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SeaWorld Enters an Alternate Reality

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/29/2016, 8:00 PM

SeaWorld Orlando is breathing new life into its oldest roller coaster by adding virtual reality.   The Orlando Sentinel reports that starting next year on its steel Kraken coaster, riders will have the option to put on video goggles that will be attached to the cars. The eyewear will broadcast an animated undersea virtual-reality adventure that will be timed to match the physical sensa...

The World's Biggest Bouncy House

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/28/2016, 4:00 AM

A company called V-Formation has created what's being billed as the world's largest bouncy house.  Dubbed The Beast, the inflatable behemoth stretches across a length of 893 feet—though the company would like to extend that to a nice round 1,000 feet. It's not just for kids and it's not just for jumping. Crossing the entire thing requires bouncing your way through a snaking obstacle co...

West Elm to Open Boutique Hotels

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/28/2016, 4:00 AM

Furniture seller West Elm is getting into the boutique hotel business.  Partnering with hospitality management and development company DDK, the retailer (which is part of Williams-Sonoma) will design, furnish, and market two hotels—one in Detroit, the other in Savannah—expected to open in 2018.  West Elm, which has experienced a lot of growth in recent years, sees the hotel project as ...

What Kinds of Therapy Animals Should Be Allowed on Airplanes?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/28/2016, 4:00 AM

At the moment, there are very few regulations limiting the kinds of animals that can be carried onto commercial airplanes, as long as the given dog, pig, hamster, rooster, capuchin monkey, or what have you has been designated a provider of emotional support for its owner. That could change, however, once a committee of airline representatives and disabled-rights advocates that has been mee...

Passenger Suing Airline Over "Spillover" from Overweight Seatmate

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/27/2016, 4:00 AM

A passenger is suing Emirates because he says a nine-hour flight operated by the airline was ruined by the "spillover" of an overweight person seated next to him.  The guy doing the suing—an Italian lawyer named Giorgio Destro—says he asked the flight crew to help him find another seat on the July flight from Cape Town to Dubai, but they couldn't because there were no other seats available...

Weather Forecast for Fall: Warm Everywhere

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/27/2016, 4:00 AM

Remember when September was autumn? It sure doesn't feel like that this year in the United States—you'll search in vain for a nip in the air pretty much anywhere you travel in the country. And according to the National Weather Service's three-month forecast, above-average temperatures will continue through the end of the year.  Due to a combo of normal weather patterns and long-term cl...

Marriott Finalizes Purchase of Starwood, Creating World's Biggest Hotel Chain

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/27/2016, 4:00 AM

On Friday, Marriott International's $13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide was finalized, having been delayed for months pending approval from U.S., European, and Asian antitrust regulators (the Chinese government was especially poky). The move creates the world's largest hotel chain, spanning more than 5,700 properties and 1.1 million rooms in more than 110 cou...

Disney World's Strict Rules for Wearing Halloween Costumes

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/26/2016, 4:00 AM

Ever wondered why you don't see more adult guests at Disney World in Orlando wearing costumes? Simple. They're not allowed on anybody over 14—except, of course, for the people getting paid to don character getups.    Costumes can be worn by guests 13 and younger, but they're subject to several restrictions, including bans on masks that cover the full face and accessories that could be mist...

Theme Park Geared Toward Adults Planned for Las Vegas

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/26/2016, 4:00 AM

A plan for a theme park geared toward adults was released in Las Vegas last week.  Dubbed Xpark Vegas, the site would include such grownups-only activities as speedboat racing, riding dirt bikes through an obstacle course, bungee jumping, and operating heavy machinery (which reminds us of Dig This!, a fun-with-bulldozers operation that's already in Vegas, and was featured in our recent rou...

Great Wall Repairs Spark Outrage

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/26/2016, 4:00 AM

(Photo: CNN/Twitter) An effort to restore a 700-year-old portion of the Great Wall of China has sparked outrage on social media after photos of the project were posted online. In the country's northeastern Liaoning province, workers have covered the 8-kilometer (5-mile) Xiaohekou stretch of the wall in concrete, replacing crumbling steps and plant overgrowth with a smooth walkway ...

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