California Adventure surges while Disneyland lags

carland.jpgThat's good news for Disney, which is starting to see more parity at its two OC theme parks. Disneyland remains the biggest draw, with attendance last year of 16 million, according to a report by the Themed Entertainment Association. But that's a 1.1 percent decline from 2011. Meanwhile, California Adventure, fueled by a major expansion that includes the popular Car Land attraction, saw a 23 percent jump in attendance, to 7.8 million. Disney's Magic Kingdom in Florida was the most popular venue last year, following by Disneyland (California Adventure was 11th and Universal Studios Hollywood was 17th). Given the strengthening economy, these numbers presumably will increase in 2013. Probably just a coincidence, but Disney announced this week that a single-day ticket to either Disneyland or California Adventure was raised to $92 from $87. From Bloomberg:

Disney's California Adventure park in Anaheim opened its Cars Land attraction in June 2012, drawing tourists to a new area based on the Pixar "Cars" films. Neighboring Disneyland was the only park among the world's largest to register fewer visitors last year, with attendance shrinking 1.1 percent to 16 million, according to the report. Jay Rasulo, Disney's chief financial officer, said at an investment conference last week that the money spent on California Adventure was designed to correct an imbalance in attendance between the two California resorts. "We had a very uneven distribution where most people spent most of their time at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure was empty," Rasulo said. "Now, half of the folks go to one, half of the folks go to the other. It's almost a dream come true."

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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