Millions head to airports, roads in year’s busiest day of travel


CHICAGO — As the Thanksgiving weekend comes to a close, millions of Americans are heading to airports and onto highways Sunday in the year’s busiest day of travel.

The number of people traveling this week was expected to approach or possibly exceed pre-pandemic levels, so travel experts advise leaving early on today to get a head start.

AAA said the best time to hit the airways or road is before noon on Sunday, with the worst travel times occurring between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

In spite of higher gas prices from this time last year, experts predicted that more than 48 million Americans planned to get at least 50 miles away from home, with 4.2 million expected to travel by air.

The CDC advises travelers get tested upon their return if they are not vaccinated against COVID-19, with testing available at O’Hare International Airport.



Source link

[Graphic News] Number of travel agencies dips 6% in 2 years amid pandemic


The number of travel agencies in South Korea has declined nearly 6 percent over the past two years in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, industry data showed.

There were 21,231 travel agencies in Asia’s fourth-largest economy as of end-September, down 6.1 percent from two years earlier, according to the data from the Korea Tourism Association.

The number fell to 21,540 a year earlier from 22,609 in September 2019 and continued to go south this year.

The decrease came as pandemic-induced border closures across the globe made overseas travel difficult, forcing many travel agencies to shut down. (Yonhap)

By Nam Kyung-don ([email protected])





Source link

Dubai Airport CEO: More Passengers, but Years to Recover | World News


By ISABEL DEBRE, Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest for international travel, handled 20% more passenger traffic in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year, its chief executive said Monday, signaling cautious optimism for the ravaged aviation industry.

Yet a full recovery remains years off. More than 86 million people squeezed through the airport before the coronavirus hit in 2019. So far this year, it’s welcomed just 20.7 million, up until October. But CEO Paul Griffiths said the figure still represents a sharp turn in fortunes for the crucial east-west transit hub that was clobbered by the pandemic last year.

“We’re still optimistic for recovery being very strong,” Griffiths told The Associated Press amid the aroma of jet fuel and noise of plane takeoffs at Dubai Air Show, the biennial aviation trade expo that kicked off here on Sunday. “It’s going to be a couple of years, but I hope I’m wrong.”

The airport saw 6.7 million passengers over the third quarter, with flights surging 17% between January and September compared to the same period last year. It’s a welcome change from the steady stream of bad news in 2020, when the airport slashed 34% of its staff and mothballed a main terminal as the coronavirus closed borders around the world.

Political Cartoons on World Leaders

Political Cartoons

“Growth is returning very strongly,” Griffiths said, citing a 40% spike in bookings last month. The airport is gearing up for flying to rebound for the rest of the year, betting that accelerating vaccinations and relaxing travel curbs will allow Europeans to flee wintry weather for Dubai’s beaches and tourists to visit the giant world’s fair in the city that runs until March.

Griffiths said confidence also grew with the loosening of travel restrictions from India and Pakistan, which remained the airport’s largest market this quarter and routinely send legions of laborers and visitors to the United Arab Emirates. Airlines are expanding their flying schedules as the United States recently welcomed back vaccinated Europeans and India reopened for quarantine-free tourism on Monday.

Still, signs linger that the industry’s worst-ever crisis may not be over. Behind Griffiths, tails of scores of Emirates’ iconic fleet of double-decker Airbus A380s, largely grounded amid the pandemic, loomed at Dubai World Central, the Gulf city’s second airport that went out of use for commercial flights last year.

The Middle East’s biggest carrier, Emirates, reported receiving an additional $681 million from the Dubai government earlier this month, bringing the total cash aid close to $3.8 billion as it posted $1.6 billion in losses for the third quarter.

Yet as demand for long-haul travel picks up and more superjumbo jets fill the skies, the airport’s dedicated A380 terminal, Concourse A, will return to life later this month, Griffiths said.

“We’ve been cash positive throughout the pandemic and not relied on any subsidy from any other entity,” Griffiths added, while acknowledging that the region’s airlines have struggled with the slow return of long-haul and business trips.

Even as virus variants continue to course through inoculated populations and economic recovery remains slanted toward wealthier Western countries with vaccine access limited across Africa and Asia, Griffiths described a torrent of pent-up travel demand after a year and a half of financial pain.

