Themed Entertainment Association Global Attractions Attendance Report for 2016

Jun 02, 2017 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Friday June 2, 2017 8:21am EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and AECOM has today published the 2016 Theme Index: Global Attractions Attendance Report.

This industry report provides a guide to theme park attendance worldwide, giving estimates of attendance change year on year. Disney and most other large theme parks do not provide any official attendance figures, so this report represents the only published estimate of attendance.

View the 2016 TEA/AECOM Theme Park Attendance report.

The Magic Kingdom continues as the world's most visited theme park, with just under 20.4 million guests in 2016, a sight decrease of 0.5% from 2015.

Epcot saw a decrease of 0.7% to just under 11.8 million guests.

Disney's Hollywood Studios was down -0.5% to just under 10.8 million guests, and Disney's Animal Kingdom saw a -0.7% change to just over 10.8 million guests.

Over at the water parks, both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach saw a decrease attendance, with Typhoon Lagoon receiving just under 2.3 million visits and down 0.7%, and Blizzard Beach just under 2.1 million, down 0.8%.

The decrease in attendance reported in the TEA report mirrors comments made in the Walt Disney Company earnings report that attendance during 2016 was down on previous years, although guest spending was up.

Outside of Disney, Universal saw an increase in attendance at both parks, up 4.3% at Universal Studios Orlando, and up 6.5% at Islands of Adventure. Seaworld's rough ride continues, down -7.9% and dropping to 25 in the most visited theme park list worldwide.

Here is a summary of percentage change from last year at the main parks throughout the world.

(1) Magic Kingdom: -0.5%
(2) Disneyland: -1.8%
(3) Tokyo Disneyland: -0.4%
(4) Universal Studios Japan: 4.3%
(5) Tokyo Disney Sea: -1.0%
(6) Epcot: -0.7%
(7) Disney's Animal Kingdom: -0.7%
(8) Disney's Hollywood Studios: -0.5%
(9) Universal Studios Florida: 4.3%
(10) Islands of Adventure: 6.5%
(11) Disney California Adventure: -0.9%
(13) Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris: -14.2%
(17) Hong Kong Disneyland: -10.3%
(22)Walt Disney Studios Paris: -1.6%
(25) Seaworld Orlando: -7.9%

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peter11435Jun 12, 2017

Park attendance is looked at based on "first click" but they don't ignore the rest. They do track, record and look at the numbers of crossovers as well.

MisterPenguinJun 12, 2017

Then you should buy Disney stock so that every growth in margin is dividends returned.

lazyboy97oJun 12, 2017

My knowledge of the rule and its origins is very lacking. My understanding is that Disney did report attendance up until some time after Eisner joined and the first-click numbers are what Disney reported to its shareholders. This makes sense to me as Disney was more focused on Walt Disney World overall and first-click would be a better public representation of visitation to Walt Disney World.

danlb_2000Jun 12, 2017

Where did the "first click rule" come from? If I am a theme park operator I wouldn't use any one "rule" to count my attendance internally, I would be looking at the numbers in every way possible.

HauntedPirateJun 12, 2017

Well, "cost containment" is The Bob's favorite buzzword, you know. And since it helps keep the profit margin's high for P&R, I fully expect it to continue and be more of a focus for all managers. Not that "cost containment", in and of itself, is a bad thing. But at a place like WDW, when/if it degrades or detracts from the guest experience, such as bare bones staffing and the inevitable longer lines as a result, it's not a good thing. I guess the bottom line I have is - Be pragmatic about "cost containment" and everyone wins. Unfortunately, I don't feel that philosophy is shared at all within TDO, and it's more of a bottom-line-and-profit-margin-focus-damn-everything-else order to go along with the TDO motto of, "They're tourists... whadda they know?". I think it's well-known that a lot of people here feel that Disney's general philosophy with the parks is, "If one guest decides to not visit the parks, another walking ATM will take their place". It may work short-term, thinking 5-10 years, but long-term I can't see how it's beneficial to growth. At some point, and probably at some price point, there will be a growing number of people who aren't going to see or have the need to visit anymore. What then? What happens when the next recession hits, and there are a ton of people who can't hit up the credit cards to vacation at WDW, or the whales decide to tighten their belts? Oh right, Iger and possibly Chappie won't be around to care...

lazyboy97oJun 12, 2017

AECOM also does estimates for new projects (technically going back to Disneyland), so they would definitely have means beyond Physical counting. It just seems that everyone assumes they would use Disney's first click rule, and I'm not sure that makes sense for this type of report.

danlb_2000Jun 12, 2017

Since Disney doesn't provide numbers, and AECOM surely isn't out there counting guests I don't think we can say that they actually count anything. They are using other methods to estimate attendance.

drizgirlJun 12, 2017

Anyone who has priced a trip recently knows which it was. Wasn't there a recent report that Disney was running at a 24% margin in the parks? And if I'm not mistaken, that was followed up with with a statement that we should expect more of that.

larryzJun 07, 2017

Who do you think actually paid for all those N64s, Game Cubes and Wiis? We know and love Nintendo -- give me a good Mario Kart: Double Dash ride and you'll own my soul...

lazyboy97oJun 07, 2017

Has AECOM ever confirmed using first click?

lentestaJun 07, 2017

Someone suggested adding in the Halloween and Christmas Party dates to these. It's a good point. There were 24 Halloween Party dates in 2009: September 4, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29; October 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31; November 1. There were 18 Christmas Party dates in 2009: November 10,12,13,17,19,20,29; December 1,3,4,6,8.10,11,13,15,17,18. This was 2009, in the depths of the Great Recession. But for kicks, let's assume that all 42 dates sold out at 25,000 tickets each. That would bring the upper end of the MK attendance estimate to 16.2 million, about 800K short of TEA's claimed attendance of 16.972MM. The lower end of the estimate would be around 15.2MM, around 1.7MM short. What else is this estimate missing?

bhg469Jun 05, 2017

And I know plenty of people that still have their NES consoles. Look how well that retro one sold. I for one will not give Disney a dime for admission until star wars is open but I am sure as heck going to wait until universal opens Nintendo and split my time.

ParentsOf4Jun 05, 2017

The following table shows changes to Disney's domestic theme park attendance as reported by: TEA, Disney for the Fiscal Year (which has a period from October to September), and Disney for the Calendar Year (which can be calculated using Disney's combined 10K/10Q numbers). Every 6 years or so, Disney has a 53-week business year, which results in a 2% jump and then 2% falloff in attendance. The most recent 53-week year was 2015, so this makes the 2015 numbers seem better than they were, and the 2016 numbers worse than they were. In addition to 2016 being hurt by a return to the 52-week year, Disney reported a 5% attendance drop in the first fiscal quarter of 2017 (October to December 2016) due to the alignment of some holidays. Apples-to-apples, Disney's domestic parks did not see a "real" 5% drop in 2016. It's just that a couple of accounting practices conspired to make the 2016 drop appear bigger. No one should read any doom-and-gloom in the 2016 attendance numbers. It really was an outstanding year for Disney's U.S. theme parks, with operating margin the highest its been in ages.

dreamscometrueJun 05, 2017

I would be surprised if that happened. I know several families who are waiting for Star Wars Land to open to visit WDW again, or for the first time. I don't know anyone who would make the trek from Canada for Nintendo Land. I know that's a small sample size, but that's talking to people I work with, other friends, and extended family. I think Harry Potter and Star Wars are the only franchises current, or in development at this time, that would be enough on their own to motivate people to travel to visit.