If theme parks don’t upgrade…

By | Category: Travel destinations
 Mickey and Minnie need some newer attraction to boost numbers to Orlando

Mickey and Minnie need some newer attraction to boost numbers to Orlando

Last week, the Florida tourist city of Orlando announced that 66 million tourists visited the area in 2015. It was yet another year of growth.

But this year, the numbers may not be so rosy.


Because the theme parks with which the city is entwined aren’t enticing visitors. Both Disneyworld and SeaWorld have said they have seen a decline in numbers for the first three months of the year and Universal has said that its visitor numbers are stable. That means they aren’t growing either.

Hotels aren’t as busy as they were last year as well.

Because so much has opened in the last few years, visitors came in droves to see them. The Harry Potter themed area opened a few years ago and with nothing opening at the resorts last year, people came to see what had opened in 2014. Having seen what there was there is no incentive – other than cheaper hotel accommodation – to attract visitors if they have already seen the headline themes. It looks like many are waiting until the new attractions at the resorts open later this year.

This coming summer, SeaWorld will introduce its Mako roller coaster, Universal has Skull Island and Disney, a new Frozen ride linked to the film. That is when people will return.

But we over in the UK have been hit by a high dollar meaning our money doesn’t buy as much. Will we stay away? Although most visitors to Orlando come from the US itself, will the football championship in Europe and the Olympics in Brazil keep overseas visitors away this year? If that happens then visitor numbers may stay flat but they will surely pick up in 2017 when the Avatar linked attraction opens in Disneyworld.

Most cities would be happy with 66 million visitors so is a levelling off of any great concern. Most countries around the world let alone cities don’t attract such a high number of visitors.

It does seem to show, though, that a place that relies on tourism probably needs to have some headline grabbing attraction opening every year if it wants to continue to grow.


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