Disney attendance down, Universal up... - PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |   follow us on

Forums Closed
As of January 1, 2019, we have closed our forums. This is a decision we did not come to lightly, but it is necessary. The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk. The server software itself must be updated, and it cannot be without removing the forums.

So it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our long-running forums. They came online in 2000 and brought together so many wonderful Disney fans. We had friendships form, careers launch, couples marry, children born ... all because of this amazing community.

Thank you to each of you who were a part of this community. You made it possible.

And a very special thank you to our Guides (moderators), past and present, who kept our forums a happy place to be. You are the glue that held everything together, and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you aliceinwdw, Caldercup, MrsM, WillCAD, Fortissimo, GingerJ, HiddenMickey, CRCrazy, Eeyoresmom, disneyknut, disneydani, Cam22, chezp, WDWfan, Luvsun, KMB733, rescuesk, OhToodles!, Colexis Mom, lfredsbo, HiddenMickey, DrDolphin, DopeyGirl, duck addict, Disneybine, PixieMichele, Sandra Bostwick, Eeyore Tattoo, DyanKJ130, Suzy Q'Disney, LilMarcieMouse, AllisonG, Belle*, Chrissi, Brant, DawnDenise, Crystalloubear, Disneymom9092, FanOfMickey, Goofy4Goofy, GoofyMom, Home4us123, iamgrumpy, ilovedisney247, Jennifer2003, Jenny Pooh, KrisLuvsDisney, Ladyt, Laughaholic88, LauraBelle Hime, Lilianna, LizardCop, Loobyoxlip, lukeandbrooksmom, marisag, michnash, MickeyMAC, OffKilter_Lynn, PamelaK, Poor_Eeyore, ripkensnana, RobDVC, SHEANA1226, Shell of the South, snoozin, Statelady01, Tara O'Hara, tigger22, Tink and Co., Tinkerbelz, WDWJAMBA, wdwlovers, Wendyismyname, whoSEZ, WildforWD, and WvuGrrrl. You made the magic.

We want to personally thank Sara Varney, who coordinated our community for many years (among so many other things she did for us), and Cheryl Pendry, our Message Board Manager who helped train our Guides, and Ginger Jabour, who helped us with the PassPorter-specific forums and Live! Guides. Thank you for your time, energy, and enthusiasm​. You made it all happen.

There are other changes as well.

Why? Well, the world has changed. And change with it, we must. The lyrics to "We Go On" for IllumiNations say it best:

We go on to the joy and through the tears
We go on to discover new frontiers
Moving on with the current of the years.
We go on
Moving forward now as one
Moving on with a spirit born to run
Ever on with each rising sun.
To a new day, we go on.

It's time to move on and move forward.

PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.

But eventually, we must move on and move forward. It is the right thing to do.

So we are retiring this newsletter, as we simply cannot keep up with it. Many thanks to Mouse Fan Travel who supported it all these years, to All Ears and MousePlanet who helped us with news, to our many article contributors, and -- most importantly -- to Sara Varney who edited our newsletter so wonderfully for years and years.

And we are no longer charging for the Live Guides. If you have a subscription, it's yours to keep for the lifetime of the Live Guides at no additional cost. The Live Guides will stay online, barring server issues and technical problems, for all of 2019.

That said, PassPorter is not going away. Most of the resources will remain online for as long as we can support them, and after that we will find ways to make whatever we can available. PassPorter means a great deal to us, and to many of you, and we will do our best to keep it alive in whatever way we can. Our server costs are high, and they'll need to come out of our pockets, so in the future you can expect some changes so we can bring those costs down.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing support over the years. Without you, there's no way us little guys could have made something like this happen and given the "big guys" a run for their money. PassPorter was consistently the #3 guidebook after the Unofficial and Official guides, which was really unheard of for such a small company to do. We ROCKED it thanks to you and your support and love!

If you miss us, you can still find some of us online. Sara started a new blog at DisneyParkPrincess.com -- I strongly urge you to visit and get on her mailing list. She IS the Disney park princess and knows Disney backward and forward. And I am blogging as well at JenniferMaker.com, which is a little craft blog I started a couple of years ago to make ends meet. You can see and hear me in my craft show at https://www.youtube.com/c/jennifermaker . Many PassPorter readers and fans are on Facebook, in groups they formed like the PassPorter Trip Reports and PassPorter Crafting Challenge (if you join, just let them know you read about it in the newsletter). And some of our most devoted community members started a forum of their own at Pixie Dust Lane and all are invited over.

So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!

Best wishes for a wonderful and magical new year!

Go Back   PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums > PassPorter's Walt Disney World Resort (Florida) > Going Behind the Scenes: Trivia, News, and Rumors at Walt Disney World

Welcome! We're happy you've found the PassPorter Community -- the friendliest place to plan your vacation to Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and the world in general! You are now viewing the PassPorter Message Board Community as a guest, which gives you limited access. As our guest, feel free to browse our messages by selecting the forum you want to visit from the list below.

