The Associated Press, June 05, 2015
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Attendance increased at all but two of Florida's theme parks last year.
Five of Florida's parks were ranked in the Top 25 worldwide in a report released Wednesday by the Themed Entertainment Association.
Disney's Magic Kingdom — where "Frozen" sisters Anna and Elsa have been holding court at Princess Fairytale Hall — had the highest attendance at 19.33 million in 2014, up 4 percent from 18.59 million in 2013. Sister parks Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios all showed 2 percent increases.
Universal Studios — which last year opened a new Harry Potter-themed area — showed the largest percentage increase of all Florida parks, rising 17 percent to 8.26 million visitors last year. Universal's Islands of Adventure showed no change from just over 8.1 million visitors in 2013. Busch Gardens in Tampa increased 1 percent to 4.12 million.
Disney and Universal Studios didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
SeaWorld Orlando's attendance fell 8 percent from 5.09 million in 2013 to 4.68 million last year, according to the report. Revenue and attendance have declined there since the release of the critical documentary "Blackfish."
Those attendance figures "are estimates and not based on actual numbers," SeaWorld said in a statement. "As a publicly traded company, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reports consolidated attendance in its annual reports filed with the SEC and available at SeaWorldInvestors.com."
SeaWorld Entertainment's 2014 annual report showed a 4.2 percent decline in attendance for the year that ended on Dec. 31.
This story has been corrected to include figures for Busch Gardens in Tampa.
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