Travel advisors share travel tips as theme parks recover

Social media personalities Dixie Damerio and Noah Beck were filmed on May 2, 2021 at Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

Handouts | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Covid’s pandemic has made it literally a roller coaster for both theme parks and their fans over the past 14 months.

By last spring some parks were closed or not open at all. Some parks were reopened by summer, but due to strict capacity restrictions and strict health and safety measures, some parks Customers have been procrastinated and undoubtedly undermined fun for other customers.

Here we look at how this part of the travel and tourism sector was formed in 2021 and how prospects can get the most out of their theme park vacations as the pandemic converges.

Before the pandemic, the sector was on track. According to the 2019 TEA / AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index, the top 20 theme parks in North America attracted 159,108,000 visitors in 2019.

To attract more visitors, park operators include the Jurassic World Velosicoaster at the Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida and the Marvel-themed Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim. It was widely advertised and rewound profits into a new, high-budget attraction. ..

Personal Finance Details:
What was it like to visit a theme park in a pandemic?
How travelers can benefit from the predicament of the hotel industry
Expected to bring live music events back on stage

People do not forget that their debut was in preparation.

“Many families have chosen to go to theme parks this year,” said Trish Smith, a travel advisor based in Kansas City, Missouri, who belongs to the InteleTravel network of home agents. “In fact, there were more reservations this year than in 2019.

“With so many new attractions coming up, many want to’don’t miss it and want to be the best,'” she added.

Demand was stagnant, especially in California, and the park did not reopen until April of this year.

In fact, senior analyst Michael Erstad, a consumer at research firm M Science, said theme parks could return to their previous attendance early next year. “I think it’s possible,” he said. “It all depends on what happens to the virus for the rest of the year.

“I don’t count [a rebound] Out. “

Consumer data analytics firm Cardify, of course, said that theme parks had a significant drop in consumer spending last year, but with a limited capacity and reopening, they “recovered a bit” by last summer. Now that cities and states have relaxed pandemic restrictions, parks are seeing what Cardify calls a “silver backing” for park operators. This is a new spending. It is a “rapid increase”.

Cardify also surveyed 1,044 consumers, with 72% saying they were excited to return to the amusement park after the pandemic, including cinemas (68%), bars and clubs (67). Found to be more than%). Only face-to-face concerts (79%) and sporting events (74%) are more awaited.

The theme parks are “much better” than cinemas, cruises, air travel, hotels and other entertainment options, said Erstad of M Science.

Like ski resorts and theme parks, he said, “more outdoor experiences” means less risk in terms of exposure. “You’re in line for a ride, but last year they made enhancements to improve their food and drink purchase decisions, so you can do a lot electronically.”

So where are the thrill-seekers heading?

There are essentially two theme park markets in the United States, but there are some crossovers between them. Large destination parks in central Florida, such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando, attract domestic and international tourists for long vacations. And demographics of day trippers from neighboring areas.

Examples of the latter type of park are the facilities of 27 theme parks and water parks operated by Six Flags Entertainment, Inc., based in Grand Prairie, Texas, in North America. There are several small but thematic parks, such as Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The line between the two categories.

(Interestingly, Disneyland boasts a global destination park profile, but it operates effectively as a regional park and attracts most visitors from the local Southern California market. Resume to all June 15th is full thanks. )

Please do not make a concrete plan. You now have to be a little flexible.

Trish Smith

Intele Travel affiliated travel advisor

Consumer spending in Orlando’s parks has recovered for months after last year’s crash, as out-of-state visitors open their wallets more than Florida residents.

“I think this is a healthy sign for Disney and destination-focused operators and an overall consumer appeal to the entire theme park this summer. [and] Shows consumers looking for this type of product. [mostly outdoor] Entertainment. “

Florida is one of the least restrictive states in terms of pandemic-related regulations, and Disney, Universal, and Seaworld Park in the Orlando area have all been operational since July last year. Temporary interstate travel restrictions and quarantine requirements curtailed long-distance demand for several months, but were eventually relaxed by the end of the year.

While Disney’s interest in Orlando Park is high, “Road trips near home will be very popular this summer at theme parks in the following areas: [Cedar Fair’s] Kings Dominion [and] Cedar Point, Six Flags, Sesame Place, Busch Gardens and Dollywood, “said Carolyn Moody, InteleTravel Advisor in Durham, North Carolina.

According to Erstad, some venues lack real data for climate-related and corporate reasons, so no conclusions have yet been reached as to how the regional parks will work.

For example, Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. has taken four of its 11 theme parks in the United States and Canada completely offline for most of 2020. Compared to 2,224 days in 2019, the total number of working days in 2020 was only 487.

“Cedar Fair is taking a more conservative approach to things. They first announced that they would recognize 2020 passholders in 20201, recognizing that they would take a more cautious approach. I made the decision I had, “says Erstad. “There is fairly healthy demand for open parks, but it’s a bit premature to consider parks with cold climates.”

This year, Sandusky, Ohio-based Cedar Fair plans to open all parks in the United States by Memorial Day, including Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Point, California and Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina. It remains closed. The company will debut its originally planned attraction in 2020 and plans to spend another $ 100 million on new upgrades this year, President and CEO Richard A. Zimmerman said in a statement on May 5. Said in. -Home and outdoor entertainment, especially in the second half of this year. “

“We are happy with the early leading indicators we’ve seen so far, and our 2021 sales strategy focuses on maximizing seasonally weighted second-half performance,” he added. .. “Season pass sales are on the rise again as the park is about to open,” he said.

Meanwhile, Erstad named Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari in Jackson, NJ as a “very well done last summer” wide-area park, opening early in the pandemic.

“It’s due to the fact that they have the charm of safari. You can drive with your family and get socially away from others,” he said.

The park, near New York City and Philadelphia, resumed safari to reserved drivers on May 30, last year. Resume theme park part With 25% capacity on July 3rd. The positive response indicates a lot of “pending demand,” Erstad said.

Parks like Cedar Fair, which weren’t open at all last year, could see a surge in first-time visitors, but “I don’t know if demand will spike like Disney and other big parks. Experience. “We do,” said Summer Hull, director of travel content at The Points Guy website.

“But for those who like to go to those spots, it might come back in the summer,” she added.

Theme park tips and points

“Theme parks have done a great job of keeping people safe,” Smith said. “Even if more people get vaccinated, they still take safety into account … so I don’t think the number of cases will increase significantly.”

Points Guy’s Hull says it’s been “great” three times since Walt Disney World reopened.

“It’s mostly outdoors, and they did a great job of making it fun and at the same time making it feel safe in your own little’Disney bubble’,” she said.

Also, be open to change. “That’s the biggest thing,” Smith said. “You don’t have to make a concrete plan. Now you need to be a little more flexible.”

Hull agreed, saying that the theme park guests are doing their homework and will have a good time this summer. “But if you think it’s a normal business, you’ll be waiting for some surprises,” she says, from hotels to restaurants to rides in parks with big destinations. Many places are not yet online and operate at regular capacity.

“We need to line up some things in an unprecedented way, but we’re still in a pandemic era and we still need to ease expectations about unusual dining, housekeeping, and other factors.”

(Disclosure: CNBC and Universal Parks & Resorts are both subsidiaries of NBCUniversal and are owned by their parent company, Comcast.)

Travel advisors share travel tips as theme parks recover

Source link Travel advisors share travel tips as theme parks recover

Back to top button