Apparently the New York Times quoted my article published November 28th, 2010 where I was reacting to the news that while Universal Orlando was having a banner year, Walt Disney World actually decreased in attendance. Here’s the full context:
The first was an Orlando Sentinel story on the flat attendance at Walt Disney World. I have to think that given the poor state of the economy, Disney would have been happy to have not lost any ground. But the reality is Disney did lose ground to Universal Orlando (despite their attempts at hiding the figures). Harry Potter is drawing guests away from the mouse house and Disney still has no answer lined up. That’s very troubling.
I then went on to talk about how Osceola County can capitalize on increase in attention that’s coming Central Florida’s way with LEGOLAND Florida and the Orlando Thrill park.
Like Disney states in the NY Times article, I believe that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a net gain for Orlando tourism business. Unlike Disney World officials, I do believe that there is a high risk of guests shifting their attendance to Universal away from Disney resulting in a net-loss for Disney. Universal is already siphoning off the teens and twenty somethings and LEGOLAND Florida threatens to do the same for the 6 to 10 year old set.
Look at all the Hogwarts scarfs and t-shirts you see next time you’re at WDW. Those guests all visited Universal before coming to Disney. The money they spent there on broomsticks and Butterbeer will not be spent on mouse ears and popcorn. That doesn’t include the guests who are spending a day or two at Disney and then visiting Universal. I can’t understand why Disney doesn’t appear to be worried.