House of Mouse stumbles while Harry Potter soars

posted on October 2, 2015

While Tokyo Disney Resort succumbed to bad weather, reducing customer traffic during the six months ended September, Universal Studios Japan, home to Harry Potter attractions, and eight others pulled in more patrons during the same period, according to a survey of 12 theme parks.

Oriental Land, the operator of Tokyo Disney Resort, Japan's biggest theme park, announced Thursday that Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea attracted 14.37 million customers between April and September, a 5% dip from the year-earlier period. The company blamed the lackluster figures on an inordinate number of rainy and hot days during the summer season. The company anticipates the customer count to sink 3% for full fiscal 2015.

The resort had been offering events in rapid succession ever since its 30th anniversary celebration in fiscal 2013, but the park is now in an off-season in terms of investment in big-name attractions, according to a brokerage analyst. Oriental Land plans spend roughly 500 billion yen ($4.13 billion) to expand the theme parks and build new areas ahead of its 40th anniversary celebration in fiscal 2023.

It is uncertain whether Tokyo Disney Resort will be able to pull in more customers in the second half, given the "Frozen" effect that significantly boosted attendance last year. Oriental Land is looking to recover during the September-December busy season with new parades and other offerings, and the company is sticking with its forecast for the number of annual visitors.

Meanwhile, other theme parks are reeling in more customers thanks to updated attractions and new events. Families are shying away from overseas travel because of terror attacks in France and other places, opting instead to visit leisure spots at home.

source by newsonjapan
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