Having said this. while battling Mr. Clarke at this site, regarding the summer attendance of 2009, I indicated that this was not the year that WDW should be worried about. They year they should be looking at is 2010.
But there's something important to remember. Jim Hill reported that in January 2008, the Disney reservations centers sent out a RED ALERT making note of a significant drop in bookings in 2009. Enter the birthday giveaway and the deep hotel discounts.
Quite clearly the Disney folks have a long view. And certainly Universal is banking on Potter. One can only hope that Blackstone and the other park operators have a strategy for the coming year.
This year we have already seen a confirmed increase in attendance at Holiday World. More than likely due to Holiday World's promoting value and a record breaking water ride. While not confirmed I also hear that Silver Dollar City has seen a large increase in attendance this year. Then on the opposite side Dollywood has confirmed with the Knoxville News Sentinel attendance so far has dropped 5% due to the economy and mostly the fact that 40% of there operating days have been affected by ran.
Next year I predict that regional theme parks will do better than this year while the larger parks stay about the same. I believe this because while people start trusting the economy more they will make small family vacations first going to parks that promote "value." When I say value I don't mean "Disney value" where you still pay $75 to enter and $14 to park! Regional parks also are offering discounts and adding rides so it is still a great experience close to home. All three of the regional parks I mentioned I believe we will see do the best next year for various reasons, but all with increasing attendance.
PLease Help Tenn Out !!!!!!!!!!!!! God Bless Debra