A year ago, Roland Mack had hoped to be able to welcome visitors to his Europa-Park also in winter – but the third wave has come in force, from the dream. After Rust’s amusement park was only allowed to open late in late May due to the pandemic, the season extension would have brought a certain amount of compensation into the cash register. Mack had recently mentioned a loss of around 300 million euros due to the pandemic. To mark the park’s 45th anniversary, he invited 50 artists to come and build 30 large ice sculptures on 200 tons of ice – but without an audience. Because even the opening of the season scheduled for the end of March had to be canceled because of the Corona, and the ice melted under the spring sun. Europa-Park was only allowed to welcome visitors in mid-May, and only because the amusement park was part of a model state government project.
The world association of the TEA branch (Themed Entertainment Association) has now measured the effects of the pandemic on amusement parks. According to this, the number of visitors fell by 50 to 90% globally last year due to the lockdown, travel restrictions and other officially prescribed hygiene measures – “one of the most annual declines. strong “after the record year 2019. The major corporate parks of Disney and Universal in the United States saw the worst with an approximately 80% drop in visitor numbers. In some cases, other parks in South America and Asia suffered even greater losses, while others have not even opened.
A similar picture has emerged in Europe: Disneyland Paris lost 73.1% of its visitors, Legoland Windsor up to 81.5%. German amusement parks did relatively well: according to the ranking, Europa-Park welcomed 2.5 million visitors, a decrease of 56.5%. In the pre-Corona 2019 year, there were at least 5.7 million visitors. In Europe, Disneyland Paris, which without the Disney Studios had 2.6 million visitors instead of 9.7 million the previous year, and Efteling in the Netherlands (2.9 instead of 5.2 million visitors) were more popular.
Of the 20 most popular European amusement parks, four are in Germany
However, as the official decrees had a big impact on the opening of the parks, TEA kept the ranking of 2019 this year. Phantasialand (-51.2%, one million visitors), Legoland Günzburg (-55.9 750,000) and Heide-Park (-44.1 950,000) are also among the top 20 European countries. Incidentally, the Upper Bavarian Erding thermal baths (-59.5 750,000) remain the first among European water parks.
The industry association expects visitor numbers to recover properly in 2022, “it could be a full year of operation for everyone, but with restrictions.” The operators of Europa-Park, which currently welcome up to 25,000 visitors, previously doubling on peak days, hope to be able to open continuously until the end of the Christmas holidays for the first time. – until now there was a break of several weeks between Halloween and Christmas. Their new Rulantica water park, which is designed for 400,000 visitors a year and has not yet entered the rankings due to the pandemic, should ensure sufficient occupancy.