Universal Orlando ended 2010 with its best fourth quarter on record and its highest annual attendance since 2004, thanks to the success of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Attendance at the resort's two theme parks skyrocketed 46 percent during the final three months of the year, according to a report filed Friday with federal regulators. The combined fourth-quarter head count jumped from 2.3 million in 2009 to 3.3 million.
Universal disclosed its attendance results after its corporate parent, General Electric Co., announced that its entire theme-park business had a record year in 2010.
"We are pleased with our results and with the enthusiasm our guests continue to show for everything Universal Orlando Resort has to offer," Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said Friday. The resort will report more detailed results for 2010 in the coming weeks.
The big gain in year-end attendance capped a banner year for Universal Orlando, which on Thursday handed out bonus checks to thousands of employees to celebrate Wizarding World's success.