Orlando magic

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Las Vegas' recent unseating of Orlando as U.S. tour champ has a certain logic to it. The frenetic pace and wildly varied approach to development in Las Vegas has transformed the gaming oasis into a kind of big-bucks freak show.

But will Orlando have the last laugh? Could be. By borrowing a page from the Vegas play book, what was once a one-mouse town is slowly reinventing itself. And while it's still more wholesome than Della Reese on a church picnic, recent developments indicate that Orlando is getting a little jiggy with it.

Upstart Universal has been buying up every available hectare in order to compete with patriarch Disney. By opening up Islands of Adventure, Universal grabs the thrill-ride crowd while the new CityWalk pulls in the club-types.

Now comes Discovery Cove by Seaworld, which, when it opens next year, will give visitors an opportunity to swim with dolphins and other exotic marine creatures. And with a strict reservations policy, there won't be any lines! So watch out Vegas. I mean, with this kind of sophistication, can bingo be far behind?

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