2008 Theme Park Attendance

Some interesting stuff in the 2008 TEAERA (pdf) report.

The new kid on the block, Aquatica, had 950,000 visitors or an average of 95K a month. But it opened in March, so if it had been open in January and February and had “average” attendance those months, that suggests an annual total of 1,140,000, putting it ahead of Wet ‘n Wild but behind the two Disney waterparks. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next year, as the word get out about what a spectacular park it is.

SeaWorld’s attendance was down 2.9% at 5.9 million, but SeaWorld execs are squawking that the actual figure is higher, without providing specifics. Apparently, they’re not angry enough to open their books to prove the assertion.

Universal Studios was up only slightly and Islands of Adventure was down 2.4%, leading some to speculate that people are putting off visiting until Harry Potter arrives.

But the 2008 numbers are only part of the story. Universal’s 1st quarter 2009 attendance was down a whopping 20% over last year.

Makes you wonder why Universal thinks this is a good time to alienate some of their biggest fans.

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