3/17/08 - Monday in the Parks - News, Photos and Tips
by, 03-17-2008 at 02:45 AM
Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone! Let's get started.
Upcoming Events in the Anaheim Area
Well, the next few weeks will be busy at the local Theme Parks as Easter/Spring Break gets into full gear. So just be prepared for the large crowds, and have a good time. But here is a heads up of a couple of events that will impact the parks.
NCAA March Madness is coming to Anaheim.
The Honda Center is hosting some of the 1st and 2nd round games in the Men's Basketball tournament, which will be held Thursday, March 20th through Sunday, March 23rd, so be prepared to see many guests in their favorite college colors.
Mini Gay Day
Mini Gay Day will be held on Saturday, April 5th this year. It is a much less formal, and a smaller event than the big bash that is held in October (scheduled for October 3rd-5th in 2008). As with all Gay Day events, the folks who come for the festivities wear Red Shirts.
There are only 3 main events being held.
11:30 AM - Single Riders Meet on the Mark Twain Steamboat
2 PM - Group Photo in front of the Castle
9 PM - Meeting at the Hearthstone Lounge at the Grand Californian Hotel to mingle and enjoy beverages.
More info can be found at this link.
TEA and ERA Release Annual Theme Park Attendance Numbers for 2007
Let's start with the general trend for North American Parks. Total visits to the top 20 parks were 122.8 million, an increase of 2.6% as compared to 2006. (Note: North America for this report is just the United States and Canada, Mexico parks are listed in the Latin America geographic region).
Here is the list of the Top 20 Amusement/Theme Parks in North America for 2007.
1. Magic Kingdom (WDW) - 17,060,000 - Up 2.5% (Worldwide rank - 1)
2. Disneyland - 14,870,000 - Up 1% (Worldwide rank - 2)
3. EPCOT - 10,930,000 - Up 4.5% (Worldwide rank - 6)
4. Disney's Hollywood Studios - 9,510,000 - Up 4.5% (Worldwide rank - 7)
5. Disney's Animal Kingdom - 9,490,000 - Up 6.5% (Worldwide rank - 8)
6. Universal Studios Orlando - 6,200,000 - Up 3.3% (Worldwide rank - 11)
7. SeaWorld Florida - 5,800,000 - Up 1% (Worldwide Rank - 12)
8. Disney's California Adventure - 5,680,000 - Down 4.5% (Worldwide rank - 13)
9. Islands of Adventure - 5,430,000 - Up 2.5% (Worldwide rank - 15)
10. Universal Studios Hollywood - 4,700,000 - Flat (Worldwide rank - 18)
11. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay - 4,400,000 - Up 1%
12. SeaWorld California - 4,260,000 - Flat
13. Knott's Berry Farm - 3,630,000 - Down 1%
14. Canada's Wonderland - 3,250,000 - Up 0.5%
15. Busch Gardens Europe - 3,157,000 - Up 12.5%
16. Cedar Point - 3,120,000 - Up 1.5%
17. Kings Island - 3,050,000 - Flat
18. Hershey Park - 2,940,000 - Up 9.2%
19. Six Flags Great Adventure - 2,720,000 - Down 0.5%
20. Six Flags Great America - 2,630,000 - Up 0.5%
So if we focus on the Southern California market, we can see it didn't do as well as the Orlando area in increased attendance. But what stands out is the large decrease at DCA, the only US Disney park to have a decrease, and also had the largest decrease in the Top 20 list (only 3 parks had a decrease).
So the Disneyland Resort had a total attendance of 20,550,000 for its two parks in 2007, based on the TEA/ERA report, which makes it about 3 to 1 of folks attending Disneyland as compared to DCA (the percentage is actually 27.6%).
And of course, most of DCA's attendance comes from discounted Multi-Day ParkHoppers, the 2fer program (which now runs thru May 22nd, even though Disney has failed to update its TV and Print ads, which still shows an April end. Disneyland.com has the correct ending date), Annual Passholders, Comps and sign-ins. Very few single day tickets are sold for DCA. So you can see why Disney is investing so much money over the next few years to improve the park.
You can find the full report, including all the Worldwide numbers at this link.
And by the way, a common question is how does ERA get its information, well ERA obtains the figures used to create this report through a variety of sources, including statistics furnished directly by the operators, historical numbers, financial reports, the investment banking community and local tourism organizations, among others.
World's Largest Embassy Suites to be built in Garden Grove
The Orange County Register reported this week that the Garden Grove City Council gave final approval to allow expansion of the current Embassy Suites on Harbor Boulevard, near Chapman. A new 17 story building will be built (which will be the tallest structure in the resort area when finished) to hold an additional 238 rooms.
Here are some selected photos from http://darkbeer.smugmug.com
The new Sheraton Garden Grove, located just south of the Embassy Suites is progressing nicely
Work is progressing on the Cold Stone Creamery, which will be part of the Park Vue Inn on Harbor
A new fleet of Cast Member Shuttles have been placed in service
A look at Disney Legend Bob Gurr's window
The recent Jungle Cruise refurb has brought a lot more color to the attraction
King Arthur Carrousel is behind tarps, and might not be ready to reopen in April, the last announced return date.
Thanks to some color editing, a look behind the tarp shows that all the horses have been taken backstage
A look at the Tomorrowland Monorail station platform, where they had to cut off the corners on both ends for the new Mark VII. Testing continues, and if all goes well, hopefully the new Mark VII will be ready for guests in about a month (mid-April).
The Grand Californian/Disney Vacation Club project is progressing nicely
The new Emergency Egress Bridge next to Whitewater Snacks is almost complete
This will allow the Miner 49'ers band to return to in front of GRR. They are scheduled to return this Thursday.
The pathway between the Sun Wheel and California Screamin' is now open
But there are plenty of refurb walls still up in the area.
Disney has decided to keep "High School Musical 2" to a 5 day a week operation (dark Wednesday and Thursday) even during the Peak Easter Break period
Seasons of the Vine will close Sunday, March 30th to allow for the building to be converted to a DCA Preview Center, scheduled to open in June, to match up with the opening of Toy Story Mania! So this is your last chance to see the movie, if you can find someone to open it up for you. One hint, try and check around the top of the hour to see if a CM is available to operate the attraction.
And to end the article, Happy Easter to everyone!