Although I can’t find a link to the original article, it was probably twenty years ago when then Disney CEO Michael Eisner spoke to a reporter from USA Today. At the time Mr. Eisner’s company was riding a wave of success and the press coverage regarding its success bordered on effusive. Yet during the interview, Mr. Eisner made it a point to remind the reporter that Disney was “not recession proof.” His concern seemed to be an allusion to the theme park division as he noted that Mickey Mouse and associates had no control over the price of “jet fuel” or the strength of the dollar.
And while this year's annual TEA/AECOM press release made assurances that the themed entertainment industry had continued to soar, recent (albeit anecdotal) commentary has reported that attendance during the summer of 2016 has been (to charitable) sluggish.
With his finger firmly lying upon the industry’s pulse, R. Niles tossed up a July 8th Blogfume® with a headline asking “Is theme park attendance up or down this summer?”
In response the on-line zeitgeist from theme park fan boys/girls (most of which were posted anonymously) acknowledged that they were seeing a notable softening of attendance at the majors in Central Florida and Southern California.
If this is the case, and if fewer visitors (domestic and international) are trekking to Central Florida, it made me wonder: How will this effect Universal’s decision on whether or not to move forward on construction of a third theme park?
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