“We’ll see people having the confidence to rush back to travel,” he said. “I don’t think it will be a trickle. It will be a flood.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Source link

India issues travel advisory for international travellers under the age of 5 years


India issues travel advisory for international travellers under the age of 5 years

India has now issued fresh guidelines for international travellers. As per the latest travel update, children under 5 years of age will be exempted from both pre-and-post-arrival testing.

However, as per the reports, if anyone found symptomatic for COVID-19 during home quarantine period or on arrival, they will have to undergo treatment and testing as per the protocol.

As per the COVID-19 protocols that are laid out by the Indian Government, all passengers will have to wear masks properly, and cover their mouth and nose, throughout the travel. And if anybody found violating the protocols inside the aircraft, will be deboarded and will not be allowed to travel.

Referring to this, India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar stated that the government is working towards the resumption of scheduled flights.

While addressing the media, India’s External Affairs Minister added that they are moving towards resumption of scheduled flights. Reports have it that earlier this week, India also sent out a request to the UAE to end mandatory rapid PCR testing requirements for entry.

The India’s Ministry of Home Affairs further held a meeting recently to discuss the removal of mandatory rapid PCR test for fully vaccinated travellers going to countries in the Middle East, especially the UAE. As per the travel rules in place, travellers are required to take a rapid PCR test six hours before their departure from any Indian airport.

The UAE has put this rule in place for passengers from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and Nigeria.





Source link

After more than 30 years at sea, a message in a bottle washes up in Dyea | KHNS Radio


The message in a bottle found in Dyea, Alaska. Photo by Pam Joy.

 

A Skagway resident has found a message in a bottle washed up on a beach with no indication of who sent it or from where. Now she’s looking for help to find its sender. 


At the northernmost tip of the inside passage sits the beach at the Dyea flats. Dyea was once a Gold Rush boomtown, now it’s home to a few dozen residents and a recreational area managed by the Skagway Borough. In amongst a pile of washed-up logs, branches and general flotsam Dyea resident Pam Joy stumbled across one of those special finds that beachcombers always hope to discover. A message in a bottle.

Closeup of the message. Photo by Pam Joy.

“I was walking along the (Dyea) flats, like I always do picking up trash like I always do and, and I saw this bottle peeking out and I picked it up and was just about ready to chuck it in my bag. And I saw there was a piece of paper in it. And so anyway, it was a message in a bottle. It said Happy New Year 1987!” Said Joy.

The tides had been over 20 feet a couple of days before, plus there was 40 mph gusting winds. Joy thinks it was the combination of the two that may have dislodged the bottle from wherever it had been resting.

“I’m amazed that it had been in the water this long and not been broken. But then I’m thinking, Well, maybe it’s maybe somebody like from Skagway who threw it, or Haines, and it’s just been stuck down in the bottom somewhere all that time and just got stirred up by the storm. Maybe it really hasn’t traveled very far. Or maybe it came from Australia. Who knows? Who knows?” Asked Joy.

The bottle is clear glass with a beige plastic screw-on top. The safety seal is still attached.

“The only other clue I have is that there’s a Rite in the Rain logo at the bottom of the piece of paper. And it’s in a liquor bottle. So, you know, New Year’s Eve, I’m sure there was alcohol involved in this event,” said Joy.

Rite in the Rain paper has been around for over a century. This piece has been ripped out of a small spiral notebook with the spiral at the top of the page. The message was written in black ink. 

It definitely looks like an adult it’s kind of like cursive writing,” said Joy.

But the sender of this message in a bottle didn’t include any other information.

Pam and her message in a bottle on the Dyea flats. (Mike Swasey)

I really wish that I had some way to identify who it was or how far it’s come and where it came from. I would like to be able to let the person know who wrote this. That I found it where I found it. In case it has come a long distance or you know, just the fact it’s been in the water all these years,” said Joy.

She has posted a photo of the bottle on social media and asked friends to share, but hasn’t had any luck tracking down the sender.

I’ve spent most of my life by an ocean, I grew up in Maine, and spent lots of time on the beach. And I even worked on a fishing boat in Maine, hauling traps and hauling up things out of the bottom of the ocean. And many, many years on the beach. And this is the first message in the bottle I’ve ever found, so I’m very excited,” said Joy.

Over the last few years she’s found a rice bag from eastern Asia, little bits of trash with different languages on them. 

And there’s of course, tons of crap plastic. You know, bags and candy bar wrappers and beer cans,” said Joy.

She says unless she miraculously figures out who sent the message, she’ll add it to her collection in her home in Dyea.

