E-Ticketing Speeds Entrance to Universal Studios

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Universal Studios Hollywood, part of the Universal Vivendi media conglomerate, is using the Internet to make life easier for the throngs visiting the world's largest movie studio and theme park.

Consumers now can print tickets online at home for admission to Universal's theme park on the West Coast.

"We expect that the availability of print-at-home ticketing will help speed our guests through the turnstiles," said Eliot Sekuler, vice president of public relations at Universal Studios Hollywood. "Print-at-home ticketing reduces wait times at our front gate."

Visitors to Universal's theme park in Orlando, FL, do not yet have the print-at-home ticketing convenience.

The online ticketing is accessed via the site at www.universalstudioshollywood.com. Guests with the print-at-home tickets bypass the theme park ticket booths and go straight to the entrance upon arrival.

"Universal Studios Hollywood is always looking for ways to enhance our guests' experience," Sekuler said. "A visit to Universal begins at the front entrance, and we want to make that encounter as convenient as possible."

Precautions were taken to prevent fraud. The online ticket has its own bar code. The ticket, 8.5 by 11 inches, is imprinted with the individual ticket holder's name. Scanning is for one-time use only at the park's turnstile entry.

Consumers can buy one-day admission tickets and annual passes through the print-at-home function. A day's admission to the Hollywood theme park is $47. Children shorter than four feet are admitted for $37. Prices for the Celebrity annual pass vary.

Universal Studios Hollywood's prime attractions include "Jurassic Park -- The Ride," "Terminator 2: 3D," "Shrek 4-D" and the behind-the-scenes "Studio Tour." A dining and shopping promenade called Universal CityWalk is adjacent to the park. It has 65 entertainment-themed restaurants, shops, movie theaters and clubs.

Initial testing shows a positive consumer response to the online ticketing, according to Universal. Though little detail is available, efforts are on to publicize this new feature.

"We're marketing through our own Web site and other online channels," Sekuler said.

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