Disney claims top 8 spots in 2011 global theme park industry attendance report
Walt Disney theme parks claimed the top eight spots worldwide in the 2011 TEA/AECOM theme park industry attendance report
, released today. In North America, Universal's Islands of Adventure led the attendance gains by percentage, with an immense 29% jump in attendance from 2010 to 2011, which was the first full year of operation for the park's award-winning Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
SeaWorld San Diego jumped in attendance in 2011
SeaWorld San Diego was the only other North American park to score a double-digit percentage attendance increase, with a 13 percent jump that pushed the Southern California theme park to 11th place on the North American list and 22nd in the world.
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom continued to land in the top spot on both the North American and world lists, with 17.1 million visitors last year, up 1 percent from 2010.
Here are the North American Top 20, according to TEA/AECOM, with 2011 attendance and change from 2010:
- Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom 17.1 million +1.0%
- Disneyland 16.1 million +1.0%
- Epcot 10.8 million, Flat
- Disney's Animal Kingdom 9.8 million +1.0%
- Disney's Hollywood Studios 9.7 million +1.0%
- Universal's Islands of Adventure (+1 position) 7.7 million +29.0%
- Disney California Adventure (-1 position) 6.3 million +1.0%
- Universal Studios Florida 6.0 million +2.0%
- SeaWorld Orlando 5.2 million +2.0%
- Universal Studios Hollywood 5.1 million +2.0%
- SeaWorld San Diego (+1 position) 4.3 million +13.0%
- Busch Gardens Tampa (-1 position) 4.3 million +2.0%
- Knott's Berry Farm 3.7 million +1.5%
- Canada's Wonderland 3.5 million +3.0%
- Kings Island 3.1 million +1.0%
- Cedar Point 3.1 million +3.0%
- Hersheypark 2.9 million +2.0%
- Busch Gardens Williamsburg 2.7 million -2.0%
- Six Flags Magic Mountain (New) 2.7 million +3.8%
- SeaWorld San Antonio (New) 2.6 million, Flat
Six Flags Great Adventure
Six Flags Great America
And the World Top 25:
- Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
- Tokyo Disneyland
- Tokyo DisneySea
- Disneyland Paris (+1 position)
- Epcot (-1 position)
- Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Universal Studios Japan
- Universal's Islands of Adventure (+2 positions)
- Lotte World, Seoul, South Korea (+2 positions)
- Ocean Park, Hong Kong (+5 positions)
- Everland, Gyeonggi-Do, South Korea (-3 positions)
- Disney California Adventure (-3 positions)
- Universal Studios Florida (-2 positions)
- Hong Kong Disneyland (-1 position)
- Nagashima Spa Land, Kuwana, Japan (+3 positions)
- SeaWorld Orlando (-2 positions)
- Universal Studios Hollywood (-1 position)
- Walt Disney Studios Paris (-1 position)
- Europa Park
- SeaWorld San Diego (+3 positions)
- Busch Gardens Tampa (-1 position)
- De Efteling
- Tivoli Gardens (New)
Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, Yokohama, Japan
As we mentioned last week, the top 25 parks in the world drew 198.1 million visitors in 2011, up 4.8 percent from 2010. The top 20 theme parks in the United States last year drew 127 million visitors, combined, up 2.8% from 2010.
Finding it REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY difficult to believe the accuracy of the claim that IOA jumped +29.0% the year after the gate crasher opened. Especially when its sister park (located about 50 feet away) rose only 2%.
And by the way, how AMAZING is it that Walt Disney World welcomes more than 129,000 guests to its property every day of the year?
Trying to figure this out. Under Water Parks:
makes you really appreciate what IOA did and specifically WWOHP in 2010 because it had a 30% spike in attendance in 6 months ...2011 = same attendance jump but did it in an entire year
These numbers look very suspect to me. What are the chances in a given year that 18 out of 20 parks experience a perfectly round percentage point change in attendance? And for IOA to experience such a massive increase while its sister park grows at a measly 2 percent? That just doesn't ring true to me.
I can believe the Islands of Adventure numbers. I spent parts of 12 days there in May 2012 while on vacation and the park was absolutely packed every time we were there. Conversely, Universal Studios' crowds were sporadic, but they improved when the new 5:00 parade ran. The crowds at Islands were even denser than we experienced in May 2011, so my guess is 2012 will show another large increase. Additionally, the Portofino Hotel Resort was also much more crowded than when we were there the same month in 2011. Both Universal parks increased their hours this May which also is indicative of increased attendance. Islands crowds were comparable to the ones we saw at Disney Hollywood Studios the week before, so my guess is that Islands will move even closer to Hollywood Studios attendance in 2012.The Disney parks also seemed more crowded than in 2011 and the ride wait times were longer. It's probably going to be a banner year for Orlando tourism, which is a win win for everyone. This is, of course, not a scientific study, but it is a credible observation over a large number of days (we were onsite at Disney & Universal for 24 days vacation).
