old rides getting older


Earning My Ears
Nov 25, 2000
one of my friends that lives near me works at usf. he works at night to fix the problems with the rides. he was working on MIB to get the bugs out (excuss the pun) now is working on E.T. because it is old and having problems. Any other ride having that problem?
I was in Stuart, Fl on business and heard on the local news that Sea World has just announced it was raising ticket prices at Sea World and Busch Gardens Tampa to $50.83 + tax for adults. This now makes them the most expensive theme-parks in the world. Child tix went up $2.00.

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The reason for the price hike is because everyone who lives near Busch Gardens now owns a Florida Fun Pass when they sold them last year. From a friend I heard Busch considers that one of the biggest mistakes they ever made (selling passes for that price that is) and so they're probably ridiculously low on cash because no one pays to get in anymore!
Your friend is not giving the straight story about ET. It's not an old ride in that sense. It just got all new track and bikes last year as part of a major rehab. Only the show elements are original.

As far as the Florida Fun Pass, they are offering it again this year. Last year BGT reported record income AND attendence. I'm sure the price increase will help offset the low-cost Florida residents get on the Fun Pass, but I'm sure BGT makes a killing of the fun passes anyways. Remember, many locals will be going just for several hours often several days a week. Figure at least $7/car to park plus $10/person for food (at least!), I'm sure Busch has a goldmine going:) Just my two cents!

Hey Earl, etall

After that last major rehab (noticed a lot of little glitches with the ride system since then) I also noticed that AT&T pulled its sponsership. Anyone know why? Any new Sponsers?
Yes, there have been a few glitches. The new control system was done by a local design group and was not as reliable as it should have been. Universal identified the issues and has had them make the corrections. All in all, it is pretty stable now, but there are still a few things in the works.

As far as sponsors go, that's an expensive proposition. It's difficult for theme parks to get corporations to invest what is typically millions a year in attraction sponsorships. Today's companies have a hard time justifying the outlay on such things. AT&T and Universal actually started parting ways a while back.

There is a interesting story behind the ET rehab though. It was actually supposed to take place in 1999, but the rehab schedule had it closed for more days than was allowed in the contract with AT&T. The entire project was re-scheduled to fit and several of the planned tasks were done ahead of time. So, they did it last year, within the time limits, opened, and then AT&T didn't renew it's contract. Universal started using MCI long distance lines, told AT&T they couldn't put a cell tower on it's property, and switched all of it's corporate cell phone service over to Nextel.
I guess that's the reason why AT&T at the Movies also closed.


Barry Hom
The moderator formerly known as Barry aka usagi
Moderator, Universal and Sea World Boards


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