Travel-and-Leisure While the catastrophe of the BP Deepwater crisis has loomed over the gulf of Mexico affecting the vibrant tourist spots of New Orleans and much of Florida, Orlando in Florida hasn’t noticed much of a change. The theme parks here are a consistent attraction, with Disneyland and Universal studios accounting for billions of tourist dollars, and the latest addition to Universal has proven just the ticket for saving Orlando from the gulf spill downturn. Opening on June the 14th beneath a dazzling firework display, with a star studded welcome party, made up of stars of the films, The Harry Potter theme park has proven an unprecedented success. With Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Gambon and even JK Rowling heralding in guests to the amusement park on its opening, the park has continued with the same vigour, still bringing in masses of visitors on a daily basis. While in the wake of the Oil Spill, Orlando was certainly suffering slowdown, the June opening of the Harry Potter attraction seems to have brought business back to normal, with Orlando enjoying the same amount of visitors as it normally does, in spite of the oil spill. According to tour arrangers all packages including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are flying from the shelves quicker than broomsticks. This new Universal attraction has even surpassed Disney in popularity, the first time Universal has done so in many years. Presently it would seem the Potter world has cast an immunity spell on Orlando as it continues to prosper in spite of the devastating oil spill. Before the park’s opening, hotel occupancy in Orlando seemed to be dwindling as it dropped on a monthly basis. Now hotels are reporting 90 to 100 per cent booking, with some hotels considering raising prices in light of this demand. Orlando vacation rentals are also enjoying a frugal period as many opt for a privately owned property to escape from hotel charges and other guests. The park has proven very popular with its guests, with many satisfied customers leaving thrilled at finding their own place in the Potter universe. Many are citing the park as Orlando’s saviour during these tumultuous times, and hope it can continue to consistently pull in tourists. Some are predicting that in years to come Orlando will see record numbers of tourists. Upon the success of this park, there is already talk of Universal expanding its successful delves in to fantasy franchises, as the internet becomes rife with rumours of a possible Lord of the Rings attraction due for Orlando. While the company have made no formal announcement regarding a middle earth theme park there have been several reports made on the internet suggesting Universal may be scoping out a potential market for a Tolkien based attraction. 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