“There’s some other old bottles that have been found out here in there. But none of the others have messages in them. So I’m gonna stick this in the window with the other bottles I think,” said Joy.

The oldest message in a bottle found, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, was thrown overboard by a boat captain in 1886 from Hamburg, Germany in an effort to better understand shipping routes. It was discovered in Australia in 2018. Making the message over 130 years old.

Today scientists have devised instruments based on the message in a bottle design, they’re called Argo Floats. These large cylinders can adjust buoyancy to travel at specified depths. They help scientists record data on ocean currents, water temperature, salinity, and other oceanographic information.

If you have information about this message in a bottle please email [email protected]



Source link

Everest’s 100 years of destiny and death on the roof the world


(CNN) — It’s a fact every school child knows: Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world.

It’s a truth that feels ancient and inevitable, an unassailable certainty that draws hundreds of climbers to attempt the summit each year — because, in the words of George Mallory, one of the first mountaineers to conquer it, “it’s there.”

However, this fascination with the mountain whose historic Tibetan name is Qomolangma (“Holy Mother”) is a modern phenomenon and the first reconnaissance mission to its slopes was completed just a century ago, on October 25, 1921.

This is the story of how Mount Everest became the ultimate adventure challenge of our age.

Becoming the tallest

In the 19th century, the British Empire was a global industrial superpower, with a drive towards exploration and mastery. Places, people and even time itself — a standardized time system was first introduced on British railways in 1847 — were all to be categorized and measured.

The Great Trigonometrical Survey was a 70-year project by the East India Company that applied this scientific precision to the Indian subcontinent, establishing the demarcation of British territories in India and the height of the Himalayan peaks.

There had been a number of former claimants to the title of “world’s highest mountain”: Chimborazo in the Andes. Nanda Devi and Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas.

It was in 1856 that the formerly overlooked Peak XV — soon to be Mount Everest — was officially declared to be the world’s tallest mountain above sea level, at 29,002 ft (8,839.8 meters. Its official height today is a little higher — 8,849 meters).

Acquiring an English name

“People had been waiting for years to measure some of these peaks, because it seemed then that nobody had any way of getting to them, much less climbing them,” explains Craig Storti, author of “The Hunt for Mount Everest,” published this month.

Peak XV stood on the border of Nepal and Tibet (now an autonomous region of China) and both were closed to foreigners.

The mountain’s height was calculated through a series of triangulation measurements where were conducted some 170 kilometers away in Darjeeling, India.

Andrew Waugh, British Surveyor General of India, successfully argued that as the two countries were inaccessible, a local name could therefore not be found and that Peak XV should be named after his predecessor in the role, George Everest.

Everest, who initially objected to the honor bestowed upon him, had no direct involvement in the mountain’s discovery, nor did he ever get the opportunity to see it. (Incidentally, we’ve been saying it wrong: his family name was pronounced “Eev-rest”).

Opening to outsiders

Everest’s human history is thought to have begun around 925 with the building of Rongkuk Monastery on the mountain’s north side, writes Storti. But the first known attempt to ascend it was the British reconnaissance expedition that set out in 1921.

The Lhasa Convention of 1904, following the British invasion led by Francis Younghusband, was the trade deal that formed the wedge to the British being able to enter Tibet.

The 1921 expedition was led by the Anglo-Irish explorer Charles Howard-Bury and included George Mallory, who would die on an Everest expedition in 1924, with his remains not recovered until 75 years later.

The golden age of mountaineering

In Europe, mountain-climbing took off as a sport — rather than a practical, political, or spiritual activity — in the 18th century. By the mid-19th century — alpinism’s “golden age” — the Alps’ high peaks were all scaled, from Mont Blanc to the Mattherhorn.

Attention turned in the late 19th century to the Americas and Africa also, but the ultimate and greatest challenge remained the Himalayas.

An Englishman named Albert F. Mummery was the Western pioneer in South Asia, perishing on Nanga Parbat in 1895.

Says Storti, “The confluence of the maturing of mountaineering, and Britain’s presence in India, led to (it almost almost being) inevitable that the people from a tiny island nation would dominate Himalayan mountaineering for many years.”

Working out the route

For the first three decades of Everest expeditions, mountaineers approached the summit from the north side, which is a significantly more difficult climb.

The first reconnaissance mission set off marching from Darjeeling on May 18, 1921 on what would be a five-month-long trip and were laying the groundwork for a century of mountaineers to follow.

