Skift Take

The top 25 theme parks cost as much as $95 more than the top 20 museums and still attracted 107.4 million more visitors, highlighting a revealing trend in traveler’s preference for high energy, colorful entertainment over culture and history.

Theme parks around the world are having a fantastic year.

Building  off a strong 2012, U.S. theme parks are rolling out million-dollar renovations for summer, Asia-Pacific amusement parks are positioned for another record year of growth, and even European parks are posting positive though modest visitation growth.

The 2012 Theme Index, produced by Themed Entertainment Association and AECOM, highlights the 25 most visited amusement parks in 2012.

The parks are located in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. and attracted 205.9 million visitors last year, 5.2 percent more than 2011.

The highest concentration of top theme parks (8) is located, as expected, in Florida and nearly half of the top 25 parks are in the United State.

Although European theme parks had the lowest regional attendance with a total of 58 million visitors in 2012, its museums had more visitors  (72 million) than those in North America and Asia. Theme park growth was flat while museum visitation grew by 5 percent.

Prices for an adult one-day ticket to one of the top 25 parks range from $95 to $36. The majority, or 15 out of 25, parks cost more than $80 to enter.

Disney’s Orlando theme parks including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom are the most expensive at $95 per day. Ocean Park in Hong Kong and Oct East in China are the cheapest at an estimated $36.

Below is a list of the 25 most visited theme parks around the world. The admission fees have been converted to U.S. dollars and represent standard adult fares.

Park Location Visitors (2012) Change from 2011 (%) Admission (1 day, Adult)
Magic Kingdom (Walt Disney World) Lake Buena Vista, Florida 17,536,000 2.3 $95
Disneyland Anaheim, California 15,963,000 -1.1 $92
Tokyo Disneyland Tokyo, Japan 14,847,000 8.5 $64
Tokyo Disney Sea Tokyo, Japan 12,656,000 8.5 $64
Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris Marne-La-Vallee, France 11,200,000 1.9 $82
Epcot (Walt Disney World) Lake Buena Vista, Florida 11,063,000 2.2 $95
Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Walk Disney World) Lake Buena Vista, Florida 9,998,000 2.2 $95
Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Walt Disney World) Lake Buena Vista, Florida 9,912,000 2.2 $95
Universal Studios Japan Osaka, Japan 9,700,000 14.1 $68
Islands of Adventure (Universal Orlando) Florida 7,981,000 4 $92
Disney’s California Adventure Anaheim, California 7,775,000 22.6 $92
Ocean Park Hong Kong 7,436,000 6.9 $36
Everland Gyeonggi-Do, South Korea 6,853,000 4.3 $38
Hong Kong Disneyland Hong Kong 6,700,000 13.6 $58
Lotte World Seoul, South Korea 6,383,000 10.4 $44
Universal Studios (Universal Orlando) Florida 6,195,000 2.5 $95
Universal Studios Hollywood Universal City, California 5,912,000 15 $84
Nagashima Spaland Kuwana, Japan 5,850,000 0.5 $54
Seaworld Florida Orlando, Florida 5,358,000 3 $92
Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris Marne-La-Vallee, France 4,800,000 1.9 $82
Europa Park Rust, Germany 4,600,000 2.2 $51
Seaworld California San Diego, California 4,444,000 3.5 $88
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Tampa, Florida 4,348,000 1.5 $89
De Efteling Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands 4,200,000 1.8 $43
Oct East Shenzhen, China 4,196,000 7.9 $36


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Tags: disney, florida, japan, theme parks, universal

Photo credit: Universal's iconic globe near the entrance of Universal Studios Singapore. Walter Lim / Flickr

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