Wannado reduces prices

Families wannado Wannado City in Florida, but they wannado the children's role-play center at a lower price point. After fewer visitors than projected, officials have lowered prices, particularly on weekdays, and no longer charge parents an admission fee.

With 100,000 fewer visitors the first year than the 600,000 projected, officials at Wannado City, the 140,000-square-foot children's role-play center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, have decided not to charge parents admission. "People love the place, the interaction with their kids," said Luis Javier Laresgoiti, chief creative officer and vice president of Wannado City's Mexico City-based parent. "But they said, 'Why should I pay if I don't do anything?' "

At one point, parents paid $15, while a child's admission was $30. In October, Wannado City dropped its price from $24.95 to $15 for children and free for adults. Prices were back to $24.95 for the holidays, but after the first of the year dropped to $19.99 on weekdays and $24.95 on weekends and holidays. Parents' admission remains free.

At Wannado City's Chef's Kitchen, kids make a variety of dishes,
including animal-shaped waffles and pasta.

To broaden its mix, the park opened an ice rink in the fall that is included in the admission price. Dozens of turbines were added to blow artificial snow throughout the city streets during twice-a-day parades.

Other new venues include the Wonka Factory sponsored by Nestle and a veterinary clinic sponsored by Merial, the maker of Frontline flea and tick products. Motorola's high-tech M-Lab will challenge 8- to 12-year-old 'M-Ventors' in white lab coats with problems they can solve with others, using video games to tap their math and science skills.