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Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando have raised their ticket prices, following in the footsteps of rivals Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World.

Ticket prices for Busch Gardens Tampa were increased by $3, and will now cost $83.45 (including tax) for adults and $72.75 for children aged 3-9. Fun Cards will still be available for Florida residents, providing unlimited entry through December 31, 2011 for the same price as a single-day ticket.

SeaWorld Orlando has instituted a smaller increase of $1, with prices hitting $85.19 (including tax) for adults and $75.54 for children aged 3-9. Prices at its Aquatica water park have been raised slightly to $51.11 for adults and $44.72 for children.

Jim Revelle, a spokesman for Busch Gardens, defended the price increase, telling the St. Petersburg Times: "It's in line with our usual annual price increase, but we also will continue to offer a variety of discounts and introduced a couple new ones."

Tickets for the parks, owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, continue to be priced slightly lower than tickets for Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando parks. Both resorts charge $87.33 (including tax) for a basic single-day, adult ticket.

Small discounts on ticket prices for Florida theme parks can be found through independent resellers such as Maple Leaf Tickets, Undercover Tourist and the Official Ticket Center. For visitors to Walt Disney World, Theme Park Tourist offers a special price comparison tool to find the best deals.

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