Tuesday, April 23, 2024

TEA and AECOM to release TEA/AECOM 2011 Theme Index: Global Attractions Attendance Report

Magic Kingdom, world’s most attended theme park according to new TEA/AECOM report. Photo copyright Disney

Burbank, California USA, 25 May 2012 – The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and AECOM have released a preview of the TEA/AECOM 2011 Theme Index: Global Attractions Attendance Report. The full report will be published within a few days. This definitive, calendar-year study of attendance at major theme parks, amusement parks and water parks is an established, annual resource provided free of charge and widely used by land developers, creative professionals, the travel industry, the business community, the media and theme park fans. The Theme Index is the collaboration of TEA, international non-profit for the visitor attractions industry, and the Economics practice at AECOM, global provider of technical and management support services. It is distributed online and in print. The full report will be available online at http://www.TEAConnect.org/pdf/2011Report.pdf  and http://www.aecom.com/economics.

The 2011 figures point to economic recovery and to increased globalization of the themed entertainment industry. Having for the first time crossed the 100 million mark in attendance, Asia now represents 1/3 of the global visitor attractions market and could in time surpass the US. The quality of the guest experience at Asian attractions is also rising fast. In North America, Universal Studios Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego were standouts in attendance growth, and Orlando tourism has rebounded. In Europe, hospitality packages and holiday specials have helped theme parks maintain patronage and profitability.

“In the 20 years since TEA was founded, the international attractions industry which it serves has had its ups and downs – but overall it has grown and our members have grown with it,” says TEA president Rick Rothschild. “The landscape is more international; attractions and audiences are more diverse; and a new generation of creative storytellers and technical specialists is emerging alongside the veterans. The TEA/AECOM Global Attractions Attendance Report is one of the critical resources our association provides to help the industry thrive – an annual snapshot to mark important  trends, to facilitate networking and the exchange of information, to celebrate excellence and to foster business.”

The preview of the report, below, includes quotes from the economics experts at AECOM, and key figures.

Quotes from the economics experts at AECOM

In the Americas, bold reinvestment produces dramatic growth

John Robinett, Senior Vice President – Economics

“A pair of outstanding performers – Universal Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego – are a lesson to all operators on how to apply reinvestment to beat the business cycle. Overall, without Harry Potter, North America grew at North America grew at 2.9% in 2011; subtract Harry Potter, and it grew at 1.6%. It takes guts to invest in the teeth of a recession, and it’s these bold management moves that have led to the success of our leaders this year. As full economic recovery in North America and Europe is going to take a while, operators should take this to heart and apply their imaginations.”

Brian Sands, AICP, Vice President – Economics + Planning

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with its remarkable (dare I say “magical”?) increase of 1.725 million attendees accounted for about half of the total estimated increase in attendance at the Top 20. From the West Coast comes another impressive example: SeaWorld San Diego, which in 2011 opened the new One World One Ocean show with Shamu and Baby Shamu, as well as Turtle Reef, a multi-faceted attraction, and also experienced double-digit (13%) attendance growth.

“For top parks in Latin America, estimated total attendance grew modestly by 0.7 % to 13.4 million in 2011. Leading the pack in terms of growth were Parque Mundo Aventura and El Salitre Magico in Bogota, Colombia. Both parks made substantial additions to their attractions.”

Asia passes the 100 million mark

Chris Yoshii, Global Director, Asia

“The various parks that did significant capital improvements were strongly rewarded by the market. They include Ocean Park and Disney in Hong Kong (up 36% and 13% respectively), Lotte World in Seoul (up 37%), Nagashima Spa Land in Japan (up 30%) and Dinosaur Park Changzhou, which saw the greatest growth at 52%… The Asia market loves shows and live entertainment and there is a growing market for high end shows and show elements, multimedia spectaculars, night shows, lake shows that are well choreographed, with Cirque du Soleil type acrobatics… Southeast Asia is quietly growing a substantial attractions industry – particularly waterparks which require a smaller footprint and capital investment… In Asia overall, we are still a good way from the saturation point.”

