TEA Issues 2009 Theme Park Attendance Report: Disney Parks Dominate Globe

Despite a weakened economy and virtually all other parks in North America seeing a decline in attendance in 2009, most of Disney’s 11 theme parks worldwide saw improvement in performance according to the 2009 annual TEA/AECOM theme park attendance report issued today. All totaled, approximately 119.1 million guests visited Disney Parks worldwide last year.

Ranking the top 25 parks worldwide, the top 8 spots went to Disney Parks, with number one being — with no surprise — the Magic Kingdom with an annual attendance of about 17.2 million, a relatively minor increase over 2008. Ten of Disney’s theme parks ranked in the top 25, the only absentee being the Walt Disney Studios at the Disneyland Paris Resort.

The Disneyland Resort saw the largest percentage in attendance increase with Disneyland gaining 8% to 15.9 million guests and Disney California Adventure with a whopping 9.5% increase to slightly over 6 million.

Conversely, the Tokyo Disney Resort saw a slight decrease in attendance over 2008 but as we pointed out earlier, 2008’s increase was due primarily to the Resort’s 25th anniversary and, in fact, 2009 was Tokyo Disneyland’s second best year ever in attendance.

Arguably the best news, however, comes from Hong Kong Disneyland, which — despite highly publicized troubles — is closing the gap on perennial rival Ocean Park. With only 200K visitors separating the two in 2009, Ocean Park’s attendance dipped by 4.6% while Hong Kong Disneyland’s actually grew 2%.

When further broken down into geographic regions, all six North American Disney Parks take the top spots while Disneyland Paris takes the #1 spot in Europe and Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea take the top two spots for Asia.

The report also covers water parks around the globe in which Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, both located at the Walt Disney World Resort, commanded the top two spots with virtually zero change in attendance over last year. In North America, Sea World’s Aquatica and Universal’s Wet’n’wild took the following two spots.

For more information, you can access the report directly here. Note that attendance figures are not reported directly by the theme parks and are estimated based on several factors and formulas.

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