Theme park attendance just slightly down in 2002

Posted Monday, December 23, 2002 3:53 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Theme park attendance was down just slightly in 2002, but still high enough in North America to mark the third best year ever in North America, according to Amusement Business.

Read more from Reuters.

Monday, December 23, 2002 4:23 AM
Seems that 9/11 didn't do much to the amusement industry, attendance wise.

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The top 3 all time cobrarolls.

1)Raptor's
2)Deja Vu's (times 3)
3)Batman Knight Flight's

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Monday, December 23, 2002 4:31 AM

Well it did, only what it did was nearly purely positive.

As the article suggested, people aren't as happy traveling the world seeing exotic new things, so rather they've turned to seeing local exotic things. Instead of flying off to see the famous tourist destinations in other countries, people are experiencing local tourist destinations.

Consequently, parks that were once destination, such as the Disney or Universal parks (which are internationally reccognised), have now had a slump in foreign attendance, but a local surge that more than makes up for the slump.

Go to virtually any 'touristy' place around the world and this is the case.

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So what if the best coaster in Australia is a second hand Arrow?

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Monday, December 23, 2002 4:32 AM
Well, the folks at Walt Disney World would argue with you on that one.
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Monday, December 23, 2002 4:42 AM

They would?...

From the article:
"Destination parks such as Orlando, Florida based properties owned by Disney, Universal and competitors, managed to make up partially for a drop in international visitors with more local promotions..."

"Disney had said in November that international visitors to U.S. parks had dropped 20 percent in the quarter ending in September, compared with a year earlier, and had dropped about 35 percent in the June quarter."

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So what if the best coaster in Australia is a second hand Arrow?

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Monday, December 23, 2002 4:53 AM
But the resort bookings took a serious hit this year. Look no further than the still-sitting-empty Pop Century resort for proof of that. Not to mention they shut down the Carribbean Beach Resort for a long stretch and half of Port Orleans/Dixie Landings.
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Monday, December 23, 2002 5:35 AM
CobraRoller - 9/11 only effected the Six Flags chain, didn't you know?? ;)

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Corey
"I make it a rule never to get involved with possessed people. Well, it's more of a guideline than a rule." - Dr. Pete Venkman/Bill Murray

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Monday, December 23, 2002 6:08 AM

No, that was the weather, silly! It favored competitor's parks only a couple dozen miles away!

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
DELETED!

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Monday, December 23, 2002 6:20 AM
Well fiddlee dee. Disney has 1/5 the number of parks as sixflags yet it almost doubles the attendance.

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I, am nobody, and nobody is perfect!

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Monday, December 23, 2002 6:26 AM
How many Six Flags parks are open year-round? All of the Disney parks are.
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Monday, December 23, 2002 6:43 AM
In addition to 9/11 I think the struggling economy has a lot to do with the destination parks problems. I know I went to my local SF parks probably 10-20 times this year, but we did not take our usual long distance vacation.
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Monday, December 23, 2002 7:08 AM
I did my part and went from NYC to Ohio (Hi Jeff! :) ) earlier this year and went down to Orlando earlier this month besides the local park (SFGAdv).

I do wonder if a lot has to do with the upgraded security measures at the airports that is making it a true hassle to fly (not to mention the rising ticket prices and bankruptcies). The recent CNN article about airlines telling people to *NOT* use locks on checked in luggage (and that they are not responsible for damage to your luggage if they have to open it and they break something) isn't exactly encouraging for foreign customers.

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Monday, December 23, 2002 8:00 AM
And are you telling me that peanut butter and chocolate looks like C-4 in a suitcase? What about all those fruitcakes that are being sent during the holidays?
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Monday, December 23, 2002 8:16 AM

Those (Claxton) fruitcakes ARE potentially hazardous to human health wahoo, but luckily that's ONLY if they're consumed...(for the sake of discussion, we'll *assume* accidental ingestion)...;)

As for attendance, the local/regional parks can likely expect THEIR numbers to continue to go up, while the *destination parks* here and in CA will likely need to find "innovative marketing strategies" to help make up for the decline in long-distance travel...could mean bargains for the *locals*...:)

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Carson Palmer wins Heisman, although not as close as predicted...;)
Recommended viewing: Cartoon Network's New Year's Eve Bash, featuring Carl and Brak from Adult Swim....:)

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Monday, December 23, 2002 8:28 AM

Flying is not that big of a deal. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that the security is really very well organized. On our trip to Orlando last month it wasn't that much of a hassle. They're a lot more anal than they used to be, but it's not that big of an inconvenience.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
DELETED!

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Monday, December 23, 2002 9:19 AM
Americans are just not used to good security. In Cancun, there were armed military men throughout the terminal and along the "turnpike". There was no goofing off or sleeping on the job going on there.
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Monday, December 23, 2002 9:43 AM

Yeah, at least they're not blaming a nearly 10% attendance drop on terrorism and weather when a park just a few hours south had a 4% jump (which should have at least been affected by the first in some way correct?), lol. Silly, silly indeed. ;)

Universal Studios Florida(#6) was down the same or more than any U.S. Disney park(#1-5, 10) besides Epcot, but luckily the Hollywood park(#8) and IOA(#7) was up 10%(can we thank HHN? ;)), but still considerably lower than Disney (besides DCA, which rounded out the top 10 US parks). Sea World Orlando was #9.

The Tokyo Disney park situation is really odd to me. I always figured you would want to try both parks if you were visiting and that the "classic" one would always be much more popular. Very surprising and great opening as well, so good for them!

I'm pretty sure Great Adventure was the most-attended SF park again even though the Mountain opened X at the start of the new year.

Anyone know anything else on the rest of the Top 20 parks? I'm interested in seeing how the Farm, the Island, and the Point were affected by their additions this year.

-Danny

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Monday, December 23, 2002 12:49 PM

I read in the Orange County Register that Knott's attendance was up slightly. I think they are #14 in North America.

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Monday, December 23, 2002 1:18 PM

Yes, they're pretty high up for a Non Disney/Universal Park. Last I checked, they were tied with Sea World CA, and quite a bit ahead of Cedar Point (by a few hundred thousand vistors), SFMM (much higher than SFMM), and SFGAdv (by a just a few spots). If they want there attendence to go up a little higher they need to pressure a few of the hotels in the area (buena park/anaheim) to run more shuttles, as there are usually only 2 going each way daily (needs to be like 4 daily), and they really get filled up, and sell out. They also need to run commercials in San Diego, as no one there knows that Xcelerator exists (many of them haven't been to Knotts since the '80s). Heck, most of san diego is closer to Knotts than people from the valley or west LA/north LA once tyou factor in traffic (Knotts is only 40-50 minutes from the border of san diego and camp pendelton). I think their attendence went up 1% this year, and it really has been rising since october, you often see 90 minute waits for Ghostrider on Sundays now. And SFMM's attendence seems to be plummeting, even with the toys for tots deal (someone on ACN got in 13 rides on X yesterday, and all rides but X and Deja were walk ons). They don't even use fast lane anymore.

As for how many SF parks are open year round, I think its just SFMM and maybe SFOT (april-Jan 5th), and Internationaly SFMexico and Warner Bros. Movie world madrid. Cedar Fair's (true 7 days a week) yearround parks are KBF (closed christmas) and they operate Knott's Camp Snoopy.

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Thursday, December 26, 2002 9:20 PM

Antuan -

I'm sure Six Flags would be able to do the same if they operated a movie studio, produced and sold character merchandise, ran television broadcasting stations, own a line of children's clothing and toys, etc...

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