Harry Potter pulls Universal Studios, Hotels out of Recession

The boy wizard from the mind of J.K. Rowling just gave Universal Orlando it’s best year since 2004. Not only that, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is fattening the long-slimmed wallets of Orlando’s hotels. Particularly those near Universal.

Wizarding World’s success has spilled beyond Universal Orlando’s gates: A report released earlier this week showed that Orlando-area hotels recorded their best December in more than a decade last month, as occupancy rose 11.9 percent and average room rates climbed 10.2 percent from the same month a year ago.

Hotels near and along International Drive — those closest to Universal — performed best, with occupancy rising 15.4 percent and room rates leaping 21 percent. The December results continued a string of monthly gains for local hotels that began in June — the same month Wizarding World opened.

This leaves me wondering about those hotels that are more Southernly, like near Walt Disney World. Driving down the I-192 corridor, I noticed that a couple hotels have finally given up the ghost and closed down. Orlando hotels are going up in general, but as this article reveals, the vast majority of the leap in bookings is happening near Universal.

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10 Responses to Harry Potter pulls Universal Studios, Hotels out of Recession

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  9. Jason says:

    It’s funny. I went to Universal for the first time in my life in December. I have gone to Disney forty plus times. I was definitely unimpressed with Universal. The Harry Potter area was in a word stunning, but that doesn’t mean that I will return any time soon. The Marvel area was sorely disappointing. The Hulk coaster was a nice roller coaster that was poorly themed. As a comic book reader all of the Marvel characters seemed very dated. The Spiderman ride felt like I was taking a trip through nineties comic book writing. The Dr. Seuss are was sterile, and Jaws was just plain embarrassing. All in all, I wonder how long Universal can ride the Harry Potter wave, with one more movie coming out, and no more books on the horizon. Make no mistake, I was in line buying the final book, but one awesome ride does not make two otherwise mediocre parks better than the “Four Parks One World”.

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