Local 6 Theme World: Animal Kingdom Update, SeaWorld's headache, Universal's deal

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By Ken Pilcher - Producer
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Welcome to Local 6 Theme World


April 22, 2013

Animal Kingdom Update, SeaWorld's Headache & Universal Deal

Happy Earth Day!

A reminder this week marks 2 milestones for Nature areas of Theme World.

First up -- Today is Animal Kingdom's 15th Birthday.

 Disney being Disney -- they are using it as an excuse to push some new Animal Kingdom Merchandise.  A look at some of what is being offered is pictured below.

I love Animal Kingdom. Probably my favorite of the Disney Parks. Here's to hoping for some announcements of major attractions (Avatar or otherwise) soon.

Second -- a reminder -- this weekend marks the open house for The Disney Wilderness Preserve. I talked about its history -- and Saturday's big event in my last Theme World entry.

Meanwhile -- as SeaWorld gears up for the May 24th grand opening of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins,  something just happened that could ruffle some feathers.

You may know Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks & Resorts went public Friday. Traders were eager to snap up shares of Shamu that first day. SeaWorld raised more than $700 Million -- and its stock price closed the first day up $6.50. (Symbol is SEAS On the NYSE if you want to track it).

However, one early investor could make shareholder meetings uncomfortable. PETA Announced it bought up shares of SeaWorld so it can speak out at those meetings -- and pressure the board of directors. On its blog, PETA writes:"Our first order of business as part owners of SeaWorld? Getting the orcas out-including Corky , who has been enslaved by SeaWorld for 44 years. We will educate stockholders about how marine parks tear orcas and dolphins away from their homes and families and imprison them in minuscule concrete tanks, where they suffer from captivity-induced stress and illness."

Yep. Fun times are ahead at those shareholder meetings.

A different kind of thrill for Universal Fans. As we count down to the opening of Transformers: The Ride 3-D. Universal is trying to bring Floridians to the parks during this brief slow time between Spring Break & Memorial Day.

 The deal? Buy a one-day ticket to either Universal park -- and get a second day for free. That's $88 for a 1-park Ticket or $123 if you want to park-hop.
 Of course --  the base annual pass is not much more ($175 for the "Power Pass" with no free parking and blackout dates) so keep that in mind.
To get this deal -- you have to buy online -- and you have to use the tickets by May 26th (so no guarantee you will get to ride with Optimus Prime & Pals)
Here's a link to the offer.

And here's a link to my previous Theme World entries.
We'll have a lot more this week.

And please keep emailing me your questions, tips & feedback. Always happy to hear from you.

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