With the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley due to open in 2014, can we expect to see even more Harry Potter attractions installed at the Universal Orlando Resort?
The opening of the original Wizarding World at Islands of Adventure led to an enormous attendance and revenue boost for Universal, so it's no surprise to see the resort installing more Potter attractions at Universal Studios Florida. The debut of Diagon Alley is likely to lead to booming attendance once again in 2014.
Buoyed by its success, Universal Orlando's owner Comcast has allocated an enormous capital expenditure budget for the construction of new attractions and hotels over the next few years. Not all of this will be spent on Harry Potter attractions - we're likely to see a new addition to the Jurassic Park area of Islands of Adventure in 2015, for example. And then there are those rumors that King Kong is on his way back to the resort.
Still, whisperings that Universal will seek to expand the original Wizarding World won't go away. These suggest that the remainder of the Lost Continent area of Islands of Adventure will be given a Harry Potter makeover, with rumored attractions including:
- A spinning flat ride themed around the Whomping Willow.
- A Chamber of Secrets attraction in the current Poseidon's Fury building.
- A walkthrough attraction themed around the Shrieking Shack.
Will Universal really install yet more attractions based on Harry Potter's universe? In our view, the answer is almost certainly "yes". Diagon Alley is about as close to a nailed-on success as you can get: it's going to make Universal a fortune in ticket sales and merchandise revenue. Universal will be keen to repeat the trick once more with a further round of Potter attractions. The Lost Continent, robbed of much of its land already by Hogsmeade, is the obvious place for the Wizarding World to expand into.
For non-Potter fans who fear that resort is being taken over by wizards and witches, this isn't necessarily bad news. All that revenue from Harry Potter is what's triggered the other investments at Universal Orlando, such as the addition of Transformers: The Ride - 3D and the likely spending on a Jurassic World attraction.
You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter.