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Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Theme Parks market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Definition

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel uses the terms “theme park” and “amusement park” synonymously. Both terms refer to a commercially operated park that offers rides, games, and other forms of live entertainment in exchange for an admission fee. National parks, nature reserves, and other municipally operated amusements, such as zoos, museums, and aquariums, are not included in this definition.

Mintel uses the following terms throughout the Report:

  • Theme park visit: any visit to a theme park in the past three years
  • Theme park vacation: a visit to a theme park as part of a multiday vacation
  • Theme park visitor: a person who has been to a theme park in the past three years
  • Theme park vacationer: a person who has visited a theme park as part of a multiday vacation

The Report includes analysis of “destination” as well as “regional” theme parks.

Destination parks

For the purposes of this Report, “destination” parks are described as parks that attract visitors from around the world; they are full of attractions and invest heavily in advertising and promotion across the US. These parks have multiple lodging choices on and off park property.

Destination parks include: Busch Gardens, Disneyland, Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios.

Regional parks

“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, Kings Island, Six Flags, Legoland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and other local amusement parks.

The Report builds on analysis presented in Theme Parks – US, April 2017. Readers may also be interested in other Reports in Mintel’s travel library including Family Vacations – US, February 2018 and Outdoor Vacations – US, April 2018.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by John Poelking, a leading analyst in the Leisure & Media sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Driven by an excited core audience willing to pay for admissions prices and beyond, theme parks are expected to grow significantly in the coming years. Still, theme park vacations face stiff competition from other vacation types. Theme parks can work to differentiate themselves by focusing on what sets them apart: rides and attractions. Family is also important, but not everything when it comes to a theme park visit. John Poelking
Leisure & Media Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definitions
        • Destination parks
          • Regional parks
          • Executive Summary

              • The issues
                • Smaller parks overshadowed by might of Disney, Universal
                  • Figure 1: Annual revenues of major parks ($ millions) 2016, and percentage change 2015-16
                • Slow growth in population of children
                  • Figure 2: Population of children younger than age 18, by age, 2017-22
                • High costs keeping some away
                  • Figure 3: Theme park deterrents – Select items, by rank, January 2017
                • The opportunities
                  • Most theme parks growing
                    • Figure 4: Top 10 amusement parks in North America, by attendance (2015) and growth, 2014-15
                  • 18-34s, Hispanics, parents visit frequently
                    • Figure 5: Theme park visitation – Have visited more than once in the last 12 months, by key demographics, January 2017
                  • Franchises, new tech have broad appeal
                    • Figure 6: Reasons to visit a theme park – Attractions, January 2017
                  • Food and drinks dominate park spend
                    • Figure 7: Theme park purchases – Food and drink, January 2017
                  • Older adults could use a rest
                    • What it means
                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                      • Substantial growth expected for theme parks
                        • Disney dominates
                          • Warm weather bodes well for theme parks
                            • Stagnant population of children mostly offset by growing income, Hispanic population
                            • Market Size and Forecast

                              • Growing attendance, increasing admission prices drive growth
                                • Figure 8: Total US revenues and fan chart forecast of theme parks, at current prices, 2011-21
                                • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of theme parks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                            • Market Breakdown

                              • Ticket prices, innovation drive growth
                                • Figure 10: Annual revenues of major parks ($ millions) 2016, and percentage change 2015-16
                              • Bigger parks have higher guest spend
                                • Figure 11: Revenue per capita and spending growth per capita of major parks, 2015 and 2014-15
                            • Market Perspective

                              • Florida and California popular vacation spots
                                • Summer is hot for vacations
                                  • Millennials crave experience
                                    • The normalization of integrated technology
                                    • Market Factors

                                      • Stagnant population growth of children could hurt attendance
                                        • Figure 12: Best Vacation Ever – Universal Orlando® Resort, January 2014
                                        • Figure 13: Population of children younger than age 18, by age, 2017-22
                                      • Household incomes on the rise for families
                                        • Figure 14: Median household income of families with related children, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2005-15
                                      • Hispanic population on the rise
                                        • Figure 15: Population by Hispanic origin, 2012-22
                                      • Consumer confidence entering 2017 on a high note
                                        • Figure 16: Consumer Sentiment Index, January 2007-January 2017
                                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                      • Disney operates top five theme parks
                                        • Cross-platform and franchise integration proves successful
                                          • SeaWorld hoping to rebound
                                            • The new, virtual world
                                            • Leading Theme Parks Overview

