Believe it or not, the ‘Happiest Place On Earth’ saw a decrease in attendance last year, versus numbers in 2015. As per a report released recently, 13 of their theme parks (excluding the new Shanghai Disney, not a year old yet) around the global had less visitors. What could be the cause? It seems that higher ticket prices are the culprit.
Despite all this, the theme park unit of Disney still reported $3.3 billion in income for 2016, which reflects a nine percent increase from 2015. This is all due to a new ticket strategy where the company increased prices by 20 percent during popular time periods. So, the decrease in attendance didn’t affect Disney’s bottom line in the end.
Still, this attendance declined for a majority of the Disney parks, rarely happens. The trend for Disney has been overwhelming growth; and this is apparent when California’s Disneyland hits capacity on specific days. When it comes to Disney’s signature park, Magic Kingdom, decline attendance has only occurred once in the last 10 years – and in that time period, attendance has never increased across the Disney Parks worldwide platform.
Aecome and Themed Entertainment Association spearheaded the independent reported. Disney does not release attendance figures for a majority of its parks, which includes all the parks in Orlando that compromise Walt Disney World, including Magic Kingdom.
Still, the largest attendance dips for Disney happened overseas. There was a 14 percent decrease in their Paris park, with tourism declining all over Europe, sadly due to terrorists’ attacks. Weather also played a role, with Disneyland in Hong Kong experiencing a 10% decrease. Meanwhile the North American parks declined more modestly. Magic Kingdom experienced a 0.5% drop, while Disneyland had a decrease by two percent.
Despite Disney’s woes, MSN reports that Universal Studios has had a great year, part in thanks to Harry Potter and all the new attractions. Universal experienced an increase of 14% this year.
Still, no need to count Disney out. With their new expansion around an ‘Avatar’ attraction in Disney’s Orlando Animal Kingdom park, attendance numbers are sure to rise as 2017 rolls out.