Sunday Series: Which Theme Parks Accelerated Past the Competition?

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Image from: Roller Coaster / Shutterstock

Monthly traffic to theme park websites increased 28.5% as May welcomed warmer weather and summer vacation planning. Unsurprisingly, theme parks receive more online visitors in the summer months. The season trend starts in April or May and peaks in July before dropping off in August. This year, the number of Unique Visitors (UVs) actually declined in April, probably due to the long winter that most of the United States experienced. The season is off to a slow start; 8.2 million Americans visited theme park websites in May, about 700,000 fewer visitors than in May 2012.

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Which theme parks experienced the largest traffic growth last month? Compete compiled a list of ten fast movers based on monthly UV change. Seven of the ten fast movers are parks located away from the coast: in the Midwest, Pennsylvania, or Utah. It makes sense that these parks would have the fastest growing traffic, as they are major destinations for Americans who do not have access to a beach–most of the parks include a water park.
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CedarPoint.com and VisitKingsIsland.com each grew about 100% month-over-month (MOM). They were the two most visited sites of the Fast Movers as well as two of the ten most visited theme park sites overall. Both parks are located in Ohio and owned by the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. Accesso.com was one of the top five incoming and outgoing traffic sources for both websites. Cedar Fair parks use Accesso’s software for online, in-person, and mobile ticket sales as well as their park apps. When purchasing tickets online, visitors actually purchase through the Accesso website in a pop-up window. The fact that so many visitors were leaving to go to Accesso.com is great news: it means that they at least started the check-out process.

Sevenpeaks.com was arguably the best performing site of the Fast Movers in May. Visitors to the site stayed for 11 minutes and 36 seconds on average–longer than any of the Fast Movers. The search keyword that referred the most traffic was not even the park’s name, but “pass of all passes”–responsible for 28% of all incoming search traffic. Seven Peaks offers a pass for unlimited access to its water park, as well as exclusive deals at amusements and sporting events in Utah year-round.  The Pass-of-all-Passes is widely popular in Utah, where people flee to pools to escape the heat. In fact, the passes are so popular that Seven Peaks can’t keep up with the demand this year. Seven Peaks had 86,000 UVs in May, earning it the spot as the 26th most visited theme park website in the U.S..

 

About Carro Halpin:
Carro is excited to join the Compete team as the Digital Marketing Co-op for Compete.com, with a focus on all things social media. A third-year student at Northeastern University, Carro is pursuing a major in Communication Studies and a minor in Political Science. She has a passion for digital media. Follow her on Twitter @carrohalpin or connect on Google+