Today, adventurers approach from the south, where, says Storti, most of the journey is a “fairly easy plod up the mountain, not technically difficult at all. People with very little climbing experience can put down $60,000 and have a good chance of reaching the top as long as the weather holds and the Sherpas take care of them.”

Lou Dzierzak, editor-in-chief at outdoor adventure experts Outforia, tells CNN Travel that “One major advancement was the establishment of a team of highly skilled Nepalese climbers known as the Icefall Doctors in 1997.

“The Icefall Doctors establish a route through the Khumbu Icefall, which is one of the most dangerous sections of the popular South Col Route. Without them, the number of commercial expeditions on Everest each year wouldn’t be nearly as high as it is today. However, many Nepalese Icefall doctors, guides, and porters have lost their lives in recent years while working in this dangerous section of the mountain.”

George Everest (1790-1866) was Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843.

George Everest (1790-1866) was Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843.

Royal Geographical Society/Getty Images

Learning how humans cope at altitude

One of the men on the 1921 expedition was Scottish chemist Alexander Kellas, whose previous pioneering work on high-altitude physiology was crucial to the future of Himalayan engineering.

At the beginning of the 20th century, very little was currently known about the effects on the body, because “nobody had been that high yet,” says Storti.

Kellas, an experienced climber, was part of the reconnaissance mission to Everest but died of heart issues just a day’s hike before reaching the mountain.

Says Storti, “He just went about his work quietly, became an expert on elevation and the effects on the human body, (and) made some of the most spectacular climbs of anyone of his generation.”

Says Dzierzak, “The biggest physiological challenge to climbing Mount Everest is the negative effects that climbing at high elevations has on the human body.

Prolonged exposure can cause dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea, and shortness of breath, among other signs and symptoms. Even when a climber isn’t feeling particularly sick, most mountaineers need to stop for a few breaths after every single step while climbing on the highest slopes of Everest.”

Climbers didn’t use oxygen at all on the first expeditions, but today they “have access to improved mask designs and regulators,” says Dzierzak. “But, even then, climbers still have issues with oxygen masks and regulators freezing, which makes climbing at high elevations risky business.”

Dzierzak adds: “The other major physical challenge to climbing Everest is the sheer amount of time that it takes to summit the mountain. Most climbers spend months on the mountain setting up intermediary campsites along their route.”

Mountaineers descending from the summit of Mount Everest in June 2021.

Mountaineers descending from the summit of Mount Everest in June 2021.

Lakpa Sherpa/AFP/Getty Images

Developing specialist clothing and equipment

It’s said that when the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw saw a photo of the 1921 reconnaissance expedition, dressed in their simple clothing of wool, cotton and silk, he described them as looking like a “Connemara picnic surprised by a snowstorm.”

Says Storti, “The climbing equipment was very primitive, the clothes also. The boots were cloth and not leather. And so if storms came up — the main risk on Everest is the weather not the terrain, except from the north — they risk serious frostbite.”

Dzierzak says that there been a number of major technological developments in equipment between the 1920s and now, primarily in climbing clothing and equipment. “Modern advancements in fabric design and synthetic insulation have really changed the game in mountaineering. Waterproof-breathable fabrics that we take for granted today, like Gore-Tex, were truly revolutionary when they first hit the market in the late 1960s.”

As for equipment, “Mallory and his fellow climbers used hemp ropes, hobnail boots, wooden ice axes, and metal pitons to climb,” says Dzierzak. “These were cutting-edge pieces of equipment in the 1920s, but they can’t perform as well as the nylon ropes, crampons, and metal ice axes that we use today.”

Everest in the 21st century

Another mountaineer has died after summiting Mount Everest, bringing the death toll for the 2019 climbing season to 11 people. American Christopher John Kulish, 61, died after reaching the top of Everest on the Nepalese side of the mountain, the Director of Nepal’s Tourism Department told CNN.

While the expedition of 1921 didn’t attempt a summit, it certainly paved the way for the first successful ascent in 1953, led by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary — and for many more that followed.

“Everest is now one of the most popular big mountains to climb in the world and, with that, comes an influx of money and infrastructure in the region,” says Dzierzak.

“However, the popularity of Everest has its own challenges. Overcrowding on the South Col Route is a real issue, as are the large quantities of trash on the mountain.”

