The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has given Universal Studios an enormous boost in visits – Universal Studios has always been the second largest theme park in Florida to Walt Disney World, but several analysts have been suggesting that the popularity of Harry Potter may lead to Universal Studios usurping the Mouse’s position as head cheese of the theme park industry.
Walt Disney World officials beg to differ, however. After a St. Petersburg newspaper interviewed Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs, the Disney corporation seems to be confident in its ability to keep visitors coming back for the magical time that only Mickey Mouse and his cast of characters can provide.
Obviously, the influx of visitors and the incredible magnetic draw of Harry Potter has taken away a bit of Disney’s thunder. Harry Potter is one of the most popular franchises in the world and the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has prompted explosive gains for Universal Studios.
Despite this, however, Stuggs maintains that while it definitely hasn’t helped Walt Disney World to have been hit with such competition, it’s not a hard negative in any sense, and the impact on Disney World’s gains haven’t been overly dramatic.
Stuggs was interviewed on the deck of Walt Disney World’s newest cruise ship, the Disney Dream. He feels that there is still room for Disney World to move forward with its renovations and become a better park due to the competition – in fact, the huge remake of Fantasyland is in part due to the need to provide a better park experience for visitors.