Theme park attendance is down everywhere - except at Disneyland
Most of the major theme park companies have released their second quarter revenue reports, so we've gotten a picture showing how attendance is holding up at the nation's theme parks during the first half of the year.
And... it isn't. As many feared, attendance is tanking at theme parks across the country, with one notable exception. What's worse, Easter fell during the second quarter this year, pushing results higher than they would have been, if you can believe it.
So who's doing okay? Disney, specifically Disneyland, where attendance was up 2 percent over the same period last year, thanks to Disney's get-in-free-on-your-birthday promotion, as well as annual and multi-day pass deals.
Overall, attendance at Disney was flat, with gate counts down just 1 percent at Walt Disney World. But even as attendance held up, revenue and profit tanked, as the free days and free meals Disney used to lure visitors meant that the folks who did show up in the parks were spending far less than visitors last year.
Here are the second quarter results, by company:
Attendance: Flat (Up 2% at Disneyland, down 1% at Walt Disney World)
Revenue: Down 9%
Profit: Down 19%
Attendance: Down at least 10%
Profit: Up 13% (Universal cited cost cutting to help create the profit.)
Attendance: Down 8%, from 8 million last year
Revenue: Down 13% to $302 million
Profit: A loss of $98.6 million, compared with profit of $113.5 million last year.
Per person spending: Down 4% to $36.70 per visitor.
Attendance: Down 13%, from 7.6 million to 6.6 million
Revenue: Down 11%, to $264 million
Profit: Down 50%
Per person spending: Down 2% to $39.50 per visitor.
I haven't found any data on the Busch theme parks, since Anheuser-Busch is now part of the Belgian company Anheuser-Busch InBev. If anyone from Busch Entertainment Corp. wants to share some data, you know where to get in touch. :-)
Universal with a profit eh. Good for them because it seems quite a few people around here were writing them off as in deep trouble. Cost cutting was part of it, but how were their discounts? I know they had a hotel deal for a while, but it wasn't as generous as Disney's. They gave away a bunch of tickets on Super Bowl Sunday, but did they discount anywhere else? The profit could also be a result of Universal sticking a little closer to their non panic mode pricing model. Attendance is down, but how is that spending per guest?
I think it is not spurious that Disney's been blanketing the Internet with ads all year, and they have the best attendance performance. Six Flags and Cedar Fair are doing no out-of-market national ads, so they're limited to what they can get in their local markets. Universal blitzed with the Super Bowl TV ad, but I've seen little from them in recent months. Busch has had smaller national ads, but no big graphical presence
Well I'm sure that Six Flags has been hurt a lot by the weather in the east coast. Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ has been hit practically every day in June with a storm and much of July as well. I bet they rely heavily on the success of that park as that seemed to be the only one that they weren't willing to sell.
Weather is a factor it seems with SFGA in which we have not had the greatest weather (cool and sometimes rainy) and the park has been EMPTY. Its a real shame, but it seems that people will go to the FL chains (Universal, Busch, Disney) no matter what the weather shows. Six Flags has to figure that.
Sorry, the SFGA thing was me! I forgot to log in!
Eating at a Six Flags park?! HA HA HA!! That takes courage, not cash!
^^That was me. Sorry, I forgot to log in...and I just couldn't resist the chance to kick Six Flags when it is down! ;)
I've been vacationed out since returning from our 11-day trip to Orlando. Here are my thoughts.
One thing some people seem to miss is the fact that there are multiple parks in the Orlando area. If I were planing a vacation destination, and paying quite a bit to get there, I am going to go somewhere where there are multiple places to visit. I think this is a big key success for the FL parks.
My friend and I helped cedar fair by going to KD yesterday, and spending... around $80. we're stupid, all right?
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