Universal Orlando closes the gap with Disney in 2010 theme park attendance report
The 2010 TEA/AECOM Global Attractions Report
is out today. And if last year was Disney's triumph
, this year was the Revenge of the Rest of the Industry, as overall attendance at US theme parks grew 1.8% over 2009.
Your big attendance winner for 2010? Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Orlando, predictably, led the charge, with the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter pushing Islands of Adventure to a stunning 30.2% increase in annual attendance. That increase wasn't enough to vault IOA ahead of any of the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, although three of those four parks posted attendance declines in 2010. Both the Universal Orlando theme parks jumped SeaWorld Orlando, though, which posted the biggest drop in attendance last year, losing 10.2% of its visitors from the year before.
Two other SeaWorld theme parks, SeaWorld California and Busch Gardens Williamsburg, were the only US parks in the Top 20 to post declines in 2010, as many Six Flags and Cedar Fair amusement parks recovered from their attendance declines in 2009.
Here is the US Top 20 for 2010:
- Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, 16.92 million, -1.5%
- Disneyland, 15.98 million, +0.5%
- Epcot, 10.83 million, -1.5%
- Disney's Animal Kingdom, 9.69 million, +1.0%, up one position
- Disney's Hollywood Studios, 9.60 million, -1.0%, down one position
- Disney California Adventure, 6.28 million, +3.0%
- Universal's Islands of Adventure, 5.95 million, +30.2%, up two positions
- Universal Studios Florida, 5.93 million, +6.1%
- SeaWorld Orlando, 5.10 million, -12.1%, down two positions
- Universal Studios Hollywood, 5.04 million, +26.0%
- Busch Gardens Tampa, 4.20 million, +2.4%, up one position
- SeaWorld San Diego, 3.80 million, -9.5%, down one position
- Knott's Berry Farm, 3.60 million, +8.0%
- Canada's Wonderland, 3.38 million, +7.0%
- Kings Island, 3.11 million, +3.7%
- Cedar Point, 3.05 million, +3.7%
- Hersheypark, 2.89 million, +3.0%, up one position
- Busch Gardens Williamsburg, 2.80 million, -3.4%, down one position
- Six Flags Great Adventure, 2.70 million, +2.5%
- Six Flags Great America, 2.70 million, +10.2%
Internationally, here are the top 25 parks in the world in 2010:
- Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
- Tokyo Disneyland
- Tokyo DisneySea
- Disneyland Paris
- Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Universal Studios Japan
- Everland, Gyeonggi-Do, South Korea
- Disney California Adventure
- Universal's Islands of Adventure
- Universal Studios Florida
- Lotte World, Seoul, South Korea
- Hong Kong Disneyland
- SeaWorld Orlando
- Ocean Park, Hong Kong
- Universal Studios Hollywood
- Walt Disney Studios Paris
- Nagashima Spa Land, Kuwana, Japan
- Europa Park
- Busch Gardens Tampa
- Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise, Yokohama, Japan
- De Eftleing
- SeaWorld San Diego
Let's not forget that Disney swelled its US attendance in 2009 with the "get in free on your birthday" promotion, and suffered a letdown with the end of that deal in 2010. Yet the Disneyland Resort remained strong, both due to the strength of World of Color at California Adventure and ongoing economic weakness keeping millions of Southern Californians close to home.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment needs to find something to offset last year, as its flagship park in Orlando suffered the most at the hands of Harry Potter, with Universal capturing much, much more of the Central Florida tourist market on their "non-Disney" days.
FWIW, looking back at our
Almost everyone says that Disneyland is better than Magic Kingdom, yet Magic Kingdom is always number one.
The gap between Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom has closed over the past three years, with Disneyland climbing from 14.7 million in 2008 to 16 million in 2010 and the Magic Kingdom declining from 17.1 million to 16.9 million. That's a 1.5 million visitor swing in three years. I expect the gap to close further in 2011, with Star Tours bringing in more visitors to Disneyland while people stay away from the MK due to the Fantasyland construction.
This day is like Christmas for Mr. Niles. Statistics AND theme parks? For RN this is like ... numbers crack!
Geez, what happened at Seaworld San Diego and Busch Gardens Williamsburg? I understand the Seaworld Orlando. This recession must be hurting the higher end regional parks.
Hmm...interesting numbers.....I'm curious to see if the recent price hike at the Disneyland parks in Aneheim will have any significant effect on the attendance numbers for 2011...
Hey, a couple people made the correct predictions in
The SeaWorlds in Orlando and San Diego have had three straight years of declining attendance, according to AECOM - the only top parks in America to do so. Meanwhile, Disneyland, California Adventure and Disney's Animal Kingdom were the only parks to score three straight years of increases.
Good to see SFGA make the list. Its, in my opinion, a park that hasn't risen to its full potental. Its a good park that, with some good investment, can be a great park.
Disney may not listen to its fans, but it certainly listens to numbers. Hopefully, the overtaking of Hollywood Studios by Animal Kingdom will get them in gear to overhaul the former. Star Tours was a great start, but significant work remains.
