The numbers are in. Disney operated the most popular theme parks in 2012, with their Disney destinations in Florida, California, Tokyo and France taking the top spots.
Global theme park attendance rose 5 percent last year, with exceptionally strong performance across Asia, poised to overtake North American attendance in the not-so-distant future, predicts an industry-wide report.
According to the 2012 Theme Index, produced by the Themed Entertainment Association in California, Asia is on track to becoming the theme park center of the world, with unabated growth and the expected opening of the largest theme park development in China to date.
Shanghai Disney is slated to open in 2015 and is expected to receive a whopping 10 million visitors in its first year.
Analysts credit growth in Asia to the fact that theme parks are built to appeal to a broad spectrum of visitors by rolling casinos, retail, cultural facilities and attractions into a single “integrated resort.” Here are the top 25 theme parks worldwide by attendance.
1. Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida, 17,536,000
2. Disneyland, Anaheim, California, 15,963,000
3. Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo, 14,847,000
4. Tokyo Disney Sea, Tokyo, 12,656,000
5. Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris, Marne-La-Vallee, France, 11,200,000
6. Epcot, Walt Disney World, Florida, 11,063,000
7. Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida, 9,998,000
8. Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Florida, 9,912,000
9. Universal Studios Japan, Osaka, Japan, 9,700,000
10. Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando, Florida, 7,981,000
11. Disney’s California Adventure, Anaheim, California, 7,775,000
12. Ocean Park, Hong Kong SAR, 7,436,000
13. Everland, Gyeonggi-Do, South Korea, 6,853,000
14. Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, SAR, 6,700,000
15. Lotte World, Seoul, South Korea, 6,383,000
16. Universal Studios, Universal Orlando, Florida, 6,195,000
17. Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City, California, 5,912,000
18. Nagashima Spa Land, Kuwana, Japan, 5,850,000
19. Seaworld Florida, Orlando, Florida, 5,358,000
20. Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris, Marne-La-Vallee, France, 4,800,000
21. Europa Park, Rust, Germany, 4,600,000
22. Seaworld, California, San Diego, California, 4,444,000
23. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Tampa, Florida, 4,348,000
24. De Efteling, Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands, 4,200,000 25. Oct East, Shenzhen, China, 4,196,000