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TEA Attendance Report 2021

Matt N

CF Legend
Hi guys. The TEA/AECOM Theme Index for 2021 came out today, and it makes for interesting reading: https://aecom.com/wp-content/uploads/documents/reports/AECOM-Theme-Index-2021.pdf

As I said, this report makes for thoroughly interesting reading, in my view! Some particular points of interest include:
  • The attendance recouped at parks seemed to drastically vary; some parks had increases of over 200% and nearly reached 2019 levels, while some remained a considerable way off.
  • Magic Kingdom remains the world’s most visited theme park, with 12,691,000 guests passing through its gates in 2021 (an 82% increase on 2020).
  • Interestingly, Disney’s cast iron grip on the Orlando market appears to have loosened drastically in the aftermath of COVID, with both Universal Orlando parks topping the attendance of every Walt Disney World park with the exception of Magic Kingdom in 2021. Universal Studios Florida increased by 119% and got 8,987,000 guests and Islands of Adventure increased by 127% and got 9,077,000 guests, while Hollywood Studios increased by 134% and got 8,589,000 guests, Epcot increased by 92% and got 7,752,000 guests, and Animal Kingdom increased by 73% and got 7,194,000 guests.
  • Volcano Bay has also topped Disney’s Blizzard Beach to become North America’s most visited water park; it increased by 207% on 2020 and attracted 1,691,000 guests, while Blizzard Beach increased by 280% on 2020 and attracted 1,201,000 guests. Typhoon Lagoon, the previous most visited in North America, was not listed due to it not being open, and the world’s most visited water park remains Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China, which increased by 47% on 2020 and attracted 2,230,000 guests.
  • In Asia, Shanghai Disneyland remains the most visited park (despite both Tokyo parks topping it by some margin prior to COVID), increasing by 54% on 2020 and attracting 8,480,000 guests. The two Tokyo Disneyland parks were some way below Shanghai in spite of their pre-COVID status at the top; Tokyo Disneyland increased by 51% on 2020 and attracted 6,300,000 guests, while Tokyo DisneySea increased by 71% on 2020 and attracted 5,800,000 guests. Universal Studios Japan increased by a mere 12% on 2020 and attracted 5,500,000 guests. Interestingly, the second most visited park in Asia was actually Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, which increased by 55% on 2020 and attracted 7,452,000 guests.
  • In Europe, Disneyland Park in France regained its title of Europe’s most visited theme park, increasing by 34% over 2020 and attracting 3,500,000 guests. Its sibling, Walt Disney Studios, also increased by 34% on 2020 and attracted 1,884,000 guests. Some of mainland Europe’s gains were surprisingly limited relative to elsewhere; for instance, Europa Park increased by only 20% on 2020 and attracted 3,000,000 guests, and Efteling increased by only 14% on 2020 and attracted 3,300,000 guests. Mainland Europe still seems to be quite a way off attaining 2019 figures in some cases.
  • However, Spain performed very well compared to the rest of mainland Europe, with both of its parks in the top 25 registering triple digit increases on 2020; PortAventura increased by 243% on 2020 and attracted 2,400,000 guests, while Parque Warner Madrid increased by 189% on 2020 and attracted 1,300,000 guests.
  • The UK performed very well, with all 4 UK parks in the top 25 registering comfortable triple digit increases; Alton Towers increased by 169% on 2020 and attracted 1,800,000 guests, Thorpe Park increased by 183% on 2020 and attracted 1,700,000 guests, Legoland Windsor increased by 233% on 2020 and attracted 1,500,000 guests, and Chessington World of Adventures increased by 184% on 2020 and attracted 1,450,000 guests.
Some interesting information overall, don’t you think? I wonder what 2022 will be like…

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
"UK parks weren't affected as much as elsewhere in 2021, because the season starts in March, and the restrictions ended in April..." Shock... Not like we weren't pointing that out a year ago...

Not that I trust the TEA report anyway, not after discovering how much of their data relies on 'professional estimates!' Read the back of the report if you don't know what I mean.

The Merlin numbers don't even match up to the numbers given by Merlin themselves in planning consultations? During the planning consultation for Thorpe, this chart was said to only show up to a certain point in 2020, (hence not quite meeting the 2020 line in the chart, sorry, I don't remember the exact date it went up to) and yet clearly showed Towers already on just under a million at that point part way through 2020... So their total figure for Towers 2020 of 670k looks to be way off...

Hell, even their 2019 Alton Towers figures are almost half a million lower than the official Merlin ones here...

Screenshot 2022-10-30 015156.jpg

What's the point in a report like this when it's based off estimates in some cases?

The funniest part is that TEA still had Legoland ranked above Alton in terms of attendance in 2019 🙈 🤭