Has Pandora Hurt Attendance in Other Walt Disney World Parks?

Pandora at Night

If you’ve been to Walt Disney World in the past few months, you’ll notice that Animal Kingdom has gotten a whole lot busier. That is, of course, thanks to Pandora – The World of Avatar.

But has Pandora also pulled up attendance to Walt Disney World’s other parks this summer?

The answer seems to be no, and it may be worse than that. Some people are speculating that Pandora is actually hurting attendance in the other Disney parks.

ADVERTISEMENT. Article continues below.

World of Walt is sounding the warning bell…

According to TouringPlans.com, park attendance between May 27th and June 7th was up 18% in Animal Kingdom alone. These seem like good numbers, but it didn’t last. Now, park attendance (average attraction visitors per hour) is up just 4% meaning that most people who visited Disney World specifically for Pandora have done so and now Disney is back to the average summertime attendance.

The article goes on to say that Epcot saw a 6% attendance drop and Disney’s Hollywood Studios lost 4%. Even the ever-crowded Magic Kingdom dropped 2%attendance between those dates.

Meanwhile, Universal has been seeing a bump over the past few years. It’s unclear if that trend will continue in 2017, but Potter and Volcano Bay are huge draws.

So what’s going on here?

This is just a guess on my end, but people are always looking for the latest, greatest thing.

ADVERTISEMENT. Article continues below.

Aside from the New Fantasyland expansion, Pandora is the first truly new land to come to the parks in ages. For many years, Disney seemed to be focusing its efforts on Disneyland and overseas parks, much to the frustration of even the most loyal WDW fans.

Epcot is full of dated attractions and empty pavilions. Hollywood Studios is currently a demilitarized zone. It’s really no shocker than guests would choose shiny new Pandora over those two parks.

Sure, Walt Disney World expanded its resort and shopping options, but at the end of the day people really care about RIDES.

Universal has seized upon the opportunity by creating the wildly successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and has continually added new attractions nearly every year.

And with Universal’s Nintendo Land poised to come Stateside in the not too distant future, Disney can no longer rest on its past accomplishments.

Disney Ups its Game at D23

Disney is well aware of the problem, and hit back hard at D23 this year with a slew of announcements pertaining to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. It’s likely that 2017 will be an anomaly — a transitional year — until Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the Tron Coaster and the re-theming of Future World come to pass.

But for Walt Disney World to maintain those numbers, they’ll have to keep bringing the boom beyond Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary in 2021.

But Now is a Good Time to Visit…

Even if the new attractions aren’t open yet, it’s still a great time to visit Walt Disney World. In fact, it might be a great time to visit because of the decreased attendance. If you’re thinking of putting off a trip until 2019, you might want to think about this scenario…

You might just want to skip Hollywood Studios this year.

What are your thoughts? Comment below!

[Source: World of Walt]


Wanna go to Disney?
We recommend Academy Travel, a Disney Platinum Earmarked agency. Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Universal Orlando Resort and more -- they can do it all, and at no extra cost to you! Fill out the form below or call 609-978-0740 today!

I've loved Disney as long as I can remember. As a former newspaper editor, web developer, and Disney comics freelancer, I'm able to combine that experience into writing about Disney online. I'm also the co-host of a Disney fan podcast called 'Pirates & Princesses.' Opinions mine.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.