I am glad that people are starting to go back to amusement parks. We never stopped going. My dad would say, "If we're going to die, at least we'll die at the happiest place on earth!"
Theme Parks Attendance Increases in 2004
12.13.2004, 04:31 PM
Attendance at North America's 50 most popular theme and amusement parks jumped almost 4 percent in 2004, the first overall increase since the 2001 terrorist attacks slowed the U.S. travel and tourism industry.
An estimated 169.1 million visitors rode thrill rides and romped around with costumed characters at the North American parks, according to an annual survey released Monday by the trade publication Amusement Business and the research firm Economics Research Associates.
The increase was helped by a jump in international visitors at destination parks, spurred on by a weakening U.S. dollar, and a rebound in U.S. travel and tourism, industry observers say.
But 2004's figures still fell short of the pre-Sept. 11 attendance of 175 million visitors in 2000. The destination parks owned by the Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal and Anheuser-Busch in Florida and California suffered more than regional parks after the terrorist attacks.
"I don't think that - at least in the near future - we'll get back to those numbers," said Steve Baker, an Orlando-based theme park consultant. "It will grow annually, but it will take a while before we see those again."
Attendance at the top 50 parks around the world increased by 2.2 percent to 252.4 million visitors in 2004, according to Amusement Business. Attendance at the 10 most popular parks in Asia rose 1.1 percent to 68.8 million visitors and attendance at the top 10 European parks rose 2.8 percent to 41.2 million visitors. The top 10 parks in Latin America had a slight decrease at 15.3 million visitors.
The most-attended park in the world in 2004 was the Magic Kingdom at Orlando's Walt Disney World with 15.1 million visitors. The Florida park was followed by Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., with 13.3 million visitors and Tokyo Disneyland with 13.2 million visitors.
Disney parks in the United States, France and Japan accounted for eight of the top 10 slots on the best-attended list worldwide. Disney's domestic parks, including its four Florida parks, filled the top five North American spots.
The hurricanes in Florida, which shut down the state's theme parks for several days, had little serious impact on attendance. All the major Florida parks, with the exception of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, had attendance gains.
NBC Universal's Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure parks in Orlando even had attendance increases of 14 percent and 13 percent respectively, fueled in part by the new Revenge of the Mummy ride at Universal Studios.
Twelve of Six Flags' 13 parks on the top 50 list had attendance that was either flat or declined by as much as 13 percent from last year. The stagnant figures were caused by weather problems and that Six Flags didn't roll out a lot of new rides this year, said James Zoltak, editor of Amusement Business.
"In this business, you have to regularly roll out new attractions," Zoltak said.
Debbie Nauser, vice president of public relations for Six Flags, said the Oklahoma City-based company doesn't comment on attendance figures at individual parks. In its third-quarter report, the company acknowledged that attendance at its parks for the first nine months of the year declined by 4.5 percent, or by 1.4 million visitors. The company, which dominates the regional market, owns and operates 31 parks in North America and Europe.
"We still don't know how (the researchers) get their numbers, but they certainly don't get them from us," Nauser said.
Amusement Business uses company information, annual reports and park sources to calculate its estimates. A change in methodology this year caused the trade publication to revise the North American attendance figure in 2003 from 167.9 million visitors to 162.7 million visitors.
Any idea what those numers were that year?...the fact that we are not back up to that level yet gives me hope...hope that some of the things that have been rolled back the past few years may yet come back when growth gets back to those levels...of course I belive they should roll these things out sooner rather than later, I believe that a focus on the quality of the guest experience in all its details, the little things, and the big, will be (and to a great extent ,already are) what gives the Walt Disney Company its edge.Originally Posted by TrendyMagic
Way to go Walt Disney Company...keep the focus on quality and you will continue to out grow other theme parks over the long run.Originally Posted by TrendyMagic
I've been to enough six flags parks to realize that they have not focused on qulity of the guest experience enough, poorly trained employeees who do damage to the companys reputation with thier words and actions, poor levels of cleanliness being two of the things that likely do much to reduce thier repeat business. I'm so glad that Disneyland this year has begun to re-invest in itself to levels that have not been seen in some years!Originally Posted by TrendyMagic
In my opinion, Six Flags does not do as well as Disney because of lack of theming. Their rides are just that, rides - no elaborate stories for theme and no decor that immerses you into the experience. This is one of the things that makes Disney superior in my mind.
© 2012 WDWRadio™ and Second Star Media™
Please note that WDW Radio, Lou Mongello, and Second Star Media are in no way part of, endorsed or authorized by, or affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or its affiliates. Visit Disney's official web site at Disney.com - As to Disney artwork/properties: © Disney - Disclosure.