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The First Orlando Theme Parks Have Gone Cashless

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/31/2023, 6:00 AM

The cashless revolution has reached Orlando. Five popular theme parks in Central Florida stopped accepting cash this week. Although the banishment of paper currency and coins has been advancing steadily for the past decade, plastic-only transactions made a huge leap toward dominance during the worst of Covid-19. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has been rolling out cashless payment systems at all...

America's Downtown Hotels Are Cheaper Right Now, but How Is the Neighborhood?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/24/2023, 7:00 AM

Across the United States, downtown business districts are hurting. Many former office workers continue to do a substantial share of their jobs from home, leaving entire blocks without functioning businesses. According to commercial real estate analytics firm CoStar, the U.S. is now saddled with an estimated 1 billion square feet of empty office space—a record high. The widespread vacancy is so en...

Fall Foliage in New England: What to Expect in 2023

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/23/2023, 7:30 AM

It has been a rainy summer in New England, characterized by flash flooding in Vermont and the second-wettest July on record in Boston. What does that mean for the region's famous fall foliage displays? In 2022, scientists worried that a drought would result in a brief, less vibrant season of autumn colors. So can we conclude that the wet and muggy conditions of summer 2023 will lead to the opposi...

Minion Land Now Making Mischief at Universal Orlando Resort: Check Out the Videos

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/11/2023, 6:00 AM

Minions, the animated yellow capsule creatures (think sentient Percocet pills, but adorable) from the Despicable Me cinematic universe, now have their own theme park area at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida. Officially open as of Friday, August 11, Minion Land (really more of a Minion Lane since it's actually a re-themed street area) is located on Illumination Avenue in the Universal Studios p...

Maui Wildfires: How You Can Help Affected Communities in Hawaii

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/10/2023, 4:30 PM

As anyone who has ever visited Hawaii knows, the word aloha means far more than just "hello" and "goodbye." In the Hawaiian language, alo means "to share" and ha stands for the concept of breath or life energy, according to some experts, suggesting the word sums up a spirit of love and generosity. With devastating wildfires killing dozens and destoying over 200 structures in historic areas of the ...

No, Cruise Ships Are Not Banned from Amsterdam

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/27/2023, 6:00 AM

Another week, another inaccurate travel headline that seems designed for clicks.In recent days, you might have read that Amsterdam's city council has outlawed cruise ships. BBC News: Amsterdam bans cruise ships to limit visitors and curb pollution. People: Another Major City Has Just Banned Cruise Ships.While there might be some very good reasons to eliminate cruise ship traffic from the intimate h...

Don't Scan a Fake QR Code! Scammers Can Steal Your Personal Info

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/25/2023, 9:00 AM

An earlier version of this post has been updated with new information. We know QR codes are convenient, allowing quick access to the website or payment portal of a restaurant, parking garage, airline, government agency, or other entity. All you have to do is point your smartphone's camera at that funny little square of black and white, and boom! You're on your way. But you don't go around scan...

Do You Need Tickets for the Pantheon? Navigating Rome’s Confusing New Fee Rollout

By Elizabeth Heath

Posted on 07/14/2023, 7:00 AM

After centuries—nay, millennia—of flinging open its mighty bronze doors free of charge, the Pantheon, one of the most-visited attractions in Rome, is now charging admission. Effective this month, the inimitable landmark will collect a fee of €5 ($5.60) from each tourist who visits. Located in the heart of Rome’s Centro Storico and part of a highly Instagrammable trifecta that also includes the T...

Disney World Attendance Is Way Down, but Don't Blame Politics

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/12/2023, 2:00 AM

On the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World in Central Florida—a day when crowds are usually shoulder to shoulder—the pathways were shockingly clear. Wait times for most rides were 30 minutes or less. Because the clickbait press never saw carrion it didn't want to pick over, recent news articles about the resort have been soaring with hyperbole. "Disney World Empties Out," one website crowed. "Walt ...

1 in 3 Flights Could Be Canceled This Summer, Europeans Warn

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/07/2023, 3:15 PM

Today's Times of London published a headline that will dismay anyone who has a European vacation in the works for this year: Air traffic control strike will hit up to 1 in 3 summer flights.Sky News agreed, reporting that as many as 12,600 flights a day stand a chance of being disrupted.Proving that it's not just United Airlines that's having a hard time contending with the labor situation at airpor...

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