Universal's Harry Potter expansion to boost park business?

Diagon Alley to open July 8

ORLANDO, Fla. - Harry Potter fans helped increase attendance by 50 percent at Universal Orlando Resort in the past few years. Now the question is whether a second Harry Potter park opening July 8 will keep numbers going up.

[LOCAL 6 THEME WORLD: Stars hit red carpet at Diagon Alley | 6 things may not know about Diagon Alley | Diagon details | READ:  Ride revealed ]

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Even if the new park doesn't lead to the surge in visitors that accompanied the original Harry Potter park, Universal's cash registers will surely be ringing.

The new Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley has a 3-D thriller called Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

At the media event, the ride was going through technical rehearsals three weeks before the ride opened to the public.

"The ride is being tested, so we keep doing things so the timing of the show is perfect," said Universal Studios Creative Thierry Coup.

The new Diagon Alley park has seven shops, and they're all so visually stimulating that you almost don't notice you're shopping.

At Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour, there are 21 different flavors to try, including chocolate chili and butterbeer soft serve.

The Leaky Cauldron serves typical British pub fare, including a Green Fish Ale with fish eggs in it.

The original Harry Potter park has three rides.

Diagon Alley even has its own currency, so you can swap dollars for wizard cash.

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