Disney sees theme park attendance increases in 2009 while Universal, SeaWorld slide

in Disney, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

The 2009 Global Attractions Attendance Report was released today by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) revealing that Disney theme parks worldwide received the most attendance last year.

Nine out of the top 11 spots on the list of most-attended theme parks in 2009 are held by Disney.

The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World received the most visitors at more than 17 million (up 1% from 2008), followed by Disneyland at nearly 16 million visitors, a number that rose a staggering 8% from the prior year. The third, fourth, and fifth-most attended parks in 2009 were Disney’s overseas parks, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo DisneySea, respectively.

Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom found their ways into the spots 6, 7, and 8, respectively. Attendance to Disney’s California Adventure park rose a whopping 9.5% in 2009 to just over 6 million visitors, though it still sits at the 11th most-popular position, behind Universal Studios Japan and South Korea’s Everland park. Hong Kong Disneyland was the least-attended of Disney’s parks at 4.6 million visitors.

Out of all of Disney’s parks, only its two Tokyo parks saw less visitors in 2009 than in 2008.

Meanwhile, Universal Studios Orlando suffered a 12% drop in attendance in 2009 over 2008, putting them at 13th place with 5.4 million visitors. Islands of Adventure fared even worse at 17th most-attended, dropping 13.8% over 2008 down to just 4.5 million visitors. It’s certainly anticipated that this number will jump considerably up in 2010 as a direct result of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opening in June.

SeaWorld Orlando held the 12th-most popular spot for 2009 with 5.8 million visitors, a number that is 6.8% less than 2008, despite their highly-acclaimed Manta coaster opening last year.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay sits in the 23rd spot on the list at 4.1 million visitors for 2009.

All of Disney’s major theme parks saw attendance increases in 2009, ranging from 0.5% for Epcot to 9.5% for Disney’s California Adventure. Only one other top 20 theme park in North America received an attendance boost in 2009: Busch Gardens in Williams, VA.

Walt Disney World’s two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, top the water park attendance list followed by Chimelong Water Park in China and SeaWorld’s Aquatica in the 4th position.

The full TEA attendance report is available online.

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