I remember when a Disneyland supervisor, my favorite when I worked in the parking lot (remember the parking lot?) got sent from Anaheim to help train workers, I mean, cast members at Tokyo Disneyland circa 1980.
If only that guy knew at the time that he was helping to set an attendance mousetrap that would snap three decades later.
Indeed, the unimaginable has happened, according to the annual estimate from Los Angeles consulting firm Aecom, which reports Tokyo Disneyland has surpassed the original park that Uncle Walt built as the second-most-popular theme park in the world.
The new worldwide Avis of theme parks, Tokyo Disneyland had attendance jump 15.9 percent in 2013 to 17.2 million visitors, I mean, guests.
That was enough to better the Happiest Place on Harbor and Katella, where slight 1.5 percent growth last year translated to 16.2 million guests … and the number three slot, although Disneyland remains No. 2 in North America.
Number one in North America and the world remains Disney's Magic Kingdom in Florida, where 2013 attendance of nearly 18.6 million guests represented a growth of 6 percent from the previous year.
Overall theme-park attendance in North America grew 2.7 percent in 2013, and Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park even bettered that with a 5 percent jump from the previous year.
The 3.683 million who visited the park built by the other Uncle Walt (Knott) put it at No. 13 in the country, sandwiched between No. 12 Busch Gardens Tampa and No. 14 Canada's Wonderland.