                                              • Disney World leads the pack, Universal growing
                                                • Figure 17: Top 10 amusement parks in North America, by attendance (2015) and growth, 2014-15
                                              • Regional parks generally round out top 20
                                                  • Figure 18: Rest of the top twenty theme parks in North America, by attendance and growth, 2015
                                              • What’s Working?

                                                • The integration of intellectual property
                                                  • Special events have people coming back
                                                    • Planning made easy with mobile tech
                                                      • Everything on the phone
                                                        • Wearable tech makes thing easier
                                                          • Splurging for comfort and style
                                                          • What’s Struggling?

                                                            • SeaWorld’s struggles
                                                            • What’s Next?

                                                              • The many faces of virtual reality
                                                                • All VR parks
                                                                  • Figure 19: First look at THE VOID, informational video, May 2015
                                                                • Augmenting existing attractions
                                                                  • No need to wait in line
                                                                    • Expanding the immersive experience
                                                                      • Taking visitors to another world
                                                                        • Full-size dinosaurs in Japan
                                                                          • The show is all around you
                                                                            • New foods supplement old favorites
                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                              • Frequent theme park visitation common
                                                                                • Planning ahead popular
                                                                                  • Food and drink purchases necessary
                                                                                    • Balancing the new with the familiar
                                                                                      • Price is a pain point
                                                                                        • High cost worth a memorable experience
                                                                                          • Franchises, new tech are popular
                                                                                            • Tradition, safety influence theme park attitudes
                                                                                              • Stressed-out Splurgers most influential consumer segment
                                                                                              • Theme Park Visitation

                                                                                                  • Majority of adults have gone to theme parks
                                                                                                    • Destination parks are most popular
                                                                                                      • Frequent visitation is more common than a single visit
                                                                                                        • Four in 10 have not gone in last three years
                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Theme park visitation, by frequency and type of theme park, January 2017
                                                                                                        • Hispanics, parents are most frequent visitors
                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Theme park visitation – Have visited more than once in the last 12 months, by key demographics, January 2017
                                                                                                        • Regional and destination theme park visitors similar
                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Destination and regional theme park visitation – Any visit in the last 12 months, by key demographics, January 2017
                                                                                                        • Attendance by teens and kids relatively steady
                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Adults’ and teens’ past 12 month theme park visitation, kids’ theme parks visitation incidence, 2006-16
                                                                                                      • Theme Park Planning

                                                                                                          • Going straight to the source
                                                                                                            • Looking for the best deal
                                                                                                              • Other internet sources also useful
                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Theme park planning, January 2017
                                                                                                              • Women think ahead
                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Theme park planning – Select items, by gender, January 2017
                                                                                                              • Younger adults go online
                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Theme park planning – Select items, by age, January 2017
                                                                                                              • Parents less price conscious and using online sources to plan
                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Theme park planning – Select items, by parental status, January 2017
                                                                                                              • Hispanics plan online
                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Theme park planning – Select items, by race and Hispanic origin, January 2017
                                                                                                            • Theme Park Purchases

                                                                                                                • Day trips require food
                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Theme park purchases, January 2017
                                                                                                                  • Purchases change with age
                                                                                                                    • Food and drink for older adults
                                                                                                                      • Novelty for younger adults
                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Theme park purchases – Select items, by age, January 2017
                                                                                                                      • Parents pay for memories
                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Theme park purchases – Select items, by parental status, January 2017
                                                                                                                      • Black theme park visitors switch-up food options
                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Theme park purchases – Select items, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2017
                                                                                                                    • Reasons to Visit a Theme Park

