The wait is over for “Harry Potter” fans anticipating the opening of the latest roller coaster at Universal Orlando Resort's "The Wizard World of Harry Potter."
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The park officially opened the ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure on Thursday. The coaster, which Universal invested $300 million in, replaced the now-closed Dragon’s Challenge attraction, CNBC reported. The Tampa Bay Times reported the park planted 1,000 trees to make the attraction look like the Forbidden Forest from the popular novels.
Stars from the "Harry Potter" movies, including Warwick Davis, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton and Evanna Lynch, showed up to the coaster’s grand opening.
Local media outlets reported the wait to get on the ride was around eight hours long.
The coaster’s opening comes just in time for summer family vacation season. A single-park admission to Universal’s Islands of Adventure begins at $115 for adults and $110 for children.
The popular attraction has proven successful for the park since it opened in 2010.
Ryan Roth, IBISWorld’s lead industry analyst, told USA Today that attendance at the parks has only increased since the launch of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”
“Since 2010, yearly attendance at Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure has increased from a combined 12 million guests to nearly an estimated 20 million,” Roth said. “Additionally, revenue generated from NBCUniversal’s theme parks has increased more than 50% over the 10 years to 2019.”
Robert Niles, the editor of ThemeParkInsider.com, told USA Today that the theme park would keep building on the magical success of "Harry Potter."
“Universal won't stop adding Harry Potter attractions into its theme parks until the public quits caring about Harry Potter,” he said.
According to Forbes, more than 20 million people visit Universal Studios Orlando each year. Universal Parks and Resort as a whole reported a revenue of $5.68 billion in the year ending on Dec. 31, 2018. That number is up from 2017 which saw a revenue of $5.44 billion and $4.94 billion in 2016.