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Great Wall Repairs, Disney World Costume Rules, and More: Today's Travel Briefing

A roundup of travel news from all over
Good morning! Here's the latest from the world's theme parks, monuments, and other tourism meccas.

* GREAT WALL OF CHINA REPAIRS SPARK OUTRAGE (Agence France Presse). 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 that has all the visual charm of a highway overpass.   
 
Numerous people in China expressed shock and dismay over images of the restoration. "Such brutal treatment of the monuments left behind by our ancestors!" lamented one user of the Twitter-esque Weibo service. "Why don't we just raze the Forbidden City in Beijing, too?"
 
Even the deputy director of Liaoning's departmet of culture called the repairs "quite ugly."
 
Maitenance of Xiaohekou, which was built in 1381 during the Ming Dynasty, was ordered in 2012 after the site had grown severely dilapidated—a concern along much of the Great Wall. In fact, estimates of the structure's total length vary from 9,000 to 21,000 kilometers (6,000 to 13,000 miles), depending on whether you count the parts with missing pieces. 
 
Ideally, however, restoring the wall wouldn't involve erasing what makes it distinctive.
 
China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage says it has launched an investigation into how the Xiaohekou maintenance work was carried out.

* THEME PARK GEARED TOWARD ADULTS PLANNED FOR LAS VEGAS (Arizona Republic). 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 roundup of adventures you can only have in Sin City). 
 
We think the backers of the proposed adult-activity theme park should really commit to the theme and create attractions such as a simulator that re-creates filling out tax forms and a thrill ride where your doctor orders extra tests, just to rule out anything serious (working title: Health Scare!).
 
If approved, Xpark could be up and running by next summer.
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And speaking of adults at theme parks . . . 
 
* DISNEY WORLD'S STRICT RULES FOR HALLOWEEN COSTUMES (Orlando Sentinel). 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, 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 mistaken for real weapons.
 
There is, however, one time of year when adult visitors are free to sport costumes at the Magic Kingdom, too: during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a ticketed, after-hours event being held now through October.
 
But, once again, there are a lot of rules. A sampling:
 
* No posing for photos or signing autographs for other guests
 
* No masks
 
* No dresses or capes that go all the way to the ground
 
* Wings should be transparent and shouldn't be big enough to smack passersby
 
* If your costume involves layers and complicated props, you might be subject to additional security screening
 
* No revealing clothing
 
* Light sabers, plastic swords, and tutus are fine (though if you wear them in the same look you're going to confuse your fellow park-goers)

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* Generally speaking, don't wear anything Disney might deem obstructive, offensive, objectionable, or violent. Otherwise, you might not be let in.

Our Travel Briefing appears each weekday morning, Monday to Friday. Catch up on past installments by clicking here. For more updates, as well as vacation photos and travel tips, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
 
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