From Mouse Planet: Magic Kingdom again world's most-visited park; Animal Kingdom closes gap on Studios
While Amusement Business
magazine has gone out of business, the annual theme park attendance listing is too much anticipated to have gone away completely. Economics Research Associates (ERA), the group that put the highly regarded estimates together for the magazine, has found a new partner. The rankings will now be distributed through the Themed Entertainment Association
(TEA) and InPark
and Park World
Once again, Walt Disney World
's Magic Kingdom
finds itself atop the heap, with 2006 attendance of over 16.64 million visitors. Disneyland Park
in California duplicated last year's #2 finish at 14.73 million guests. Tokyo's Disneyland and Disney Sea parks finished third and fourth with 12.9 million and 12.1 million, respectively.
Disneyland Paris had its lead over Epcot
halved, as it held onto fifth place with 10.6 million visitors. Epcot had 10.46 million to stay right behind. While the lure of Expedition Everest
didn't enable Disney's Animal Kingdom
to overtake the Disney-MGM Studios
, as originally thought, it did close the gap by 59 percent as the Studios welcomed 9.1 million guests to the animal park's 8.91 million.
The top-ranked non-Disney park was Universal Studios Japan, with 8.5 million visitors. Disney's California Adventure
showed up at number 13 on the list, with 5.95 million, and Hong Kong Disneyland showed up at number 18, with 5.2 million guests. Way off of the charts was the Disney Studios Paris, which only pulled in 2.2 million visitors, good for 11th place in Europe. The world top 25 list was cut off at 3.91 million for Nagashima Spa Land in Japan.
Attendance again grew at all U.S. Disney parks, with Disney's Animal Kingdom leading the way at 8.6 percent. Epcot saw a 5.5 percent increase and the Studios followed with 5 percent. The Magic Kingdom saw a 3 percent hike in guests, while Disney's California Adventure managed a 2.1 percent bump. Recovering from the initial burst of the 50th anniversary celebration in 2005, Disneyland still managed a 1.2 percent rise. The U.S. Disney parks took six of the top seven domestic spots, with Universal Studios Florida sneaking in at 6 million visitors, topping DCA by 50,000.