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Who Buys Source

According to 2014 research by IBISWorld, children and teens account for 25.6% of the domestic visitors to U.S. amusement parks. The parents of these kids, ages 35-54, represent 21.6% of the visitors (senior citizens account for 19.2%).

IBISWorld, 2014

A 2014 IBISWorld study shows that the U.S. amusement park industry is increasingly dependent on U.S. residents. IBIS estimates that about 80% of the industry's total visits in 2014 will come from domestic patrons.

IBISWorld, 2014

Profiling those adults 18+ who visited a theme park from 1-3 times in the past year:

GfK MRI, 2013

Of those adults 18+ who visited a theme park from 1-3 times in the past year, 53.2% were women and 46.8% were men.

GfK MRI, 2013

Adults 18+ who visited a theme park from 1-3 times in the past year, by age level: 18-24, 18.3%; 25-34, 23.1%; 35-44, 25.6%; 45-54, 19.9%; 55-64, 8.4%; 65+, 4.7%.

GfK MRI, 2013

Adults 18+ who visited a theme park from 1-3 times in the past year, by income bracket: $100,000+, 36.7%; $75-99,999, 16.8%; $60-74,999, 11.1%; $50-59,999, 7.4%; $40-49,999, 7.7%; $30-39,999, 6.0%; $20-29,999, 6.8%; under $20,000, 7.5%.

GfK MRI, 2013

Adults 18+ who visited a theme park from 1-3 times in the past year, by race: White, 75.6%; Black, 8.6%; Other, 15.8%; Hispanic origin, 15.8%.

GfK MRI, 2013

Adults 18+ who visited a theme park from 1-3 times in the past year, by region: Northeast, 20.2%; Midwest, 21.6%; South, 33.6%; West, 24.6%.

GfK MRI, 2013

Adults 18+ who visited a theme park from 1-3 times in the past year, by marital status: Single, 31.2%; married, 57.0%; separated/widowed/divorced, 11.8%.

GfK MRI, 2013

A late-2013 report by Mintel revealed that while teens are still the most frequent visitors to amusement parks, teen visitation has dropped over the past five years. The study showed that 67% of those ages 12-17 had been to a park in the previous year, compared with 76% who had done so five years earlier. In contrast, visits from adults have remained steady at 22-23%.

Mintel, 2013

A late-2013 survey by Mintel showed that 36% of theme park goers consider themselves to be "avid" visitors. But it is not just young consumers who are enamored with amusement parks -- the study also found that 23% of over-55-year-olds also consider themselves "avid" theme park patrons.

Mintel, 2013


Why They Buy Source

A late-2013 survey of more than 1,000 theme park visitors, conducted by The Thinkwell Group, found that 67% of the respondents were interested in seeing an increased mobile integration at theme parks, saying that it would improve their experience (of those surveyed, 80% took a mobile device on their last theme park visit).

The Thinkwell Group, 2013

How They Buy Source

Research by Mintel estimated the cost-per-day (admission, food, etc.) for an individual amusement park visitor in 2013 to be approximately $170.

Mintel, 2013

What They Buy Source

A 2014 study by MarketResearch.com determined that amusement parks get about 55% of their revenue from admissions and around 30% from food and merchandise sales. The remaining income is derived from a mix of parking fees, commission income from third-party exhibitors, advertising, and fees for hosting parties and other events.

MarketResearch.com, 2014

Amusement parks are upgrading with investments in new rides, wireless and interactive technology services for guests (such as RFID badges, Wii, kiosks, etc) and by adding new zones. These efforts are expected to result in climbing visitor attendance numbers. Parks are expected to continue to adopt virtual reality and simulation technologies to replicate natural scenarios.

Global Industry Analysts, 2014

Based on a late-2013 Mintel survey, the top five purchases consumers make while visiting theme parks: 1. Food (with 83% claiming to buy something to eat while there); 2. Beverages (74%); 3. Souvenirs for family or friends (45%); 4. Souvenirs for themselves (33%); 5. Photographs (26%).

Mintel, 2013

Where They Buy Source

Based on a 2014 IBISWorld study, the Walt Disney Company owns a 44.5% share of the overall amusement park industry market, compared to Universal Parks at 15.0%, Sea World at 10.6% and Six Flags at 7.9%.

IBISWorld, 2014

From an attendance standpoint, the most popular theme park in North America (and the world) during the 2012 season was the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL, which attracted the greatest number of visitors for the 14th straight year -- 17.536 million (2.3% more than 2011).
 

