Lonely Planet Writer

Report reveals the most popular theme parks in the world and Disney comes out on top

Is doesn’t matter where in the world you travel, when it comes to theme parks, Disney comes out on top.

Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Image by Blaine Harrington III/Getty Images

The Magic Kingdom, Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland were the most attended theme parks in 2015, according to the Themed Entertainment Association/AECOM global attractions report. Overall, the report found that the top 25 amusement/theme parks around the world saw a 5.4% increase in attendance from 2014. In total, there were 235.6 million visitors to the top parks.

Disney parks dominated the list, with the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Florida taking the top spot with more than 20 million visitors. It was followed by Disneyland in California and Tokyo Disneyland. In fourth place was Universal Studios Japan, followed by Tokyo Disney Sea, Epcot at Disney World, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris.

The majority of the high ranking parks were located in Florida, USA with seven of the top 25 found in the sunshine state, while three were located in California. Other placed boasting more than one top park included Japan (4 parks), China (3), Hong Kong (2) and South Korea (2).

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Orlando Resort)
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Orlando Resort). Image by brambish

The report notes that there are some reasons that Disney and Universal parks had high attendance last year, as Universal’s numbers are driven primarily by the Harry Potter-themed park at Universal Orlando. For Disney, the anticipation for Star Wars and upcoming Star Wars attractions at parks was cited as driving visitor numbers.

The report also touches on popular water parks and museums. The most attended park was Chimelong Water Park in China, Typhoon Lagoon at Disney World and Blizzard Beach at Disney World. While top 20 museums worldwide saw a slight overall drop (0.7%) in attendance between 2014 and 2015, there was a total attendance of 106.5 million last year. Six of the most attended museums were found in London and four in Washington DC. The most attended was the Louvre in Paris, followed by the National Museum of China in Beijing and the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.