Disneyland Recovering From Massive Attendance Decline in 2020

By Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna
Vanessa Serna is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times.
September 24, 2021 Updated: September 26, 2021

As Disneyland faced a massive drop in attendance in 2020, the city of Anaheim and the theme park are making a comeback.

According to a report by Themed Entertainment Associated (TEA), Disneyland suffered the greatest decrease in attendance out of the top 25 theme parks in the world. The report shows Disneyland faced an 80.3 percent attendance decline with nearly 3.7 million visitors in 2020.

Anaheim spokesperson Mike Lyster told The Epoch Times that despite the drop, the city is witnessing similar visitation numbers to 2019 as visitors rush to the theme park.

“Theme park wise, we have seen a very strong reopening and this is borne out in our hotel numbers,” Lyster said. “Our revenue from hotel stays was on par with what it was in 2019. In the months leading up to July, we saw a very noticeable comeback in visitor revenue as people return to the parks in larger numbers.”

Epoch Times Photo
Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, Calif., on Feb. 1, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

While numbers decreased in August 2021, Lyster stated it was normal due to vacations ending and students returning back to school.

“Disney continues to work back to capacity as they work to bring employees back, so the full contingent of their workforce is not fully back in place yet,” he said. “When you go to Disney, it’s very well attended and actually makes for a very good experience for everyone because the parks definitely have people in them—they’re lively.”

During the summer, the city witnessed more out-of-town visitors and expects to receive more during the holiday season. More locals are also making their way to Disneyland with the revival of the theme park’s new version of the annual pass which is ramping up required park reservations.

With Disneyland increasing Anaheim’s visitation rate, the city is struggling with convention center numbers. State mandate regulations, requiring vaccine verification or a negative test for indoor events with 1,000 or more people, have led to canceled conventions.

Epoch Times Photo
A statue of Mickey Mouse at Disneyland California Adventure theme park in Anaheim, Calif., on Feb. 1, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Despite the canceled conventions, the city has been able to head into a smooth economic recovery.

“We are very encouraged by the trends we’ve seen, so we’ve caught up,” Lyster said. “We are fortunate to get about 108 million in federal funding spread out over two years.”

To keep from falling behind fiscally, the city turned to selling bonds, which is something they didn’t take lightly, Lyster said.

While the theme park is on the road to recovery, the need for employees to fill in hospitality vacancies to serve visitors is still a concern, Lyster said.

As the pandemic continues and the theme park slowly brings back more employees, Disneyland’s occupancy limit remains, along with reservation requirements.

Vanessa Serna is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times.