That hasn't been the case in years, though. Huge numbers of local annual passholders typically crowd the park on Sundays, when fewer passes are blocked out than on Saturdays. The lack of an NFL team in the Los Angeles area for a generation has helped make going to Disneyland on a Sunday more of a local tradition than going to a pro football game, and Super Bowl Sunday is no exception.
In Orlando, crowds typically have been relatively light on Super Bowl Sunday, but that probably has more to do with the day not being part of any school holiday week or weekend, which always hold down attendance in the tourist-dependent Orlando-area theme parks.
Over the years, the parks in Central Florida have started programming more and more special events during the non-holiday weeks between New Year's and the start of summer, in an effort to boost attendance among locals and those who don't have kids in school. Up until recently, the parks haven't tried very hard to compete with Super Bowl Sunday, but now even this weekend isn't spared. Universal Orlando is hosting a big "Celebration of Harry Potter" event this weekend as counter-programming for the big game. (Update: While Universal Orlando tries to compete, Universal Studios Hollywood is playing along. The California park just announced that it will run a national commercial during the Super Bowl pre-game for its new "Fast & Furious" Studio Tour encounter. The Super Bowl airs this year on NBC, which is owned by Universal's parent company.)
Theme parks often support their local pro sports franchises when they're playing for a championship. But Seattle doesn't have any major parks, and all the parks in New England are closed for the season this time of year. The only theme parks in the United States open on Super Bowl Sunday are in Southern California and Central Florida, and neither Los Angeles nor Orlando have NFL teams. (Maybe parks would get on board with promoting the game if the San Diego or Tampa teams were playing, as they have in the past, but it's been a while since either franchise made it to Super Bowl.)
The NFL also has been battling public backlash against domestic violence by players, a concussion epidemic that's shortened the lives of many league veterans, and lingering public distaste with the use of taxpayer money for stadiums. Still, the Super Bowl sets television ratings records more times than not in recent years, and the NFL remains the most popular sport in America.
So what will you be doing on Sunday? Will you be watching the game, or will you be going to a theme park? Given that many of you don't live in a city with an open park this time of year, let's ask instead which you would rather be doing this weekend, instead.
There's no wrong answer here. We'd just love to hear about any special or notable plans that you have for this weekend. Whether you're going to the park or watching the game, we hope you have a great weekend, and thank you for spending any part of it with us here on Theme Park Insider!
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Plus do not underestimate the football pools and commercials folks want to see.
Oh by the way, Go Pats - TB12.....
Is there a can't miss theme park event? The Halloween Party events are quickly becoming a can't miss. I completely enjoy myself at Disneyland or Legoland and the kids love it.
Summer is a hit or miss. I used to expect annual trips to the theme parks in the summer, but its a matter of priorities. If we already went in the more affordable off-season like the Spring especially for Disneyland/California Adventure, we don't need to go again in the Summer at full price when a few months away, I will go to the Halloween event at $70 a ticket.
So it is likely that when you are at the theme park, there are more perpetrators of domestic violence on the roller coaster with you than in the football game you are not watching.
Meanwhile, I'd rather be at a theme park than watching the football game. But not because of "domestic violence".
I do love the NFL, but this year's Super Bowl features two teams I loathe led by coaches I dislike, therefore I have a hard time cheering for either team to win (although I dislike the Seahawks - because of R. Wilson, who seems like a decent fellow - a little less than I dislike the Pats). So I, like 30 other teams in the NFL, will be participating in activities other than the Super Bowl today, and will check in after the fact to see who won, the Juicers or the Cheaters.
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