Universal's Theme Parks Hit Record Attendance Last Summer

October 27, 2015, 10:24 AM · Did Universal Orlando seem especially crowded last summer? Well, that wasn't just some illusion caused by the Florida heat. Universal's theme parks welcomed more visitors this summer than any other summer in their history, Universal's parent company reported today.

In its third quarter investors' conference call, Comcast reported that its quarterly theme park revenue increased 14% over the same period last year, to $896 million dollars. For the year to date, the parks have raked in $2.3 billion — a nearly 23% increase over the previous year. That's thanks to increased attendance at its parks along with higher in-park spending by visitors.

This summer saw the debut of Springfield and the new Fast & Furious encounter on the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood, as well as the first full summer of operation at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon in Universal Studios Florida. Harry Potter continues to pay off for Universal Orlando, as three out of every four visitors now buy Universal's Park-to-Park tickets, which allows those visitors to ride the Potter-themed Hogwarts Express train ride that runs between Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure.

Next spring, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens at Universal Studios Hollywood, followed by the opening of Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Islands of Adventure in Orlando. Universal also is opening a fifth hotel at Universal Orlando next year and will bring the Fast and Furious attraction to Universal Studios Florida in 2017.

Replies (8)

October 27, 2015 at 10:45 AM · Far from saturation in the Orlando market, Universal is doing gangbusters. Maybe its time to get a third Universal Park.

I hope SeaWorld recovers with a new CEO in charge. Hey, SeaWorld needs a cross-promotion with Barbie Mermaid.

October 27, 2015 at 12:01 PM · "Maybe its time to get a third Universal Park." Why not a fifth WDW park as well?
October 27, 2015 at 2:06 PM · New Gates?
Disney needs to tidy up some of its existing Florida parks, and THEN maybe consider a new gate. AvatarLand in Animal Kingdom (coming soon); Star Wars and Pixar in DHS (Coming Soon) and a couple of new countries in Epcot (Come on!), maybe a ride or two for countries already in place (SERIOUSLY, COME ON!!!)

Universal needs to buy SeaWorld, downplay the Orca trick shows, turn animal exhibits to more realistic world environments, bring on new simulator/adventure rides including a return of Jaws, and turn the entire place into an Underwater Animal Kingdom - balancing thrills with education, better than SeaWorld has been doing.

Oh, and join it all by a train/monorail/faux-submarine-ride between Universal and SeaWorld. 6.2 Miles, according to Google Maps. By comparison, Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom is 7.4 miles.

And that's my day dream for today.

October 27, 2015 at 2:30 PM · Oh, I definitely noticed the crowds this summer...
October 27, 2015 at 4:31 PM · There won't be a third Universal park until all available expansion space for the two existing ones are used up. And even then, it would need a massive amount of land to support a new park that can live up to current expectations. As for a fifth WDW park, that surely won't happen for a long time with all of the money they're spending on upgrading the current parks. If it ever comes, 2071 would seem like the time.
October 27, 2015 at 8:34 PM · There's no reason for Disney to build a fifth theme park when there is so much work to do at The other parks. Tomorrowland overhaull, Epcot Overhaul, more attractions at all four parks. Universal seems content with two parks. Perhaps they have decided they would rather have a more compact resort, more like Disneyland, as opposed to DisneyWorld.They have used up the space for a park,and I doubt they want to build a park somewhere else.

As for SeaWorld, I could see Universal comming up with deal to bundle admission. I doubt Universal would buy Sea World, but I could see them becoming partners to strengthen their attendance and create an alternate trip for those who are not interested in the Mouse.

October 27, 2015 at 8:53 PM · Jimmy Fallon, on Tuesday's Tonight Show, formally announced Universal's new attraction replacing Twister. The attraction is named "Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon". It will be 3D and open in 2017. This confirms the year long rumor of Twister's replacement.
October 28, 2015 at 3:05 AM · Just putting this out there, Universal and SeaWorld already have a cross promotion called FlexTicket. The pass includes unlimited admission for 14 consecutive days to both Universal parks, Wet and Wild, Aquatic, SeaWorld and (as an option) Busch Gardens. Plus pass holders get free bus transportation between parks including a free bus to directly to Busch. It really is an amazing deal.

I agree that someone should buy Seaworld, either Universal or Disney. Both would have an incredible opportunity to utilize the intellectual property that they already own to create an amazing ocean world theme park.

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