June 12, 2013 / 10:12 AM / 4 years ago

Funds betting on the growing amusement park market

People watch the "World of Color" show at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, March 11, 2011.Mike Blake

NEW YORK (Reuters) - It's the one place where a roller coaster ride is a good thing.

Revenue at U.S. theme parks is expected to reach a record $13.4 billion this year, a 2.8 percent gain from 2012, according to market research firm IBIS World. The expanding U.S. economy, improving housing market and declining unemployment rate are all factors behind the rosy forecast.

Rising demand was one reason that Walt Disney Co was able to raise its U.S. ticket prices 9.6 percent last week, putting a one-day pass to Disneyland at $92. Comcast Corp's Universal Studios, meanwhile, invested more than $155 million in theme parks last year to take market share from Disney. The company plans to build a Harry Potter attraction at its Hollywood park, further cutting into Disney's core market.

While theme parks make up just one division at both Disney and Comcast, analysts say both companies are in the best positions to capture the expected growth in the sector.

Reporting by David Randall. Editing by Andre Grenon

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