Published: April 3, 2007 at 8:40 PMWow - I'm really surprised by this. I was always under the impression Tokyo Disneyland had the highest attendance. I guess I was wrong.
Published: April 3, 2007 at 8:49 PMBusch's Williamsburg park hasn't been a top-20 performer for ages, but not having anything from Six Flags above no. 18 for N. American parks is a real stunner for me. Islands of Adventure's slide ought to be scaring the living heck out of NBC Universal, too. I thought it was just the weather when I went there during the Christmas-New Year's week and walked on everything. But their attendance data suggests that's more the norm than the exception these days. Not good. Get thee a new E-ticket, ASAP!
Published: April 3, 2007 at 10:53 PMYeah! Go Six Flags Great America!
I am actually really suprised IOA did make it into the top 10 or the other Orlando parks were not higher. Sure, Magic Kingdom is the most popular, but you would think that those people would go to EPCOT, MGM, or Animal Kingdom. Same deal with IOA and USF.
That seems to be saying that people are only going to the Magic Kingdom
Published: April 4, 2007 at 6:58 AMMost interesting item to me was that Animal Kingdom had such a huge gain.
Do you think this is because:
1. Expedition Everest opened last year
2. Animal Kingdom has finally got it's act together with the changes they've made over the years
3. There are so many people at the other Disney parks that guests are visiting AK to get away from them!
Or some other reason?
Published: April 4, 2007 at 7:36 AMAll the above I would think!
Animal Kingdom always had a place in my heart for some reason! I always thought it was a potentally solid park. The first time we went there it was so so. I think their big and smart move (besides Everest) was the opening of Asia. That added much more to the park. I truly believe that Animal Kingdom tops the other parks in theming and counter service (Flame Tree BBQ? Tuskers? mmmmmmm).
So again, all the above would be my guess. Please bring on Beastly Kingdom or something to that affect! I can't believe they passed on a Dueling Dragons-esque ride!
Published: April 4, 2007 at 7:41 AMI best guess with why MK's attendance is so much higher than the other parks is because people spend more time there. You easily need at least 2 days there, possibly 3, whereas AK and MGM are generally regarded as 1 day parks. Why Epcot is so far behind MK is anyone's guess though since you need at least 2 days to cover that park as well. Maybe since it doesn't have as many rides and is more education based, people decided not to spend as much time there.
Published: April 4, 2007 at 8:52 AMIOA's slip is not shocking at all. When was the last time they got a first class attraction? What is shocking is that USF actually increased in attendance. I really think that has to do with HHN more than anything.
Published: April 4, 2007 at 10:07 AMI guess what is most stunning to me about IOA's slip is that people have been talking about this for years, and Universal's done zip to address it. Disney's awake now, and has been since Eisner left. SeaWorld's taking steps to compete. Universal better wake up and start building, or it will suffer more in attendance in 2007 and beyond.
Published: April 4, 2007 at 3:00 PMI agree with Robert...Universal needs to get it's A-game on. Although I dont think cutting BTTF was the right way to go, they do need something new i think at IOA itself. USF has added like what 3 new rides in the past 2-6 years(mummy, neutron and shrek). If my memory is correct IOA hasnt added anything new for like 5 -6years, right??? How old is the flying unicorn and storm force accelatron?
Published: April 4, 2007 at 4:28 PMVery good points!
I was actually very impressed with Seaworld the last time I went there. I think they are getting ready for an explosion soon.
Yes, I like Disney, but I like IOA too since the theming there and the rides have been top notch. It saddens me that they haven't done anything big lately. This so called dino coaster will be a great addition. I also just realized how small toon lagoon was! They should have made that land better and placed more family rides there as well as thrills!
Nobody does animals like BGA. I will admit they are the best.
Not a fan of AK food? I think comparativly, they have the best counter service. Of course thats also true because they do not have too many places to eat. Think about it, what is Disney's most thrilling park? AK? All the rides (except Tricer Tops) are rough and could be considered thrill rides. Again, not too many rides as well!
Published: April 4, 2007 at 4:44 PMSea WOrlds attendance is going to skyrocket next year when aquatica finally opens!!! And i dont mean just the water park either, the theme park itself is gonna have some serious attendace boosts. I cant wait!!
Published: April 4, 2007 at 4:55 PMSea World has been listening to what people want. And they've been adding accordingly. They added a whole slew of shopping and resturants with their "Waterfront" area, kept the shows fresh with the new dolphin show, the Shamu show, and the Ski show. They added a whole bunch of kids rides. Now the only thing left is to rehab JTA to its former self, and add a new thrill ride, and it will absolutely kill IOA in attendance.
