Published: December 14, 2010 at 2:54 PM

A fourth major player (Legoland) in Orlando will freshen the tourism business there and keep all the parks competitive.
Derek Potter

Published: December 14, 2010 at 3:27 PM

All big stories. The most shocking to me was the passing of Will Koch. We've known about Harry Potter at Universal for a while...the real story with Harry Potter now is the attendance boost it's given Universal.
Sylvain Comeau

Published: December 14, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Harry Potter, by a landslide. No land or ride has garnered such acclaim and instant popularity in a very long time. I can't wait to visit WWOHP for the first time next year!

Published: December 14, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Harry Potter has had such a major impact on attendance that makes it a a game changer in the theme park capital of the world.
TH Creative

Published: December 14, 2010 at 4:45 PM

The team at Universal Creative set a new standard for theme park attractions. It's difficult to imagine how they would ever top it!

Published: December 14, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Dont forget about zamperla opening LUNAPARK and the bad accidents of the year we had the china one where the car fell off and hurt numerous people. then we also had the extremeworld accdient with the bungee tower.
Joshua Counsil

Published: December 14, 2010 at 7:52 PM

I voted for Potter, but what I'd like to hear from Robert and others is not regarding the top theme park story; but rather the top theme park trends and predictions. What did many parks share this year? Where are they going from here?

Published: December 14, 2010 at 10:10 PM

I voted Singapore. I checked the voting totals afterward and I see few agreed with me..... lol.

I think one of the biggest stories of the year was the Sea World incident, but it just seemed so unhappy of a thing to vote for.... I found the Singapore news to be more pleasant.
I suppose Harry Potter Land really was one of the biggest deals this year (the turnout for it was impressive I suppose, although somewhat expected maybe?). I just thought that the Singapore park had a lot of interesting elements and features (it seems a little different from the other Universal Parks..... and some of the rides are pretty unique to me).
I really enjoyed reading about Universatl Singapore and seeing pictures of it (and it's attractions), and it was probably the thing I searched youtube to find footage of the most this past year (out of the things on the list). Only thing is..... I wish I would not have to get a passport to go see it!!

Published: December 15, 2010 at 2:30 AM

Where is Singapore? And who cares? Harry Potter all the way - such a fantastic new opening.

The sad news about Will's death shocked everybody in the industry - park fans too. But looking back I'd rather think of the positives each year.

So here's to Harry Potter!

Rob P

Published: December 15, 2010 at 9:13 AM

It seemed so disrespectful to not give my vote to either of the people who passed away as they were both people who dedicated their lives to the industry that gives us all so much pleasure. So I'd just like to give them an honorary mention here along with my own personal thanks to both them and their families.

It is , however, the opening of Harry Potter at IOA that was undoubtedly the news story of the year. The number of visitors to it must have matched, or even exceeded , Universal's hopes and wishes and has been a real success story thus far. In most cases the prospect of long lines and interminable waits would put customers off. In the world of theme parks it only serves to encourage and thousands are attracted to it like moths to a flame. Such is the power of this particular franchise and I can almost hear the cash registers playing their own chinking theme music as I write. Congratulations to Universal on a job well done.


Published: December 15, 2010 at 10:18 AM

I am so impressed at what Universal Creative has done with creating the Harry Potter attractions. It beats anything that has been done in the past 10 years.
Paula Werne

Published: December 15, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Thanks for including the life and accomplishments of Will Koch as a top story for the year. I know he would have been humbled. We will continue to follow the long-term plans he and his brother Dan created. Will's family and staff will see to it that his legacy continues for generations to come.

Paula Werne
Holiday World

Published: December 15, 2010 at 6:30 PM

In response to "Where is Singapore? And who cares? Harry Potter all the way"

I care. :-)

Published: December 16, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Legoland's purchase of a defunct Cypress Gardens and sudden presence in a theme-park heavy Orlando area should be the top story, because it will have the most impact upon the bottom lines of industry members when compared to any individual park's single attraction opening. This will be a major driver in bottom line movement for many players in the industry. What happens in the themepark business happens in Florida first.
Tiffany J. L. Alfonso

Published: December 17, 2010 at 7:15 AM

Harry Potter - hands down. I went there three times!

Published: December 17, 2010 at 9:17 AM

I enjoyed this post...reminded me of some of these events. Some good times and some bad times this year. Did anyone hear of any big news related to concessions at theme parks?