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News TEA/AECOM 2018 Theme Index Released

Rodan75

Well-Known Member
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Volcano Bay's max capacity is reportedly 6,000 people per day (Theme Park Insider).

Based on those numbers, they're averaging 80% capacity which I would think is really good considering weather and seasonality.

Or the reported 6,000 figure is wrong.
How could they possibly be disappointed with Volcano Bays numbers? It was the 3rd highest drawing water park in North America. So it was behind both Disney water parks, that is a great place to be. It's profitable and no longer generating the complaints it got when it opened.
Good Points. I had assumed (apparently wrongly) that the capacity for VB was greater than TL or BB based on the marketing and the board hype.
 

Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
We are visiting in October this year (a bad situation turned into a good situation, since now I'll see SWGE), but we've been looking into doing a day at Universal and then a HHN (likely not on the same day). The cost of that is insanely high for a park hopper.

I realize comparing that pricing to a single day park hopper at Disney isn't bad, but when you look at it from a pure add on to the vacation it is likely to deter us from visiting. We may do HHN and Seaworld instead to add variety and without breaking the bank.

And I totally get that I could likely get a room for 2 nights and buy a multiday ticket and the costs even out, but since I have DVC that isn't really appealing.

I'm assuming the pricing is more about margin than about driving attendance growth. If they can keep growing the margin they will care less about filling their parks to max capacity.

The Volcano Bay numbers, though, they must feel a little disappointing to them.
Last year I did 1 HHN and 2 at SeaWorld (using their 2 day for $100 ticket) because 1 day IoA or P2P is too much for what you get IMO.
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
Well, MK's growth has been erratic over the past 10 years with twice having minor negative growth to several years of 2% growth and three years of around 4% growth. So, it's hard to know what is 'normal' for MK.

We do know that with the big attendance leaps of DAK in the past two years that MK had 0.3% and 2.0% growth, which is a big improvement over the negative growth in 2016 (before Pandora) but half as high as 2012-2015, but more than 2008-2013.

That MK's attendance still went up with DAK drawing even bigger crowds and now DHS drawing crowds seems to indicate at the least a lack of negative impact.

But then again, everybody's boat floated up in Orlando with the city itself constantly announcing record breaking number of visitors and all the parks enjoying an increase.

Chart goes from present to the past...

Total numbers in the millions.

View attachment 374686


Percent changes in attendance...

View attachment 374687
I love the graph, but please take the years from older on the left to newer on the right. Seeing the graphs move right to left hurts me somehow. I'd also scale the MK by 1.5 or so to get it closer to the others, or use separate LHS & RHS scale.
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
Not to mention on Disney's public quarterly reports they often mention how park attendance is doing. If it went down and they say it went up, that can get them in serious legal trouble with public filings.
They also publish percentage changes in their annual report. Post Enron, lying on SEC filings or in announcements has nearly no advantage. The lie would show up eventually in poor earnings.
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
With all the discussion about year-over-year changes, I thought some might find this table interesting looking at the year over year attendance changes for all the Disney Parks worldwide for the last 10 years. I'm not sure that you can draw any useful conclusions from it but it is another way to look at the historical data.

View attachment 374856

And the same for Universal Orlando
View attachment 374857
Sometime in 2015 they tweaked the FL resident annual pass pricing. This hit me in 2016, but we ended up going so much it was worth it. That was my explanation for the decline after years of strong increases. Then they did the 13 for 12 promotion. Now new attractions will be the pull for increased attendance.
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
I wonder if the cost of the one day park to park ticket, which is a much better value than a one day WDW ticket, in any of its forms, turns people off. They really want people to do two or more days, but you need to reel people in first to do that. Doesn’t help that the Hogwarts Express turned IoA and USF into a single park either.
For me, it turned me off. Was going to be like $175 for what would likely not even be a full day for me and my kids. We waited for when we could do more than one day, and got a 3-day pass for like $200.
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
Please, no!

Scaling one dataset or using dual-axis chart for two datasets with the same measure are both misleading infographics.

