With the eminent opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, it has got me thinking about how it could effect Disneyland.
Having seen the massive popularity of first, Hogmeade and then Diagon Alley, at Universal Studios Orlando, that took USO to a whole new level, stealing some custom from not just Walt Disney World, but Sea World and Busch Gardens, Do you think something similar could happen on the West Coast?
For me this is a completely different proposition, both in location and in type of them park.
Let’s start with the theme parks themselves. USH is very much still a working studio that is limited by space as to what attractions they have. Where as USO has two theme parks that has the two different Harry Potter areas split between them, USH do not have that luxury. Due to its positioning Hollywood is on two different levels, an Upper Lot (which is where you will find Hogsmeade, among other attractions like Shrek 4D and the Waterworld Stunt Show) and the Lower Lot that currently houses Jurassic Park, The Mummy and Transformers as the well as the Coup De Force, The Studio Tram Tour.
While Harry Potter will have a major influence on one day visitors I don’t see the rest of the park attracting multi day attendees with the lack of variance in attractions.
In addition to that, I think the main bulk of attendees of Disneyland are annual pass holders and also the history of the park attracts a lot of people more than what the park actually is. It is Walt’s park and people go to see what Walt built.
The other thing is the location of the two parks, where as in Orlando they are only a few miles apart, Disneyland and Universal Studios are actually in different cities, Disneyland in Anaheim and USH in Los Angeles. They aren’t the easiest to travel between and and takes a good hour or so to do the journey.
The one thing that I think will work in Universal’s favour at the moment is the fact a huge chunk of Disneyland is now a construction site, as they make room for Star Wars Land.
Overall though I think WWOHP won’t have anywhere near as much on California as it has in Florida. Maybe in the short term Universal might see a large bump in attendance, but in the long run I can’t see it taking too much custom away from Disneyland.
What do you think?