Disney theme parks lead in 2008 annual attendance report
You can view the full 2008 Themed Entertainment Association/Economics Research Associate's Attraction Attendance Report here
The North American top 20 is largely unchanged except for Canada's Wonderland, which experienced a big upswing due to the addition of their new coaster. However, a new coaster did not help Hersheypark as it experienced a 4% decrease despite the addition of Fahrenheit in 2008.
Busch parks experienced drops across the board, probably related in no small part to the InBev takeover and some animosity to what some folks view as Busch selling out. (Just my opinion).
Cedar Fair and Six Flags experienced some moderate upswings due to additional attractions (Dark Knight coaster at Six Flags) and lowered admission prices (at Cedar Fair).
Disney ruled the roost once again, dominating all markets and bringing in more visitors than virtually all other theme park chains combined. However, their dismal showing at Hong Kong DL should be cause for concern.
Universal experienced attendance downturns largely due to construction at their Orlando destinations and people holding off on vacations until the new rides/lands are complete.
One interesting note: most of the attendance declines occurred after the regional parks had closed for the 2008 season, leaving the destination parks to deal with the faltering economy and therefore taking the brunt of the hit. One member of the reviewing board seems to think that the declines will continue across the board in 2009, with a potential for increases again in 2010.
I hope lots of people continue to be upset over AB selling out to InBev so there will be fewer people in line in front of me at BGE.
Yeah, the economic troubles should be gauged this year due to many of the Northern parks(mostly Six Flags) being closed down for the season.
I should clarify one statement I made about the
Mr. Rao may well be correct! It might be awhile before HKDL sees substantial expansion:
No surprises here...Disney dominating the market as always with the top 5 theme parks in America and top 8 worldwide, as well as the top 2 waterparks worldwide and domestic :)
Orlando may see some decline, but not necessarily the seasonal parks. Some parks stand to see gains this year from people staying close to home. The economy did tank in the last half of the year, but remember that $4.00 gas during the summer? Didn't help things either.
Got a chance to finally look at the numbers and they ain't bad! Sure some saw dips, but still pretty solid by Disney and Universal. Great to see SFGA holding its own with a net gain!
Thank you for the coverage! - Judy Rubin, TEA publications editor.
I see the list on the right sidebar has now been changed to "*By 2008 attendance". However, it seems that Busch Gardens Europe should be below Cedar Point and Kings Island in accordance with the report.
Order on the right rail should be fixed now. I've been having the hardest time with tech stuff and connections today, so it was half-done there for a while. Sorry about that.
I just don't get how SF Magic Mountain does not perform better in attendance. With, by my count, 16 coasters (including the upcoming Terminator GCI), and another rumored to be on the way for 2010, it will soon become the Coaster Capital Of The World, sharing the crown with Cedar Point (unless they add a new coaster in the next year or two). It has a lot of rides, it has a great location, it has a huge population, and it has the potential of spillover from Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, and Knott's. Apparently they've cleaned the place up, improved the experience, lowered the prices, and added family-friendly and kid-friendly attractions. So where are the people?
Whew! Canada's Wonderland movin' on up. Good for Cedar Fair for investing in Behemoth - guess it paid off.
BGE used to be a great park to visit. We've lived in the Norfolk area for two different three-year periods (total of six years), and we had season passes every year. However, a few years ago, we came down from our permanent home in Pennsylvania to visit the park, only to have it close down for rain two of the three days we had passes for. Although one of those days the rain quit in the afternoon and we tried to visit the park, it was closed and we couldn't get in.
Seems the AB parks aren't happy and claim to have had over 1 million more guests than that report shows, but won't release exact figures. Hmmm!!!
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