                                                                                                                        • Attractions bring people in
                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Reasons to visit a theme park, January 2017
                                                                                                                        • Women, parents gravitate toward the familiar
                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Reasons to visit a theme park – Select items, by parental status by gender, January 2017
                                                                                                                        • High-income households don’t care as much about new experiences
                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Reasons to visit a theme park, by household income, January 2017
                                                                                                                        • Black adults least likely to repeat
                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Reasons to visit a theme park, by race and Hispanic origin, January 2017
                                                                                                                      • Issues with Theme Parks

                                                                                                                          • High cost, long lines an issue
                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Theme park issues – Select items, by rank, January 2017
                                                                                                                          • Price important to women
                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Theme park issues – Select items, by gender, January 2017
                                                                                                                          • Safety a concern for younger adults
                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Theme park issues – Select items, by age, January 2017
                                                                                                                          • Non-parents looking for discounts, parents for security
                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Theme park issues – Select items, by parent status, January 2017
                                                                                                                          • Black, Hispanic adults worried about safety
                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Theme park issues – Select items, by race and Hispanic origin, January 2017
                                                                                                                        • Why People Don’t Go

                                                                                                                            • Price overwhelmingly the most significant deterrent
                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Theme park deterrents – Select items, by rank, January 2017
                                                                                                                            • Younger adults most price conscious
                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Theme park deterrents – Select items, by age, January 2017
                                                                                                                            • Hispanic, Black adults worried more about food and safety
                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Theme park deterrents – Select items, by race and Hispanic origin, January 2017
                                                                                                                          • Attitudes toward Theme Park Purchases

                                                                                                                              • Parks worth the high price
                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Attitudes toward theme park purchases, January 2017
                                                                                                                              • Men more willing to spend
                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Attitudes toward theme park purchases, by gender, January 2017
                                                                                                                              • 25-44s more willing to pay more
                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Attitudes toward theme park purchases, by age, January 2017
                                                                                                                            • Attitudes toward Theme Park Attractions

                                                                                                                                • Balancing the new with the familiar
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Attitudes toward theme park attractions, January 2017
                                                                                                                                • Parents get excited for their children, fathers prefer adult-centric activities
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Attitudes toward theme park attractions, by parental status and gender, January 2017
                                                                                                                                • Hispanics excited about attractions
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Attitudes toward theme park attractions, by race and Hispanic origin, January 2017
                                                                                                                              • Attitudes toward Theme Park Experiences

                                                                                                                                  • Creating family traditions
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Attitudes toward theme park experiences, January 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Good reputations go a long way
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Attitudes toward theme park experiences, January 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Younger adults worry about stress, safety
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Attitudes toward theme park experiences, by age, January 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Tools to ease stress could help Hispanics
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Attitudes toward theme park experiences, by Hispanic origin, January 2017
                                                                                                                                • Consumer Segmentation

                                                                                                                                    • Factors
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Theme park guest segments, January 2017
                                                                                                                                      • Stressed-out Splurgers (28%)
                                                                                                                                        • Demographics
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Profile of Stressed-out Splurgers, index to all theme park visitors, January 2017
                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                          • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                            • Reluctant Retirees (28%)
                                                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Profile of Reluctant Retirees, index to all theme park visitors, January 2017
                                                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                  • Flexible Frequenters (25%)
                                                                                                                                                    • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Profile of Flexible Frequenters, index to all theme park visitors, January 2017
                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                      • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                        • Unimpressed and Uncaring (19%)
                                                                                                                                                          • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Profile of Unimpressed and Uncaring, index to all theme park visitors, January 2017
                                                                                                                                                          • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                            • Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                • Sales data
                                                                                                                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                          • Terms
                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Total US revenues and forecast of theme parks, at current prices, 2011-21

                                                                                                                                                                          About the report

                                                                                                                                                                          This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer

                                                                                                                                                                            What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                                                                                          • The Competitors

                                                                                                                                                                            Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                                                                                          • The Market

                                                                                                                                                                            Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                                                                                          • The Innovations

                                                                                                                                                                            New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                                                                                          • The Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                            Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                                                                                          • The Trends

                                                                                                                                                                            What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                          Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

                                                                                                                                                                          Description