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Ask the Times: Rays tickets, retirement funds, Disney prices

Why a $3 ticket fee?

If the Tampa Bay Rays are in such dire need of fans for their games, then why are we penalized with a $3 charge for buying a ticket within five hours of game time?

Rick Vaughn, vice president of communications for the Tampa Bay Rays, had this response: "We encourage our fans to purchase their tickets in advance and if they do, they receive a discount."

Where the 3% went

Last fiscal year the 3 percent deduction from my gross pay to go into the Florida Retirement System amounted to $1,109.42. I'm curious just how much of that actually made it into the FRS. If it did not go totally to the FRS, what is the breakdown of where the money actually went?

According to a representative from the Florida Retirement System pension plan, all the money deducted from your paycheck goes into your retirement benefit.

Magic Kingdom prices

Disney World recently raised its prices for the Magic Kingdom, but not at its other parks in Orlando. Didn't Disney always keep the prices the same?

A one-day adult ticket for the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista was bumped $5 to $95 in June. Prices for Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom are $90. According to reports, it's the first time a premium has been placed on the Magic Kingdom.

Disney typically does not comment on pricing strategy, but industry experts say an improving economy and the continued popularity of the Magic Kingdom no doubt figured into the decision. More than 17.5 million people visited the Magic Kingdom in 2012, making it the most visited theme park on the planet. Revenue for all Disney parks was up 10 percent, and profits were up 22 percent.

Disney spokesman Bryan Malenius did tell the Orlando Sentinel: "A ticket to our theme parks represents a great value, particularly when you look at the breadth and quality of attractions and entertainment we offer and the special moments guests experience with our cast."

Troubled cities

With Detroit now in bankruptcy, which other American cities are in similar trouble?

Chicago, Philadelphia and Oakland, Calif., are among the cities having financial problems, according to media reports. Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Portland, Ore., and Santa Fe, N.M., are among 15 cities being reviewed by Moody's Investors Service for a "possible credit downgrade," according to

More than 60 municipalities have filed bankruptcy under Chapter 9 since the 1950s, according to the New York Times. Detroit became the largest American city to file for bankruptcy when it did so on July 18.

Compiled from Times and wire reports. To submit a question, email

Ask the Times: Rays tickets, retirement funds, Disney prices 08/14/13 [Last modified: Thursday, August 15, 2013 11:04am]
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