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Theme Parks - US - May 2011

Destination parks include: Busch Gardens, Disneyland, Disney World, Knott's Berry Farm, Sea World, and Universal Studios.

"Regional" parks generally attract visitors from local areas, have a single park location, do not offer lodgings on park property, and do not advertise outside of their region.

Regional parks include: Cedar Point, Dollywood, Hersheypark, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, Kennywood, Kings Island, Knoebels, Lake Compounce, Six Flags, Mall of America, Paramount's Carowinds, Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Silver Dollar City, and other local amusement parks.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data Sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • After sharp decline in 2009, revenues increased in 2010, growth expected for 2011
                        • Admissions and food and beverage sales key to future success
                          • Concessions and merchandise sales
                            • Demographic trends could help to drive growth
                              • Asians and Hispanics among the most avid theme park enthusiasts
                                • Overall attendance declined in 2009 but is poised to bounce back
                                  • Rising gas prices and falling consumer confidence could undermine growth in 2011
                                    • Young people and parents of all ages are cornerstones of market
                                      • The allure of new rides and the loathing of long lines
                                        • The internet is the main marketplace for theme park tickets
                                          • Deal hunting now routine
                                            • Overnight guests often stay off property
                                              • Regional parks’ appeal
                                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                                • Target locals and consider offering inexpensive regional transportation
                                                  • Increase efforts to attract Baby Boomers
                                                    • Offer more healthy fare not just for adults, but kids too
                                                      • Consider offering more adult entertainment options
                                                      • Inspire Insights

                                                          • Trend: Life Hacking
                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Revenues on the rise after steep 2009 decline
                                                                • Figure 1: Total U.S. revenues for amusement and theme parks, at current prices, 2005-15
                                                                • Figure 2: Total U.S. revenues for amusement and theme parks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2005-15
                                                              • Fan-chart forecast
                                                                  • Figure 3: Total U.S. revenues for amusement and theme parks, at current prices, with worst and best cases, 2005-15
                                                                • Attendance similar to revenue trend, demonstrates admissions are primary revenue source
                                                                  • Figure 4: Top 20 North American theme parks attendance, 2005-09
                                                              • Competitive Context

                                                                • Cruise lines successfully target families
                                                                  • Camping could pose a more formidable threat if the economy weakens
                                                                    • Figure 5: U.S. camping participation, 2006-09
                                                                  • Staycations remain a key threat in some cases
                                                                    • Figure 6: Home entertainment activities and travel habits, 2008-10
                                                                  • Las Vegas offers real competition for “destination” parks such as Disney
                                                                  • Segment Performance

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Admissions account for approximately 60% of revenues
                                                                        • Figure 7: Theme park segment sales and share of total revenues, 2010
                                                                      • Admissions forecast to drive growth through 2015
                                                                        • Figure 8: U.S. revenues and forecast for theme parks at current prices, by segment, 2005-15
                                                                        • Figure 9: U.S. revenues and forecast growth index for theme parks, by segment, 2005-15
                                                                    • Admissions

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Admissions sales rebounding after sharp 2009 decline
                                                                          • Figure 10: U.S. revenues and forecast for theme park admissions, at current prices, 2005-15
                                                                      • Food and Beverage

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Food and beverage sales expected to increase in 2010
                                                                            • Figure 11: Total U.S. revenues and forecast for theme park concessions, at current prices, 2005-15
                                                                        • Merchandise

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Merchandise sales continue to drag down overall revenue growth
                                                                              • Figure 12: Total U.S. revenues and forecast for theme park merchandise at current prices, 2005-15
                                                                          • Other Revenues

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Strong and steady growth for other revenues forecast through 2015
                                                                                • Figure 13: U.S. revenues and forecast for other revenues, at current prices, 2005-15
                                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Population trends contribute to modest growth
                                                                                  • Figure 14: U.S. population by age, 2006-16
                                                                                • Rapidly increasing Asian and Hispanic populations will drive theme park growth
                                                                                  • Figure 15: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2006-16
                                                                                • Number of U.S. households with children under 18 declines during last five years
                                                                                  • Figure 16: Households by presence of children, 2000-10
                                                                                • Minority segments more likely than whites to have kids under 18 living at home
                                                                                  • Figure 17: Households, by race of householder and presence and ages of children, 2009
                                                                                • Declines in median household incomes drives many to remain cautious
                                                                                  • Figure 18: Median household income in inflation-adjusted dollars, 1999-2009
                                                                                • Consumer confidence drops amid rising gas prices and Middle East tension
                                                                                  • Figure 19: Consumer Sentiment index, March 2007- March 2011
                                                                                • High gas prices likely to discourage travel
                                                                                  • Figure 20: Weekly U.S. Regular Conventional Retail Gasoline Prices, Mar. 5, 2007-April 25, 2011
                                                                              • Leading Theme Parks

