Tourism is the largest industry in the state of Florida and especially large in Central Florida. In 1985, close to 30 million domestic and international tourists visited the state. These visitors purchased goods and services worth $19 billion. The Florida Division of Tourism estimated that in 1985, Central Florida was one of the most popular destinations in the state, hosting 23% of auto visitors arrivals and 19% of air visitors arrivals. Central Florida attractions have always been very popular: In 1985, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Center accounted for over 50% of Florida's air and auto attraction visitors. Other attractions like Sea World of Orlando, Church Street Station, and Cypress Gardens have also increased significantly the share of central Florida for statewide attractions visits. The decline of the U.S. dollar in relation to European currencies, dropping gasoline prices and air fares in the United States, coupled with terrorist activities abroad, have generated a large increase of domestic tourism in the United States, and in particular to Florida. The Central Florida area still seems to be attractive to many accommodation and attraction developers: Profits at Walt Disney World theme parks more than doubled during the firm's second quarter ended March 1986. Operating profits for the firm's Entertainment and Recreation Division jumped from $44.4 million to $95.8 million during the quarter. Disney World has opened its new, $90 million Living Seas pavilion in January 1986 and the 3-D Michael Jackson movie Captain EO in September 1986. Sea World of Florida reported record attendance for 1985, with nearly 3.5 million paid visitors, an increase of 13.4% over the 1984 totals. The marine park has begun construction of a new habitat and exhibit for Antarctic penguins, a $10 million project that is expected to be completed next summer. The competition for the evening entertainment market in Central Florida continues to heat up with word that Robert Earl will build a new $3.5 million dinner and entertainment complex on an 11-acre site near Disney Main Gate. His third project, following King Henry's Feast and Mardi Gras will be called Fort Liberty and will feature a country-western theme for its dinner and entertainment offerings. On May 13 1986, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich took control of Circus World and immediately closed the park for complete restructuring. The new baseball oriented theme park will be called "Boardwalk and Park Place." Despite the depth and breath of these economic activities, no systematic and sustained comprehensive study has been conducted on the supply-demand relationships of Central Florida theme parks, in particular the addition of parks to the existing competitive environment. All observers agree that future theme park developments in Central Florida should be examined carefully, and information about current and future trends is necessary before any proposed growth is considered. The primary goal of this study is to provide information about potential markets to PARK EQUUS, their demographic, travel behavior, and perception of a new theme park featuring the horse concept.


Park Equus; tourism

Prepared For

Park Equus Management


The Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Publication Date


Document Type









Orlando, FL


No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any language, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from The Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies. All copyright, confidential information, design rights and all other intellectual property rights of whatsoever nature contained herein are and shall remain the sole and exclusive property of the Ministry of Tourism of Aruba. The information furnished herein is believed to be accurate and reliable.

Number of Pages

57 p.





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