Too many people on Everest has, in the past, resulted in tragedy. On May 11, 1996, 12 people died after blizzards closed in on climbers some of whom had been delayed in their ascent by having to wait in line.

Climate change is also a worry. Says Dzierzak, “There are already concerns about how warming temperatures might destabilize the Khumbu Icefall even further, making it more dangerous to cross.”

Despite the hazards, Mount Everest’s fascination for climbers shows no sign of waning 100 years after that first expedition. Its deadly allure will no doubt inspire generations of adventurers to come.



Source link

After several attempts, wildlife officers remove tire that was around an elk’s neck for over two years


(CNN) — For two years, an elk was seen with a tire around its neck. Now, after several attempts, wildlife officials have freed the animal of the rubber hindrance.

The bull elk was first spotted by a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officer in 2019 conducting a population survey of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goats in the Mount Evans Wilderness, about 30 miles west of Denver, according to a news release from CPW on Monday.

“Being up in the wilderness, we didn’t really expect to be able to get our hands on the elk just because of the proximity or the distance away from civilization,” CPW officer Scott Murdoch said in the release. “It is harder to get the further they are back in there and usually the further these elk are away from people, the wilder they act. That certainly played true the last couple of years, this elk was difficult to find, and harder to get close to.”

Since then the wild animal has been spotted a handful of times by trail cameras and was known to travel between Park and Jefferson counties, reads the release. Wildlife officials monitored the animal over the years and saw the tire wasn’t affecting its ability to eat and drink. But officials feared that the animal would become tangled in tree branches, fencing or even with another elk’s antlers, according to CPW Public Information Officer, Jason Clay.

CPW released videos and images of the elk through the years in hopes the community would call and report it if seen. Last weekend, a community tip from Pine, Colorado, led wildlife officers to successfully being able to help the 4-year-old.

On Saturday, Murdoch and CPW officer Dawson Swanson safely tranquilized the over 600-pound animal and removed the tire. Officers had to cut off the antlers to slide the tire off.

“It was not easy for sure. We had to move it just right to get it off because we weren’t able to cut the steel in the bead of the tire,” Murdoch said in the news release. “We would have preferred to cut the tire and leave the antlers for his rutting activity, but the situation was dynamic and we had to just get the tire off in any way possible.”

Officers estimated that the tire was filled with 10 pounds of debris and that the elk dropped 35 pounds with the removal of tire and antlers. They also were surprised at the condition of the animal’s neck.

“The hair was rubbed off a little bit. There was one small open wound maybe the size of a nickel or quarter, but other than that it looked really good,” said Murdoch. “I was actually quite shocked to see how good it looked.”

This was the fourth time in a week officers have tried to tranquilize the animal to remove the tire, but several factors including other elk being near hindered efforts.

“Tranquilizer equipment is a relatively short-range tool and given the number of other elk moving together along with other environmental factors, you really need to have things go in your favor to have a shot or opportunity pan out,” said Swanson in the news release.

Officers said neighbors in the area assisted and that the elk was back on its feet within a matter of minutes, after they administered a tranquilizer reversal.

The mystery remains to how and when the elk got the tire stuck. But CPW said it either happened when the elk was younger or during the winter when it shed its antlers.

Officials said this elk’s saga just highlights the importance for residents to live responsibly with wildlife in mind. They said for people to keep their property free of obstacles wildlife could become entangled in like netting, hammocks, clothing lines and holiday lighting.



Source link

After several attempts, wildlife officers remove tire that was around a bull elk’s neck for over two years


The bull elk was first spotted by a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officer in 2019 conducting a population survey of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goats in the Mount Evans Wilderness, about 30 miles west of Denver, according to a news release from CPW on Monday.

“Being up in the wilderness, we didn’t really expect to be able to get our hands on the elk just because of the proximity or the distance away from civilization,” CPW officer Scott Murdoch said in the release. “It is harder to get the further they are back in there and usually the further these elk are away from people, the wilder they act. That certainly played true the last couple of years, this elk was difficult to find, and harder to get close to.”

Since then the wild animal has been spotted a handful of times by trail cameras and was known to travel between Park and Jefferson counties, reads the release. Wildlife officials monitored the animal over the years and saw the tire wasn’t affecting its ability to eat and drink. But officials feared that the animal would become tangled in tree branches, fencing or even with another elk’s antlers, according to CPW Public Information Officer, Jason Clay.

CPW released videos and images of the elk through the years in hopes the community would call and report it if seen. Last weekend, a community tip from Pine, Colorado, led wildlife officers to successfully being able to help the 4-year-old.

