However, I simply don't get the public's fascination with the Florida Disney parks. They haven't added anything really significant (unless you count Soarin' at Epcot) in years, yet their attendance is booming. At what point will Magic Kingdom simply reach capacity for the year? As it is, MK is packed much of the time, which really diminishes the experience.
Also, why are the 2005 numbers already out? The Christmas-to-New-Year's week is by far the busiest time of the year for the Florida parks, so to get accurate numbers, they should really wait until the end of the year. Providing the numbers now as as useful as if retail stores estimated their annual sales before Thanksgiving.
I also think that Universal hurts themselves in the long run by not catering more to children. Kids can do something over and over (and over and over - trust me on this one) and they will love it even more. Adults, well, not so much. They will only repeat visits if there is something new. A theme park will increase its shelf life by being more family balanced. This is why Six Flags is in the toilet and Disney reigns high.
As for Florida, there's nothing special about the parks necessarily. It just has a greater concentration of parks than most places (8 parks and 4 water parks). Also, they are open year round - constant revenue.
Which makes Universal's dismal performance all the more surprising. Clearly, the parks' new owners need to reinvigorate Islands of Adventure with a new ride (or three), and find more evening entertainment to keep people in the parks throughout the day (instead of heading back to Disney at night).
Finally, the Amusement Business numbers came out a couple weeks later this year. (In fact, they will appear in the magazine's January issue, rather than the December one, as they have in the past.) Don't know why the reason for the switch -- perhaps the point above was part of the reason. But let's not forget that these *are* estimates -- most parks do not release official attendance data.