Revenue Management–Theme Park Industry

Industry Overview

Theme parks, primarily engaged in operating a variety of attractions, such as mechanical rides, water rides, games, shows, theme exhibits, refreshment stands, and picnic grounds, are physical locations for the enjoyment of a large group of people.

During the Gilded Age, many Americans began working fewer hours and had more disposable income. With new-found money and time to spend on leisure activities, Americans sought new venues for entertainment. Theme parks, set up outside major cities and in rural areas, emerged to meet this new economic opportunity. These parks reflected the mechanization and efficiency of industrialization while serving as source of fantasy and escape from real life.

You can learn the theme park history from link below:

There are about 1305 currently operating theme parks in the world that have at least one roller coaster. In U.S. along, there are 267 operating parks. Theme Parks will offer great relaxation for everyone from small children to old people. Those who want to take a world trip can get great fun and enjoyment by visiting the best theme parks around the world. Here are some of the top theme parks around the world:

Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney Word:

Epcot, Olando U.S.

Tivoli Gardens, Danmark

Ocean Park, Hong Kong


The stability of the theme park industry is a function of many different factors that affect attendance rates and admission prices. Theme park admission prices are influenced primarily by attendance rates, which vary according to the quality and amount of marketing, product and software additions, competitors’ actions, weather, economic conditions, gasoline prices, and government regulations, among other factors.


Theme parks usually have both the direct revenue generating methods (e.g. the admission to the rides and attractions) and the indirect revenue generating methods (e.g. restaurants, retail stores, picnic areas, etc).

Generally speaking, theme parks sell spaces implicitly.

  • Theme parks sell admissions to customers not by the size of the spaces that customers will occupy. Customers will get access to all the attractions which admission fee covers, freely.
  • Theme parks divide up the whole spaces into attractions, F&B areas, shopping areas, convention areas, etc. Unlike hotels sell rooms and airlines sell seats, parks don’t sell specific divided space to their customers. However, those function areas are all revenue streams to parks.

Theme parks use their space to generate revenue from different streams. For example, admission to access to the attractions, in-park restaurants, shops, recreation such as fishing, golfing, picnic area and party place. To attract corporate business, some theme parks even have decent convention centers. For example, The Thorpe Park of Surrey, England, is the best water ride park in Europe and one of the leading business convention center in Britain.


My suggestions to theme park is:

  • Develop on-site accommodation.  Disney resort shows a good example to the industry to attract customers stay more days at park and to enhance theme park experience by accommodate customers on-site. Also, on-site accommodation will be an effective way to attract conferences and corporate business to the park.



Theme parks sell time explicitly.

Usually, theme parks sell tickets based on the length of time. Selling the time explicitly gives parks the control of service duration. The length could be by days, by week, or even by year.

For example, SeaWorld Orlando has “single day with 2nd visit free” pass

Walt Disney Theme Parks Orlando offer different passes with length of 1 day to 10 days for one single park or all four parks.|10370|disney%20world%20tickets||S|e|9657284354

You can even get an annual pass from Disney World if you are a super fan of Disney or you live in the neighborhood of those parks.

Depending on length of ticket purchased, the average price per day for a 7-day Magic Your Way Base Ticket is less than half the price of the same single-day ticket. It’s like saving over 50%.

Other than selling the time explicitly, I would suggest theme parks to think of splitting time by below ways:

Seasonality. Theme parks’ hot seasons are normally on the spring break and summer break when children are out of school. Selling school break pass will attract more attendance from the family section.

Performance/events time. For those who don’t want to spend a whole day at park, but are attracted by certain performances/events, selling a performance time to them will be a good way to satisfy them and increase revenue.



The price of admission to amusement parks generally includes access to rides and attractions, as well as live entertainment. Customers pay extra money for services such as concessions, arcades, specialty rides/attractions (e.g. bungee jump), and merchandise, including t-shirts and toys.

An admission rate is an all-inclusive price paid to gain access to all rides, attractions, and live entertainment offered by the sample unit. These rates are typically tiered for different types of buyers (e.g. child, adult, senior, family).

To justify price discrimination, theme parks have both the physical and non-physical choices.

  • Physical rate fences include different admission packages based the type of amenities and inventory, such as one day ticket plus shuttle, combo ticket for two (or more) parks, admission with food packages, and admission with accommodation and food, etc.

See how universal studio charges for different packages:


SeaWorld Orlando’s “All day Dinning” pass


  • Non-physical rate fences includes rates for different time of usage (e.g. annual pass, 7 days pass, 3 days pass and one day pass), family packages (e.g. SeaWorld Orlando provides “buy two adults tickets get one kid ticket free”).

See how Disney prices annual pass with different restrictions:

I would suggest theme parks justify price discrimination by using more creative physical and non-physical rate fences. For example, VIP pass to give priority to customers who want to avoid waiting lines by paying more. Private guide pass will offer customers private tour guide service if they want to pay more.


6 thoughts on “Revenue Management–Theme Park Industry

  1. What’s interesting is that even though theme parks sell time explicitly, they really don’t know how long people will stay. Some might stay for 2 hours, some for half a day and some might stay the entire time. It certainly causes some difficulty for forecasting! How do you think theme parks figure out when people will arrive and how long they will stay? Given that they have occupancy limits, this is certainly an issue for them.

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  3. Hi,

    I am James Careless, Funworld magazine’s water park correspondent:

    For our next issue, I am researching how water parks can boost their revenue streams. Leaving otu retail sales – because we recently covered this in the magazine – we are asking water parks what they are doing to boost their existing revenue streams, and how they are developing new ones. This includes:

    – finding creative ways to boost ticket and season pass sales
    – renting out their facilities for special events, to bring in extra moey
    – doing co-promotions with other companies (i.e. hotels and media outlets) to drive sales
    – finding new ways to make money from their sites (i.e. film shoot leasing)
    – adding new F&B attractions
    – anything else we have missed!

    I would like to interview someone at your company on this topic, either by phone or email, in the next few days. Would you like to take part?

    Please let me know soon, as I am on deadline.

    Much thanks,


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