The first sighting of the elk with the tire around its neck from July 2019.

On Saturday, Murdoch and CPW officer Dawson Swanson safely tranquilized the over 600-pound animal and removed the tire. Officers had to cut off the antlers to slide the tire off.

“It was not easy for sure. We had to move it just right to get it off because we weren’t able to cut the steel in the bead of the tire,” Murdoch said in the news release. “We would have preferred to cut the tire and leave the antlers for his rutting activity, but the situation was dynamic and we had to just get the tire off in any way possible.”

Officers estimated that the tire was filled with 10 pounds of debris and that the elk dropped 35 pounds with the removal of tire and antlers. They also were surprised at the condition of the animal’s neck.

“The hair was rubbed off a little bit. There was one small open wound maybe the size of a nickel or quarter, but other than that it looked really good,” said Murdoch. “I was actually quite shocked to see how good it looked.”

This was the fourth time in a week officers have tired to tranquilize the animal to remove the tire, but several factors including other elk being near hindered efforts.

“Tranquilizer equipment is a relatively short-range tool and given the number of other elk moving together along with other environmental factors, you really need to have things go in your favor to have a shot or opportunity pan out,” said Swanson in the news release.

Wildlife officers Murdoch (left) and Swanson (right) hold up the tire that was on this bull elk for over two years.

Officers said neighbors in the area assisted and that the elk was back on its feet within a matter of minutes, after they administered a tranquilizer reversal.

The mystery remains to how and when the elk got the tire stuck. But CPW said it either happened when the elk was younger or during the winter when it shed its antlers.

Officials said this elk’s saga just highlights the importance for residents to live responsibly with wildlife in mind. They said for people to keep their property free of obstacles wildlife could become entangled in like netting, hammocks, clothing lines and holiday lighting.

CNN’s Leslie Perrot contributed to this report.



Source link

Some Original Staffers Say They’re Still Happy To Work At Disney World After 50 Years : NPR


Celebrating 50 years as original employees of Walt Disney World are (from left) Chuck Milam, Earliene Anderson and Forrest Bahruth.

John Raoux/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

John Raoux/AP


Celebrating 50 years as original employees of Walt Disney World are (from left) Chuck Milam, Earliene Anderson and Forrest Bahruth.

John Raoux/AP

ORLANDO, Fla. — Applying to be one of the first workers at Walt Disney World, high school graduate George Kalogridis made a split-second decision that set the course for his life: he picked a room where prospective hotel workers were being hired.

Chuck Milam got a tip about a job opening from a transplanted Disney executive whose new house he was landscaping. Earliene Anderson jumped at the chance to take a job at the new Disney theme park in Florida, having fallen in love with the beauty of Disneyland in California during a trip two years earlier.

At the time, the three were among the 6,000 employees who opened the Magic Kingdom at Disney World to the public for the first time on Oct. 1, 1971. Now, they are among two dozen from that first day still employed at the theme park resort as it celebrates its 50th anniversary on Friday.

Over those decades, Disney World added three more theme parks, two dozen additional hotels and grew to have a workforce of 77,000 employees as it helped Orlando become the most visited place in the U.S. before the pandemic.

What never changed was the original employees’ devotion to the pixie dust, the dream machine created by Walt Disney and his Imagineers.

A Disney representative presents the three with special 50th anniversary name tags.

John Raoux/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

John Raoux/AP


A Disney representative presents the three with special 50th anniversary name tags.

John Raoux/AP

“Disney has been my love, and it still is,” Anderson said recently before starting her shift in merchandising at a Magic Kingdom hotel. “I love Disney.”

The employees who make up the 50-year club say the theme park resort has allowed them to grow their careers and try on new hats. Kalogridis worked his way up to be president of Walt Disney World and Disneyland in California. Milam went from a warehouse worker to a buyer of spare parts for rides and shows.

Forrest Bahruth joined the workforce at Disney World in January 1971 as a show director, responsible for staging and choreographing parades and shows. He was also given the opportunity to help open other Disney theme parks around the world over the past five decades.

“There are people all over the world who get up to go work. They’re unhappy about it. They don’t really like their jobs,” Bahruth said. “As you can tell from us, there’s an enthusiasm. We are privileged to be at a place where we love what we do.”

