Attendance at Valencia park drops

first_img“Now that they’re going to stay and they’re going to become more family-friendly, I think they can probably reverse that trend,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. The attendance estimates were compiled by Economics Research Associates and a group called TEA, based on information from operators, historical trends, the investment banking community and other sources. The report says Disneyland, which last year celebrated its 50th anniversary and opened an improved Pirates of the Caribbean ride, had 14.73 million visitors, an increase of 1.2 percent. Disney’s California Adventure, which opened Monsters Inc., had 5.95 million visitors, an increase of 2.1 percent, according to the report. Attendance stayed flat at Universal Studios Hollywood, with 4.7 million visitors, according to the report. Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park had 3.67million visitors, an increase of 2 percent, the report stated. Most Southern California theme parks saw an increase in attendance in 2006, but Magic Mountain in Valencia saw a 10percent dip, an industry report issued Thursday says. Six Flags California’s Magic Mountain had 2.55 million visitors, putting it 20th on the list of top North American parks, according to estimates published by InPark Magazine. Magic Mountain, which is owned by Six Flags Inc., declined to comment on the attendance estimates. But in December, Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro said Magic Mountain attendance dropped during the second half of last year. Shapiro blamed the decline on customer uncertainty from the park being temporarily up for sale, an offer that has since been withdrawn. In Southern California’s competitive theme park industry, Knott’s gets customers from being so close to Disneyland, and Universal Studios benefits from being in tourist-heavy Los Angeles, analysts said. “The reality is, about every two years you have to have a major new attraction to call attention to yourself,” Kyser said. Magic Mountain, which opened the Tatsu roller coaster in May, draws plenty of Southern California residents, Kyser said. An annual pass at Magic Mountain is cheaper than passes offered at Disneyland, Knott’s or Universal Studios. “I think that one of the things that they have to their benefit are those Warner Brothers characters, the Bugs Bunny and Wiley Coyote and all those other characters,” said Martin Palicki, editor-in-chief of InPark Magazine. “I think those are incredibly valuable; they’re certainly more valuable than any brand that Universal has.” Attendance was up 1.5 percent at North America’s top 20 theme parks last year, with nearly 120million total visitors, according to the report. [email protected] (661) 257-5253160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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