[Orlando, FL] A new report out May 31 details just how much of an impact The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has had on Universal’s Islands Of Adventure theme park, part of the Universal Orlando resort.
The figures are down right spellbinding.
Attendance at the park grew a staggering 29% which translated to 1.7 million more visitors than the previous year, for a total of 7.7 million through the gate in 2011. And how many of them plunked down a five spot for a Butterbeer?
That growth was more than the increase at four of Disney’s bigger parks combined and easily surpassed any other theme park in North America.
But let’s keep things in perspective: Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was still number one in terms of amount of visitors in 2011 with slightly more than 17 million. It’s growth was only a meager 1% over 2012 figures.
No wonder that Universal is building similar Harry Potter attractions at two other parks (Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan). The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at the Universal Orlando resort on June 18, 2010.
“The Harry Potter stories are some of the most powerful of our time,” said said Ron Meyer, President & COO, Universal Studios, in a press release issued at the time of the Hollywood announcement.
“We are honored to expand our Orlando experience and bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Hollywood, forever changing family tourism in Los Angeles,” he said.
An expansion of the original Harry Potter experience is most likely already underway and rumored to be located in Universal Studios Florida at the site of the since-demolished Jaws attraction, but there has yet to be an official announcement.
Sunshine Slate previously reported the rumored plans back in January.
These figures are co-crunched and co-published in an annual “Theme Index” by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) trade association and Los Angeles-based management support service provider AECOM.
The report is the leading industry metric, and, “inclusion in the annual Theme Index is now seen as a benchmark of success among operators,” claims the authors.
By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate
Image: AP Photo Kevin Kolczynski, Universal Orlando Resort