Disney still the most popular but Universal is catching up in new Theme Park Attendance report!

Filed under: Orlando Theme Parks |

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade 2014 (Photographer: Nigel Worrall)

The annual theme park attendance report, as presented by the Themed Entertainment Association and AECOM is out!

The annual report showcases attendance at themed attractions and museums worldwide, giving an idea of growth and trends in theme park attendance worldwide.

Walt Disney World again proved to be the strongest performer as it not only had the number one theme park in North America, but also the world with attendance topping 18 million visitors in 2013. The attendance spike of 6 percent is attributed to the ongoing success of The New Fantasyland as well as a continued swell in international tourism.

Universal parks also showed positive increases with the largest coming from Universal Studios Florida with a whopping 14% increase, due in large part to the Transformers and Springfield expansions.

Somewhat surprisingly, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment showed a drop and while many activists would love to point to the anti-SeaWorld film, “Blackfish” as the reason for the decline, it’s simply not the case. That film didnt make it’s impact until the 4th quarter of 2013 and by then, SeaWorld parks were actually up in attendance.

Top 20 Theme Parks in North America

1. MAGIC KINGDOM at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL 6.0% 18,588,000

2. DISNEYLAND, Anaheim, CA 1.5% 16,202,000

3. EPCOT at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL 1.5% 11,229,000

4. DISNEYS ANIMAL KINGDOM at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL 2.0% 10,198,000

5. DISNEYS HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS at Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL 2.0% 10,110,000

6. DISNEYS CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE, Anaheim, CA 9.5% 8,514,000

7. ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE at Universal Orlando, FL 2.0% 8,141,000

8. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS at Universal Orlando, FL 14.0% 7,062,000

9. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD, Universal City, CA 4.0% 6,148,000

10. SEAWORLD FL, Orlando, FL -5.0% 5,090,000

11. SEAWORLD CA, San Diego, CA -3.0% 4,311,000

12. BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA BAY, Tampa, FL -6.0% 4,087,000

13. KNOTTS BERRY FARM, Buena Park, CA 5.0% 3,683,000

14. CANADAS WONDERLAND, Maple, Ontario -2.0% 3,582,000

15. CEDAR POINT, Sandusky, OH 5.0% 3,382,000

16. KINGS ISLAND, Kings Island, OH 0.0% 3,206,000

17. HERSHEYPARK, Hershey, PA 1.3% 3,180,000

18. SIX FLAGS MAGIC MOUNTAIN, Valencia, CA 3.5% 2,906,000

19. SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE, Jackson, NJ 5.7% 2,800,000

20. BUSCH GARDENS WILLIAMSBURG Williamsburg, VA -4.5% 2,726,000

As we look to 2014 numbers, it’s expected that Universal Orlando will perform well as the second phase of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley is due to open within a month.  The new expansion will link both its Orlando parks with the Hogwarts Express ride and if 2010 is anything to go by, Potter will ensure a huge attendance spike that might actually exceed the 36% increase that Universals Islands of Adventure saw that year.

So that’s the good news, now the bad. Well, it’s not really that bad given weather conditions around the country. Central Florida based water parks generally saw modest increases but water park attendance as a whole dipped slightly with a 2% drop overall.

Top 10 Water parks in North America



3 AQUATICA, Orlando, FL 1.0% 1,553,000

4 WET N’ WILD, Orlando, FL 1.0% 1,259,000

5 SCHLITTERBAHN, New Braunfels, TX 1.0% 1,027,000

6 WATER COUNTRY USA, Williamsburg, VA -2.9% 726,000

7 ADVENTURE ISLAND, Tampa, FL -2.0% 638,000

8 SCHLITTERBAHN, Galveston,TX 0.0% 546,000

9 HYLAND HILLS WATER WORLD, Denver, CO 0.0% 538,000

10 SIX FLAGS-HURRICANE HARBOR, Arlington, TX 2.0% 518,000

11 SIX FLAGS-WHITE WATER, Marietta, GA 0.0% 505,000

12 WET ‘N WILD, Phoenix, AZ 2.4% 472,000

13 SIX FLAGS HURRICANE HARBOR, Jackson, NJ 1.9% 432,000

14 RAGING WATERS, San Dimas, CA -5.6% 423,000

15 SPLISH-SPASH, Riverhead, NY -5.5% 411,000

16 WET ‘N WILD EMERALD POINT, Greensboro, NC -2.0% 398,000

17 SOAK CITY CEDAR POINT, Sandusky, OH -6.0% 379,000

18 KNOTTS SOAK CITY USA, Buena Park, CA 5.1% 368,000

19 CAMELBEACH, Tannersville, PA 0.0% 367,000

20 ZOOMEZI BAY, Powell, OH -7.5% 360,000

To see the entire TEA Attendance report, visit the official website by clicking here!

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