John Robinett

“With 105.1 million (to North America’s 127 million) Asia represents about one-third of global theme park attendance. The gap will close substantially when Shanghai Disney opens – and we already know of several other major Asian theme parks planned or under construction. By adding 5-10 more theme parks, Asia will probably catch up to North America and then surpass it.”

Europe holds its own

David Camp, Vice President – Europe/Africa/Middle East

“For the previous 3-4 years, the recession has been reasonably good to theme parks round Europe; attendance has grown and for the most part revenues too, with the more tourist-oriented parks showing more volatility and local parks holding up well. But this year, almost all of the top 10 parks have grown in attendance, including Disney (up 4.7%), Efteling (up 3.1%), Tivoli (up 7.2%) and PortAventura (up 15.5%)… People are becoming ever more budget-conscious but are still taking short breaks and days out… The majority of the top 20 parks in Europe have hotel accommodation now and these hotels are busy with guests who often visit the park on two days for each overnight stay. It’s become an important business driver.”

Key Figures from

TEA/AECOM 2011 Theme Index:

Global Attractions Attendance Report

·         198.1 million: Total attendance for top 25 worldwide parks, +4.8 % difference to 2010

·         127 million: Total visits to top 20 theme parks in North America, +2.9 % difference to 2010

·         105.1 million: Total visits to the top 20 Asian theme parks, +9.4 % difference to 2010

·         57.8 million: Attendance for the top 20 European theme parks, +2.8 % difference to 2010

·         24.4 million: Top 20 worldwide waterparks attendance in 2011, +9.4 % difference to 2010

·         13.4 million: Total visits to top 10 Latin American theme parks, +0.7 % difference to 2010

·         12.1 million: Total visits to top 10 Asian water parks, +22.3% difference to 2010

·         Top 5 theme parks worldwide, ranked by attendance: Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World (Orlando), Disneyland (Anaheim), Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Sea, Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris (full Top 10 with numbers will be published in the complete report)

·         Top 5 theme park groups worldwide, ranked by attendance: Walt Disney Attractions, Merlin Entertainments Group, Universal Studios Recreation Group, Parques Reunidos, Six Flags (full Top 10 with numbers will be published in the complete report).

The full TEA/AECOM 2011 Theme Index will shortly be published online at http://www.aecom.com/economics or http://www.TEAConnect.org/pdf/2011Report.pdf.

Previous editions:

About the TEA/AECOM 2011 Theme Index:

Global Attractions Attendance Report

The 2011 TEA/AECOM Global Attractions Attendance Report – previewed here, and to be published in full within a few days – identifies the top commercial theme parks and waterparks around the world and reflects their performance for the calendar year. Global attendance data are broken down by geographic region, by chain and by type of venue. The report is a valuable business reference and resource for the visitor attractions industry, developers and the media, and widely read among the community of theme park fans. It is available free of charge from TEA and AECOM.

AECOM obtains the figures used to create the TEA/AECOM Theme Index through statistics furnished directly by theme park operators, financial reports, the investment banking community, local tourism organizations and other sources. The global market is studied as a whole, and its main regions are also studied separately: The Americas, Europe and Asia. There is also a table of the top waterparks in the world and in the United States and Asia, and of the top international group operators.

About TEA

The TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) is an international nonprofit alliance founded in 1991 and based in Burbank, Calif. TEA represents some 7,000 creative specialists, from architects to designers, technical specialists to master planners, scenic fabricators to artists, and builders to feasibility analysts working in more than 780 firms in 40 different countries. TEA presents the annual Thea Awards and the TEA Summit and hosts the annual SATE conferences (Story, Architecture, Technology, Experience) in both Orlando and Europe. TEA  produces a variety of print and electronic publications, including the annual TEA/AECOM Theme Index, TEA Project Development Guidelines and TEA Annual & Directory. Visit TEA: on the web at www.TEAconnect.org; on LinkedIn and on Facebook.


AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government. With approximately 45,000 employees around the world, AECOM is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural, and social environments. A Fortune 500 company, AECOM serves clients in more than 130 countries and had revenue of $8.2 billion during the 12 months ended March 31, 2012. More information on AECOM and its services can be found at www.aecom.com.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleimanhttp://wwww.themedreality.com
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, ThemedReality.com takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

Related Articles

Latest Articles