Which theme parks are you visiting on the Fourth of July weekend?
It's Independence Day in the United States, which historically is the single biggest day of the year in the theme park business.
Sure, some of the Orlando and Southern California theme parks, notably Disney's, might welcome bigger crowds at Christmas. But around the rest of the country, theme parks sleep in their winter hibernation. On the Fourth of July, though, everyone's open for business and the regional theme parks will welcome their largest crowds of the year.
Especially in years when Independence Day falls on a weekend, as it does this year. The industry's been in a bit of a slump over the past two years, as the Great Recession has decimated many families' ability to afford a vacation. Others have hit the road, but been forced to "downsize" their vacation plans, substituting a weekend at a regional park for a week in Orlando, for example.
I'd like to get your report on what you did this holiday weekend. Where did you go? If you went to a theme park, whose did you visit? How were the crowds?
Please take a moment to vote in the poll below, and if you'd like, leave a comment with a short report on where you visited and how were the crowds.
In the poll, we're asking which companies' parks you visited this weekend. The Disney, Universal and Six Flags parks' ownership is obvious, since they all have their parent's name in their names. But for folks who aren't hard-core regulars on the website, here are the top parks owned by other chains in this week's poll:
Cedar Fair: California's Great America, Canada's Wonderland, Carowinds, Cedar Point, Dorney Park, Kings Dominion, Kings Island, Knott's Berry Farm, Worlds of Fun
Herschend: Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, Wild Adventures
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment: Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Sesame Place, plus the SeaWorld parks
You can pick multiple chains, since some theme park fans in Orlando and Southern California hit parks from two or more chains during their visit.
Thanks for your comments, and I hope you're having a wonderful Fourth!
Was at DCA almost all day on the 3rd, crowds were surprisingly reasonable considering the holiday and World of Color show.
Was at Universal yesterday. Somewhat busy, but not too bad. I just saw shows, but I did check mobile wait times and they seemed pretty normal.
Just got back from running the Peachtree Road Race (atlanta). Always on July 4th and it's the largest 10k in the world. Lots of fun, lots of food, lots of music, lots of people(55,000 runners let alone the 150,000 spectators) lots of T-shirts(why we run the race of course) and lots of streets closed(traffic nightmare).
We are at Disney World. It's raining, but I don't think that's what is effecting attendace. Much smaller crowds than anticipated. Last night we went in to the Magic Kingdom at 9 PM and by park closing we had seen all the major attractions including Splash Mountain twice. The firworks were AMAZING!
I know it's not quite the weekend, but I'll be making my first trip to Kennywood on Monday.
I was leaning towards going to Busch Tampa for the fireworks but this weekend is all rain storms in Florida.
Monday counts as the weekend this year!
I have been to the Magic Kingdom at least 10 times on the 4th of July, 4 of them with my grandson Zachary, including last year. But this year it's Home Sweet Home and next year, we'll be going to Disney World in August.
Been spending the past week on Universal Orlando property and loving every minute of it! Will probably skip the fireworks at Studios tonight and head back in to Potterverse for the evening! Happy 4th everyone!
I went to SeaWorld Orlando for 4th of July... great fireworks... actually, double because one for SeaWorld and one for 4th of July... we also saw the army play some patriotic songs
I was at the tail end of my amusement park journey through Ohio, Canada, and NY. I spent Friday July 2 at Darien Lake. Crowd was pretty light, but Ride of Steel and Predator were running only one train, so that increased the queue size for those rides.
Was at Kings Island last night. No power for the laser light show. Fireworks were nice though. Had all rides working by 8:30 pm almost 5 hours after losing power. But main street was still dark along with the parking lot at midnight.
Stacy, that musta been fun trying to find your car by only moonlight. I bet walking out of the park was pretty spooky. Is it Halloween yet?
I saw Toy Story 3 finally over the weekend. Best of the 3 movies!
We went to Hersheypark on July 3rd... not crowded at all in the evening. Great trip!
six flags over georgia. Great park but needs to pay attention to detail just as WDW and Universal do if it wants to be put in their catagory. Great rides!!! the park has potential to become an incredible park.
Went to Great America in Santa Clara, CA on the third. The crowds were very small compared to what we expected, even though it was nice weather and there was a pop concert included in admission that day. Park is much improved over what I remember from 10 years ago, much cleaner, and the addition of the Water Park area Boomerang Bay was a nice upgrade.
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