Even as Disney’s amusement parks struggle to return to earlier consumer perception levels, the category appears to be on a long-term upswing.
After a sharp, month-long perception decline following its tragic mid-June alligator incident, Disneyland and DisneyWorld are now essentially in a three-way perception tie with Universal Studios and Six Flags.
Both Six Flags and Universal Studios have been on steady rolls since last summer: Six Flags reaching its highest perception mark in two years while Universal reached its highest point in 20 months.
SeaWorld has been on the comeback trail since announcing in March that its Shamu show was ending. Experiencing long-term perception damage in the wake of the repeated CNN airings of the “Blackfish” documentary, SeaWorld is tracking at more positive levels, similar to where the brand was tracking last August.
To measure perception, YouGov BrandIndex used its Buzz score, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" A score can range from 100 to -100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position.