Disneyland is believed to have outperformed Walt Disney World this summer, recording a small attendance increase while its East Coast sister resort faced fierce competition from Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Disney did not report separate attendance figures for its two US resorts in its recent fourth-quarter earnings report, only disclosing that the two resorts combined experienced a 1% increase. However, Disneyland officials have now confirmed to the ">Orange County Register that the California resort performed "modestly better" than this increase - strongly suggesting that Walt Disney World suffered a slight decline in visitor numbers.
The improved performance at the Disneyland Resort has been largely credited to the opening of the World of Color nighttime spectacular at Disney California Adventure. Disney CEO Robert Iger recently told the Wall Street Journal that attendance at California Adventure had increased 20% following the show's debut, justifying the company's decision not to merge the underperforming park with neighboring Disneyland.
Walt Disney World recently informed the Orlando Sentinel that its own fourth-quarter attendance figures were "within a percentage point" of last year's figures. Given the increase at the Disneyland Resort, this seems certain to have been a slight decline. The opening of Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been pointed to as a potential contributing factor, with Disney's rival having seen an enormous 36% year-on-year jump in attendance in October.
For the last several years, Disney has always reported separate attendance figures for Disneyland and Walt Disney World. However, the company says that it will continue to report an amalgamated figure in future.