The thing that holds Disneyland back from surpassing Magic Kingdom is the issue of capacity. DL just doesn't have it in abundance like MK does, even though DL squeezes in many more attractions. On the other hand, the intimacy of DL is the reason why it is the best park in the world. Hopefully future attendance figures will bear this out.
Mr. Perkins writes: "The thing that holds Disneyland back from surpassing Magic Kingdom is the issue of capacity. DL just doesn't have it in abundance like MK does, even though DL squeezes in many more attractions."
(Apologies if this double posted ... darn log in)
I find it odd how large of a jump that Universal Studios Hollywood had.....any explainations for that? Potter confusion?
Maybe, King Kong?
Related: SeaWorld's Aquatica attendance dropped by 6.3% -- more than twice the amount of any of the other water parks in the top twenty that experienced a decrease in attendance.
I think the Brit market doesnt really hit Disneyland either. The Disney advertising here has been for Disneyland Paris and WDW... I dont think it would hurt to push the West Coast here, I know a lot of people who are going/have been to California this year - more than Florida. Although I dont know the exact figures for Brit attendance but with the amount of flights that land in Orlando/Sanford each day....my mind just did a little boggle :-)
In response to TH Creative's first post, it's like having the ENTIRE population plus of Mexico (the 11th most populous country in the world), going to the Disney Parks in one year.
In regard to Knott's Crappy Farm, they may have increased their attendance, but they did it by giving away the admission. They sold annual passes for less than the price of 1 day admission and they are usually 1/2 or less than Disneyland (and that's still about 75% too much).
I was glad to see that Hersheypark and Busch Gardens topped Kings Dominion even with their big coaster addition. Kings Dominion needs to see that these other parks provide MUCH better shows and family rides as well as better food. This makes the parks something that all age groups can enjoy. KD needs to look at this and make changes to return to its roots. Coasters alone are just going to bring a select group of guest. KD is unlike many of the other Cedar Fair parks in that people have more of a choice in that area. I hope they finally take note and see they need change!
While surfing Youtube, I was struck by the fact that only around 160K have hit the "Play-Testing with Mickey Mouse" clip.
I'm not surprised to see IOA to surpass USF in attendance, though barely. A lot of people wanting to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter went to both parks and I wonder if some went to USF thinking they had the Harry Potter land. What surprised me was USH increased so much. Did King Kong 360 generate that much buzz? Isn't it just a small part of the studio tour and not a ride on its own? I think the new Transformers ride will be huge for USH once it opens (and much needed).
I was somewhat surprised to see Animal Kingdom is above Hollywood Studios, but I find it fitting since I personally would rather visit Animal Kingdom that Hollywood Studios and the last time I visited Walt Disney World I chose to go to Animal Kingdom but left off Hollywood Studios. It seems like it does not have enough trees for one thing; your in the hot sun all day..... you don't want to be in a brick city. That and then the lack of rides and attractions I actually care about.
I'm really suprised by Disney's California Adventure being so high on the list (above Universal even). I personally would think people would be waiting to go there until after the expansion and makeover is close to being done (atleast until 2011 with the opening of Little Mermaid) so I am surprised at the high attendence for 2010..... but I assume that the attendence will go up the next two years because of all the awesome new things that are planned to open.
I almost wish the Islands of Adventure was a little higher on the list just to shake Disney up enough that they would put more money into the other parks other than Magic Kingdom. I think they are doing awesome stuff with the Fantasyland Expansion, but the other parks could use something new added to them.
You might think those -1.5% numbers are pretty insignificant. but when it's 1.5% of a number like 17 million.. that's 255,000 guests less.. If you were to average them at $100 a head for admission/food/merch, that's a loss of over $25 million from the prior year.
If these numbers are strictly based on attendance..... I'm curious how they rank by profits and total money brought in by tickets.... (less tickets at a higher price for example might come out to be a bigger bang)
The power of Potter is very clearly shown in those attendance figures. Maybe the difference of increase between IOA and Universal Studios will be somewhat disappointing for the bosses at the resort, but apart from that it's been a great year for them.
I hear a lot of talk about Harry Potter and how much it is doing for Univeral, and I do think it has enhanced their attendance..... but for them to still be what I would consider low on the attendance list (I mean they are below Animal Kingdom).... it makes me wonder.... what was their attendance like before? Because all I hear about lately is Harry Potter Harry Potter.... so if it is such a big deal and it only got them this much attendence.... What happens in the next few years when the newness where's off? I mean, I'm really surprised that it did not even beat out Animal Kingdom.... Especially after all that hype.
The answer to the Cedar Point/Kings Island operating season question is yes. Kings Island had a slightly longer operating season than Cedar Point, and they usually also have better weather in the spring and fall seasons. Weather generally is the deciding factor between which one wins. When comparing attendance figures, people often overlook the fact that parks like Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Canada's Wonderland only operate for about 120-130ish days a year as opposed to warmer weather operations, which are typically open year around or close to that. To pull over 3 million guests to the park in that amount of time is a great showing.
Nice discussion. IOA's numbers are where they should have been all along if you review the last 4 years.
What a joy to find such clear thinking. Thanks for psoting!
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