Disney slams Universal in 2005 theme park attendance
Written by Robert Niles
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The Walt Disney Company's decision to mark flagship theme park Disneyland's 50th anniversary with newly installed shows and attractions at all its theme parks around the world paid off with significant attendance gains. Amusement Buisness magazine's annual estimate of global theme park attendance gives Disney's parks in the U.S., Japan and France the top 8 spots.
In North America, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom continued to lead the nation, with an increase of 6.5 percent, pushing the park's 2005 attendance to more than 16 million visitors. Nationwide, attendance at the nation's top 50 parks increased 4.2 percent.
The big loser in this year's report was Disney's archrival, Universal, which saw attendance at all three of its U.S. parks decrease, led by twin 8.5 percent slides at Universal Orlando's Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Apparently, new "Fear Factor" shows on both coasts weren't anywhere near enough to draw fans from the competing Disney parks down the road.
Universal's Islands of Adventure lost the top spot in the annual Theme Park Insider Awards to Tokyo DisneySea this summer, in part due to a lack of new attractions at the Orlando park. Now IoA has suffered the further indignity of dropping behind Disney's California Adventure in annual attendance. (Though it must be noted that DCA's attendance was helped greatly by sopping up the overflow crowds from Disneyland's blockbuster 50th aniversary celebration.)
Here are the numbers for the top 25 parks in North America, courtesy Amusement Business:
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