Local 6 Theme World: Huuuge openings, prices

By Ken Pilcher, Producer, kpilcher@wkmg.com
Published On: May 20 2013 04:36:40 PM EDT
Updated On: May 20 2013 04:41:17 PM EDT
Theme World

Welcome to Local 6 Theme World

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May 20, 2013
Huuuge Openings & Prices


Two big developments today in Theme World.

First -- the race to the $100-theme park ticket is heating up. Over the weekend -- Universal hiked its ticket prices of all types. But the benchmark for most is the 1-day, 1-park pass. It went up $4 to $92. With tax, that's about $98. That makes Universal the most expensive 1-day theme park ticket in the world. The hike comes weeks before the opening of Transformers: The Ride-3D.
transformers1

And all reports I've heard so far indicate testing is going well inside the giant grey building. We might even see some limited tests with Universal employees by this weekend. Expect the first tests with guests early next month. Passholders will get exclusive times on the ride. Those details are expected to be revealed on May 28 at this website.

Here's the breakdown of Universal's price hike:
1-Day 1-Park:  $92 (Up from $88)
2-Day:  $125.99 (up from 125)
3-Day: $140.99 (up from $135.99)
4-Day: $150.99 (up from $145.99)
1-Day Park Hopper:  $128 (up from $123)
2-Day Park Hopper: $146.99 (up from $139.99)
3-Day Park Hopper: $159.99 (up from $152.99)
4-Day Park Hopper: $167.99.(up from $159.99)

Keep in mind, annual passes went up last month. Power Passes went up $10. The Preferred & Premiere passes went up $20. The park's meal deal prices also went up a few dollars.
Expect Disney & SeaWorld to match at least the 1-day price hike soon.

Now to the openings:

First our friends at Fun Spot America on I-Drive are about to payoff on their tagline: "It's Huge." We've followed construction since before groundbreaking on the park's expansion. It is more than doubling in size.
Friday -- the park opened its new new family-friendly suspended coaster, Freedom Flyer, made by Vekoma to guests.

funspot steel

That shot was from last week when testing was underway. Fun Spot tells me the wood/steel hybrid coaster White Lightning (made by CGI) was inspected by the state today -- and should open to guests as soon as tonight.

funspot coasters

 Here is a video of testing posted on YouTube by Theme Park Review - so you can take a virtual ride.



Also now open -- SkyDine -- a new restaurant at the base of the soon-to-open SkyCoaster and a couple of the new flat rides.
It will all be open by Fun Spot's 15th anniversary on June 8. They are planning a Grand re-opening with prizes and $15 armbands.
Here's the flier they handed me today:

funspot flier


The biggest opening this week is SeaWorld's Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins.  

antarcticainside

The groundbreaking ride and land open this Friday, May 24th.
And as with Potter's Butterbeer and Fantasyland's Le Fou's brew, Antarctica will have a signature drink. Called "South Pole Chill" it is a special vanilla drink made just for SeaWorld by Coca Cola -- and it will be available in CocaCola Freestyle machines inside the park. And what would a special drink be without a special cup.
swcup1
SeaWorld is eager to sell you the "Cup that Cares" -- a reusable cup that automatically lets you use the Freestyle Coke dispensers. $1 from each cup sold will go to a conservation fund.

swcup2

The cups start at about $10. More if your child wants to design their own cup - complete with 40 different accessories.
More on Antarctica later this week.

Keep your emails, questions, and comments coming!

Here's a link to my most recent Theme World Blog entries.

See you in the parks!

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