There is little doubt Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter addition was the main driver behind the park’s reported 20% attendance growth and a profit of $261 million, which is more than the estimated cost for the whole addition. While it’s unlikely Universal Orlando will continue on that same trajectory of growth for the whole year, it will continue to improve over last year. WWoHP wasn’t even open for the 1st quarter of 2010, so they should experience at least one more full quarter of growth.
Last week Warner Brother’s studios said they were going to open an exhibit featuring sets, costumes,and animatronics from the Harry Potter movies outside the London in the Leavesden Studios. The question is will this have any impact on travel to Orlando to see WWoHP?
I doubt that it will. The difference between the movie sets and WWoHP is that WWoHP brings the movie to life. Movie sets you can look around and see that they are just facades, at WWoHP you feel like you are actually in the movie. Plus the attractions at Islands of Adventure help put you in the story by providing the experiences of riding a hippogriff, flying on a dragon, or a magical bench. Then when you add in the rest that Orlando provides, that’s a big incentive to continue booking a trip to see the magic. If anything, a trip to the studio exhibit will just whet the appetite to visit the one place in the world that J.K. Rowling herself said was the closest thing to the world the Harry Potter inhabits.