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1991 Attendance Reported Down At Disneyland, Flat at Other Theme Parks

December 27, 1991 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Recession and the Persian Gulf War slowed the turnstiles at Disneyland and kept attendance flat at Southern California’s four other major amusement parks, an industry publication reported.

This week’s Amusement Business Magazine estimated Disneyland attendance dropped about 10 percent, from 12.9 million visitors in 1990 to 11.6 million this year.

Disneyland spokesman Greg Albrecht disputed the report Thursday, but said it was the park’s policy not to divulge attendance figures.

″I don’t know where they got those figures,″ Albrecht said. ″Our feeling is we’ve had a very healthy year. We’ve had an excellent first quarter and one of the best Christmases ever. We are very optimistic about a strong new year.″

Tim O’Brien, editor of the Nashville-based magazine, said the estimate was based on industry sources, an analysis of tourist patterns and data supplied by competitors.

The magazine said business was unchanged at Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Sea World of California in San Diego and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia.

Joe Schillaci, Magic Mountain’s president, said the park’s emphasis on big, scary roller coaster rides kept the visitors coming during lean economic times.

″Roller coasters are Magic Mountain’s formula for success,″ he said.

Unversal Studios spokesman Steve Lew said new attractions such as the movie-based E.T. ride and a resurgence in foreign tourism kept business from slipping at the Universal City park.