Pretty good if you ask me. I think that DHS might beat AK's numbers for this year because of Saturday May 19 (the parking lot got full, and complimentary parking was given at Epcot).
Nice to see all the positive gains this year. Our favorite industry is growing, gang! =)
This report is always fun to look at. DCA is 1.4 million annual visitors behind Islands of Adventure for spot number 6. I believe the reimagined DCA with Carsland will overtake IOA and claim the top six spots for Disney.
Thrilled to see Islands of Adventure is still growing, as it's the best theme park in Orlando these days.
The attendance for Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Hersheypark both surprise me. They are both regional and seasonal parks. Granted they are near major metropolitan areas but, not close.
It baffles me how DAK gets more guests than IOA.
I suggest we all do a bit more homework on our own before accepting this report as gospel.
The second most surprising aspect of this report is the growth at both the Magic Kingdom and DCA. I expect both parks will pop once all their construction is complete, but with the massive projects underway for most of last year, attendance growth was unexpected, imho. Figured everyone was like me and waiting to plan a trip until AFTER all the construction was done...?
I believe IOA's attendance number in 2010 was around 5.9 to 6 million. The numbers add up. Those increases are also disproportionate because Universal took huge attendance hits during the recession. They didn't give the gate away to prop up their attendance numbers. Now that we've at least climbed out of the economic basement a little, people are ready to spend money again. Naturally they will spend it on the newest hottest attraction in town. Credit to Universal for positioning themselves big for the recovery instead of cutting and running. That kind of growth won't last, but they can definitely build on it and take some more market share if they continue to develop new attractions.
Good to see gains at so many parks! What happened at Sea World San Diego this year that caused such a large increase?
Rounding on the percentage increase figures.
Just went through and double-checked the Disneyland data, and corrected that.
I guess I don’t understand why some people are having such a hard time believing that IOA had that much of an increase. These are numbers for 2011, the first full year of WWOHP. If you break it down it is very easy to believe. This wasn’t a 29% increase in a park that had 17 million people a year coming to it, they only had 5.95 million in 2010 and in 2011 it was just an increase of 1.75 million. If Magic Kingdom had an increase of 1.75 million people it would only be about a 9% increase. 1.75 million people is only about an extra 4,800 people a day and I believe that WWOHP drew that many extra people on average last year.
It's unfortunate that the study does not break out it's methodology in greater detail. From Page 51: "AECOM obtains the figures used to create the TEA/AECOM Theme Index through a variety of sources, including statistics furnished directly by the operators, historical numbers, financial reports, the investment banking community and local tourism organizations, among others."
I would love to see this data crunched by age. That could help to explain many of these issues.
TH, you sound quite upset.....
Flavio: Concerning your demographics, I'm sure those are well guarded trade secrets. But what is obvious is that Universal is not clogged with strollers as are the Magic Kingdom parks. That fact says a lot. Your assumption though is probably correct. Disney obviously owns the families with young children demographic. Teenagers & adults are probably more evenly split. Again, just guesses, but probably close to the mark....NB: You should be leaving for your Universal vacation soon. Bet you're excited....
Why would I be upset? If this report is accurate my local tourism industry welcomed 66,300,000 people in 2011. That's an increase of more than 2.3 million guests over 2010.
Rob Pastor: I also think Disney (EPCOT) has the over 50 demographic locked down as well.
On the other hand I do get upset when I write a post and forget to log in.
TH: Epcot assumption sounds right.
Rob, you are 100% correct sir.... 19 days and counting.
NB: Good luck & enjoy. The Studio's new night show is excellent and the new parade is decent also, & usually I don't care for parades. New Spider Man is fantastic. Took your advice & spent some time over Hard Rock Hotel. The food at the Palms was excellent.
As far as the numbers go, where is Splashin' Safari in the list of top water parks, in North America or otherwise? I know Holiday World draws at least 1.1M annually, and I find it hard to believe Splashin' Safari wouldn't draw at LEAST half that, which would make it top 10 on that chart. Realistically I bet it draws closer to 90% of that 1.1M.
Splashin' Safari wouldn't qualify for the report since it is not a separate gate water park. The attendance is counted as part of Holiday World.
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