What was once ranked 2nd in the worldwide attendance rankings back in 2019, Disneyland has sunk out of the top 10 in 2020 as the pandemic crushed theme parks around the globe. Notably, Disneyland shut its gates for only the fourth time ever on March 14th of 2020 following the CDC guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to a report from the Themed Entertainment Association, global theme park attendance dipped a whopping 67% at 25 of the most visited theme parks from 2019-2020. Moreover, California theme parks were among the last to reopen after government-imposed closure kept their gates shut for over a year.
It’s important to note that things were so chaotic last year, the annual TEA/AECOM attendance report decided not to revisit the rankings of the top 25 from 2019, so thedailynews.com did it for them.
In its first time in decades, three Disney parks fell out of the global top 25 when it came to attendance. Now for those of you reading this rolling your eyes because “Obviously! They were closed!” – this is just a numbers report, not an attack on your beloved mouse.
Among the many theme parks Disney has to offer, The Magic Kingdom of Orlando, Florida held the top spot worldwide in 2020, but for us SoCal residents, our beloved Disneyland toppled from second to seventh most-visited Disney theme park globally. Having opened in May of 2020, Shanghai Disneyland claimed the second spot on the list.
Theme parks in California and Japan, under strict restrictions due to COVID-19 mandates, naturally saw decline in their attendance rankings, while parks in Florida and China where restrictions were much looser saw an increase. Alongside Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm also slumped in their respective categories.
It's safe to assume that as theme parks gradually welcome back visitors both here in California and in Japan, the once-most-visited parks will reclaim their place among the top where they belong. It’s only a matter of time.