‘93 Attendance Off at Disneyland and Knott’s : Parks: Both amusement centers experience a drop for the second consecutive year, according to an industry magazine.
Mickey Mouse and Snoopy were a little lonelier this year as visitors to Disneyland and Camp Snoopy and the rest of Knott’s Berry Farm declined for the second consecutive year, Amusement Business magazine said.
But three other Southern California amusement parks held their own, according to the magazine, which is considered authoritative in the industry. Sea World in San Diego had steady attendance figures in 1993 while Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia scored slight increases.
A Knott’s spokesman said the magazine’s attendance estimate of 3.7 million for the Buena Park theme park is probably low. The final three months of this year have “exceeded our plan,” spokesman Bob Ochsner said. The magazine estimated Knott’s 1992 attendance at 3.9 million.
Amusement Business estimated Disneyland attendance at 11.4 million--like Knott’s, down 200,000 from 1992.
Disneyland officials would not comment on 1993 attendance, but Lindsay Schnebly, a spokesman for the Anaheim park, said his impression is that Disneyland logged a strong year after adding the Mickey’s Toon Town and Aladdin’s Royal Caravan attractions. Industry estimates usually put the park’s attendance between 11 million and 13 million.
Despite the reduced attendance figures, Disneyland held its place on the magazine’s list as the second-busiest amusement park in the nation. Knott’s, however, fell to ninth place from seventh in 1992.
One reason for Knott’s drop in the rankings is that Amusement Business broke Disney World in Florida into three separate attractions--the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney-MGM Studios--and so it took up three of the top five spots this year.
The list became a “Top 50" this year, too, instead of “Top 40,” to avoid knocking some of the smaller parks off of the bottom, said Tim O’Brien, an editor with the Nashville-based trade magazine.
Across the country, 1993 was a stronger year for amusement parks than the year before, O’Brien said. And attendance figures--which are up only slightly nationwide--do not tell the full story.
“They reflect popularity, but not profitability,” O’Brien said. “They don’t tell how much people spend once they get in the park. From what I’m hearing, profitability is up tremendously” as most of the nation has been in an economic recovery that has so far ignored Southern California.
Many parks are charging slightly higher entry fees, O’Brien said. Also, they are offering more attractive, healthier food inside the park and that is boosting food sales.
1993 Park Attendance Figures
Park Attendance The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Fla. 12,000,000 Disneyland, Anaheim 11,400,000 Epcot at Walt Disney World 10,000,000 Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World 8,000,000 Universal Studios Florida (Orlando) 7,400,000 Universal Studios Hollywood 4,950,000 Sea World of Florida (Orlando) 4,500,000 Sea World of California, San Diego 4,000,000 Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park 3,700,000 Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio 3,600,000
Park Change from 1992 The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Fla. up 4% Disneyland, Anaheim down slightly Epcot at Walt Disney World no change Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World no change Universal Studios Florida (Orlando) up 10% Universal Studios Hollywood up 3% Sea World of Florida (Orlando) up 5% Sea World of California, San Diego no change Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park down 5% Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio up 15%
Source: Amusement Business Magazine