The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Celebrates First Birthday

Filed under: Florida News,Theme Parks,Universal Orlando,Vacation Tips |

June 17th marked the first anniversary of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park.  The new attraction has established a loyal theme park following and in a lot of ways the books and films featuring a boy wizard created by author J. K. Rowling have transformed the Orlando area.

In May 2011, Universal Orlando announced that attendance rose by 1.1 million visitors January through March, from 1.7 million a year earlier to 2.8 million and that the overall park’s revenue nearly doubled for the quarter, to $309 million. IOA saw 5.9 million guests in 2010, a boost of 30 percent more than the previous year, according to estimates by AECOM, a Los Angeles consulting company, and the Themed Entertainment Association. Further,  in 2010, Orlando welcomed more than 51 million visitors, up 10.5 percent from 2009 and that officially makes the city the first destination in the country to top 50 million visitors. It’s some achievement and it speaks volumes for what the right product in the right place can do to transform an economy even in a recession.

From a visitor point of view, there is a lot to see and do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Visitors can go inside Hogwarts castle, swig two kinds of butterbeer while soaking in the atmosphere of the “real-life” Hogsmeade village as well as purchase all kinds of Potter memorabilia that includes a series of magic wands. Some guests take their devotion to an extreme and we’ve heard of guests who have ridden the rides over 600 times in a year!

So all in all it’s been a fantastic year for Universal Orlando and for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter… it’ll be interesting to see how things develop in the next year.

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