Southern California theme parks lead the increases in annual industry attendance report
Written by Robert Niles
The 2012 TEA/AECOM Global Attendance Report [PDF] is out, and Disney continues to lead the way, with the world's top eight most-attended theme parks. But attendance gains in Southern California were the story of the year, as Cars Land and Transformers drove parks there to double-digit attendance gains.
Cars Land drove California Adventure to record attendance last year.
Overall, theme parks saw a 5.2% increase in attendance worldwide in 2012. Here are the top 10 parks worldwide last year, with attendance (in millions) and their change from 2011, rounded to the nearest percentage point.
In North America, theme parks saw a 3.6% increase in attendance over 2011, with Disney California Adventure and Universal Studios Hollywood leading the way.
Disneyland saw a slight decline, but remember that a park gets credit for a visitor if it's the first park that person visits during the day. And with Cars Land drawing so many Disneyland Resort visitors to start their day at California Adventure, that pushed that park's number up at the expense of Disneyland's, even though overall attendance at the resort was up last year.
Universal Studios Hollywood's popular debut of Transformers: The Ride 3D allowed it to move up one spot in the rankings, to number nine, displacing SeaWorld Orlando.
For perspective, the TEA/AECOM reported attendance at museums for first time. Here's the top 10 worldwide. The numbers lag theme parks', but remain in the multi-millions. (And keep in mind that several of these museums offer free admission. Attendance numbers are in millions.)
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