2018 Theme Park Attendances

Hey Thrill Seekers!

So the annual theme park attendance figures are in and there has been an increase in most regions and attraction types. Check this out…

Attendance at themed attractions at the major operators has exceeded half a billion visits for the first time in history. This is equivalent to almost 7% of the world population. And not only that, but this number keeps growing. Just five years ago, the market capture of the industry was only 5% of the global population.

In Orlando we saw the opening of Toy Story Land and to be honest it wasn’t really a massive year for new attractions in the ‘Theme Park Capital’ of the world but the increase we can see may be to do with people choosing to let the crowds die down a bit at the likes of Pandora: The World of Avatar and Volcano Bay.
Below it’s easy to see that Walt Disney World is still the largest theme park group in the World welcoming 157,311,000 visitors which is around 7 million more than the previous year! All of the other Theme Park Groups that feature in Orlando (see the green stars) are in the same position as last year but all have an increased attendance. The most impressive of all is definitely SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment with an 8.6% increase!

Top 25 Theme Parks Worldwide

As we can see the standings are pretty similar to the previous years with the exception of Universal Studios moving down one place from 10th in 2017 to 11th for 2018.
With the opening of Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios this year (2019) i’m confident the attendance will soar and it will move up at least one place – especially with Toy Story Land still being new too!
Hopefully we will see Islands of Adventure move up the charts too with the new potter coaster due to open next month – what do you think?

Water Park Attendance

Last year due to the opening of Volcano Bay having an impact i said ‘In my opinion, Volcano Bay has smashed it!! Considering they only opened on the 25th May 2017 they have come in at 6th in the standings – Go Universal!!’ Considering the above standings now include a full year i’m pretty shocked to see them still at 6th! Although they did have the biggest increase at 15%!
On the plus side, Blizzard Beach And Aquatica have both moved up a space!

Top Parks in North America

Both SeaWorld and Busch Gardens have moved up a space in these standings. We can see that Pandora is still having a massive impact on Animal Kingdom with a 10% increase and even better, SeaWorld is showing a 16% increase.

This year also showed strong and steady business volume through most regions and attraction types. In an unusual alignment, theme park attendance grew by roughly 4% in all major markets. Waterparks’ attendance rose at 2.5% globally, with North America at 5.8% and EMEA showing strong growth of 6.7%. We have observed a number of phenomena that have led to this and other strong years’ performance in the business. These include the addition of second gates, the continued leveraging of blockbuster IP’s, and the building of resort hotels adjacent to park properties.

Honorable mentions are in order this year for a number of players including: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment which turned around from a 5% drop last year to an almost 9% increase this year.

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So with Galaxy’s Edge, new Potter coaster and many more new attractions such as Tigris, Mickey and Minnies runaway railway, Skyliners, Sesame Street, LEGO Movie World and many more opening in 2019 next years report may look a little different! :p

Smiles Included,

Abby