It's bad enough that the chart doesn't have a zero origin y-axis. :)
It depends on what you’re looking to show. If you want to show changes, I’d say that’s ok. A rule of thumb my circuits 1 teacher was you need to occupy > 2/3rds of the paper. Of the thousands of graphs I’ve made over 25 years, a huge percentage don’t show zero on the y-axis. As much as I love graphs, you could probably describe the data better with words.

If you’re going to stick to tour rule, I’d just split them into 2 graphs.
 

FerretAfros

Well-Known Member
Please, no!

Scaling one dataset or using dual-axis chart for two datasets with the same measure are both misleading infographics.

It's bad enough that the chart doesn't have a zero origin y-axis. :)
But is that any more misleading than the way MK's numbers are calculated?

While most destination parks have their attendance based on a 365-day operating year (and far shorter operating windows at regional parks), MK's hard-ticket events add a significant number of attendance-producing opportunities that are folded into its annual attendance.

In 2018, MK had 34 Halloween parties and 23 Christmas parties. Based on the piecemeal information I've been able to gather, there were also at least 13 After Hours events and weekly-ish(?) Early Morning Magic events for most of the year. Depending exactly how many of the non-events there were, that essentially increases the number of "days" MK takes admission by 1/4-1/3 over the competition. Even if daily attendance is flat, they continue to grow annual attendance by adding days to the calendar.

Sure, some other parks have hard ticket events (notably the Halloween events at USO, USH, and Knott's), but they pale in comparison to MK's year-round operation.

Or do we really believe that MK averaged over 57,000 people every single day in 2018, when the park's capacity hasn't significantly changed in nearly 3 decades? I'm sure many days were at or above that number, but I have a hard time believing that's the average.
 

imarc

Well-Known Member
But is that any more misleading than the way MK's numbers are calculated?

While most destination parks have their attendance based on a 365-day operating year (and far shorter operating windows at regional parks), MK's hard-ticket events add a significant number of attendance-producing opportunities that are folded into its annual attendance.

In 2018, MK had 34 Halloween parties and 23 Christmas parties. Based on the piecemeal information I've been able to gather, there were also at least 13 After Hours events and weekly-ish(?) Early Morning Magic events for most of the year. Depending exactly how many of the non-events there were, that essentially increases the number of "days" MK takes admission by 1/4-1/3 over the competition. Even if daily attendance is flat, they continue to grow annual attendance by adding days to the calendar.

Sure, some other parks have hard ticket events (notably the Halloween events at USO, USH, and Knott's), but they pale in comparison to MK's year-round operation.

Or do we really believe that MK averaged over 57,000 people every single day in 2018, when the park's capacity hasn't significantly changed in nearly 3 decades? I'm sure many days were at or above that number, but I have a hard time believing that's the average.
But isn't that also balanced out by the fact that some of the other parks charge like $60 for an annual pass.

There's only so much normalizing that you can do to compare these different parks.
 

seascape

Well-Known Member
But is that any more misleading than the way MK's numbers are calculated?

While most destination parks have their attendance based on a 365-day operating year (and far shorter operating windows at regional parks), MK's hard-ticket events add a significant number of attendance-producing opportunities that are folded into its annual attendance.

In 2018, MK had 34 Halloween parties and 23 Christmas parties. Based on the piecemeal information I've been able to gather, there were also at least 13 After Hours events and weekly-ish(?) Early Morning Magic events for most of the year. Depending exactly how many of the non-events there were, that essentially increases the number of "days" MK takes admission by 1/4-1/3 over the competition. Even if daily attendance is flat, they continue to grow annual attendance by adding days to the calendar.

Sure, some other parks have hard ticket events (notably the Halloween events at USO, USH, and Knott's), but they pale in comparison to MK's year-round operation.

Or do we really believe that MK averaged over 57,000 people every single day in 2018, when the park's capacity hasn't significantly changed in nearly 3 decades? I'm sure many days were at or above that number, but I have a hard time believing that's the average.
In Orlando Universal has as many HHNs and Disney World has MNSSHP. Yes Disney has MVMCP but nothing stops Universal from adding something. The early morning hours require a park ticket so they dont add anything. The late hours are extra admissions but I doubt the vast majority had a regular daily ticket. As a season pass holder I would not pay for the extra hours but do pay for a party and so it should count as a separate paid admission.
 

