Vacation savings from Orlando Informer!Save with Orlando Informer!X


Save $50

on select Universal Orlando Resort tickets

2012 theme park attendance figures released, Universal Orlando up 3.3% over 2011


According to the annual TEA/AECOM Theme Index released yesterday, attendance data for 2012 reveals increases nearly across the board at major theme parks/amusement parks, with strong performance in both North America and Asia. Attendance at the top 25 parks worldwide grew 5.2 percent, to 205,906,000 visits in 2012. Attendance at the top 20 water parks worldwide grew by 5.4 percent, to 25,005,000 visits in 2012.

Here are the top 20 Amusement/Theme Parks in North America:

Theme park attendance: Universal Studios Florida & Islands of Adventure

The report is available free online:

-TEA’s website at TEA/AECOM/themeindex2012 or

John Robinett, Senior Vice President, Economics, at AECOM, says, “The major operators in Europe, Asia and North America all had a successful year – but Asia is the really dramatic news. We forecast in last year’s Theme Index that the industry in Asia would begin to outpace the industry in North America, and the 2012 report contains the first clear sign of it: Our figures show that water park attendance totals in Asia have, for the first time, surpassed those of North America.”

The TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index is a collaboration of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and the economics practice at AECOM, a global provider of technical-professional and management-support services. This calendar-year study of global attractions attendance is a free resource for park operators, land developers and the travel industry. Top worldwide theme parks, amusement parks, water parks, museums and theme park group operators are named, and industry trends are identified.

The largest amusement/theme park market remained North America, with 131,555,000 visits to the continent’s 20 largest parks in 2012, up by 3.6 percent from 2011. Asia’s amusement/theme park market continues to grow rapidly, achieving 108,689,000 visits to its 20 largest parks in 2012, up 5.8 percent from 2011. Continuing to struggle with the effects of the Euro crisis, the top 20 amusement/theme parks in Europe saw attendance decline marginally to 57,954,000 visits in 2012, down 0.3 percent from 2011. Despite significant declines at a few of Latin America’s amusement/theme parks, the top 10 amusement/theme and water parks in the market grew by 2.6 percent to 13,199,000 visits in 2012.

The top 20 water parks in North America grew by 2.2 percent to reach 15,386,000 visits in 2012. The top 15 water parks in Asia grew significantly faster at 7.4 percent, achieving 15,999,000 visits in 2012.

The top 20 museums in Europe had 71,536,000 visits in 2012, followed by the top 20 museums in North America with 55,816,000 visits, and the top 20 museums in Asia with 41,568,000 visits. In contrast to the amusement/theme parks and water parks, all of which charge an entry fee, the museums include those with both paid and free entry.

The complete TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index examines attendance trends by geographic region and park type, and includes rankings of top attractions. The full report is available free of charge on the TEA ( and AECOM ( websites as of June 4, 2013.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

New features added to Orlando Informer: Enhanced commenting system, read & write reviews of Universal attractions

Aquatica introduces After-2pm Pass for FL residents: Enjoy SeaWorld’s waterpark every afternoon in 2013 for the price of a single day ticket

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
June 5, 2013 1:06 pm

I came up with total Universal Orlando attendance of 13,718,000 in 2011 and 14,176,000 in 2013, giving us an increase of 458,000 or 3.3%.

June 5, 2013 1:12 pm

By the way, also note the big boast in attendance at Universal Studios Hollywood 2011 vs. 2012 — a lot of that is because of Transformers opening there. Makes you wonder if Universal Studios Hollywood will see that kind of increase 2012 vs. 2013!

June 5, 2013 2:17 pm

If the enormous crowds hovering around the ride just for the possibility to ride is any indication. The crowds are going to be huge when the ride actually opens!

June 5, 2013 1:29 pm

I wonder if the Hollywood increase was because it is the first major attraction in several years. USF (Including IOA) is on it’s fifth straight year of major attractions opening (going to before the Comcast buyout). I think we may see an increase, but not as much due to the massive amount of new attractions over the past few years.

June 5, 2013 1:40 pm
Reply to  redneckotaku

redneckotaku That’s a good point.

Cara Brown Disbrow
Cara Brown Disbrow
June 5, 2013 1:23 pm

Disney’s on top!! 🙂
June 5, 2013 1:25 pm

Cara Brown Disbrow Very true – that probably won’t change the decades. The bad news is that Magic Kingdom is basically never slow anymore.

Melissa McLaughlin
Melissa McLaughlin
June 5, 2013 5:27 pm

Disney also has more parks.

Anita Sliman
Anita Sliman
June 5, 2013 6:51 pm

Any recommendations for the Summer Concert Series? My party is going to the concert on 29 June. Do they manage the line by assigning numbers to those who arrive early but would like to pop in and out for food, rest rooms, rides without losing their place in line?

June 7, 2013 8:34 am
Reply to  Anita Sliman

@Anita Sliman They don’t assign numbers, but they do allow groups of guests to line up as early as park opening (if the artist is popular enough). If you come in a group, people can leave one at a time, but if the whole group leaves the line then you’d lose your place. Learn more on our Summer Concert Series page:

About Taylor Strickland

Taylor Strickland is the owner of Orlando Informer, the internationally awarded independent resource for guests visiting Orlando. In this position, he leads the website's overall direction and day-to-day operations, working with a team of writers, editors, developers, and producers.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x