2007 theme park attendance report released
Brady MacDonald at the LA Times alerted me that this year's theme park attendance report is out. Brady offered a summary
on the LAT website, but I did some snooping and quickly found the full report online
Disney remained the top chain, with 116.5 million visitors worldwide last year, followed by Merlin Entertainment with 32.1 million. Universal drew 26.4 million, followed by Six Flags with 24.9 million and Busch with 22.3 million. Cedar Fair came in sixth place, with 22.1 million visitors in 2007.
Here are the world's 20 most popular theme parks, by attendance, in 2007, according to the Themed Entertainment Association Economics Research Associates:
- Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom
- Tokyo Disneyland
- Tokyo DisneySea
- Disneyland Paris
- Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Universal Studios Japan
- Everland (South Korea)
- Universal Studios Florida
- SeaWorld Orlando
- Disney's California Adventure
- Blackpool Pleasure Beach
- Universal's Islands of Adventure
- Ocean Park (Hong Kong)
- Hakkeijima Sea Paradise (Japan)
- Universal Studios Hollywood
- Busch Gardens Africa
- SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld Orlando moved up one spot, passing California Adventure. Otherwise, there were no changes among the U.S. parks in the Top 20.
Rest of North America Top 20:
13. Knott's Berry Farm
14. Canada's Wonderland
15. Busch Gardens Europe
16. Cedar Point
17. Kings Island
19. Six Flags Great Adventure
20. Six Flags Great America
Busch Gardens Europe showed the strongest attendance gain in the country last year, 12.5 percent, placing it in the Top 20, and knocking out Six Flags Magic Mountain. In addition to Magic Mountain, California Adventure and Knott's Berry Farm showed attendance declines. Those parks, along with Six Flags Great Adventure, were the only top U.S. parks to show attendance declines in 2007.
Maybe it's because we come from an area where we have to travel 17-plus hours to get to a decent theme park, but I continue to be surprised at all the negative remarks about Magic Mountain, and was surprised about their decline in attendance. Our first (and so far only) visit there was June 2007 and it was an absolute blast. The wait times were not bad, even for the most popular rides, lots of staff making sure people weren't cutting lines and getting rowdy, the park was clean and our experience was a good one. So much so that we're planning to go back, perhaps in the Fall. At any rate, I've read a lot of negative comments about that park about how it's not family friendly, it's unclean and the teenagers really act up there. Maybe we hit it on a good day or something but I have no reservations about going back. Or maybe our opinion of the park is so high because like I said earlier, we don't have much access to theme/amusement parks.
I'm planning to get out to Magic Mounatain soon for a status report. But I'll say this. If you know anything about physics (or higher math), or just stop to think about it logically for a minute...
It is nice to see that the list is dominated by actual Theme parks and not a bunch of Iron Ride parks. Go Disney, Universal, and Busch!
I also want to note that the attendance figures validate TPI readers' selection of Busch Gardens Europe as the world's top park last year. Obviously, something's working very well at BGE.
I agree that it is nice to see real theme parks like those you find at Disney/Universal etc are doing great, these are parks that SF should try to copy if they want to get out of the hole they are in. Families enjoy parks that arent concrete jungles with coasters scattered about.
CP and KI would have owned BGE if they opened in March like BGE does. It's not rocket science people!!! And by the way, CP still has the golden ticket award!
I can't believe BGE's attendence rose that much! If I remember correctly, they weren't even in the top 20 last year. That's really great for the park.
I forgot to add a sarcastic but kinda truthful "uh oh" to my original posting. We're scheduled to go to Busch Gardens Europe in June and with their attendance jump, it's quite possible that it'll be packed! If they had that large of a jump in attendance, hopefully that means they are doing a lot of good things out there. This makes me even more excited to go and even happier that we chose this park as our next destination.
After looking at the full report, I have a few more comments. Hershey posted an impressive gain this year too but I'm guessing that's mostly due to the waterpark. It's good to see that IOA had an increased attendence last year considering the poorer results from the previous year. I'm sure Disney's not loving that -4.5% for DCA and that 20% decline for HKDL is really embarassing. I'm really surprised by DLP's 13% climb. I guess their 15th anniversary celebration must be drawing a lot more people to the park. Animal Kingdom is also inching closer to passing DHS. Next year perhaps?
I agree with Mr. OGrosky that parks like Silver Dollar City and Dollywood do a great job of theming on a much smaller scale. And while the attendence of those parks doesn't rank with the "Big Boys", people do notice: Dollywood was picked as the "Best Park of 2007" by the Publishers of the Golden Ticket Award
Jake, I have some info for you. If a park wins a Golden Ticket, it seems like a big honor, but the truth is, it's highly overated. The whole comitee handing out the awards is totally biased, especially for Cedar Point. Take the 2007 Golden Tickets for example. Maverick won the best new ride of 2007 award. However, on this website, Mystery Mine at Dollywood won best new attraction, and Griffon is constantly rated as the world's best roller coster. Maverick got O.K reviews, but quite a few said the ride is not worth the 21 million and is a headbanger. I also think that 10 years is far to many for Cedar Point to have won the Best Park award. There are so many parks out there with better rides and theming. Cedar Point keeps winning because they have 17 coasters. But are they all quality rides? Reflect on this. I'm not trying to be rude because your free to go to any park you want; this is just my 2 cents.
I am on my back laughing out of control because of Greg! This guy obviously knows nothing about roller coasters and obviously only visits this site! He actually said that Griffon is the #1 coaster in the world LMAO!!!!!! Griffon is a one trick pony and it's only 205 ft high! It was lame at best and worth at most, a 15 minute wait for front row! And he actually put down Maverick, even funnier! The poor guy only gets to visit BGE apparently so he only gets to ride 5 steel coasters.
Guys, just ignore Jake and all of the other biased fanboys.
While Cedar Point is a decent park with some very good roller coasters, as a THEME PARK it is medicore at best and with all the the Golden Ticket awards it wins just shows the Golden Ticket is VERY biased against the major parks in FLA/CA.
There is a huge difference between a Theme park (Magic Kingdom) and an Iron Ride Park (Cedar Point). One is designed to make you lose yourself in fantasy. The other is designed to make you lose your lunch.
Robert you're obviously an old man and you belong at a place like BGE! Next stop for you my friend is the retirement home. Enjoy! Me and my friends find BGE very boring just like most of America does! 2 hours and your done and never wanting to go back! Enjoy walking around there cause you're one less in line!!!!!!
James obviously doesn't realize that BGE is open for 2 months longer than the Heaven CP is!!!!!!! He isn't very bright. BGE barely beat out CP and it's the first time ever!
Hi Jake, I appreciate the kind, thoughtful, and intelligent feedback, however, I did not once mention BGE in my comment.
Im glad to see the winners! All are great parks...been to everyone of them. Disney, Universal, Busch..all do great things with there parks...and the promotion is top of the line. Six Flags has taken many many great and wonderful theme parks and destroyed them. Two come to mind Magic Mountain in Calif. ANd Great Adventure in New Jersey. And its a shame really both were well thought out and planned back in the 70's. ANd featured in many movies, TV shows, and product comercials. A little know fact about Great Adventure when it was built it was done so by removing only what was needed to install a ride or attraction. ANd as much of the natural gowth was left in place ..And heres a kicker Six Flags is removing 6-9 300 year old tress for a parade? Go figure!
I think it's possible to consider CP a theme park, if your theme is "roller coasters." :roll eyes: But whether or not you believe it should be highly rated as a theme park, it's undeniably roller coaster heaven...we can agree to disagree and remain civil.
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