Published: April 5, 2007 at 3:48 AMAs for Universal, true they need new attractions, but as I've mentioned many times before, the main reason for their fall off in attendance is their poor customer service and the overall increased cost of attending their parks. The admission price is about the same as all major parks in the area, but they have gotten money hungry in all other areas. Parking costs more than Disney, lockers cost more, most counter service food vendors cost more and the real villian...doing away completely with the "free fast pass system" and now charging a fortune for the same thing that Disney has for free. Lines have gotten much worse than they previously were when everyone was entitled to the fast pass system (dispute this all you want, I know from attending over several years that it's true), you either pay up to $40 per person per day for "the privilege" of getting something that used to be free (and still is at Disney) or you stay in a very overpriced on site hotel to get same so you don't have to wait 1+ hours in line to get on any and all attractions in the park that you've already paid a hefty entrance fee to "enjoy". And sorry folks, but their hotels are not worth the price. These are not 4-5 star hotels we are talking about here, but they are charging rates as if they were (and if your a family and need 2 rooms, you do the math of what it costs compared to similar accomodations in the area). From what I've seen of most comments on this site, I am led to believe that most contributors are either young (teenagers possibly) or do not foot the bill to pay for "their" families of 4-5 or more people to travel and attend these places. If you did, you wouldn't talk about what a great deal it is to get a $40 fast pass, you would be outraged that it's costing you $160 to $200 dollars a day extra to enjoy the same "privilege" that you get for free at Disney...I said it 3-5 years ago when this started and I'll say it again (although no one in managment seems to care), the short term profit gain will back fire in the long run and the past 2 years it's starting doing exactly that. Set up a "class system" anywhere and you just may lose the "same middle class" that was supporting you in the 1st place. Comments welcome....Improvements needed, or this middle class family won't be back!
Published: April 5, 2007 at 5:29 AMWe live in Jacksonville and make frequent trips to Orlando (about twice a month) to visit family and go to the theme parks. We have never stayed in an Universal hotel, although we may at some point. We feel Universal is a park to go to when Disney is too crowded. We are DVC (Disney Vaction Club) owners, so it is usually "free" for us to stay at Disney when we want.
Anyway, we don't go to Universal as much. Losing the fast pass at Universal was not a huge deal to us, because it was always sold about around noon to one for the rides we would have used it for (Spider-Man being one). In addition, I have noticed the lines are worse at Universal, so I was a little surprised to see attendance is down. I don't know if that is from lack of free fast passes or not.
Universal has too big of rides for my family, although my wife likes big rides but too much of a good thing is not always good. They don't have a lot of medium rides, which we enjoy together at Disney.
I don't know if this helps the conversation or not. As frequent theme park attenders (word?), we normally hit Disney because there is just so much more to do and more "family" rides to us. Universal never seems to change and the workers are not exactly friendly. A different crowd of people go to Universal (I won't expand on this).
I hope this adds to the conversation and does not detract.
Published: April 5, 2007 at 6:59 AMSomehow or another I knew this was going to turn into a disney vs. Universal thread. I love Universal, more so than disney, but they do have a lot of problems. Amount of items to do and Customer Service is not one of them. Neither is general cleanliness nor cost of additional services. Parking costs a dollar more at Universal than it does at disney, but the cost of an annual pass is more than half the initial cost of a disney annual pass, and the renewal cost is just about 3/4's less at Universal than it is at disney. General items and food costs are also a lot less. So where they are more expensive on some things, they do even out on others. The simple fact remains that as a whole Universal Orlando is indeed increasing or staying the same in attendance as it is drawing in more crowds at the studios, and drawing in people for events at Citywalk. IOA is the problem, not Universal as a whole...if it were then both parks would be down in attendance. It really just seems that the suits dont want to invest anything into IOA which is visible because of the amount of new attractions, shows and rehabs done to the studios. Add the fact that you have major events such as Rock The Universe, Halloween Horror Nights, Macy's Day parade, and Mardi Gras strictly at Universal and you can see why the attendance is slipping at IOA.
Published: April 5, 2007 at 7:43 AMErik,
I didn't mean to make this a Disney v. Universal thread. I didn't grow up with either really. When I first moved to Jacksonville, I could only afford Universal tickets so that is where we went (100 bucks compared to 400+ for Disney). We spent a very nice year at Universal and we still love Universal.
The problem was we just got bored with not a lot to do. We spend the extra money because with Disney we get 4 parks, which just shakes things up. Sometimes we are in EPCOT mood, sometimes AK. Sometimes IOA.
With Disney, we also get all the hotels, resturants, boating, fishing; all with good customer service. Disney wins for us based (if nothing else) solely on size and amount of things to do.
We do love Universal and it has a special place in our heart during our first year of marriage.
Published: April 5, 2007 at 12:03 PMDisagree Mr Yates, the only one who seems to be turning this into "Disney -vs- Universal" is you. I am simply commenting on why I believe Universals attendance has dropped significantly the last 2 years (not just this year) and why myself and my family are a part of that statistic. In order to succeed, you must have the attractions...yes, but in order to suceed in the long term you must also have good service, treat your customers fairly and equally and be a "reasonable value". I believe Universal is lacking in all of these catagories from their earlier days.
Published: April 5, 2007 at 1:28 PMI'd like to comment on the pricing (for a FL resident).
Personally, I get the preferred Annual Pass to Universal (free parking and 20% of everything). It is 169.99 and 99.99 for every year after.
Disney, I go with the seasonal pass. 230.00 (I think) and 207.00 to renew. I think these numbers are right, or pretty darn close.
I find this is the best value. It is not Disney vs Universal, but Disney AND Universal. I like both parks. I like Disney off season, Universal when Disney is busy. Does that make Universal number 2? Yes and no. Disney is too busy for me in certain months, so I don't "buy" those months (i.e. I get seasonal pass). This saves me 100-200 bucks a year, which I buy Universal and Seaworld passes with the extra money.
I love both and don't want either to change!
Published: April 6, 2007 at 11:53 AMI'm not going to get involved in the whole Universal vs Disney debate, if for no other reason than I live in Calif.