SeaWorld, Busch Gardens Raise Fees
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ A recession and an overall weak theme park market won’t stop some of Florida’s theme parks from raising their prices.
Sea World Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay plan to raise the prices of their single-day tickets by $2 starting Wednesday.
If history is any indicator, central Florida’s other large theme park operators _ Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando _ will follow suit.
The new prices at SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will be $52.95 for an adult and $43.40 for a child. Both prices include taxes.
Admission to both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando currently costs $50.88 for an adult and $40.28 for a child. Both prices include taxes.
Universal spokesman Jim Canfield said the resort’s two parks haven’t increased entrance fees, and ``we don’t speculate on future ticket prices.″
Walt Disney World spokesman Craig Dezern wouldn’t say whether park officials plan to increase prices, adding ``we don’t react to moves others make.″
Sea World and Busch Gardens officials said they don’t believe the price increase will decrease attendance.
``Attendance in the industry has been softer, but our domestic attendance has recovered in Florida,″ said Vic Abbey, chairman of Busch Entertainment Corp., a division of St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch. ``It’s true our international attendance is down, but we expect it to go up by summertime.″
Sea World Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, however, are giving Internet users a break. People who purchase a ticket in advance online will get $5 off the price of admission.
Orlando is home to seven of the nation’s 10 largest theme parks.