With this summer promising to be a Super Shot for Amusement Parks after their recent Free Fall, we take a Flying Swing at what May trends indicate for the Fun House to come.  In today’s Insight Flash, we look at recent trends in the overall industry, the mix for each park of in-state vs. out-of-state visitors, and whether this summer’s attendance will be driven by loyalists or new visitors.

In May 2021, Amusement Parks overall saw a decline of over -30% in the number of individuals making a purchase versus 2019.  Universal Theme Parks was the only brand to see positive growth in the number of individuals, up over 20%.  Disney saw the largest decline at almost -50%.

Change in Individuals

Note: Purchases may reflect payments for future visits.

Disney did, however, capture the second-largest percentage of out-of-state shoppers in May at 50%.  Disney and Six Flags were the only two Amusement Park brands to have more out-of-state customers in May 2021 than in May 2019.  Busch Gardens, which had the largest percentage of out-of-state shoppers in May 2019 (62%) and May 2021 (57%), saw the percentage fall -5%.  Knott’s Berry Farm had the largest percentage of local customers in both years.

Local vs. Out-of-State Shoppers

Note: For brands located in more than one state, percent of shoppers not from any state with a park location

Most amusement parks saw spend concentrated in returning shoppers at the peak of the pandemic.  Those who had made previous trips were more willing to risk cancellation and an experience filled with masks and capacity restrictions.  By May 2021, however, new visitors were beginning to spend on trips again.  Busch Gardens had the largest percentage of new visitors both before and after the pandemic, little-changed at over two-thirds.  All of the other parks saw an increase in the percentage of new visitors except for Knott’s Berry Farm, where new shoppers dropped to only a third of total customers.

New Customer %

Note: “New” customers making purchase for first time in 1120-day data history