The addition of the first Harry Potter area blew the entire Universal Orlando Resort into a new level of attendance and profitability, and a quick succession of follow up rides has maintained those gains. It seems the owners of the parks, NBCUniversal, are poised to continue to invest heavily in the property, perhaps even expanding it by pushing out its current boundaries.
At a recent investor conference, the President of the company said that they feel they could add anywhere from ten to fifteen thousand more hotel rooms to the property and still have an occupancy rate that would make them profitable. That's a ton of additional hotel rooms, and adding that many would bring the resort's total much closer to that of Disney World's. With the opening of next year's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Universal will have over four thousand rooms.
The addition of new rides and attractions won't slow down either, continuing well beyond next Summer's opening of the second Harry Potter area. Universal will spend around $500 million each year on new park offerings, with the plan to opening something at both the Florida parks and California property every year. That's some seriously good news for park fans!
The goal of the new rides, along with expanded hotel room inventory, is to further create Universal Orlando as its own destination, not an add-on to a trip to Disney. It seems to be working so far, and with all that expansion more and more families may choose to stay at Universal - with perhaps just a day trip to see the new Fantasyland, for instance.
Now let's get started dreaming about what new rides could be in the works! Actually, Parkscope did just that in an interesting article. You can check that out at this link.