Disone

Well-Known Member
How could they possibly be disappointed with Volcano Bays numbers? It was the 3rd highest drawing water park in North America. So it was behind both Disney water parks, that is a great place to be. It's profitable and no longer generating the complaints it got when it opened.
Universal wanted VB to beat the smack out of both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. It's best chance of doing that was its first full year of operation. It didn't happen. So yes I'm sure they're disappointed. Keep in mind both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are not open year around. They both have months long annual periods of closing. Though these two closing periods do not overlap with each other, Volcano Bay is open year around and still did not beat them in attendance.
 

Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
Universal wanted VB to beat the smack out of both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. It's best chance of doing that was its first full year of operation. It didn't happen. So yes I'm sure they're disappointed. Keep in mind both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are not open year around. They both have months long annual periods of closing. Though these two closing periods do not overlap with each other, Volcano Bay is open year around and still did not beat them in attendance.
In addition to the average family’s limit when it comes to vacation time and spending, I think Volcano Bay also suffers from a general lack of awareness. Everybody has heard of Universal Studios, but bring up Volcano Bay in casual conversation and you’ll probably get blank stares.
 

AnotherDayAnotherDollar

Well-Known Member
I have to believe that the minute Disney believes they can meet at least Hong Kong's numbers in Latin America and operate a park that is relatively small in a profitable manner, they will move.

I'm surprised that Universal hasn't tried to pick up Merlin or Six Flags.
Comcast should try to pick up a telecom in EU if they want to get more in debt.

DIS probably has long term plans for a LA park. I am just not sure if it would be Brazil or Mexico. I would prefer Brazil with a 3rd Disney park in TX (closer proximity to MX). Not long ago there was DL Brasilia rumor that was debunked.

Next Disney park and resort though are probably Shanghai 2nd park and China 2nd resort (Chongqi or Chengdu). Iger is always mentioning expansion in Shanghai and China. I wouldn't be surprised to see either or both announced at D23.
 

donsullivan

Premium Member
But is that any more misleading than the way MK's numbers are calculated?

While most destination parks have their attendance based on a 365-day operating year (and far shorter operating windows at regional parks), MK's hard-ticket events add a significant number of attendance-producing opportunities that are folded into its annual attendance.

In 2018, MK had 34 Halloween parties and 23 Christmas parties. Based on the piecemeal information I've been able to gather, there were also at least 13 After Hours events and weekly-ish(?) Early Morning Magic events for most of the year. Depending exactly how many of the non-events there were, that essentially increases the number of "days" MK takes admission by 1/4-1/3 over the competition. Even if daily attendance is flat, they continue to grow annual attendance by adding days to the calendar.

Sure, some other parks have hard ticket events (notably the Halloween events at USO, USH, and Knott's), but they pale in comparison to MK's year-round operation.

Or do we really believe that MK averaged over 57,000 people every single day in 2018, when the park's capacity hasn't significantly changed in nearly 3 decades? I'm sure many days were at or above that number, but I have a hard time believing that's the average.
What so many people are unwilling to accept each year is the fact that the numbers represent the number of people who entered the park which is a different concept than the number of people in the park at the same time. If you've ever stood out in front of any park entrance, you know there is a continuous wave of people going in and out throughout the entire day- they don't all show up at once and then stay all day, people are leaving and arriving throughout the day.

Whether you agree that these numbers tell the narrative that you want to believe, they are the most trusted industry reference source there is and they've been producing these numbers for decades going all the way back before TEA/TEI to the Amusement Business Magazine and before. I have never once heard any industry player suggest that the data misrepresent their numbers in any way and pretty much all of the companies who appear in the report are members of TEI.

Every year there are some who have their own narrative about the attendance numbers and try to dismiss this report as invalid because it doesn't match their personal view but after many decades of data, it has been acknowledged as the most accurate available dataset in the global industry.
 
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