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Buoyed by the first full year of Cars Land operations, Disney California Adventure drew nearly 750,000 more visitors in 2013 than in 2012, according to a report released Tuesday.
The Themed Entertainment Association’s annual theme-park attendance report showed the continued rise in popularity for California Adventure, as well as the fourth straight year of overall growth for the theme-park industry after the recession.
The industry group has about 8,000 members from the theme-park, casino, restaurant, retail, museum and zoo industries. The numbers used in its annual attendance reports come from a variety of sources, including the operators, historical numbers, financial reports, the investment banking community and local tourism organizations.
Though unofficial, the report [embedded below] is considered a reliable source among the industry.
Last year, 8.5 million people visited California Adventure, up 9.5 percent from 2012, when the park saw 7.8 million visitors. California Adventure is now the sixth-most popular theme park in North America and the 10th-most popular in the world.
And that’s all up from California Adventure’s opening in 2001, when it attracted 5 million. The growth has been largely attributed to the June 2012 completion of California Adventure’s $1 billion overhaul, when the immediately popular 12-acre Cars Land opened.
Many of the Southern California’s other theme parks saw rises, as well:
–Disneyland was up 1.5 percent, with 16.2 million visitors.
–Universal Studios Hollywood was up 4 percent, with 6.1 million visitors.
–Knott’s Berry Farm was up 5 percent ,with 3.7 million visitors.
–And Six Flags Magic Mountain was up 3.5 percent, with 2.9 million visitors.
The only Southern California theme park to take a dip was SeaWorld, which was down 3 percent, to land at 4.3 million. SeaWorld has faced criticism after the airing of “Blackfish,” a documentary that slams the park for holding killer whales captive.
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