The decision to shutter "Fear Factor Live" temporarily was made as Orlando's theme parks feel squeezed by the recession. Universal Orlando laid off 70 employees less than a month ago, and last month The Walt Disney Co. offered voluntary buyout packages to about 600 executives at its U.S. theme parks unit.
Orlando International Airport reported a traffic drop of 2.25 percent for 2008 and a drop of 6.5 percent last December.
Walt Disney World spokeswoman Kim Prunty said Thursday that the resort constantly makes schedule adjustments to the attractions at its four theme parks based on the ebb and flow of demand.
US Airways to charge $7 for pillows and blankets
TEMPE, Ariz. -- If you want a pillow and blanket in coach on US Airways, it's going to cost you $7.
US Airways said Thursday it will begin charging for its "Power-Nap Sack" on Feb. 16. It's following the lead of JetBlue Airways, which announced a similar policy last summer.
Airlines are adding fees on checked luggage and now pillows and blankets to raise more money as they battle a downturn in travel caused by the recession. US Airways reported that January traffic fell 6.2 percent.
Kevin Jackson, a marketing official for Tempe-based US Airways, said selling the pillows and blankets "is a natural extension of our 'pay for what you choose and use' model we began rolling out last year."
Jackson said the sleep kit was an affordable way for passengers to increase their comfort while flying.
The kits include a 34-by-60-inch fleece blanket, a neck pillow, eye shades, foam ear plugs and a $10-off coupon for items in the SkyMall catalog. They come in a fleece drawstring bag embroidered with the airline's logo.
The airline said it will stop handing out free pillows and blankets in coach on domestic flights. Customers in first class and in Envoy and Economy class on trans-Atlantic flights will continue getting complimentary pillows and blankets.
The kits won't be available on US Airways Express.
For customers who can't wait until Feb. 16 for their own US Airways-embroidered nap kit, the company said they went on sale Thursday at the airline's Web site.
Universal Hollywood to open rebuilt sets in summer
LOS ANGELES Universal Studios Hollywood says that most of the sets destroyed last June when a fire ripped through part of its back lot will reopen this summer.
Production will resume in midsummer on the rebuilt New York streetscape -- featured in "Spider-Man 2" and "Transformers" -- plus Courthouse Square and Brownstone Street, a studio press release said.
Roofers using a blowtorch accidentally started the fire June 1. The blaze also destroyed the King Kong attraction and a video vault.
New sets including a London-based street and a modern urban cityscape will also open.
No announcement has been made on rebuilding King Kong. The vault is under construction.
General Electric Co. said in its fourth-quarter earnings report that media subsidiary NBC Universal Inc.'s film and parks unit reported a $225 million gain from insurance benefits relating to the fire.
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