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Disney maintains dominance with major ad campaigns
                                                                                    • Figure 21: Top 20 theme parks by attendance in North America, 2007-09
                                                                                  • Leading company profiles
                                                                                    • The Walt Disney Company
                                                                                        • Figure 22: Worldwide Annual Revenues for Disney Parks and Resorts, 2008-10
                                                                                      • New Offerings
                                                                                          • Figure 23: Disneyland Silly Symphony Swings attraction, April 2011
                                                                                        • Six Flags
                                                                                            • Figure 24: Worldwide annual revenues for Six Flags Resorts and Parks, 2008-10
                                                                                          • New Offerings
                                                                                              • Figure 25: Six Flags Dare Devil Dive roller coaster, April 2011
                                                                                            • Universal Studios
                                                                                              • New Offerings
                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Universal Studios Islands of Adventure Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster, April 2011
                                                                                                • SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment
                                                                                                  • New Offerings: SeaWorld, San Diego
                                                                                                    • New Offerings: Busch Gardens, Virginia
                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Busch Gardens Mach Tower ride, April 2011
                                                                                                  • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                      • Rides
                                                                                                        • Entertainment
                                                                                                          • Disneyland—World of Color
                                                                                                            • Disneyland—Mickey’s Soundsational Parade
                                                                                                              • SeaWorld—One Ocean
                                                                                                                • Niche parks and unique promotions
                                                                                                                  • Christian theme parks and attractions
                                                                                                                    • Disney’s “Give a Day, Get a Disney day” volunteer program
                                                                                                                      • Six Flags partners with a food bank
                                                                                                                        • Technology enhances the theme park experience
                                                                                                                          • Disney alleviates wait times and invests in crowd control
                                                                                                                            • Disney’s smartphone apps help visitors make the most of their day
                                                                                                                            • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                              • Some increased ad spending in 2009 to drive visitation in weak economy
                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Annual advertising expenditures at leading theme parks, 2008-09
                                                                                                                              • Disney sites get more traffic than competitors
                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Leading theme parks website and social media views guest activity, April 20, 2011
                                                                                                                              • Disney
                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Brand analysis of Disney
                                                                                                                              • Television advertising
                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Disney Parks television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Walt Disney World television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                              • Website
                                                                                                                                • Social Media
                                                                                                                                  • Six Flags
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Brand analysis of Six Flags
                                                                                                                                  • Television advertising
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Six Flags Over Texas television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Six Flags St. Louis ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Website
                                                                                                                                    • Social media
                                                                                                                                      • SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment (formerly Busch Entertainment Corporation)
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Brand analysis of SeaWorld
                                                                                                                                      • Television advertising
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: SeaWorld television ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Website
                                                                                                                                        • Universal Studios
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Brand analysis of Universal Studios
                                                                                                                                        • Television advertising
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Universal Studios television ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Website
                                                                                                                                        • Theme Park Attendance

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Parks primed for turnaround after dip in attendance
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Last 12 month theme park visitation, May 2003-Sept. 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Attendance rates shaped by age, presence of children, and income
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Incidence of visiting a theme park in the past two years, by key demographics, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Six Flags’ multiple parks attract many but Disney parks are biggest draw
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Theme park visited most recently and parks visited in the last two years, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Youngest adults are Six Flags’ biggest fans
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Theme parks visited in the last two years, by age, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Teen Trends

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Teens are more than twice as likely as adults to have visited a theme park
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Teens’ last 12 month theme park visitation, May 2004-June 2010
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Teens’ last 12 month theme park companionship, May 2004-June 2010
                                                                                                                                              • Six Flags is most popular with teens
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Teens’ last 12 month theme parks visited, May 2004-June. 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes Toward Amusement Parks

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • The lure of new rides, shorter lines and grown-up entertainment
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Incentives to visit and attitudes toward amusement parks, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • The internet and multipark passes offer opportunities for outreach
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Ticket purchase and use, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Young adults most enthusiastic parkgoers, most willing to pay for extra perks
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Incentives to visit, attitudes toward amusement parks, and ticket purchase and use, by age, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Income influences but doesn’t define spending decisions
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Incentives to visit, attitudes toward amusement parks, and ticket purchase and use, by household income, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Parents want to streamline, simplify and save
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Incentives to visit, attitudes toward amusement parks, and ticket purchase and use, by presence of children in household, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Parents enjoy going on rides with kids, want to make kids happy
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Parents’ attitudes toward amusement parks, by gender, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Discounts and Deals

