Universal Orlando attendance down, profit up

Posted Wednesday, April 4, 2007 9:08 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Despite declining attendance of 2.8%, Universal Orlando Resort's discounted admission strategy helped give the theme park complex its third straight profitable year. Universal City Development Partners -- the parent company of Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure -- said the resort posted profits of $41.96 million in 2006, up 19% from $35.27 million in 2005.

Read more from Florida Today.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 9:46 AM
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm Less people through the gate but more money spent by those who do enter the parks. This seems to be a trend.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007 10:00 AM
Their attendance is down because many a person gives up trying to get through their gates. It is the most painful experience I can recall at ANY park. I'd rather wait in a 2 hour line for a Ferris Wheel at the fair. There might be some movement for he Ferris Wheel.

...my parents just got back from an Orlando trip. They have passes to all the parks. They never made it to Universal this trip. The reason...? My dad refused to go there and put up with the frustration of entering the park. Mom was mad. They love the park once they can get in...but it is so much easier to go to Disney or Sea World where you don't have to put up such a time comittment just to ENTER the place.

P.S. If you complain at guest services (they've known about the problem for 2-years going now) they will hook you up with some ride passes. This is Universal's answer to everything. I've asked them to just fix the process many a time...even wrote a letter once. I got some ride passes in the mail. They've no interest in speeding up the system.
*** This post was edited by Jeffrey R Smith 4/4/2007 10:04:36 AM ***

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 10:15 AM
I'm guessing 'more profit' = 'more rooms to book'

I haven't been to the park in years, but I recall BGT's system being eleventy-hundred thousand times worse. And I was processing an annual pass at USF vs. daily admission to the Busch park.


Wednesday, April 4, 2007 11:09 AM
If SF could do THAT kind of balancing act between attendance and profitability, then Shapiro would have MORE than earned his pay and bonuses....LOL!

Seriously, that's a crazy increase in money, even if attendance were *increasing*....I blame it on the Seuss Trolley! ;)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 11:50 AM
While I agree that entering the park is unnecessarily a pain in the ass, I certainly wouldn't attribute the decline in attendance to that. As they said, local attendance is up, while the Brits and out-of-state is down. I think you can chalk that up to a lack of marketing and no new attractions. Look around the Internet and you'll see they're taking care of the former, and I just happen to think they'll be ramping up the later soon.

I'm actually going this weekend. Honestly I think they suffer from operational issues in just a few areas, but they need to think really hard about them. The nonsense at the gates is a good place to start. Not taking off trains to Dueling Dragons in the last hour, on a short off-season day with a full queue, is another.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 12:07 PM
Text removed... link to it. Don't post copyrighted material here. -J

*** This post was edited by Jeff 4/4/2007 1:52:57 PM ***

heres the link;http://www.connectingindustry.com/pdfs/TEA-ERAAttendance06.pdf

*** This post was edited by Ajrides 4/4/2007 5:27:55 PM ***

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 12:24 PM
Anyone notice they switched Hershey and SFGAdv on that list? Based on attendance they should be flip-flopped.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007 1:52 PM
Yea, I did notice that--not sure why they did that, though. I also didn't reaize that Hersheypark was as high up as it is in attendance. I've been going there since I was 4, and it's one of my favorite parks.

On another note, did anyone notice that Universal's "discounted adminssion strategy" helped give the park the increased revenue. Now I'm not sure what the discounts are, but are they basically saying that they lowered the admission pricing, and in so doing, have encouraged people to spend more in the parks--or am I reading this wrong?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 1:55 PM
I guess that depends on how you define discount. Sure, they have the five-day, two-park pass online for $90, but you have to figure that most people are probably only using two days of that, maybe three. I doubt many people pay the $67 gate for one park.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007 2:05 PM
I think Jeff nailed it. Offer a discount that looks really enticing, but that very few will realistically use or take full advantage of.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007 3:31 PM
BTW, for those of you not in the know, Costco sells 2-park, 3-month unlimited visit passes for $84.99 to USO/IOA.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007 5:00 PM

"but I recall BGT's system being eleventy-hundred thousand times worse."


"eleventy-hundred"...........sorry, just made me laugh alot ;-)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 5:53 PM
I just got back from Orlando and my only problem with IOA was the 6pm closing time- very disappointing. I bought my 7-day 2-park pass from AAA for $85 (and yes, only ended up going 1 day). I went right through the gate with that pass, no waiting in line. Was the "pain in the ass" mentioned the trip from the parking garage, through security, and then through CityWalk or the actual line AT the gate?

And regarding the attendance of "Brits" being down, I did not notice that. I thought the crowds were small, but in all the parks I went to, there were many British visitors.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 6:06 PM
Well At Least They Are Still Making Money Though. The Park Is Probably Having Problems With The Rides Or Weather. I Still See Their Commercial Campaigns And They Should Bring More Guests.
Thursday, April 5, 2007 9:55 AM
Dude, don't capitalize every word. I can't read that.

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