To post messages and ask questions, join our FREE community today and you'll get access to tools and resources not available to guests, such as our vacation countown timers, "living" avatars, private messaging system, database searches, downloads, and a special PassPorter discount code. Registration is fast, simple, and completely free. Just click the Join Our Community link.

If you think you've already joined, log in below now. If you don't remember your member name or password, please visit our Member Name and Password Recovery page. You are also welcome to contact us.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-21-2002, 07:34 PM   #1
Community Rank: Legend
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 17,365

Post Thanks / Like
Disney attendance down, Universal up...

Interesting article in the Orlando paper about attendance and park rankings...

Theme Park attendance...
AKLRULZ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2002, 02:53 AM   #2
Community Rank: Explorer
stretch2864's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 10,351

Post Thanks / Like
Re: Disney attendance down, Universal up...

I wonder at times how Disney will do when they totally take away the Disney Club. To me, the Disney Club breeds brand loyalty to the Disney Resorts and Disney products. There are just enough perks associated with it to keep me coming to the resorts and spending my money at their stores. Prices on the other hand keep increasing at the Disney resorts making them much more expensive than comparable hotels outside of the Disney area. We stayed in a beautiful and rather spacious room at the oceanfront Westin Resort in Hilton Head Island, S.C. for less than what I spend to stay at a moderate hotel in WDW. In spite of the fact that I love going to WDW, HHI was a much better vacation value for the money. As far as the Disney stores go, with the disappearance of most adult clothing at the retail stores; I spend very little money there. When the Disney Club is gone, there will be no incentive to ever shop there as there is very little in the way of collectibles there either.

So back to the subject of attendance and park rankings...Perhaps this will be a wake-up call for Disney execs to go back to their roots and figure out what has always set WDW apart and made it the number 1 vacation destination.
stretch2864 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2002, 06:53 AM   #3
Yeti Chaser
Shell_of_the_South's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Way down south
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 20,411

Post Thanks / Like
Re: Disney attendance down, Universal up...

I think Universal offered some great deals, and that brought in the visitors, like annual passes for $99. It sold us!!
Shell_of_the_South is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2002, 07:13 AM   #4
Community Rank: Adventurer
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Evansville, IN
Posts: 590

Post Thanks / Like
Re: Disney attendance down, Universal up...

Unfortunately, they probably won't flinch until they lose position in national ratings. The effects of the DC closing have yet to be felt and certainly can't be included in these numbers. I agree though, Disney does seem to be losing touch with those who make it what it is.
I doubt we'll see any improvement over the next few years either. The biggest factor keeping visitor numbers down is probably economic. Since the economic situation will most likely be short term, there's no incentive for disney to respond with anything that would cut into their earnings. [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]

[img]graemlins/usa.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/usa.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/usa.gif[/img]
Victorydiv is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2002, 12:29 PM   #5
Community Rank: Jetsetter
mattjs's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Boston, MA USA
Posts: 2,535

Post Thanks / Like
Re: Disney attendance down, Universal up...

Thanks Steve. Love seeing these estimates since the parks themselves won't release 'em. Doesn't tell us much about financial health but they're fun to see. And, since my shoppings done and I have entirely too much time on my hands till church [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] ......

The sizes of the individual parks are so different that the park to park percentage comparisons are a little misleading. Using Amusement Business's own estimates from 2001...here's maybe a better way to comp em...

2001 5.5 million visitors
2002 6.1 million visitors

up 600,000

Universal Studios Orlando:
2001 7.3 million visitors
2002 6.9 million visitors

down 400,000

Total 2002 attendance -- 13 million
Change from 2001 -- up 200,000
% change from 2001 -- up 1.54%

2001 14.8 million visitors
2002 14.7 million visitors

down 100,000

2001 9 million visitors
2002 8.3 million visitors

down 700,000

2001 8.4 million visitors
2002 8.3 million visitors

down 100,000

2001 7.8 million visitors
2002 7.3 million visitors

down 500,000

DisneyWorld TOTALS
Total 2002 attendance -- 38.3 million
Change from 2001 -- down 1.4 million
% change from 2001 -- down 3.53%

Without financials, attendance numbers aren't much to go on. But, clearly when you do look at attendance by itself...

In 2002, DisneyWorld had 25.3 million more visitors than it's closest competition (US/IOA)...that's 3x the nearest competitor!!! And that's no knock on Universal.

US/IOA has two nice parks with some top notch rides and a couple of great resorts. But Disney's playing at an entirely different level than everyone else.

Universal's the closest competition. But if Disney's attendance just stays level in the coming year, US/IOA would need to see a 194% increase in thier 2003 attendance numbers just to pull even with WDW (US/IOA's increase this year was 1.54%)!

It deffinitely looks like Disney's still playing in a class by itself.
mattjs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2002, 08:47 AM   #6
Community Rank: Trekker
RocklandRVers's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: NY (just north of NYC)
Posts: 1,269

Post Thanks / Like
Re: Disney attendance down, Universal up...

