Disney Parks Attendance “Flat” in Newly-Released 2019 Themed Entertainment Association Report

Matthew Soberman

Disney Parks Attendance “Flat” in Newly-Released 2019 Themed Entertainment Association Report

Matthew Soberman

Disney Parks Attendance “Flat” in Newly-Released 2019 Themed Entertainment Association Report

Despite the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at both Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort, attendance at Disney Parks worldwide showed stagnation last year, and even backslid in some places, according to the newly released 2019 Theme Index and Museum Index published by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and AECOM.

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Worldwide, Walt Disney Attractions saw an 0.8% decrease in attendance as compared to 2018. 155,991,000 people attended Disney Parks last year, as opposed to 157,311,000 the year before.

tea aecom index 2019 attendance
Source: Themed Entertainment Association/AECOM

Despite the stagnation, overall, Disney Parks still remain some of the most heavily-visited theme parks worldwide, with eight parks ranking in the top ten in attendance. Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom remains the most visited theme park in the world, with nearly 21 million guests passing through its gates in 2019. Disneyland came in second, with an identical attendance of 18,666,000 from the previous year. The opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge did slightly help Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which had a 2.0% increase in attendance, the largest increase of any Disney Park, ahead of the 1.0% attendance increase at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. EPCOT and Disney California Adventure showed no change in attendance.

Internationally, the parks of Tokyo Disney Resort showed minimal change, with only a combined loss of 4,000 guests between Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. The largest attendance decreases came from Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland, which saw losses of 15% and 5%, respectively. Finally, the parks of Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, saw a 1% decrease in each park.

The TEA called domestic attendance “flat” in their summary, though they expressed optimism for the future opening of Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure:

Disney’s domestic park attendance numbers were flat overall for 2019 compared to the previous year which could be attributed to the operator emphasizing its yield strategy by prioritizing the quality of guest experience and per caps. This operating model has emerged over the last decade and will likely serve operators well moving forward, with respect to capacity limitations in parks and the continued need to stay competitive.

There has been continued investment in Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure with Jessie’s Critter Carousel and Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind in 2019. Set to open soon: Avengers Campus at Disneyland, a strong IP with immense potential for theming within their parks.

With Disney Parks worldwide facing a months-long shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and some parks remaining closed, it’s incredibly likely that numbers will fall worldwide for 2020.

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5 thoughts on “Disney Parks Attendance “Flat” in Newly-Released 2019 Themed Entertainment Association Report”

  1. I think Disney needs to get its act together. We are DIE HARD fans and between Iger and Chapek it’s been an abomination and adding covid to the mix, talk about no magic!

  2. I live near Orlando and spent quite a bit of time on property the past few years. The thing is that it was maxed out the past year.

    No kidding attendence didn’t increase, Hollywood reached capacity every single day.

    The problem is ride capacity. If you have to go through so much just to get a chance at the new ride it’s crazy. I understand that the ride is amazing, but capacity is no where near what it should have been.

    Anyone can sit and look at these numbers and say: “attendence didn’t increase so there isn’t any interest”

    But on the ground, it’s a different story. The parks were SO full there wasn’t really room for much improvement. That combined with price increases that scared many people away, and I can see why.

  3. this has been what i think Iger has wanted for a while, more of a place for the wealthy and privileged,look at all teh do, they tried the Private tents with butlers, they have the 15,000 tours, the 500 dinners, and lets not forget the beloved DVC. as prices go up, they people that made disney cant afford to go, maybe they will do a coupon day. look at how Disney treats its AP’s vers UOAP’s UO has lounges for its AP’s, Disney only has them for DVC, UO you can use the AP;s discount on everything everywhere, even mobel ordering, on all food and beverage items and all merch, Disney not so much. this is the First year i have a UOAP, and with the exception of the Magic band and the App which in my mind are better then what UO is doing, UO treats it AP’s a lot better, maybe Disney should take notice

  4. What people aren’t understanding is this is exactly what they wanted. They increase prices to dampen enthusiasm among people only casually considering a visit. Lower crowds means better experience, so they increase the prices until the surge of attendance decreases. It’s business and it’s effective.

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