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Universal Studios Raises Admission

January 22, 2003|Jerry Hirsch | Times Staff Writer

Universal Studios Hollywood has quietly raised the price of admission by $2 to $47 after a similar increase this month at Walt Disney Co. theme parks in Anaheim.

The price increases at Universal and the two Disney parks -- Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure -- come as the two theme park companies are reinvesting in attractions and gearing up for stronger attendance in coming months.

Universal, a unit of Vivendi Universal, raised the admission price five days after Disney's move.

At the time of the Disney increase, Universal spokesman Eliot Sekuler said, "We have no plans to raise prices at this time, but we continuously monitor market conditions."

On Tuesday, Sekuler said the price increase at Universal Studios reflected higher operating expenses.

Universal's price increases, like Disney's, have far outstripped the inflation rate in recent years.

Both theme park companies are in the middle of discount campaigns that are set to expire as they open new attractions and the busy summer season approaches.

When Southern California residents purchase a full-price ticket to one Disney park, they will receive a free ticket to the other for use by May 14. Disney opened an elaborate Aladdin show at California Adventure last weekend and in April plans to unveil a Winnie the Pooh ride at Disneyland.

Universal Studios is offering an annual pass -- valid except for more than 30 blackout dates -- to purchasers of a full-price ticket. The offer expires April 30, before the opening of a new Shrek attraction this summer.

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