Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Orlando Theme Parks Gang Up on the Mouse

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Orlando Theme Parks Gang Up on the Mouse

Article excerpt

IN THE LATEST chapter on Orlando's dueling theme parks, several of the neighborhood kids have formed a gang to compete with local muscleman Mickey Mouse.

Walt Disney World and its theme attractions have become such a formidable destination in Orlando that the rival Universal Studios park is teaming up with Sea World and Wet 'n Wild, a water park, to offer packages that include admission to all three locations.

Under the alliance, the parks are offering a multiday, multipark Value Pass that will allow guests to travel among all three parks at discount prices and with unlimited admission. The five-day, three-park Value Pass will cost $89.95 (plus tax) for adults and $72.95 (plus tax) for children 3 to 9 years old. The pass can be obtained through travel agents or the three parks. The group also will enter agreements with local hotels and resorts and provide free shuttle transportation between the hotels and the attractions. In effect, the parks are borrowing a trick from Disney, a master of family entertainment packaging that has prospered by offering a variety of entertainment options with perks for guests who stay in its local resort properties. Explore America Amtrak introduced an Explore America fare that allows unlimited stopovers for 30 days for $150 for one region, $198 for two regions and $278 for the entire Amtrak system. (Amtrak divides the country into eastern, central and western regions.) The details: Travel must be booked by May 15, and fares are $50 higher for travel after June 16. Up to two children (ages 2 to 15) traveling with an adult can travel for half-fare. Passengers age 62 and older are eligible for a 15 percent discount off the posted Explore America fare. Students with an Amtrak Student Advantage card are also eligible for a 15 percent discount. Other discounts - such as 5 percent off on sleeping accommodations - are available for customers using a Visa card. For information, call (800) 872-7245. Clean Cruising A safety review by the Coast Guard has given the cruise industry a clean bill of health. "This report gives the cruise industry that operates out of U. …

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