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Rumors of alligators roaming Orlando streets, theme parks less crowded on July Fourth

$7,500 Disney vacation now costs $10,000

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jenny Augustine, from London, spent nearly 8,000 pounds for her family of four to visit Orlando for two weeks - that includes airfare, lodging, food, car rental, gifts, and theme park tickets.

Today, on the day that the GBP hit a 31-year low against the dollar, that's the equivalent of $10,400.

Just weeks ago, before Brexit, when the British pound was some 30 pence higher, Augustine's vacation would have cost her roughly $7,500.

Augustine, fortunately for her, paid for the trip last year.

"I bought all my park tickets in England last year, but they have gone sky high," said Augustine. "They cost us a lot of money."

The rising cost of theme park tickets - a one-day peak-period Magic Kingdom ticket at the window is $124 - coupled with the falling currency in the United Kingdom is causing some Brits to rethink their vacation plans to Orlando.

"No one knows what's going to happen, it's all new to everyone, lot of worry over there," said Sian Wiseman, of Wales.

Milo Chater, owner/operator for the past 25 years of KnowBeforeUGo.com, a tourist ticket shop on International Drive, said he's seen a 25-30% drop in business since June. He said fewer Brits, Brazilians, and Venezuelans are visiting.

"I asked them point-blank and they said there's a lot of people that they knew, because of the currency exchange, decided to not vacation in Orlando this year," said Chater. "I was speaking to Brazilian tourists earlier, and they were telling me it used to be four reals for a dollar, now it's two, so their currency has dropped dramatically."

Pictures posted on Twitter yesterday show smaller crowds than usual for a Fourth of July at Disney World and Universal Studios.

One post read, "The lines at Disney are so empty that an announcer yelled 'Hey, Jungle Cruise is open, just saying.'"

Another read, "Not too crowded at Magic Kingdom today for being Fourth of July," while yet another read, "Fourth of July and Universal Studios Florida crowd level same as an average weekday evening."

News 6 Theme World Producer Ken Pilcher said wait times at Disney and Universal were like a mid-September weekday: 10 mins for Gringotts, 15 mins for Spider-Man, 15 mins for Everest, 15 Mins for Toy Story Mania.

Pilcher said Disney World has closed the Magic Kingdom to additional guests after capacity was reached on most Independence Day holidays this past decade.

"The other thing to keep in mind - the pricing on the attraction tickets keeps increasing year over year," said Chater. "Just to give you an idea, forone day at the Magic Kingdom, a family of four, that's close to $500."

"They see the pricing, a lot of them get that sticker shock, the next question is 'Where's the closest beach?'" said Chater. "Or, if they came down here, they've scaled down their ambition of how many parks they plan on doing."

Chater also said Orlando's recent headlines are making international news.

"Some people [in London] are concerned by alligators roaming the streets [in Orlando]," said Augustine. "Well, that's what I heard from one person, not everyone."

A Universal Orlando spokesman said Universal does not talk about attendance. A Disney World spokesperson did not want to comment on this story.


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