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Universal Orlando to unveil second Harry Potter attraction

Published on Jun 18, 2014 7:07 AM
 
Universal Orlando kicks off previews on Wednesday of its much anticipated Diagon Alley, a second Harry Potter-themed attraction that is expected provide a boost for the park's revenues and for tourism in central Florida. -- PHOTO: 2010 UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT

ORLANDO (REUTERS) - Universal Orlando kicks off previews on Wednesday of its much anticipated Diagon Alley, a second Harry Potter-themed attraction that is expected provide a boost for the park's revenues and for tourism in central Florida.

Universal has yet to fix a date for the opening of Diagon Alley this summer, but theme park experts predict a major bump in tourism based on the response to the original, a recreation of Hogsmeade Village, which required staggered entry times long after the June 2010 grand opening to control crowds. "There are heightened expectations for this expansion," said Richmond-based theme park consultant John Gerner of Leisure Business Advisors.

Universal did not respond to inquiries about company attendance expectations.

In the month after the original Harry Potter attraction opened, bed tax revenue from hotel guests in Orange County jumped 21 per cent over the previous year. "It certainly appeared to be a correlation to the Harry Potter opening," said Peggy McGarrity, deputy county comptroller, who added that double-digit increases became standard thereafter.

 
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