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  1. #1

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    Busch Entertainment Disputes TEA Attendance Figures For SeaWorld and Aquatica

    Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom busiest theme park -- OrlandoSentinel.com


    Busch Entertainment Corp. is angry with TEA over publishing what Busch claims is erroneous attendance figures across the board for Orlando based SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica and their other 7 parks in the U.S. They are taking issue as they feel their attendance was higher in each case.

    Well, I certainly have learned something here. Previously, I thought that each of the parks gave TEA their accurate (as possible) stats. Apparently, Busch does not share their info ..and neither does many of the other companies. This means that TEA oft times guesses. Their annual attendance report is not as accurate as I thought it was.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Busch Entertainment Disputes TEA Attendance Figures For SeaWorld and Aquatica

    Disney does not give them numbers either. They are nothing more than "Guestimates".

    If you took out "Haunt" I guarantee that Knott's wouldn't be as high as it is. Which makes me wonder if "Special Ticket" events (like MNSSHP, Halloween Horror Nights or Mickey's Halloween Treat) are counted in the MK, DCA or Universal column.


  3. #3

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    Re: Busch Entertainment Disputes TEA Attendance Figures For SeaWorld and Aquatica

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    Disney does not give them numbers either. They are nothing more than "Guestimates".

    If you took out "Haunt" I guarantee that Knott's wouldn't be as high as it is. Which makes me wonder if "Special Ticket" events (like MNSSHP, Halloween Horror Nights or Mickey's Halloween Treat) are counted in the MK, DCA or Universal column.
    Once I found that Busch doesn't reports it's attendance, I pretty much gathered that Disney and Universal do not either. TEA should have to print a disclaimer that their attendance figures are guestamates ..and do so in large bold print.

    Counting special ticked through the process of guestimation would only skew the stats further. I still find the TEA reports interesting. After all, what else do we have to refer to. It's just not ian iron-clad authority ..and muvh of it's findings are subject to heavy scrutiny and debate. Unfortunate this.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Busch Entertainment Disputes TEA Attendance Figures For SeaWorld and Aquatica

    Quote Originally Posted by Ride Warrior View Post
    Previously, I thought that each of the parks gave TEA their accurate (as possible) stats
    Nope.. estimates based on various factors. The actual attendance is quite sensitive information and data collection methods would vary between companies anyways.

    The companies have no motivation to be directly compared to their competition in absolute numbers. As with many industries, it's a single metric the company itself may hold at a different value then another company.

    For instance, one company may put more emphasis on spending per guest.. while another may focus on stuffing the gates as much as possible. The company focusing on spending doesn't want to have to defend itself against why their absolute number is lower then the other guy, etc.

    Metrics and value are important to any company and direct comparisons can be very risky to a company's corporate profile... which is why what information is presented is very carefully handled.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Busch Entertainment Disputes TEA Attendance Figures For SeaWorld and Aquatica

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Nope.. estimates based on various factors. The actual attendance is quite sensitive information and data collection methods would vary between companies anyways.

    The companies have no motivation to be directly compared to their competition in absolute numbers. As with many industries, it's a single metric the company itself may hold at a different value then another company.

    For instance, one company may put more emphasis on spending per guest.. while another may focus on stuffing the gates as much as possible. The company focusing on spending doesn't want to have to defend itself against why their absolute number is lower then the other guy, etc.

    Metrics and value are important to any company and direct comparisons can be very risky to a company's corporate profile... which is why what information is presented is very carefully handled.
    It utterly beguiles me as to why companies like Disney, Universal and Busch are so sensitive and reluctant to publish their attendance stats. Can unserstand the tight-lips concerning their secrets on how they choose to focus their attention gathering emphasis on.

    The publishing of raw data would not have to denote how or why it was obtained. One would also think that the companies would desire to be associated with the list of top parks, as well as desire to see their ranking.

    Seems to me that everyone knows Disney and Universal are on top anyway. So I don't see reasonable cause for their corporate profiles being at risk, or how their respective systems metrics and value could perceivably be compromised. They seem way overly paranoid.

    Busch reluctance might be a little more understandable. Still, it's parks consistantly rank highly each year. Just look at Aquatica ..their brand new park has already made the top twenty waterpark list ..and almost in the middle at that!
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  6. #6

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    Re: Busch Entertainment Disputes TEA Attendance Figures For SeaWorld and Aquatica

    Because the markets are extremly tough on companies.

    Plus, the bigger and more established you are.. the harder it is for you to grow.

    So.. how would you like to have to defend yourself against comments like 'Why is SeaWorld and UO growing their attendance at 8% and you Disney only grew at 4%?'. People will look at that and say 'Disney is falling behind!' 'Disney is at risk of losing market share' 'Disney is declining compared to the industry'.

    Disney could be at more saturation.. or maybe the competition simply had new openings that year and Disney didn't and didn't want to for a period of time. But now Disney is being pressed to compete on stats it doesn't want to. The company and the analysts that follow it find a balance of information that the company is willing to disclose and the analysts are willing to accept as enough visibility into the health and future of the company.

    The problem isn't wanting to protect HOW they collect stats.. it's simply trying to better control how they compared to their competition and the rest of the industry.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Busch Entertainment Disputes TEA Attendance Figures For SeaWorld and Aquatica

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Because the markets are extremly tough on companies.

    Plus, the bigger and more established you are.. the harder it is for you to grow.

    So.. how would you like to have to defend yourself against comments like 'Why is SeaWorld and UO growing their attendance at 8% and you Disney only grew at 4%?'. People will look at that and say 'Disney is falling behind!' 'Disney is at risk of losing market share' 'Disney is declining compared to the industry'.

    Disney could be at more saturation.. or maybe the competition simply had new openings that year and Disney didn't and didn't want to for a period of time. But now Disney is being pressed to compete on stats it doesn't want to. The company and the analysts that follow it find a balance of information that the company is willing to disclose and the analysts are willing to accept as enough visibility into the health and future of the company.

    The problem isn't wanting to protect HOW they collect stats.. it's simply trying to better control how they compared to their competition and the rest of the industry.
    Thanks for this enlightening explanation, flynnibus. The marketers, critical industry analists, and likely a good number of the shareholders oft times look only at the bottom line ..with no interest in the variables, or little ability to understand strategy and positioning even if they did care.

    So, we're left with hap-hazard guess work on the part of TEA. No wonder there doesn't seem to be any other attendance reporting companies out their to compete with TEA. Would say that nobody envies them ..and the theme park companies loath them with the same intensity that celebrities dispise the paparazzi.
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 04-19-2009 at 04:33 PM.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Busch Entertainment Disputes TEA Attendance Figures For SeaWorld and Aquatica

    Industry analysts are necessary evils. You hate them, but at the same time you must appease them because they talk, and talk, and talk. Eventually someone will start to listen. It's kinda like Al Lutz.. do you think Disney wants a reporter to quote Al as a source? No, but persistence can pay off.

    The credentials needed to be an analyst seem to be weaker then the credentials needed to be an internet critic

    And yes.. there is plenty of stroking and feeding the analysts in most industries. By how you handle them, you can often influence their impressions and behaviors.
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