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Theme park attendance crosses half-billion mark for 1st time

ORLANDO, Fla. — Worldwide attendance at the 10 biggest operators of amusement parks increased 4% last year and crossed the half-billion-visitors mark for the first time.

According to a report released this week by Themed Entertainment Association and the Economics Practice at AECOM, global attendance at waterparks increased by 2.5%, and the top museums had relatively flat attendance last year.

The report credits the adaptation of strong intellectual properties into new attractions.

Walt Disney parks across the globe had more than 157 million visitors in 2018, more than double the next-closest theme park company, Merlin Entertainment Group, which owns the Legoland parks and other attractions.

Magic Kingdom in Florida was the best-attended park with 20.8 million visitors in 2018, followed by Disneyland in California with 18.6 million visitors.

Mike Schneider, The Associated Press