Universal Studios' UK expansion – Insights on Bedford's upcoming theme park
December 22nd, 2023, Kineree Shah

Universal Studios' UK expansion – Insights on Bedford's upcoming theme park

Universal Studios has confirmed plans to expand its global presence with the launch of its first United Kingdom theme park - in Bedford. This strategic move by the company aligns with the growing trend of theme park visits among Britons. According to YouGov Profiles, a quarter of Britons visit theme parks at least once a year, indicating a strong potential market for this new venture.

Brits also highly rate Universal Studio attractions in other parts of the world – even if only by reputation in some cases. According to our audience profiling tool, YouGov Profiles, half of Britons positively rate Universal Studios Florida (53%) and Hollywood (54%). Universal Studios Florida has a strong appeal for the 25-39 (62%) and 40-54 age group (61%). This broad appeal is mirrored in ratings for Universal Studios Hollywood (55% and 58% respectively). As for Universal Studios Japan, more than a three in 10 UK adults aged 25-39 rate it positively (31%). This suggests the almost universal (no pun intended) allure of these entertainment destinations.

Universal Studios Orlando, a flagship location, has seen a notable increase in its Quality scores within the past year. YouGov BrandIndex data indicates that from January 1 to December 20, 2023, Universal Studios Orlando's net scores rose from 18.5 to 21.3. This upward trend is mirrored in the park's Impression scores, which have climbed from 19.9 to 22.2 in the same period.

The introduction of a new Universal theme park in the UK is poised to capitalize on this rising tide of popularity. With a quarter of Britons already visiting theme parks annually, the market is ripe for a new entrant, especially one with the established brand reputation and proven appeal of Universal Studios. The diverse demographic appeal, combined with the positive trend in perception scores, signals a promising potential for the new park.

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YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Great Britain is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race.

YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. Scores are based on an average daily sample size of 5000 adults between January 1 to December 20, 2023. Figures are based on a 12-week moving average. Learn more about BrandIndex.

Cover photo by Edwin Soto