More visitors head to local Disney, Universal, Knott’s parks

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Susan Valot/KPCC

A theme park industry report credits Disney California Adventure's "World of Color" with boosting a "mostly flat year" last year in the Disney parks.

Attendance figures are up for Southern California’s theme parks. A recent industry report indicates that people are visiting theme parks in the United States almost at pre-recession levels.

Disneyland is still the king of Southern California, at least as far as popularity goes. It remains the second-most visited theme park in the world, behind Disney World in Florida.

The report from the Themed Entertainment Association estimates that nearly 16-million people visited Disneyland last year. That’s up half a percent from the previous year.

But those are unofficial numbers. Disney no longer releases attendance figures for its individual parks.

Disney California Adventure ranks 11th on the worldwide list, with a few more than 6 million visitors last year, up 3 percent from 2009.

The report says the park’s World of Color show “helped offset a mostly flat year” for the Disney parks.

And, far from flat, Universal Studios Hollywood saw a 26 percent jump in visitors last year. About 5 million visitors during that time made it the 18th most popular theme park in the world.

Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park didn’t make the top 25 worldwide list. But it did rank as the 13th most popular theme parks in the country, with 3.6-million visitors last year, an 8 percent increase.

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