Universal's new Harry Potter park: 1 ride, 7 shops

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Associated Press

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 19 at 11:00 AM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — 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.

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 just one ride, a 3-D thriller called Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. But the new Diagon Alley park has seven shops, and they're all so visually stimulating that you almost don't notice you're shopping.

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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