiting.  It was a quick check in process and the locker/watch scenario is a great idea. If you setup your bear tag prior to arrival it makes the day so much easier, being able to leave everything in your locker and you’re still able to purchase food and drink etc with your bear tag watch”

If you’d like to hear more about what we did, please get in contact, we’d love to share.

The digital guest journey

The digital guest journey

Examples of the phases and iterations of UX delivered throughout the project

Photos throughout the project, from early planning of site layout, prototypes for the wearable to the final set up and UI.

The explainer video produced as part of communicating what the BearTag is


Polly Thompson