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Continued: Pack lots of patience for Disney sojourn

  • Article by: PAUL KLAUDA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 22, 1999 - 11:00 PM

  •   Souvenirs: It's the same stuff everywhere, except for the name and picture of the attraction on the pen/shirt/pin/card/hat/etc. Because we went in July, we fell victim to thoese plastic water bottle fans that actually worked quite well while we there, but at $15 apiece, hardly seemed worth it once we got home.

    Keys to the Kingdom  

    The "Keys to the Kingdom" tour teaches you just how much thought and skill go into manipulating your emotions and purse strings while you're in the park. It costs $45 and takes four to five hours. Wear good walking shoes (which is excellent advice even if you aren't taking the tour.) You have to book the tour in advance. 1-407-939-8687.

    Other reading  

  •   If you're interested in exploring non-Disney Orlando, check out "Orlando's Other Theme Parks" (Kelly Monaghan, Intrepid Traveler, $16.95, 479 pages.)

  •   For the cynic's take on Walt Disney World, read "Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World" (Carl Hiaasen, Ballantine Books, $12.95, 83 pages.) Miami Herald reporter Hiaasen dissects the big rodent with a scalpel of razor-sharp wit and keen observation. Disney is a big business, with a killer instinct when it comes to profit; Hiaasen throws a powerful light onto its dark side.

    startribune.com  

    Join our online discussion of Orlando at http://www.startribune.com/talk. Staff writer Chris Welsch will be available to answer questions. Also, at startribune.com/travel, we've posted a review of Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure, Orlando's newest theme park, that ran in the Travel section in May.

    Costs  

    Getting into Disney and Universal parks costs about $46 per adult, $36 per kid. Both parks have multiday passes and package deals that can save some money on admissions and lodging. Disney is currently advertising its weeklong cruise and park package, including lodging, for as low as $799 for adults, $399 for kids. More liberal park passes and nicer hotels can add considerably more. Also, food and souvenirs can easily add $100 to $150 a day for a family of four. And while meals are part of the cruise package, there are extra charges for wine, beer and liquor. On Castaway Cay, there are charges for renting bikes, float mats and snorkeling gear. Shopping in Nassau, the Bahamas, is duty-free.

    Staff writer Chris Welsch contributed to this article.

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