Per the Orlando Sentinel, a new report found that Universal Orlando Resort is seeing an “uplift in admissions.” Walt Disney World Resort theme parks however aren’t bringing as many guests in.
Deutsche research analysts Bryan Kraft and Benjamin Soff say that Disney theme parks worldwide are operating at 80% less than they were in 2019. Attendance is significantly reduced at all Disney Parks that are currently open, so it should come as no surprise for Walt Disney World Resort to be facing low attendance. The report also states that EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are the currently the best performing parks for Walt Disney World.
By comparison, Universal Orlando Resort seems to be more successful during the current pandemic. Although attendance is still down 64% from 2019, attendance at Universal’s theme parks is improving. Universal Orlando opened both of its theme parks — Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure — on June 5th. Over a month later, the reopening of Disney World’s theme parks began with Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom on July 11th and EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 15th.
The report goes on to state that attendance at Universal parks has improved since they reopened, and the decline in daily COVID-19 cases in Florida could help Disney World improve attendance, as well. “Given this ongoing improvement in Universal’s attendance and declining new daily COVID cases in Florida, we believe that Disney World will also soon see some benefit.”
In looking at aerial images, we can see more of a demand for Universal Orlando theme parks. Twitter user @bioreconstruct posted a comparison of guests driving into Universal Orlando, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Aerial comparison of guests entering parking of Universal Orlando, EPCOT, and Disney's Hollywood Studios today shortly before 11am. Photos several minutes apart. pic.twitter.com/gAigjGvOxe
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) August 15, 2020
There was also a recent poll that said 72% of Americans are uncomfortable going to a theme park. Many are even suspecting that the lack in attendance at Walt Disney World is due to the fact that a majority of the guests who typically visit are not locals or Annual Passholders. Many people also aren’t even interested in traveling right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bob Chapek, Walt Disney Company CEO, even pointed out during an earnings call that Disney World’s attendance is low.
This leads Disney fans to speculate that once Anaheim reopens Disneyland and California Adventure there may be a higher demand, since so many more locals and Annual Passholders visit Disneyland as opposed to Disney World.
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