Some Disney World history

There was no guarantee that Disney World was going to be a success 50 years ago. Walt Disney, the pioneering animator and entrepreneur whose name graces the Florida resort, had died in 1966, just a year after announcing plans for “the East Coast Disneyland.” The company had quietly acquired 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) of scrub land outside Orlando for around $5 million via secret land purchases using fake names and shell companies.

The job of shepherding the project to Opening Day fell to his brother, Roy Disney, who with other company officials convinced the Florida Legislature to create a quasi-governmental agency that would allow Disney to self-govern when it came to matters of infrastructure and planning. Roy died almost three months after Disney World opened.

Just weeks before opening, construction at the Magic Kingdom was controlled chaos, and it seemed impossible that it would all come together in time.

“It was like an army of ants. Everything was under construction. Interiors were still being put in. Roofing was still being put on top,” Bahruth said. “There was painting, landscaping. Things were arriving by the moment. It was like trucks going everywhere.”

Bahruth rehearsed performers through parade choreography down Main Street, which cut through the center of the Magic Kingdom and resembled a turn-of-the-century small town from Walt Disney’s childhood. Even though he was a busser, Kalogridis was drafted into laying down sod outside the hotel he was working in, hours before Disney World’s grand opening.

Memories of opening day

Two things have stuck in the memories of the longtime employees from that opening day. The first was the photo. It was an image of thousands of Disney World workers standing in front of the iconic Cinderella Castle with Mickey Mouse and other costumed characters holding hands in front. Two weeks later, it was featured on the cover of Life magazine.

“They brought all the characters up, staged them first, and then they tried to keep all the different workers together based on the color of their costumes,” Milam said. “If you were from Fantasyland and in yellow, you would go over there.”

The second was the parade. It featured a 1,076-member marching band conducted by Meredith Wilson, the composer of the Broadway show, “The Music Man.” There were 4,000 Disney entertainers marching through the theme park, a mass choir and trumpeters from the United States Army Band. Hundreds of white doves were released into the air, and less environmentally friendly, so were thousands of multi-colored balloons.

“It was the biggest thing I had ever seen,” Bahruth said.

Only around 10,000 visitors showed up on that first day — which at today’s much larger Walt Disney World would represent about 90 minutes’ worth of visitors entering. It wouldn’t be until Thanksgiving 1971, almost three months later, when Disney executives had an answer about whether their new resort would be a success; that’s when cars trying to get into the Magic Kingdom stretched for miles down the interstate.

“It was very clear after that first Thanksgiving, that the public definitely liked what we were doing,” Kalogridis said. “That first Thanksgiving, that was the moment.”



Source link

Travel And Tourism Photos Throughout The Years


Under lockdown, travel photography fueled our jealousy, longing, and admiration. For travelers back in the 1800s, photographs were important in another way: “You might have gone to that place, but you couldn’t take a picture of it, so you buy one to show people back home,” said Jamie Allen, an associate curator at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York.

An upcoming exhibit looks at the museum’s extensive collection of travel and tourism images through the years. Lilyan Jones is the project cataloger for the Alden Scott Boyer Collection at the Eastman Museum. Working with the museum’s photography collection, she goes through over 13,000 items that were given to the museum, some of which range from the very beginning of photography to the 1950s.

“I chose this theme because at the time I was starting to work on this, we were stuck inside. I thought it would be nice to look at pictures from all over the world,” Jones told BuzzFeed News. “There are a lot of early views of Egypt, people climbing the pyramids; there’s also early views of India and Japan and even Niagara Falls.”

The George Eastman Museum was named after the creator of the Kodak company. Eastman was a pioneer in film and photography, and the museum fittingly claims to be the world’s first focused solely on photography.

“Early travel photography was going to be seen by people who weren’t able to travel themselves,” Allen said. “Now that travel has opened up, you can access more places and see more things. Our definition of travel photography has changed.”

Allen said the goal of the exhibition is to pull gems from the museum’s collection that don’t typically get shown. Of the 450,000 total items in the photography department, she said, “some of these photographs don’t get to see the light of day. There are photographs by Ansel Adams that are more surprising, and this gives you an opportunity to look at other things that a photographer did than just what they’re famous for.”

She added, “Tourist sites weren’t so prescriptive back then. In the early days, you wouldn’t have your own camera, so the person who is making the image is a professional photographer, and you’re purchasing that image from them or from a store.”

Here, we looked at some of our favorites from this show, which include photographs from over 100 years ago.



Source link