AECOM (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operations, and Management) and TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) have come together once again to publish the 2022 Theme Index, an attendance report covering global attractions.
It’s important to note that while AECOM/TEA strives to obtain valid metrics, neither the Walt Disney Company nor Universal Destinations and Experiences provide data for the index. Instead, the researchers approximate based on outside data, and the numbers may not be a reliable representation of annual attendance.
The rankings are in the same order as the 2019 report, but the attendance numbers reflect TEA’s 2022 findings.
Top Theme Parks Worldwide
Disney Parks & Resorts hold 8 of the top 10 spots worldwide. Universal Destinations & Experiences holds number 5 with Universal Studios Japan.
Top Theme Parks in North America
All four Walt Disney World theme parks and Disneyland park in California hold the top five spots in North America.
Magic Kingdom held the number one spot and reportedly saw a 35% increase in attendance over 2021, bringing in an approximate total of 17,133,000 guests in 2022. It still fell under the pre-pandemic numbers from 2019.
#2: Disneyland Park — attendance rose 97%, given that the park was only open for half of 2021. Coming in at an estimated 16,691,000 guests, it also fell short of the 2019 report.
#3: Disney’s Animal Kingdom — increased by 25% over 2021 and fell 4,044,000 guests below pre-pandemic numbers.
#4: EPCOT — rose 29% but fell 2.4 million under 2019.
#5: Disney’s Hollywood Studios — increased by 27% and only about 500,000 visitors short of 2019.
Universal’s two parks in Orlando, Florida, immediately followed the Walt Disney World parks and Disneyland. It’s worth noting that both parks saw higher attendance than EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Islands of Adventure also had higher attendance than Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Universal Studios Florida saw attendance increase by 20%, coming in at number 6. It was less than 200,000 guests away from meeting 2019 levels.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure at #7 is the only park on the list to have exceeded pre-pandemic attendance. It rose by 21% and beat 2019 by approximately 100,000 visitors.
Disney California Adventure and Universal Studios Hollywood took places 8 and 9, respectively. Both California-based parks failed to reach pre-pandemic attendance.
Top Water Parks in North America
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks continue to hold the top two water park spots in North America, but only superficially since the ratings are locked into 2019 order. Blizzard Beach is listed at only 101,000 visitors, while Typhoon Lagoon net approximately 1,915,000.
Universal’s Volcano Bay saw a 9% increase with about 1,850,000 visitors.
Top Theme Parks in Asia
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, both part of the Tokyo Disney Resort, held the top two spots in Asia. Neither park reached pre-pandemic numbers, and international visitors were not allowed for the majority of the year.
Universal Studios Japan took spot #3 but also has not recovered to 2019 attendance. However, it had higher attendance than either Tokyo Disney Resort park.
Shanghai Disneyland came in at #5 with a -38% drop from 2021.
Hong Kong Disneyland ranked #10, with attendance reaching less than 30% compared to Tokyo Disneyland.
Universal Studios Singapore saw a 75% increase while Universal Studios Beijing did not make the top 20.
Top Theme Parks in Europe
Universal Destinations and Experiences does not have a park in Europe.
Disney has one European resort with two parks. Disneyland Park had the highest attendance with a 184% increase, while Walt Disney Studios Park took number 4.
The full report, which includes data on museums, is available here, along with information about TEA’s methodology for compiling the data within.
Again, it’s recommended to take this data with a side of caution as neither Disney nor Universal reports their attendance numbers to the public or AECOM/TEA.