Florida's SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Will Give Away Free Beer Again This Summer

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/17/2018, 12:00 AM

This post, originally published May 1, has been updated below. When the all-American brewer Anhueser-Busch opened Busch Gardens amusement park in Tampa, Florida in 1959 (other locations preceded and followed it, but only the Tampa park and another in Williamsburg, Virginia remain), the main focus was, naturally, marketing the brand's products.  To that end, "hospitality houses" (Tampa's is pictu...

Orlando Theme Parks Dispensing Free Insect Repellent to Ease Zika Fears

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/31/2016, 4:00 AM

Visitors to Orlando's major theme parks are now being offered free insect repellent as fears of the mosquito-borne Zika virus continue to grow in Florida. You can get complimentary mosquito spray and lotion at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando as of this week—even though no cases of mosquito-transmitted Zika have been reported in Central Florida and even tho...

Travel Briefing: Airport Lines, An Imploded Casino, and More

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/15/2016, 1:15 PM

The Riviera in Las Vegas (photo by Ashwin Kumar/Flickr) Welcome to the middle of the week! And welcome to our brand-new daily roundup of travel-related news and information gathered from across the internet. Check this space daily for fresh updates. Here's what's going on in the world of travel today. * ORLANDO THEME PARKS STEPPING UP SECURITY AFTER NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING (New York Ti...

Last Call for Shamu: SeaWorld to Phase out Orca Whale Performances—Meet the Man Who Made that Call

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/17/2016, 6:30 PM

Soon to be history: The Shamu show at SeaWorld Orlando. (Photo: Jason Cochran) SeaWorld has announced that it will no longer breed orcas in captivity at its theme parks. At a future date that has not been announced, it will end the classic performance shows featuring killer whales—an essential SeaWorld attraction for half a century—and replace them with attractions that only display t...

How Much Does an Orlando Vacation Cost? A New Tool Does the Math

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/02/2014, 12:00 PM

One of the most common questions for me as the author of Frommer's Orlando is, "How much does a vacation there cost?"   Well, a new online tool helps you figure out how much an Orlando theme park vacation will hit you for.   It's clean and easy to use. Want to go to Walt Disney World for three days with the Park Hopper option? Check the boxes. Want to follow that with two...

The Practice of Causing Giant Orca Whales to Entertain the Public at Theme Parks Across America, May Soon be the Subject of a Courtroom Trial

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 09/18/2014, 3:15 AM

         The changing attitudes towards the use of captive animals in travel-related theme parks is, to me, a fascinating subject, and one for which I have a deep sense of shame.  Some years ago, I attended the show at Sea World in Orlando, Florida, that featured the antics of a giant orca whale called Shamu.  I was mightily entertained and affected by that animal's performance, and ac...

A Number of Seemingly-Inconsequential Travel Developments May Have a Bearing on Your Next Vacation or Trip

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 08/28/2014, 4:15 PM

     Pardon the hyperbole, but to me, the biggest recent news in travel was the fight that broke out between a female air passenger who wanted to recline her seat, and a male passenger sitting behind her who attempted to block her from doing that by inserting a rigid plastic doodad into his fold-out tray.  When her complaint to a flight attendant failed to cause the male passenger to remove th...

Orlando Goes Over the Top: SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Also Break the $90 Barrier with Ticket Prices

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/07/2013, 3:45 PM

We just got a dispatch from Florida, where SeaWorld Orlando confirms it has joined Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando in hiking ticket prices past the $90 mark. SeaWorld Orlando's single-day admission is now $92 adult, $84 children (ages 3 to 9), plus tax. Busch Gardens Tampa has also raised prices, but it still shy of the $90 threshhold: $89 adult, $81 children aged 3 to 9. T...

SeaWorld Unveils 'Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin,' Its Big Summer 2013 Attraction

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/24/2013, 1:30 AM

On Friday, SeaWorld opens its new attraction, the multimillion-dollar Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, which named one of the most hotly anticpated amusement park additions of the season. Although it is at heart an animal habitat for some 250 gentoo, Adelie, king, and rockhopper penguins, the faux-icy pavilion also hosts a ride that, at least in execution, is an Orlando innovati...

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