A Cable Company In Harry Potter’s Clothing: Comcast Dumping Millions Into Theme Parks


Harry Potter goes to school at Hogwart’s. This is a theme park version.  (tjean314)

While you might imagine any theme park involving Comcast to feature a giant whale ride that swims around devouring all the fish competition in the sea (or krill, if it’s that kind of whale), the reality has a lot more to do with flying boy wizards. Comcast is dumping hundreds of millions of dollars into its theme parks in California and Florida in a pitch to compete with Disney.

Comcast’s appetite for money will not be contained to the telecommunications business — have you heard about this proposed Time Warner merger thing? — reports The Philadelphia Inquirer, so it’s investing huge bunches of cash into Universal Orlando Resorts as well as Universal Studios Hollywood. The company acquired both resorts when it bought NBCUniversal in 2011.

The success of the Orlando resort’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride has prompted Comcast to open another Harry Potter ride and themed area at its new theme park, Universal Studios Florida, this summer. That sprawling behemoth of entertainment will share space with the original on its 750 acres.

Beyond the newest theme park, the Universal complex will also feature a new 1,800-room, 1960s-themed Cabana Bay Beach resort. That way visitors can just spend days upon end shelling out dough to Comcast, all without leaving the grounds.

But if you want to visit both Harry Potter attractions, you’ll have to buy two separate tickets.

“We’re so bummed it’s not connected and you will have to buy two tickets,” one fan said of the attraction, estimating that’ll cost them about $200 to do.

Over on the left coast, Universal Studios Hollywood announced a 20-plus-year “Evolution Plan” in 2013 for its theme park and studio property, which of course, also has a Harry Potter attraction.

Universal Studios Hollywood in California, also owned by Comcast, announced in 2013 a 20-plus-year “Evolution Plan” for its theme park and studio property, which also includes a Harry Potter attraction.

Comcast’s head honcho Brian Roberts said before that he’s “doubling down on theme parks,” adding: “We think there is a lot there in the theme park business for many years to come, and that we have the low market share and only one way to go.”

But it’s not like the company even needs to target Disney and it’s totally not doing that, adds another executive.

“We don’t have to win,” Thomas L. Williams, chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Parks & Resorts said in an interview. “We just have to get our share.”

Comcast ‘doubling down’ on theme park business [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

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