Lonely Planet Writer

Universal theme parks on right track when it comes to attracting millennials

Universal theme parks have hit the right formula when it comes to attracting millennials.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Orlando Resort)
New data from Foursquare has shown that Harry Potter wizard attractions at Universal theme parks is particularly popular with millennials (Universal Orlando Resort) Image by brambish

The young generation in the USA are loving the new rides as well as the intellectual property that goes down well with people in the 18-34 age bracket.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando.
Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando and the new HP section in Hollywood are big attractions for the millennial generation  Image by Sam Howzit / CC BY 2.0

Skift reports that analysis of foot traffic was carried out at Universal, Disney and other US theme parks by technology company Foursquare.

It used check-ins as well as background location information by those who operate on the Swam, Marsbot and Foursquare apps.

Data collected by the company from 2014-16 showed Universal’s parks in Hollywood and Orlando increased its market share to 15%-16% or a jump of 4%-5%. It is significant that close to 50% of visitors in that two year period were millennials.

Jeff Glueck, the CEO of Foursquare, described the rise as “a tremendous gain”. He emphasised that the gains by Universal were not necessarily at Disney’s expense. He said Universal had grown the overall market.

In 2014, the big attraction was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Foursquare said when this section opened in July that year, the park experienced a rise of 25% in millennial footfall over several weeks.

Wizard-themes are a winner with young adults. The opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter earlier this year in Hollywood park saw a massive increase of 38% with millennials responsible for 60% of that rise.

An attraction from the hit AMC show featuring the zombies from the Walking Dead was an immediate hit on opening this month.  The number of millennials visiting the attraction was up by five times over normal levels.

Foursquare say that their date predicts a 10% or more rise in Hollywood park attendance compared to 2015.