Last updated: 02:00 PM ET, Thu May 26 2016

Which Theme Parks Saw The Most Visitors Last Year?

Features & Advice | Donald Wood | May 26, 2016

Which Theme Parks Saw The Most Visitors Last Year?

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort

According to a recent report, the attendance at top theme parks, waterparks and museums has grown considerably, including a five percent increase at the top 25 theme parks.

In a report released by Aecom and Themed Entertainment Association, business in the amusement park industry has grown by seven percent for the top 10 theme park groups, and attendance at the top 20 water parks grew by four percent. In addition, museum attendance grew by three percent in North America.

Attendance at theme parks across the world saw growth in 2015, thanks in part to the performance of major Asian and United States operators, including Disney, Universal, OCT Parks China and many others.

Overall, the number of visitors to amusement parks in North America climbed by six percent and almost seven percent in Asia. In total, there were 420 million visits to attractions run by the top 10 global theme park groups, an increase of 7.2 percent.

Graphic courtesy of Themed Entertainment Association

“It is the 10 year anniversary of the TEA/AECOM Theme Index, and what a year it has been. The top attraction operators saw growth of over 7%, with the Top 25 theme parks achieving over 5% growth — tremendous numbers for a relatively mature industry,” AECOM senior vice president John Robinett said in a statement. “Over our 10 years of tracking the industry we have seen steady improvements in business volume, despite a global recession, introduction of exciting new technologies, and continued internationalization of the attractions world.”

“This year, global theme park attendance was driven largely by strong performance of the major Asian and U.S. operators, including  Chimelong, SongCheng, Disney and Universal,” Robinett continued. “Water parks saw healthy attendance improvements of almost 4% with most markets doing well. Finally, museums, while having a few standouts with double digit growth such as the Hermitage in Russia, and the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, held steady overall.”

For the top 25 amusement parks in the world, attendance grew by 5.4 percent, with 146 million visits to the top 20 theme parks in North America and 131 million visits to the top 20 parks in Asia.

SeaWorld San Diego is one of the only parks in North America to see a drop in attendance—numbers dropped seven percent—while Disneyland, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Orlando and others all saw numbers increase from last year.


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