'Wizarding World of Harry Potter' to expand to west coast

Universal to build Harry Potter attraction at Hollywood park

LOS ANGELES - California has given Universal permission to build the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" in Hollywood, leaving many wondering if the new attraction will affect tourism at the Orlando park.

Universal hopes their new Hollywood version will cause attendance and profits to skyrocket there as it has in Orlando. While it's possible the California park might siphon away some tourists who would have otherwise traveled to see Harry Potter in Orlando, statistics show Harry Potter West won't be a major threat to Central Florida.

Most Orlando visitors are from the Southeast U.S., Midwest and East Coast, while California draws mainly from the West and Northwest. Europeans dominate Orlando's international travel market, whereas in California, most overseas visitors are from Asia, particularly Japan, where Universal happens to be building a third version of Harry Potter.

Orlando's Harry Potter attraction will have even more Potter attractions if rumors of a Gringotts bank and a Hogwarts Express Train connecting to the new area from the Islands of Adventure side of the park.

Universal has not announced when those new attractions will open in Orlando as well as California.

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