More money, and more kids, for theme park workers
Written by Robert Niles
Published: April 25, 2006 at 11:55 AM
Today's theme park news, from across the transom...
- Universal Orlando has increased its starting wage for theme park employees by 50 cents an hour, to $7.25. That puts Universal ahead of its local competition, as SeaWorld Orlando pays $7 an hour to start and Walt Disney World offers just $6.80.
Universal's also dumping the three-month waiting period to be eligible for benefits, allowing new hires to be covered immediately.
- Who had "January 2008" in the "When will Disney finally get around to shutting the last DisneyQuest" pool? Well, if you did, Jim Hill says you're a winner.
- Disney's gone public with its 'Magical Beginnings' ticket package, designed to attract families with preschoolers to Walt Disney World and Disneyland. On first glance, one might think that Disney's full enough with the little ones, thank you. But Magical Beginnings packages free-meal discounts for families staying on property with special in-park events from Aug. 13 to Sept. 30. (A similar promotion, including stays at 'Good Neighbor' hotels runs from Aug. 13 to Nov. 21 at Disneyland.)
Why then? That would pull families with preschoolers out of the busiest summer vacation periods and into a "shoulder season" when most older kids have returned to school. In theory, this should even out the crowds by shifting some visitors from July and early August into late August through early fall.
Be careful if planning a 'Magical Beginnings' trip to Disneyland in late August, however. Unlike in Florida, most schools in Southern California do not start until after Labor Day, so one would expect most families with toddlers and older kids who want to take advantage of the package to do so between mid-August and early September.
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