Universal Orlando Resort's parent company Comcast released their most recent quarterly financial results earlier this week, and while the theme parks may not be the entire focus of their report, Comcast's press release did contain some interesting information for fans of the Universal theme parks both in Orlando and California. From rising revenue to a sputtering start for a new attraction at Universal Orlando Resort, here's everything we learned about the present (and future!) for Universal parks from parent company Comcast's financial results:
1. Guest spending is on the rise, but attendance numbers for 2016 may not be that great at Universal Orlando Resort
According to the official press release, Comcast's parks and resorts division saw a sizable bump during the most recent financial period, with revenue increasing 32.1% to $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016. This is largely due to the higher attendance and per guest spending, primarily at Universal Studios Hollywood’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is continuing to break records for this park, despite having been open for several months now.
However, though it looks like the money is still coming in at a healthy clip, one thing that was not disclosed in the financial report was any information about attendance, beyond the fact that it is up across the board, worldwide. And while that may initially sound like a good thing, that average could be inflated by continued interest in the aforementioned west coast Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
While it is pretty common for these financial reports to omit specific, hard figures about how many guests are entering Universal theme parks during a given period, they do often include some statistics about growth year-over-year. However, Comcast's earnings do not include any such information, which seems to imply that guest levels are either stagnant or perhaps even down in 2016, particularily at Universal Orlando Resort, which is not mentioned at all. Of course, such a development would not be too surprising, as we saw slower attendance at Walt Disney World in 2016 as well. Which begs another question specific to the Florida parks..