2021 Attendance Index Suggests More Guests Visited Universal Orlando Theme Parks, Defeating 3 Walt Disney World Parks

The Themed Entertainment Association has released their 2021 Index, which evaluates attendance at themed attractions around the world. The latest report indicates that Universal Studios Florida & Universal’s Islands of Adventure may have possibly surpassed three Walt Disney World theme parks in annual attendance.

While the TEA Index is widely referenced within the industry, it should be noted that neither Disney Parks nor Universal Parks & Resorts release attendance numbers to any outside party, so these numbers are based on estimations and other methodologies. Internal sources at both Disney & Universal have indicated to WDWNT.com in the past that these numbers can be off by anywhere from thousands to millions of guests. For more information about how TEA arrives at their concluded data, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions at the end of the Index.

U.S. Parks

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It should be noted that the growth percentage reflects the difference in attendance between 2021 and 2020. Most domestic theme parks were closed for part or all of 2020, and this results in a larger-than-average year-over-year increase.

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Taking first place, with an estimated total attendance of 12,691,000 people, Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort is the most visited theme park in the country (and world).

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Universal’s Islands of Adventure reached the second spot for most visited theme park in the world, surpassing every Disney park other than Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. An estimated 9,077,000 visitors came to the park, with an increase of 127% since last year. With recent passholder benefits and without a park reservation system, the increase in guests may be due to convenience. Recent rides such as Jurassic World VelociCoaster and Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure have undoubtedly been big draws.

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Universal Studios Florida at Universal Orlando Resort comes in third place, with an estimated visitor count of 8,987,000 guests, an increase of 119% since last year.

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In fourth place, Disney’s Hollywood Studios had an increase in visitors of 134%, leading to a total visitor count estimated at 8589,000 people.

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With over 4 million less visitors, Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort is the fifth most visited theme park in the world, with an increase in attendance of 133% and a total number of visitors reaching 8,573,000.

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In terms of domestic parks, the next park featured is EPCOT, with a total attendance of 7,752,000 visitors. A 92% increase in attendance shows that this park is helping to bounce back. This walk around the world shows the best Walt Disney World Resort has to offer.

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The next highest attended park in the United States is Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with an increase in attendance of 73%, leading to a total of 7,194,000 guests estimated to enter the park.

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Being the second most visited theme park in California, Universal Studios Hollywood had an increase in visitors of 324%, leading to a total of 5,505,000 visitors entering the park.

Disney California Adventure Entrance

The next most visited domestic park is Disneyland California Adventure. With an increase in visitors of 159%, and reaching 4,977,000 guests, this is the third most visited theme park in California, following Disneyland Park and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Read the AECOM Theme Index here.

International Rankings

Top12 2022 TEA
Disney increases attendance, recovery from covid 19

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