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2018 Theme Park Attendance Report - TEA / AECOM Theme Index


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The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and AECOM have released the 2018 annual attendance report and Theme Index!

 

Click HERE to check it out, as well as former years!

 

Theme Park and Water Park Attendance Shows Strong Results in 2018, Museums Continue to Grow, and Observation Experiences Do Well

 

Attendance at the world’s top theme park groups increased by 5.4% from 476 million to 501 million visitors, exceeding a half billion visits for the first time in history and representing almost 7% of the world population. Visits to the top 25 theme parks worldwide grew by 3.3% from 243 million to 252 million, which was driven by the addition of second gates, leveraging major intellectual properties (IP), and resort hotels adjacent to parks.

 

Attendance at the top 20 water parks grew by 2.5% in 2018, while the world’s top 20 museums increased by 0.1%. This year’s report also includes a special feature on observation experiences, with attendance at the top 20 worldwide at 54 million.

 

The TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index report identifies the top theme parks and water parks and the top museums around the world — and reflect their performance for the calendar year.

 

Global attendance data are broken down by geographic region, by chain and by type of venue. The report is the definitive annual attendance study for the themed entertainment and museum industries, making it a valuable business reference and resource for the visitor attractions industry.

 

Top 25 Amusement & Theme Parks Worldwide

 

1. Magic Kingdom (Walt Disney World) - 20.859 million

2. Disneyland Park (Disneyland) - 18.666 million

3. Tokyo Disneyland (Tokyo Disney Resort) - 17.907 million

4. Tokyo DisneySea (Tokyo Disney Resort) - 14.651 million

5. Universal Studios Japan - 14.3 million

6. Disney's Animal Kingdom (Walt Disney World) - 13.75 million

7. EPCOT (Walt Disney World) - 12.444 million

8. Shanghai Disneyland - 11.8 million

9. Disney's Hollywood Studios (Walt Disney World) - 11.258 million

10. Chimelong Ocean Kingdom - 10.83 million

11. Universal Studios Florida (Universal Orlando) - 10.708 million

12. Disney California Adventure (Disneyland) - 9.861 million

13. Disneyland Park (Disneyland Paris) - 9.843 million

14. Islands of Adventure (Universal Orlando) - 9.788 million

15. Universal Studios Hollywood - 9.147 million

16. Hong Kong Disneyland - 6.7 million

17. Lotte World - 5.96 million

18. Nagashima Spa Land - 5.92 million

19. Everland - 5.85 million

20. Ocean Park - 5.8 million

21. Europa Park - 5.72 million

22. Efteling - 5.4 million

23. Walt Disney Studios Park (Disneyland Paris) - 5.298 million

24. Tivoli Gardens - 4.85 million

25. Chimelong Paradise - 4.68 million

 

Now, discuss! More images and info from the release will be coming later.

Edited by larrygator
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Congratulations to Cedar Point Shores Water Park on doing 3.67 million guests. Amazing!

 

In all seriousness, this is a fun read but it's hard to take these numbers seriously. We already know that Cedar Fair as a whole was only up 1% but we're supposed to believe that Knott's and Cedar Point (I guess that's supposed to say Cedar Point) are up 2%? Even with Kings Island under-performing the chain and Wonderland holding at that 1% number I feel like they're painting a rosier picture than you would expect, especially when you remember that Kings Dominion added a bunch of operating dates and they were probably up too.

 

Also, if Six Flags Great America was flat after adding a Holiday in the Park event that seemed very successful then that's terrible and if Magic Mountain was really only up 2.6% after going to a 365 day operating schedule then that sucks on an impressive level.

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There's certainly a margin of error, and not all parks submit their attendance figures (though many do, apparently). But I'm not sure I agree with your skepticism - this is an industry association publication, not something from a magazine like the Golden Ticket Awards. They explicitly market it as being usable for reference in the business.

 

That being said, I wish they went a little further, because for all we know, Cedar Fair's net one percent growth could be because the smaller parks like Dorney Park, Worlds of Fun, and / or Michigan's Adventure may be completely stagnant, or even negative. But we only see the top 25, so we can only make educated guesses there.

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I'm sure they're in the ballpark and I'm not really calling out the TEA report the Great America and Magic Mountain numbers, I'm just saying that (assuming they're true) they seem concerning.

 

Do we know what companies report their numbers to the TEA? I know every year there are claims that the Disney numbers are way off.

Edited by coasterbill
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Unless I missed it (or their attendance was too low), are the Dubai Parks not covered in the regions on this report?

 

I'm not surprised based on their future, but the SeaWorld parks had quite the jump.

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Didn't Cedar Fair report that Knotts hit 6 Million last year?

 

Yes. They said that on their first quarter conference call.

 

Maybe they were counting Soak City in that, but according to the TEA report that park only did 405,000 guests. If that park did 405,000 and Knott's did 4,115,000 then there's still about a million and a half guests (or more) that are unaccounted for.

 

Either Cedar Fair is doing something super crazy like counting the people that visit Knott's marketplace (possible) or something is off here.

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Unless I missed it (or their attendance was too low), are the Dubai Parks not covered in the regions on this report?

They placed outside the top 25. They're under the "EMEA" (Europe, Middle East, Africa) section. A blurb:

 

At present, the number of visitor attractions in Dubai is large, relative to the size of its market. It is comparable to emerging markets in Asia, such as China, in that it has grown its leisure sector at a very rapid pace, but without the equivalent of China’s vast, resident population.

So basically, the UAE has the attractions, but not the population (nor the tourism).

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Only a 2.6% increase for SFMM wiith 365 operating days? I wonder if they're rethinking that strategy.

 

Sea World with a crazy resurgence, can't all be attributed to a Sky Rocket II surely??

 

Will Disneyland top Magic Kingdom in next years report with Star Wars land??

 

Six Flags flagship parks all flat, though none received any notable attractions in 2018.

 

Nice to see Cedar Point have an increase after a turbulent start to last summer.

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This report claims Volcano Bay went from 1.5 to 1.725 million. Volcano Bay only opened on May 25th of 2017. So they added almost 5 full months to the schedule and only went up 225 thousand people?

 

I doubt even the people who wrote this report believes those Sea World gains are accurate, it looks more like a correction because they got the 2017 numbers too low. Because the entire chain was only up 8.5%.

Edited by kenban
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Only a 2.6% increase for SFMM wiith 365 operating days? I wonder if they're rethinking that strategy.

 

Sea World with a crazy resurgence, can't all be attributed to a Sky Rocket II surely??

 

I hope Magic Mountain stays open year round. It is awesome during the week.

People must be finally forgetting about the Blackfish movie?

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Sea World with a crazy resurgence, can't all be attributed to a Sky Rocket II surely??

Nope. I'm 100% sure that increase is due to idiot people forgetting that five years ago they were mad at SeaWorld for whatever stupid made-up reason they felt was important to them at that time. Now none of it really matters, people have found other things that are "cool to hate", and the parks are doing better.

 

What a shock that people are fickle and stupid, right?

Edited by robbalvey
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I realize they are still in the top 25 but I think this is the 3rd year in a row Everland and Lotte World have decreased with their attendance and they have the biggest two drops of the top 25 parks. It's blamed on less visitors from China but I think that was what was quoted last year as well. Considering how big the population here is and how little competition the big parks have, it's surprising to see how much they rely on Chinese tourists.

 

Even Everland's water park lost 13% of its attendance, they quote Chinese tourists again but i wonder if it may also be due to more competition from those lake inflatable bouncy courses really taking off as the place to cool off in the summer.

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Only a 2.6% increase for SFMM wiith 365 operating days? I wonder if they're rethinking that strategy.

 

Not surprising to me. It was Year 1, plus the park did not open a noteworthy attraction last year. We know the SF crowd feeds off of large coasters. The late ride openings + no new record breakers, and I can't see how people are surprised.

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Only a 2.6% increase for SFMM wiith 365 operating days? I wonder if they're rethinking that strategy.

 

Not surprising to me. It was Year 1, plus the park did not open a noteworthy attraction last year. We know the SF crowd feeds off of large coasters. The late ride openings + no new record breakers, and I can't see how people are surprised.

 

The 2.6% was probably entirely from the added operational days. Can't imagine it's anymore than 1,000-5,000 people on a weekday kids are in school...

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Will Disneyland top Magic Kingdom in next years report with Star Wars land??

 

 

I think there is a good chance. Disneyland might show a 15% increase and it's possible that Hollywood Studios poaches a bit of the Magic Kingdom's attendance when SW lands opens there in August.

 

In any event, hard to believe that both parks are in the 20M visitors per year numbers.

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