The new Harry Potter ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando garnered attention from fans at the media preview of the park’s new multi-million expansion, Diagon Alley.
The Harry Potter park recently added Diagon Alley which Yahoo reports as having seven visually stimulating shops that make park-goers forget they’re shopping. The second park is set to open on July 8.
Harry Potter and The Escape from Gringotts aims for a 3D reenactment of the Golden Trio’s infiltration of said bank in the last movie installment.
According to Mirror Online’s Nigel Thompson, who experienced a preview of the new Harry Potter ride, called the recreation of the magic bank “spectacular” and its accompanying ride as “so real.”
“In truth, I think it’s getting a bit like smartphones, where technology leaps forwards with every new release and we take it all a bit for granted.” Thompson added, after surviving attacks from two armored trolls, a 60-foot dragon’s firestorm, and 360-degree spins. “But this IS a fantastic, unmissable, ground-breaking new ride in the spirit of Transformers meets The Mummy with the whole thing cranked up by the very latest incredibly immersive technology and the magic of Harry Potter.”
Yahoo reported the attendance at Universal Orlando Resort has jumped up to 50% since 2009. Annual visitors to the park rose up to 15 million in 2013. Industry analyst at the market research firm in IBIS world, Andy Brennan, predicted the numbers to increase in 2014 with the new Diagon Alley and the new Harry Potter ride.
Brennan added, “NBCUniversal’s theme park revenue is up nearly 40 percent since 2009, much of which can be directly attributed to the popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”
“There’s enough story line in Harry Potter to allow Universal to continue on with it for another 15 years,” Dennis Speigel, president of the International Theme Park Services trade group, told Yahoo.
Universal Studio is planning to open a Harry Potter area in its Osaka, Japan park this summer, and another at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2016.