Summer attendance check: What are you seeing?

June 11, 2008, 10:51 AM · I'd love to hear from Theme Park Insider readers... What you are seeing in terms of theme park attendance so far this season? Larger crowds, or smaller ones? Longer lines, or shorter?

Cedar Fair CEO Dick Kinzel said yesterday that attendance at Cedar Point and other northern theme parks in the chain has been "soft." (Which, usually means "down.") Granted, Cedar Point didn't debut a coaster this year, and the park relies on regional drive-in traffic, while gas prices are above $4 a gallon.

How is the situation at the parks you have visited so far this season? Tell us in the comments.

Replies (21)

June 11, 2008 at 11:47 AM · I have been to SFSTL twice so far this season. Both times I experienced longer than normal wait times, however it was due more to management making the policy of not adding trains to coasters, etc. in the middle of the day. I would say though that it has been a little busier but not much.
June 11, 2008 at 11:59 AM · Disney has been huge lately. It looks like Special Events, no matter how small, works well for them. Flower and Garden show was good and the Pirate and Princess Parties seem to be hits
June 11, 2008 at 1:55 PM · From what I've seen, Six Flags Great Adventure seems to be doing better than usual, probably because of the Dark Knight coaster. USF and IOA are pretty steady, with the Simpsons Ride as their main push.
June 11, 2008 at 2:08 PM · I've only been to SFA this year, but all 2 times (going to be 5 after tuesday) the lines seem to have been shorter throught the day. Except for opening day, of course.
June 11, 2008 at 3:11 PM · BGE seems to be a little bit more crowded than usual, probably due to the many different programs they have running.
June 11, 2008 at 3:29 PM · From what I'm hearing, attendance at the Ohio parks has been light so far. Then again, there has been some pretty crazy weather the last month or two. Only in the last week or two has the weather begun to really cooperate, and since then storms have been coming through the state pretty regularly. Add to that the absolutely horrendous economy currently residing in Ohio and no major new attraction, and that makes for soft attendance. I think it will pick up though. There haven't really been that many operating days here yet.
June 11, 2008 at 9:30 PM · Neither Busch Gardens Europe or Holiday World were especially busy last week. However, we did most of our touring during the work week and not all the schools are out yet....but then, that was the genius of my touring plan!!! MWHAHAHAHA!!!!!
June 11, 2008 at 10:31 PM · before the schools are all out i'm seeing a few rides at disneyland california adventure with 70+ minute waits. went yesterday and jaw dropped, there was a 10 minute wait to get out of the park at 7ish! when the park closes at midnight!
June 12, 2008 at 4:30 AM · SeaWorld in the evenings has been busy, but the Storms we've been having have cleared a few our.
I did Shamu Sucks, sorry, ROCKS, last night at 9.30 pm and it was near capacity, which was really good for an evening with storms rolling through at 7pm.
I got to SeaWorld at 8.30pm and actually expected it to be quieter.
June 12, 2008 at 5:45 AM · The last couple of times I went to BGE on a Saturday, it was very crowded. I think everybody goes the same day I do.
June 12, 2008 at 5:50 AM · Darien Lake seems busier than last year.
Waldameer was very busy the last time I went.
After the closing of Geauga Lake some of us former Cedar Fair patrons are taking our business elsewhere.
In the past few years I went to CP and/or GL every weekend.
I don't know how much that will affect Cedar Point, but there are some people here in Ohio who are staying away.
Kennywood is advertising heavily here trying to get some of this market.
June 12, 2008 at 5:57 AM · Kings Dominion seems to have longer lines than usual, too. Dominator is definitely bringing in the business they wanted.
June 12, 2008 at 9:17 AM · At North America's most attended seasonal theme park, Canada's Wonderland, attendance seems busier than usual, especially since school's aren't out.

This could be caused by Behemoth, the first attraction to be installed with Cedar Fair in the office.

BTW, Robert - I think Behemoth is a fair contender for the TPI Theme Park Awards as Best New Attraction.

June 12, 2008 at 10:21 AM · In May, I was at Epcot for the Flower show and didn't think it was as busy as past years. Also, there were a lot of empty tables at the Grand Floridian Cafe, and CM's were voicing concerns about the lack of visitors.

I've been going to Busch Gardens Africa, and the crowds are steady but not overwhelming - at least compared to crowds at the Orlando parks.

Of course, it's still pretty early in the season and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the summer goes.

June 12, 2008 at 2:20 PM · We were at Disneyland and CA. Adventure last Sunday, the crowds seemed average for a June Sunday. Wait times ranged from 10 min. at Scream'n to 55 minutes for Soar'n and Grizzly River at CA Adventure. In Disneyland the longest wait times were at Indy (late opening),Splash Mountain and Pirates of 70 min. to 10 min. for Pirates (after Indy opened), Haunted Manision and Big Thunder. Also the new Indy show at the Oasis averaged an hour + wait. If you didn't make it for the 2:15 show after waiting an hour you might get into the 3:15 show if you continued to wait in line.
At SFMM the week days have been about the same as last year and the weekends have picked up on attendance since X2 opened and the BOGO coke cans and web deal started.
June 12, 2008 at 6:58 PM · Ive been to my local park Six Flags Great Ameica 5 times so far this year, and while it was some what busier on school science days(this may be because the park isnt open as often on week days in may) on other days I found the park not as busy. We went last Sat and the waits werent bad at all, and would have been much better if the park could asctually get all trains operating during the off season. The waits seemed to be less than last year, I think late July/August will be a better test as that time of year is alot busier than it is at this time of year.
June 15, 2008 at 4:27 PM · I went to Valleyfair! yesterday (which is now my home park because I am out of KY) and the crowds were nowhere in sight. The longest waits we encountered were about 15 minutes for the new swing things. Wild Thing was walk on-able and the new Renegade had a wait of about 10 minutes. It was an awesome day, for sure
June 16, 2008 at 11:32 AM · Weekends at Busch Europe seem busier than in past years, even with the unusual heat wave we have had recently - I have not been during the week yet.
June 16, 2008 at 12:06 PM · Have been to Kings Island a couple of times. The first was Memorial Day Weekend Saturday. This was the day Robbie Kneivel jumped the Coke Zero trucks. It was a zoo. We waited 45 minutes for the Fairly Odd Coaster (a kids' coaster).

Visit #2 was more normal. I didn't sense a lower attendence. It was a Saturday once again.

Side comment - couldn't they paint up a few things and change some roofing on a few buildings? It's look a bit not-so-new.

June 16, 2008 at 1:51 PM · Disney's Hollywood Studio last Tuesday (10 Jun) had 40 minute waits for RockN'Rollercoaster (starring Aerosmith)tm and 70 minute waits for Toy Story Midway Mania (tm). That said, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the Brown Derby, which was just less than half-full from 1200 to 1330.
June 16, 2008 at 10:35 PM · I went to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT on the 12th and 13th of this month and the crowds were relatively low for this time of year, Splash Mountain and Space Mountain were 50-70 min. during midday, which compared to what I have seen isn't too bad. The next day at EPCOT Mission Space was never above 30 min. for the orange, soarin' was consistently 70 min., Meal Storm was 20 min. all day, and Test Track was all over the bored. Surprisingly it wasn't like sitting in a firey inferno. Temp. wise it was very pleasant as far as Orlando summers go.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Buy Tickets

Plan a Trip

Weekly Newsletter