OH BOY! Does this usually mean some deep discounts are on their way?? [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

For someone who has not been to WDW since the late 1980s, I can tell you that PRICE was what kept me away. It still would had we not gotten an RV that allow us to stay in WDW at Ft Wilderness for nearly what we used to spend to kennel our pet when we went on vacation! Now even our DD (dear doggie) gets to go with us. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

Hey that Universal $99 Annual Pass caught my eye too. Maybe WDW might consider dropping their price as well? Competition is a good thing!
RocklandRVers is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2002, 12:38 PM   #7
Dave Marx
PassPorter Guide Author

PassPorter Author

PassPorter's Club Passholder
What's this?

Community Rank: Explorer
Dave Marx's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Ann Arbor, MI USA
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 14,427

Post Thanks / Like
Re: Disney attendance down, Universal up...

There are so many factors that go into a drop or increase in attendance that it's hard to make general statements.

Yes, it's always better to get a discount. Will the demise of Disney Club make a difference? Disney is confident that their new Visa card will more than satisfy folks who currently depend on Disney Club. As Disney Club benefits are available through the end of 2003 for those who renewed, and the new Visa will be avalible sometime this spring, the jury is still out on whether there will be a significant negative impact. It certainly could not have had an impact on 2002 attendance, which is what we're discussing.

There's also a difference in attendance patterns between Universal and WDW. WDW is an international vacation destination, and the drop in international visitation (something like 10% since 9/11) is a very significant part of WDW's overall decline in attendance. Universal is much more of a regional destination; one that feeds off of WDW's national and international visitors, but is not dependent upon them. For example, a family from the UK often visits Orlando for two weeks. In that time they may spend 8-10 days in Disney parks, and two or three days at Universal. In short, for every international visitor that stays home, Disney loses three to five times as much business as Universal does. Similarly, a family visiting WDW from elsewhere in the U.S. may spend four or five days at WDW and (maybe) visit Universal for one day.

Far more of Universal's business comes from the local/regional market. The local market drives, rather than flies, and that's an important factor since 9/11. With a smaller percentage of visitors flying in, Universal will see a smaller negative impact.

As to discounts to stimulate visitation, we again have to compare the local market to the national/international. In this case, we have to compare the cost of Disney's Florida Resident Annual Pass with the price of a Universal pass (rather than the price of a non-resident pass), and look at what Disney and Universal have been doing to encourage local/regional visitation. (While Disney doesn't release this kind of information, I'm fairly certain that the vast majority of Disney's Annual Passholders pay the Florida Resident rate). Universal has offered discounts as a stimulus. Disney has added value, by offering additional perks and special events for Annual Passholders. It's hard to know which approach is working better. Disney has also offered special value-priced tickets in the local market. These offers were designed to be less suitable to a long-distance vacationer's needs.

Why should Disney focus its efforts on bringing in the locals, rather than encouraging long-distance visitors? The locals can visit almost at whim, throughout the year. That can add up to far more visits, more meals and snacks, etc. Perhaps a good admission discount will encourage a few people to overcome their fear of flying, but it's not all that likely, especially when you add the overall economy to the mix. Long-distance visitors have to pay for airfare, lodging, and three meals a day (rather than one a day for the locals) too, so admission prices are a far smaller part of their overall budget.

Personally, I don't think a discount on park passes will encourage a significant percentage of long-distance visitors. Meantime, all those people who would visit regardless of admission price would also get the discount. In short, Disney could pay a very high price to bring in a very few additional long-distance guests.

Disney is discounting lodging far more aggressively than in the past. There are code discounts out there for the general public that are equal to or better than the typical Disney Club or Annual Pass discounts. These deals have a direct impact on long-distance visitors, are carefully targeted, and let the company hold the line on admission prices.
Dave Marx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2002, 01:07 PM   #8
Community Rank: Scout
TINKN's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: VERMONT
Posts: 4,201

Post Thanks / Like
Re: Disney attendance down, Universal up...

Thanks Dave! Makes a lot of sense to me and thanks Steve for the article and Matt for the stats. All very interesting information.
TINKN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2002, 02:08 PM   #9
Community Rank: Adventurer
Dsnymom's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 631

Post Thanks / Like
Re: Disney attendance down, Universal up...

Those stats are mindboggling! I keep hearing all the stuff about Disney losing money and how theme park attendance is down and all. However, when we were at WDW in June 2002, it was PACKED! And it was raining buckets the entire week, and it was still PACKED!!! We waited a long time to get on some of the rides and get into some of the shows! We can't afford to go 3 or 4 times a year, and will be lucky to make it there once every 3-4 years, but it will still always be my absolute favorite vacation destination!
Dsnymom is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Please login or register to hide these ads -- it's free and easy!

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like v3.4.0 Patch Level 1 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) 1998-2017 PassPorter Travel Press/MediaMarx, Inc.
Celebrating 19 Years of Making Dreams Come True
Ad Management plugin by RedTyger