Market Assessment

According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA,, more than 300 million people visit U.S. amusement parks annually. These visits have an economic impact of $57 billion.

According to IBISWorld (, there are 415 amusement parks in the United States; combined revenue was $15 billion in 2015. Average annual growth was 1.8% from 2010 to 2015. Mintel ( assesses the market similarly, estimating U.S. theme park revenue at $14.4 billion.

“The amusement parks sector has grown over the past five years, driven by a rise in domestic and international visitor numbers and rising consumer spending. In the coming years, growth is expected to continue as a number of drivers continue to have a positive influence on the industry.”


IBISWorld, 12/15

Twenty-three percent (23%) of adults visit a theme park each year, a figure that has remained relatively unchanged since 2008. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of teens ages 12-to-17 visit a theme park each year, a decrease from 76% of teens who did so in 2008, according to Mintel. This is, in part, due to increasing costs. The typical daily cost of a day at an amusement park has increased to $170 from $150 in 2008.

According to the World Waterpark Association (, annual attendance at U.S. water parks is 70 million to 72 million. Most of the attendance is from free-standing water park visits; however, visits to indoor water park resorts are also included in the figure. There are more than 1,000 water parks in North America, including municipal/city-owned pools with water park features, corporate-owned water parks, independently owned water parks, and indoor/resort-style water parks.

22.2 City-by-City Survey

According to International Demographics (, 21.1% of adults living in metropolitan areas visit an amusement park at least once a year. The following metropolitan areas have the highest percentage of adults who do so:

• Orlando, FL: 49.7%

• Orange County, CA: 39.0%

• Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL: 38.2%

• Los Angeles, CA: 35.6%

• Sarasota, FL: 35.1%

22.3 Most-Visited Amusement Parks

According to a 2015 report by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA,, the top theme parks in the U.S. based on annual attendance are as follows:

Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World (Lake Buena Vista, FL): 19.3 million

Disneyland (Anaheim, CA): 16.8 million

Epcot at Walt Disney World (Lake Buena Vista, FL): 11.5 million

Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World

(Lake Buena Vista, FL): 10.4 million

Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

(Lake Buena Vista, FL): 10.3 million

Disney’s California Adventure (Anaheim, CA): 8.8 million

Universal Studios Florida (Orlando, FL): 8.3 million

Islands of Adventure at Universal (Orlando, FL): 8.1 million

Universal Studios Hollywood (Universal City, CA): 6.8 million

SeaWorld Florida (Orlando, FL): 4.7 million

Busch Gardens (Tampa, FL): 4.1 million

SeaWorld California (San Diego, CA): 4.0 million

Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park, CA): 3.7 million

Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH): 3.2 million

Hershey Park (Hershey, PA): 3.2 million

Kings Island (Kings Island, OH): 3.2 million

Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, NJ): 2.8 million

Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia, CA): 2.8 million

Busch Gardens (Williamsburg, VA): 2.7 million

The top water parks in the U.S. based on annual attendance are as follows:

Typhoon Lagoon at Disney World (Lake Buena Vista, FL): 2.2 million

Blizzard Beach at Disney World (Lake Buena Vista, FL): 2.0 million

Aquatica (Orlando, FL): 1.6 million

Wet ‘N Wild (Orlando, FL): 1.3 million

Schlitterbahn (New Braunfels, TX): 1.0 million

Water Country USA (Williamsburg, VA;): 726,000

Adventure Island (Tampa, FL): 644,000

Schlitterbahn (Galveston, TX): 551,000

Water World (Denver, CO): 527,000

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (Arlington, TX): 523,000

Six Flags White Water (Marietta, GA): 510,000

Wet ‘N Wild (Phoenix, AZ): 467,000

Raging Waters (San Dimas, CA): 429,000

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (Jackson, NJ): 423,000

Splish Splash (Riverhead, NY): 421,000

Zoombezi Bay (Powell, OH): 416,000

Dollywood’s Spash Country (Pigeon Forge, TN): 408,000

Wet ‘N Wild Emerald Point (Greensboro, NC): 398,000

Soak City Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH): 371,000

22.4 Market Resources

Amusement Parks in the U.S., IBISWorld, December 2015. (

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, 1448 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. (703) 836-4800. (

Theme Parks – U.S., Mintel, May 2015. (

Themed Entertainment Association, 150 E. Olive Avenue, Suite 306, Burbank, CA 91502. (818) 843-8497. (

World Waterpark Association, 8826 Santa Fe Drive, Suite 310, Overland Park, KS 66212. (913) 599-0300. (

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