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Beating the sticker price becoming the standard
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Discount tickets/coupons used for most recent theme park visit, by key demographics, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • The internet is by far the favorite source for discounts and coupons
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Source of discount ticket/coupon for most recent theme park visit, by most recently visited theme park type, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Source of discount ticket/coupon for most recent theme park visit, by age and presence of children in household, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Most plan ahead but may be open to last-minute deals
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Timing for advance planning of most recent theme park visit, by key demographics, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Trip Length and Accommodations

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Youth go for the day, older adults opt to stay
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Length of stay for most recent theme park visit, by age, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Financial means determine trip duration
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Length of stay for most recent theme park visit, by household income, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Family-friendly accommodations, single-friendly attractions
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Length of stay for most recent theme park visit, by presence and number of children in household, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Lodging choices: cost versus convenience
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Accommodation selection and used for most recent overnight theme park trip, by household income, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Beyond the Price of Admission

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Visitors pay to eat, drink and remember
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Purchases during most recent theme park visit, by age, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Household income generally doesn’t dictate park purchases
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Purchases during most recent theme park visit, by household income, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Kids a key factor in spending
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Purchases during most recent theme park visit, by presence and number of children in household, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Asians and Hispanics most likely to visit theme parks
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Incidence of visiting a theme park in the past two years, by race/Hispanic origin, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Theme parks visited in the last two years, by race/Hispanic origin, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • New rides and entertainment have greatest appeal among blacks
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Incentives to visit, attitudes toward amusement parks, and ticket purchase and use, by race/Hispanic origin, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Black respondents most likely to use discounts
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Discount tickets/coupons used for most recent theme park visit, by race/Hispanic origin, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Source of discount ticket/coupon for most recent theme park visit, by race/Hispanic origin, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Asians tend to plan farthest in advance
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Timing for advance planning of most recent theme park visit, by race/Hispanic origin, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Black respondents are most likely to be day trippers
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Length of stay for most recent theme park visit, by race/Hispanic origin, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Black respondents most likely to buy mementos, play games
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Purchases during most recent theme park visit, by race/Hispanic origin, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                            • Value Vacationers
                                                                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                    • Quick Trippers
                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                            • Admission Only
                                                                                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 72: Theme park clusters, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 73: Incidence of visiting a theme park in the past two years, by theme park clusters, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 74: Length of stay for most recent theme park visit, by theme park clusters, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 75: Purchases during most recent theme park visit, by theme park clusters, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 76: Discount tickets/coupons used for most recent theme park visit, by theme park clusters, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 77: Incentives to visit, attitudes toward amusement parks, by theme park clusters, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: Ticket purchase and use, by theme park clusters, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Theme park clusters, by gender, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Theme park clusters by age, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: Theme park clusters by household income, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Theme park clusters by race/Hispanic origin, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Theme park clusters by presence/number of children in household, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Custom Groups: Destination versus Regional Parks

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Regional parks lure the locals
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Regional park visitors less likely to plan and purchase online
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 84: Incentives to visit, attitudes toward amusement parks, ticket purchase and use, by most recently visited theme park type, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Regional day trippers and destination overnighters
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 85: Length of stay for most recent theme park visit, by most recently visited theme park type, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Regional park visitors locate off-park lodgings online
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 86: Most recent overnight theme park trip accommodations selection, by most recently visited theme park type, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Making it memorable: moving merchandise at regional parks
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 87: Purchases during most recent theme park visit, by most recently visited theme park type, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Theme park attendance
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Incidence of visiting a theme park in the past two years, by region, Jan.-Feb 2011.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Theme parks visited in the last two years, by region, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 90: Theme parks visited in the last two years, by marital status and presence of children in household, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes toward amusement parks
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 92: Attitudes toward amusement parks, by marital status and presence of children in household, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Parents’ attitudes toward amusement parks
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 93: Parents’ attitudes toward amusement parks, by number of children in household, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Discounts and deals
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 94: Discount tickets/coupons used for most recent theme park visit, by region, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 95: Most recent theme park visit discount tickets/coupons used, by marital status and presence of children in household, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 96: Source of discount ticket/coupon for most recent theme park visit, by region, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Trip length and accommodations
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 97: Length of stay for most recent theme park visit, by marital status, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 98: Length of stay for most recent theme park visit, by region, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 99: Accommodation selection and used for most recent overnight theme park trip, by gender, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 100: Accommodation selection and used for most recent overnight theme park trip, by region, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Beyond the price of admission
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 101: Purchases during most recent theme park visit, by gender, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 102: Purchases during most recent theme park visit, by marital status and presence of children in household, Jan.-Feb. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Blackstone Group (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Cruise Lines International Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                • International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions
                                                                                                                                                                                                • The Bureau of Transportation Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Universal Studios Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Walt Disney Company, The

                                                                                                                                                                                                Theme Parks - US - May 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                                £2,684.63 (Excl.Tax)