Theme Park Attendance at Disney: Troublesome Signs

Theme Park Attendance at Disney: Troublesome Signs

The Global Attractions Index Report was recently released by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and the Economics Practice at AECOM. We look at how Disney has fared in the last four years from 2018 to 2021. This includes both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. And we compare those numbers how Universal is doing. Of course COVID played a big role in every park dropping attendance, but how are they faring as they come out the other side? And what is causing those gains and losses as they emerge? We’ll look at all that and more as we look st some troubling signs at Disney theme parks.

Park Numbers

Attractions Since 1998

Magic Kingdom: 

October 1st, 2021: 50th Anniversary Castle and Enchantment Fireworks


May 31st, 2019: Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge & Millennium Falcon

January 17th, 2020: Rise of the Resistance

Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

October 1st, 2021: Kite Tails


October 1st, 2021: Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

October 1st, 2021: Harmonious

 May 27th, 2022: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 

August 29th 2019: Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge & Millennium Falcon

December 5th, 2019: Rise of the Resistance

March 4th, 2020: Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Universal Studios Florida:

June 30th, 2020: The Bourne Stuntacular

Disney California Adventure:

June 4th, 2021: Avengers Campus

Islands of Adventure

June 13th, 2019: Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

June 19th, 2921: VelociCoaster

Universal Studios Hollywood: 

July 12th, 2019: Jurassic World: The Ride

April 15th, 2021: The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash

Contributors to Attendance Declines:


  • Park Closures–Especially Disneyland
  • Social & Spatial Anxiety
  • Mask Requirements: February 2022/Universal; April 2022/Disney

Group Business Down

  • Convention/Trade Shows Down
  • School Trips Down
  • Weddings Down

Disappointing Offerings

  • Delays in Return of Offerings Since COVID: Parade at Disneyland/Enchanted Tales
  • Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge
  • Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary
  • Avengers Campus
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom–Kite Tails and Nothing Else

Labor Market

  • International Program Impact
  • Shortages in F&B, Housekeeping & More

Frustrating Processes

  • Resort Availability
  • Availability of an Annual Pass
  • Making a Reservation
  • Park Hopping


  • Complimentary Airport Transportation
  • Increase Hotel Costs on Disney Property
  • Genie+
  • Both Starting from $109
  • Universal Orlando 1 Day: $139 on November 1st/$159 December 25th
  • Disney 1 Day: $140 on November 1st/$159 December 25th (No MK Availability
  • Universal Orlando 1 Day/2 Parks: $164
  • Disney 1 Day/Park Hopper: $205

Check Out Our Patreon Group!

We thank you for visiting and listening to us. We appreciate your patronage and your friendship. To help make these websites and podcasts possible, there are several easy ways you can help:

  1. In addition to the podcast channel you listen to, please visit and and subscribe to our website. That way you get notices of new posts and podcasts coming out.
  2. If you like what we have to offer, please visit iTunes and offer us a favorable rating and even a review. This helps notify others of what we have to offer. 
  3. If you like videos not just of Walt Disney World but of parks throughout the world, visit J. Jeff Kober on YouTube and subscribe there.
  4. Finally, join the Wayfinder Society. For as little as a dollar a month, this Patreon group not only helps to support this podcast and attending websites, but also gives you access to one of our Disney at Play Interactive Guides. 

NOTE! with any Wayfinder membership, you will also get exclusive podcasts looking that checks out other Disney podcasts, social media finds, shows, books and more.

There are four tiers to our society, two of which are available to all who love Disney and are fans. The second two tiers not only celebrate all things Disney, but focus on best-in-business practices from the happiest and most magical places on earth that can be applied to your own organization. All of them offer unique offerings only available here at Disney at Work and Play. For instance, right now subscribers to the three top tiers can experience a deep dive into Pirates of the Caribbean unlike any other.

And now we’re happy to announce that first Explorer tier is only $1.00 a month. And with that you not only help to support us but will receive access to one of our Disney at Play Discoveries: Pandora World of Avatar: To see a sneak peek at all that’s offered on this truly unique interactive guide, please visit us at the Wayfinder Society. While there you can also get a sneak peek at our Disney at Work Interactive Tour of Disneyland, available to our Navigator and Adventurer levels. We promise you content and experiences you can’t get elsewhere. And your patronage goes to help support these podcasts and posts.s

Check out the Wayfinder’s Society to see these two new Sneak Peeks!

Ready to Visit the Disney Parks?

Hopefully this podcast has made you realize you need help and support in planning your next trip to Disney. David and Leah with Out the Door Travel know Disney in ways few do and they can make your next trip on land or sea an exciting one–or at least less stressful! Be sure to contact them as you explore your next vacation, whether it is a Disney theme park vacation, a cruise, or an Adventure by Disney. There is no charge to utilize their services, but it will save you enormous time getting all the details right, and with their insight you can be assured you’re going to experience the best trip possible. Contact them today!

David and Leah Zanolla
(309) 863-5469
Instagram: @otdwithdavid

J. Jeff Kober