Themed Entertainment Association, 2013

Ranking No. 2 in amusement park attendance during the 2012 season was Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, which drew 15.963 million visitors (down 1.1% from 2011).

Themed Entertainment Association, 2013

The amusement park with the third highest attendance figure in 2011 was EPCOT at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL, which attracted 11.063 million patrons (up 2.2% from the previous year).

Themed Entertainment Association, 2013

Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL, ranked No. 4 in attendance for 2012, drawing 9.998 million attendees (2.2% more than 2011).

Themed Entertainment Association, 2013

Ranking fifth among North American amusement parks in 2012 attendance was Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, which attracted 9.912 million visitors (a 2.2% increase from 2011).

Themed Entertainment Association, 2013

The 6-10 ranked North American amusement parks in 2012 attendance, with change from 2011 in parentheses: 6. Universal's Islands of Adventure (Orlando), 7.981 (+4.0%); 7. Disney's Californian Adventure (Anaheim, CA), 7.775 million (+22.6%); 8. Universal Studios Florida (Orlando), 6.195 (+2.5%); Universal Studios Hollywood (Universal City, CA), 5.912 (+15.0%); 10. Seaworld Florida (Orlando), 5.358 (+3.0%).

Themed Entertainment Association, 2013

Largest amusement/theme park chains worldwide, according to estimated 2012 attendance (in millions), with change from the prior year in parentheses: 1. Walt Disney Attractions, 126.5 (+4.7%); 2. Merlin Entertainment Group, 54.0 (+16.4%); 3. Universal Parks & Resorts, 34.5 (+7.9%); 4. Parques Reunidos, 27.1 (+3.5%); 5. Six Flags Inc., 25.8 (+6.0%); 6. Seaworld Parks & Entertainment, 24.3 (+3.0%); 7. Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, 23.6 (+0.9%); 8. OCT Parks China, 23.4 (+7.5%); 9. Haichang Group, 9.4 (+24.5%); 10. Compagne des Alpes, 9.3 (+1.0%).

Themed Entertainment Association, 2013

Top North American waterparks, based on 2012 attendance, with change from the previous year in parentheses: 1. Typhoon Lagoon at Disney World (Orlando), 2,100,000 (+2.0%); 2. Blizzard Beach at Disney World (Orlando), 1,929,000 (+2.0%); 3. Aquatica (Orlando), 1,538,000 (+2.5%); 4. Wet 'N Wild (Orlando), 1,247,000 (+2.0%); 5. Schlitterbahn (New Braunfels, TX), 1,017,000 (+3.6%); 6. Water Country USA (Williamsburg, VA), 748,000 (+3.5%); 7. Noah's Ark (Wisconsin Dells, WI), 666,000 (+3.6%); 8. Adventure Island (Tampa), 651,000 (+1.1%); 9. Schlitterbahn (Galveston, TX), 546,000 (+2.1%); 10. Hyland Hills Water World (Denver), 538,000 (-3.8%).

Themed Entertainment Association, 2013

Business Trends Source

Research by IBISWorld pegs the amusement park industry as a $15.4 billion market in 2014, with profits expected to reach $1.6 billion (up 4% since 2009).

IBISWorld, 2014

Based on a 2014 report by IBISWorld, amusement park industry revenue is expected to continue to increase through the next five years, as companies seek to lure more customers with new attractions. Also, the improved economy is projected to help raise consumer confidence, causing demand for entertainment to rise accordingly.

IBISWorld, 2014

According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, there are some 525 amusement parks and water parks in the U.S.

IAAPA, 2014

Total visits to the top 20 amusement parks in North America increased 3.5% in 2012 to approximately 131.5 million, while attendance at the top 20 waterparks in North America was up 2.0% to 15.4 million.

Themed Entertainment Association, 2013

Misc Source

A 2014 study by MarketResearch.com concluded that the profitability of individual amusement park companies depends on good marketing. Large companies can more easily build expensive rides and have economies of scale in operations and advertising. Smaller companies can compete by serving smaller markets or offering special rides.

MarketResearch.com, 2014

According to a research report by IBISWorld, the amusement park industry is concentrated in the Southeast, West, Southwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, all of which are major tourist destinations. These regions all have favorable year-round weather conditions that prevent any significant problems with seasonality with respect to operations and visitors. However, water parks will almost always have some seasonal use issues. 

IBISWorld, 2014