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Disney moves Magic Kingdom metal detectors to ticket center

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Walt Disney World is moving its metal detectors to an earlier entry point at its most popular park, Magic Kingdom. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the detectors will now by located at the Transportation and Ticket Center starting next Monday. Visitors staying at three resorts along the monorail route, meanwhile, will go through security at the monorail stations there. The metal detectors currently are located at the entrance to Magic Kingdom. Visitors typically park at the Transportation and Ticket Center…

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Mickey vs. the tax man: Disney, Universal fight tax bills

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It takes a lot of land to accommodate Cinderella’s castle, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Epcot’s 11-country World Showcase — and a hefty purse to pay the property taxes on it. To cut tax bills in the tens of millions of dollars, the specialists at Orlando’s famous theme parks have employed methods from the creative — placing cows on undeveloped land and claiming an agricultural exemption — to the traditional — negotiating or appealing to a county board.…

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Where’s the line? Theme parks aiming to eliminate them

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At Universal Orlando Resort’s new “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” ride, waiting in line has been replaced by lounging on couches and listening to a racy barbershop quartet sing until it’s time to enter the ride. Universal is leading the theme-park charge into “virtual lines” that give visitors options for exploring a park or watching live entertainment instead of the tedium of looking at someone’s back as you inch forward step by step to the thrill ride. “It’s…

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Putting the sugar industry’s history of political contributions into some much-needed context

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Last week, the Miami Herald Mary Ellen Klas reported that Florida’s sugar industry has spent a “whopping” $57.8 million over the last 22 years on political campaign contributions. This number sounds huge. But to those actively involved in Florida’s political process, the number is not so whopping when you’re plying your trade as a health care, theme park/entertainment, utilities or telecommunications industry lobbyist. Here’s why: while Florida sugar companies have contributed significantly, their contributions are right in line or below what other…

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Report: Magic Kingdom world’s top theme park, drawing 20M

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Disney World’s Magic Kingdom continues to be the top amusement park draw in the world with 20.5 million visitors in 2015, according to a report released Wednesday. Disneyland in Anaheim, California, was No. 2 with an estimated 18.3 million visitors, followed by Tokyo Disneyland, which had an estimated 16 million, according to a report from AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association. Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld all saw a jump in attendance in 2015 over the previous year, according to…

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Universal Orlando looks back 25 years, more innovation ahead

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When the Universal Orlando theme park opened in 1990, it was a way for visitors to have fun inspired by the movies they loved – without traveling to California. Director Steven Spielberg held the scissors at the ribbon-cutting. One of the first rides was themed on his movie “E.T.” Even ads for the park had the tone of a movie-quality teaser, promising the “greatest Hollywood production ever.” Jason Surrell, creative director at Universal Creative, saw that ad while still in…

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Disney, other parks add metal detectors for the holidays

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With the nation increasingly concerned about safety in public, three major theme parks announced Thursday that they are adding security measures including metal detectors ahead of the busy holiday season. Officials at Disney, Universal and SeaWorld’s Florida theme parks said all three parks will be using metal detector screening for guests as they enter. In addition, Disney is discontinuing the sale of toy guns at both its Florida and California parks and will no longer allow those items to be…

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