New pricing at Disney
Walt Disney World is changing its ticket structure by moving to date-based pricing that reflects the expected demand on specific days. It’s also introducing a new platform on which to make those purchases. The changes kick in Oct. 16. At that time, a one-day, one-park ticket price will become between $109 and $129. The current range is between $102 and $129, depending on the season schedule. The date-based ticket pricing “gives guests tailored choices and better allows us to spread attendance throughout the year to improve the guest experience,” said Jacquee Wahler, a Walt Disney World spokeswoman. The calendar of preset park prices will be available Oct. 16. The ticket-buying process will still go through the disneyworld.com website. Users will select the start date of the visit and its length to see a total price. The per-day rate falls as the length of visit rises. The interactive calendar will also feature a way to find the least expensive dates.
Regional airlines on time
Some regional carriers are doing better keeping their flights on time than industry behemoths such as American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, according to a first peek at new data compiled by federal regulators. A U.S. Department of Transportation report released Tuesday is the first to include details on regional carriers, a huge part of the airline industry that was absent from the department’s performance surveys for several decades. This year, more than half of domestic flights were on regional airlines or “branded code-share partners” as DOT terms them, carrying about one-quarter of U.S. air travelers. In July, four large regional airlines — SkyWest, Endeavor Air (owned by Delta), ExpressJet. and Republic Airlines — delivered a better on-time percentage than did American, United, Southwest and JetBlue.
Distillery comes back to life
The whiskey quit flowing decades ago from a landmark distillery housed in a picturesque castle in Millville, Ky. Nearly a half-century of neglect reduced the onetime tourist draw to a decaying relic. Now, two newcomers to the whiskey business have resurrected the Old Taylor distillery and renamed it. In the past four years, they have spent millions to restore the castle-like entrance, sunken garden and colonnaded springhouse. And along with bourbon and rye, they hope once again to generate tourism to the unique property. Renamed Castle & Key Distillery, the facility resumed spirits production in late 2016, the first year whiskey was produced there since the distillery was shuttered in 1972. The grounds reopened to visitors this month.
An honor for Travel
The Star Tribune Travel section was named one of the best in the country by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation last week. The section was awarded honorable mention for best newspaper travel coverage in the foundation’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition. The Los Angeles Times garnered the top spot in the category, followed by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. The judges, from the Missouri School of Journalism, noted in their commendation that “the section is consistently surprising for the originality of ideas and the quality of execution.”