Universal Studios Japan is closing the gap to Tokyo Disney
The latest attendance data shows that Universal Studios Japan is closing the gap between it and the Tokyo Disney Resort theme parks.
USJ set an attendance record for the third consecutive year, drawing 14.6 million visitors to the Osaka park in fiscal 2016 — a 5 percent increase over the previous year, according to company reports released yesterday. Meanwhile, combined attendance at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea dropped 0.6 percent to 30 million.
Universal Studios Japan last year opened a Jurassic Park-themed Bolliger & Mabillard flying coaster and continues to offer a series of special events and limited-time attractions, including ones devoted to manga and video games. Meanwhile, the Tokyo Disney parks haven't opened or offered much new in the past year, beside an occasional new character.
Later this year, Universal will open the company's largest Minion-themed land, as Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem takes over the old Back to the Future building. And, of course, there's Super Nintendo World on the horizon for 2020.
Tokyo DisneySea this spring will open a Finding Dory overlay of its old StormRider attraction, and the resort has its own expansion plan in the works, which will include a new Beauty and the Beast themed dark ride, a major live performance theater, and a Soarin' attraction. Those new attractions should begin debuting in 2019.
All three parks rank among the top five theme parks in the world in annual attendance, according to the TEA/AECOM Theme Index report, filling the spots just behind world leader Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and second-place Disneyland in California.
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Is it time for a Universal Tokyo Resort type expansion with added themed hotels and a 2nd gate?
Tokyo Disney are really suffering from a lack of investment in any new attractions. They planned on doing a Frozen themed land, but then cancelled it. Very bizarre goings on over the lack of anything new.
Universal would love to add a gate in Japan, but where?
Robert - for Universal to build another land, and keep the same set up as Orlando (two parks together) - they are going to have to buy a fair amount of real estate nearby.
That's my point. There's no space for expansion at USJ. That's why the previous owners were looking at Okinawa for a second park.
seems like all of the Universal Parks are tapped out when it comes to land
Can UC build a park on top of another?
Okinawa is literally a few islands away from Osaka. Universal should consider buying out a failing theme park and there should be several available to take over and convert to a Universal theme park.
Anton- just looking at it on Google Maps, I don't think there's enough space. If they used the entire parking garage+lots in the northwest corner of their property and even if they cannibalized the big Jaws lagoon and Waterworld area for the new park.
There's a fair amount of commercial/industrial land near USJ that could be developed into a second gate, but at what price can it be acquired? And that begs the question "How did Universal get the land for USJ in the first place? That area is reclaimed seafloor, and it wasn't sitting there idly when the developers of USJ initially acquired it. Perhaps enough of it can be accumulated through the same mechanism (eminent domain, outright purchase, bribery, etc.) that would allow USJ to build a second gate.
2017 US population - 323 million
The headline is misleading. Universal draws less than half of Disney's attendance, which is hardly "closing the gap."
I visited the Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan and let me tell you from experience the Japanese do take their high quality theme parks serious! These people are at the park way earlier than their American counterparts. Both themed resorts were full but in reference to the article, USJ does seem very, very crowded. It's a wonderful park and for good reason very popular. I've been to the Japanese Disney and Universal parks and the American ones and without a doubt, USJ seemed to be the most crowded!
67: I'm not suggesting creating a second park out of the parking lot and lagoon. They can expand more park space in their existing park. They should buy a failing amusement park and convert it to a Second park.
Uhhh, Tony... Universal's ONE park draws less than half of Disney's TWO parks COMBINED. Do the math! Do you really think it'd be a Top Five international park with HALF the attendance of other parks in the Top Five?
Nice try, no cigar, Tony.
30 million vs. 14.6 million is not closing the gap. No, not even close. I hold Robert to a higher standard since he has worked in news journalism for many years, so I called him out on the headline. An accurate headline would be "In Japan, Universal's attendance up 5%, while Disney's slightly slips."
Tony, isn't the purpose of a headline supposed to be to capture your attention? You're welcome to nitpick it, but you seem to be the only one who has a problem with it on this thread.
Just because no one commented on the inaccurate headline doesn't necessarily mean they didn't notice it. Robert has a good reputation and shouldn't trade it for a misleading headline that wouldn't pass muster in a journalism ethics test.
Hmm... Tony you're starting to delve into the absurd. Trying to turn my personal observation into a statement of fact so you can attack it is silly. Especially when you don't (or can't) offer any substantial reason for why you disagree with it.
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