Universal Orlando closes the gap with Disney in 2010 theme park attendance report
Written by Robert Niles
The 2010 TEA/AECOM Global Attractions Report is out today. And if last year was Disney's triumph, this year was the Revenge of the Rest of the Industry, as overall attendance at US theme parks grew 1.8% over 2009.Tweet
Your big attendance winner for 2010? Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Orlando, predictably, led the charge, with the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter pushing Islands of Adventure to a stunning 30.2% increase in annual attendance. That increase wasn't enough to vault IOA ahead of any of the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, although three of those four parks posted attendance declines in 2010. Both the Universal Orlando theme parks jumped SeaWorld Orlando, though, which posted the biggest drop in attendance last year, losing 10.2% of its visitors from the year before.
Two other SeaWorld theme parks, SeaWorld California and Busch Gardens Williamsburg, were the only US parks in the Top 20 to post declines in 2010, as many Six Flags and Cedar Fair amusement parks recovered from their attendance declines in 2009.
Here is the US Top 20 for 2010:
Internationally, here are the top 25 parks in the world in 2010:
Let's not forget that Disney swelled its US attendance in 2009 with the "get in free on your birthday" promotion, and suffered a letdown with the end of that deal in 2010. Yet the Disneyland Resort remained strong, both due to the strength of World of Color at California Adventure and ongoing economic weakness keeping millions of Southern Californians close to home.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment needs to find something to offset last year, as its flagship park in Orlando suffered the most at the hands of Harry Potter, with Universal capturing much, much more of the Central Florida tourist market on their "non-Disney" days.
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