Why doesn’t Universal Orlando have a Harry Potter-themed hotel?


Universal Orlando is a must-visit destination for Harry Potter fans. So why doesn’t the resort have a Harry Potter themed hotel?

Would you book a room in a Harry Potter-themed hotel? With the legions of fans that head to Universal Orlando, it seems somewhat curious that the Orlando resort doesn’t offer either Harry Potter themed rooms or an entire Harry Potter hotel. Couldn’t this type of hotel be a windfall for the resort?

Vacations to theme parks are a huge business. Fans flock to places like Universal and Walt Disney World to immerse themselves into the fan experience. Staying on property (i.e., the hotels directly linked to the theme park) gives the fans the ultimate experience.

While on-site hotels often do have a theme, Universal hotels do not offer one of the theme park’s biggest draws, Harry Potter. Earlier this summer, the Loews Royal Pacific Resort offered a Jurassic Park-themed suite. With gyrosphere beds and raptors decorating the walls, kids of all ages can feel like they have stepped into the Jurassic world.

Jurassic World themed room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resorts.

For fans of Jurassic World (and Jurassic Park), these themed rooms make the hotel stay more memorable. Granted, staying in a hotel can be entertaining, but many hotel rooms are the same. Offering a special theme can turn the plain hotel bed into an imaginary world worthy of movie magic.

Although Universal offers these types of themed rooms, it doesn’t offer a specific character or brand-immersive themed hotel. While the brand is expanding its hotel offerings, the expansions are focusing on modern technology features and affordability. Still, Harry Potter and its Wizarding World are nowhere to be found.

As details emerge about Disney’s Star Wars-themed hotel, it seems curious that Universal hasn’t tried to capitalize on a similarly themed resort premise. The Star Wars hotel looks to have direct access to the Star Wars land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Additionally, guests will be encouraged to fully immerse themselves in that Star Wars world. Even parking looks to be limited onsite. It appears that fans will be leaving the “real” world behind for this Star Wars experience.

For the Harry Potter fan, a themed hotel seems like a logical expansion to the theme park experiences. A quick walk around the Universal Orlando theme parks shows so many fans enthralled with the Harry Potter experience. Even on 100 degree days, people are dressed in long robes waving their wands at magical windows.

Since the Harry Potter experiences are so authentic, it could be difficult to get approval for this type of hotel. The theme park areas have such attention to detail, it could be nearly impossible to create a hotel that could appear in a Harry Potter world.

Also, given the tight hold over the Harry Potter creatives, a themed room inside another hotel property seems unlikely. I highly doubt that Harry would magically appear in a 1950s-themed hotel space or a Caribbean resort. Sure, the Minions can bring some chaos to Cabana Bay, but Harry and his friends might not feel quite as comfortable.

Next: Are you brave enough for Universal's new raptor experience?

Harry Potter fans might have to search beyond Universal Orlando for a Harry Potter-themed hotel. For now, fans will have to be content with a Butterbeer, a nighttime light show and the anticipation ofa new Potter-themed roller coaster in the near future.