Theme Park Insider

Let's reveal the biggest theme park news stories of 2016

December 12, 2016, 6:01 PM · It's almost time to put 2016 to bed forever. But before we do, let's take a look back at the biggest and most influential theme park news stories of the year.

In our video today, I recap some of the top stories from 2016 that you will find in our new yearbook for the theme park industry, Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review. It's available in paperback for under $10 from Amazon, and starting today, it's also available for Kindle, too. That price is under $5, but you've already bought the paperback version, you can get the Kindle download for free. (Or, you will, once Amazon gets it together and associates the two versions. That sometimes takes a day or two.)

And if you subscribe to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited service, our yearbook is free to read, whenever you want.

Not to spoil anything, our biggest story from 2016 was the opening of Shanghai Disneyland, but one of the other big stories in the book is the rise of Dubai as a theme park destination, with four new parks opening in the region this year. I will be flying to Dubai later this week for the grand opening of Motiongate Dubai and the other Dubai Parks & Resorts, so keep watching — here and on Twitter and on YouTube — for my coverage from Dubai over the weekend.

Replies (7)

December 12, 2016 at 11:27 PM · The related big story was that Disney went way over budget on Shanghai, and the park is underperforming. Brilliant, just brilliant.
December 13, 2016 at 8:27 AM · Robert,
I'm glad you are making the trek to Dubai so we don't have to!! :)
December 13, 2016 at 9:45 AM · Hey Still a fan...you do realize that Shanghai Disneyland is actually over-performing and expected to start actually making money a year earlier than Disney originally announced right?
December 13, 2016 at 1:14 PM · What I read was that attendance is below expectations. And considering that it ran $2 billion overbudget, what does "making money" mean? It won't be breaking even until it makes back its production cost.
December 13, 2016 at 9:36 PM · I hope everything works out well at the Dubai parks. I just saw a photo report from a preview day at Motiongate and only 20-25% of the park looked to be up and running (mostly the Sony area), with all of Lionsgate advertised as opening in 2017. In any event, I'm curious to hear a report from someone who has visited destination parks throughout the world.

As far as Shanghai Disneyland goes, much of what I've heard says that the park has been meeting or exceeding the attendance goals set prior to opening, but they have not been generating as many return visitors as expected. Disney definitely went over budget by a significant margin on the park, but it is too early to tell definitively whether the park is underperforming. To me, it sounds like it is at least doing notably better than Paris or Hong Kong did when they first opened.

December 14, 2016 at 12:08 AM · Honestly, I hope they make money with Shanghai Disneyland. If they don't, that could be an excuse for yet another round of draconian cost-cutting.
December 14, 2016 at 1:20 PM · Attendance is actually in line with expectations (started off way higher than expectations, now has leveled off) and by 'making money' I mean it was planned for Shanghai Disney to continue to lose money month over month for a couple of years, but Disney is now saying it should cross-over into the black much sooner than originally thought (although, to your point, the are a LONG way from paying back the 5 Billion investment.

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