Orlando's No. 2 theme-park resort announced Friday that attendance slipped just 4 percent during the final three months of the year, dropping to 2.3 million from 2.4 million during the final quarter of 2008. It was a far more modest decline than the double-digit percentage drops Universal recorded during the first nine months of the year, when the economy was still in the depths of the global recession.
Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.
And I'm guessing at least some small fraction of the drop is due to people putting off a visit until Potter opens.
As an aside, Universal Orlando raised their multi-day ticket prices signifiantly, just about a month or two ago, in anticipation of an increase in demand "real soon now."
Exactly my first thought, Noble. When Potterland finally opens, the parks will probably see a gain in attendance like we can't possibly imagine.
Me and my niece being two of the visitors contributing to that increase, we put off last falls visit.
I think Brian hit the nail on the head. Aside from myself, I know a lot of people that are putting off trips a couple months just to go after Potter opens.
I don't think that's really it. I think they scaled back on marketing too much and relied on operating efficiencies to make up the difference (as past articles would indicate). We're going to finally go back in November or December, after taking about a year and a half off after having annual passes for a few years. And yes, it'll come at the expense of Disney.
It certainly wouldn't explain all of it, but I think it might explain a little.
We'll see what happens this year. 2nd and especially 3rd quarter will tell the tale.
I think the "unexplained" portion of the drop is due to the disruption (devastation?) wrought upon Lost Continent by the construction of Potterland. Navigation around the park, and the exit/entrance to DD, closure of Flying Unicorn - it really did hurt the park experience. Since USF has Mummy, and more recently HRRR, we spent almost no time at IoA over the last year or so...
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