The amusement parks creating the most Buzz among America’s parents

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
November 25, 2021, 6:39 PM UTC

As domestic and international travel ramp up, America’s amusement parks are now firmly in a recovery period. Now headed into the holiday season, YouGov data reveals which amusement parks saw the highest Buzz score increase over the last six months among parents of children under 18. 

Atop our list of parks with the highest score increase is Universal Studios in Orlando, posting a 16% hike over the last six months. Universal Orlando reported its most profitable quarter ending in October as domestic tourists blew off steam following pandemic-related restrictions.  

“We are encouraged by the continued recovery but getting back to, and then exceeding, pre-pandemic levels of [earnings] will likely require an improvement in international visitation,” said Michael Cavanaugh, chief financial officer of Comcast, Universal’s parent company, as reported by the Orlando Sentinal. 

A park’s Buzz score is a net measure based on responses to two questions: “Over the past two weeks, which of the following brands have you heard something positive about?” and “Now which of the following brands have you heard something negative about?”. By calculating the difference between these two scores, we create our Buzz metric. 

Great Wolf Lodge, a chain of indoor waterparks that dot the country, saw a 29% increase in Buzz score over the last six months taking them into second place. This is a promising figure for the brand, as it heads into the holiday – and winter – season. 

Busch Gardens also enjoyed a healthy 19% uplift over the last six months among parents. The brand has two locations in Tampa Bay and Williamsburg, the latter of which transforms into Christmas Town each year. 

Mid-west park brands Kalahari and Cedar Point posted a 32% and 46% increase in Buzz respectively over the last six months, rounding out our top-five list. 

The holidays are a critical time for amusement parks with many families taking extended time off work and school. Many parks, such as Six Flags and Knott’s Berry Farm, go through massive holiday transformations to attract families in December but haven’t moved the dial on Buzz as much as some parks. 

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Methodology: YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. Each brand’s Buzz score is based on the questions: “Over the past two weeks, which of the following brands have you heard something positive about?” and “Now which of the following brands have you heard something negative about?” and delivered net score between –100 and + 100. Scores are based on the average daily sample size of 4,072 US adults. Compared figures are based on two six month averages, between November 19, 2020 and May 28, 2021; and May 19, 2021 and November 18, 2021. Learn more about BrandIndex.