The theme park business is a good one these days. For the first time in history more than half a billion people visited themed attractions in 2018. That's 7% of the global population.

Theme park attendance around the world grew by about 4% last year, and waterparks increased by about 2.5%, according to a report by the Themed Entertainment Association, which tracks attendance to the world's most-visited theme parks, water parks and museums.

The top 20 museums in the world drew more than 108 million people, remaining somewhat flat since 2017. That may be because museums haven't added resort hotels to their properties or leveraged blockbuster movies to boost attendance, like theme parks have. Those are strategies that have helped to increase theme park attendance in recent years, the TEA report says.

Walt Disney Co.  (DIS) - Get Report continues to be a powerhouse, with a dozen Disney parks among the leading 25 parks in the world that drew a quarter of a billion people, according to the report. Leading water parks attracted nearly 31 million around the world.

Based on TEA's report, these are the world's most popular water parks, museums and theme parks in 2018.

Pictured is the Karakare curl at Aquatica Orlando.

Photo: VIAVAL / Shutterstock

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