Just how badly did theme park attendance drop in 2020, due to the pandemic? A leading industry report is now providing some numbers.
Attendance at the world's 25 most-visited theme parks dropped by 67.2% from 2019 to 2020, the Themed Entertainment Association and AECOM reported today.
The TEA and AECOM typically release their Theme Index global attendance report each spring, but the industry disruption from the pandemic delayed this year's report. The 2020 report also did not provide data for attendance by company or reorder the Top 25 globally.
"Park closures as well as the loss of international and domestic tourists varied from country to country creating a patchwork of performance worldwide in 2020," the authors wrote. "Accordingly, 2020’s attendance is largely a function of regulatory agency restrictions limiting parks’ operating days and capacities and not park popularity and management. Therefore, we have decided to keep our 2019 rankings in place for our 2020 report. This will be re-ranked in 2021 once global health conditions stabilize."
TEA/AECOM reported attendance of 83.1 million at 2019's top 25 theme parks in 2020, down from 253.7 million the year before. Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, which was closed from March to July in 2020, continued to lead the world's theme parks, with 6.9 million visitors. That was down nearly 67% from 2019's 20.9 million guests.
Elsewhere, cumulative attendance for 2019's Top 20 in North America was down 72.3%, to 44.1 million visitors. The top 20 parks in Asia were down 57.9% to 59.5 million visitors, and the top 20 in Europe were down 65.6% to 22.2 million visitors.
The biggest declines among the world's top 25 parks were at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and Universal Studios Hollywood, whose 2020 attendance were all down at least 80%, due to California theme parks not being allowed to reopen in 2020 after their closures in March. The smallest declines were at listed theme parks in China as well as at The Netherlands' Efteling, which still was down 46.3% last year.
You can download the 2020 Theme Index report from the TEA's website.
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