Disney Park Moves Up Opening

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Disney's Animal Kingdom, the fourth major theme park at Walt Disney World, will open ahead of schedule on April 22. It was slated to open on May 6.

Within a few weeks, Animal Kingdom's gate admission prices and bulk ticket rates will be settled, said a spokeswoman for Walt Disney Attractions' travel industry marketing department.

Disney's preferred tour operators and others received negotiated net rates earlier this year. The operators in turn folded those rates into their multi-ticket Disney theme park inclusions for 1998 Florida programs, she said.

Animal Kingdom will have 1,000 animals and a handful of themed areas, including those focused on Africa and dinosaurs.

Meanwhile, Disney Cruise Line's Disney Magic is to make its inaugural sailing a week later, on April 30.

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