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January 1, 2001

Park Attendance Rose In 2000 For Many Amusement Parks

Dallas, TX -- The year 2000 turned out to be a good year from most amusement parks in North America with most parks reporting a slight increase in attendance. According to Amusement Business, a trade publication, attendance was up 3% to a record 175.1 million admissions.

The most popular park in North America was the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World with 15.4 million admissions, an increase of 1.3% over the previous year. The Magic Kingdom was second in the world, topped by its sister park Tokyo Disneyland, which had an estimated attendance of 16.5 million (down 5%).

One of the big winners in 2000 was Busch Gardens Tampa, which saw its attendance sky rocket 28%. The park's early season promotion for Florida residents paid off. The park gave away a season pass to residents who purchased a full priced, single day admission. According to the park they made up for the lost admission revenue with increases in merchandise and concession sales.

Six Flags Ohio, formerly Geauga Lake did not make the top 20, but did claim the largest increase for 2000. Attendance at the newly branded Six Flags Park rose a remarkable 42%. Six Flags put $40 million in improvements, including three new roller coasters Batman Knight Flight, Superman Ultimate Escape and The Villain.

Not all parks in North America reported increases. Many of the parks in the northeast and midwest suffered slight decreases due to the unusually cold and wet summer. Six Flags officials blame the decrease in attendance at some of their parks on too many rainy weekends.

Cedar Point despite investing millions in a new monster-sized roller coaster suffered a decline in attendance. Cedar Point officials blame the decrease on the weather that kept temperatures below 80-degrees for all but ten days during its operating season. The new competition from Six Flags Ohio may also have been a factor.

Attendance for the top 20 parks in North America according to Amusement Business estimates.

1. Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, 15.4 million (up 1.3%)
2. Disneyland, 13.9 million (up 3%)
3. Epcot at Walt Disney World, 10.6 million (up 5%)
4. Disney's MGM Studios at Walt Disney World, 8.9 million (up 2%)
5. Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, 8.3 million (down 3%)
6. Universal Studios Orlando, 8.1 million (flat)
7. Islands of Adventure, 6 million (first full year)
8. Universal Studios Hollywood, 5.2 million (up 2%)
    SeaWorld Orlando, 5.2 million (up 11%)
10. Busch Gardens Tampa, 5 million (up 28%)
11. SeaWorld San Diego, 3.6 million (flat)
12. Six Flags Great Adventure, 3.5 million (down 8%)
13. Knott's Berry Farm, 3.45 million (down 4%)
14. Cedar Point, 3.43 million (down 4%)
15. Morey's Piers, 3.3 million (flat)
16. Six Flags Magic Mountain, 3.3 million (up 3%)
17. Paramount's Kings Island, 3.2 million (down 4%)
18. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 3 million (flat)
19. Adventuredome at Circus Circus, 2.98 million (flat)
20. Paramount's Canada's Wonderland, 2.97 million (flat)

Source: Amusement Business