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Disney World’s Updated FastPass+ Aims to Eliminate Long Lines

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The Walt Disney Company is now helping visitors avoid long lines at Florida’s Walt Disney World. According to Disney Parks Blog editorial content director Thomas Smith, Disney Parks is expanding its FastPass+ and MagicBand programs to make it easier for visitors to book a reservation for popular attractions, shows, and Disney character meet-and-greets.

“Since launching FastPass+, millions of guests have been able to reserve access to their favorite Walt Disney World experiences in advance, allowing families to begin the Disney fun before they even leave home,” Smith wrote. “And now you will have even more opportunities to customize how you make FastPass+ selections—even while exploring and enjoying the parks.”

Guests of the park can make reservations for all their planned activities up to 30 days in advance of their visit, while guests staying at one the park’s Walt Disney World Resorts can their make selections up to 60 days in advance.

Here’s how it works: Guests can launch the My Disney Experience mobile app and login to FastPass+, then choose the date and time they want to visit a specific attraction or show. Guests can now book specific reservations for up to three attractions (previously, they had to choose all three at once). After their initial three reservations are made, guests can reserve a fourth and fifth activity through the mobile app. All of which will make it easier for visitors to ensure that they get the chance to meet their favorite Disney characters, and hop aboard the most popular rides and attractions, in a much more efficient way (read: without those long lines). Dreams really do come true at Disney World.

FastPass+ is free for all park guests and only available at Walt Disney Resorts, which include Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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This Beach That Glows in the Dark Is Completely Magical to See
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by Reader's Digest

The Maldives is world-famous for its unbelievably picturesque beaches. A simple online image search brings up images of the clearest water in the world, cloudless skies, and … glow-in-the-dark sand?

That’s right, that photo is real. No Photoshop here. Some beaches in the Maldives do light up at night, and it’s not because a visitor with no environmental conscience sprayed fluorescent paint across the sand.

The organisms responsible for this blue light are called ostracod crustaceans, also known as seed shrimp. They are generally about 1 millimeter long and can emit blue light for several seconds, sometimes for even a minute or longer, Cornell biology professor James Morin told The Huffington Post. (To compare, bioluminescent phytoplankton, another light-giving organism that lives in the water, can only shine for a moment when they collide with the beach or water.) It’s believed that these glorious (albeit unpredictable) displays are created from a mass mortality of ostracods—a sad but spectacular sight all the same.

 
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If you’ve been meaning to take a trip to the Maldives, you now have another reason to book your ticket. However, if a transoceanic vacation isn’t an option, you’re in luck. These aquatic light shows also occur in Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Belgium, and San Diego (though the blue light in San Diego is caused by bioluminescent algae).

See? You don’t have to travel out of the country to experience amazing beaches. Anyone who says differently needs to check out the 12 best beaches in America.

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This Just In
This Gorgeous Town in the Swiss Alps Wants to Pay You $25,000 to Move There
Peter P // Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
Peter P // Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

If living in a fairy tale-like village in the Swiss Alps is like something out of a dream, then getting paid to do just that might be your fantasy life come true. But that’s exactly what the tiny town of Albinen, Switzerland is proposing. As The Independent reports, the town’s residents are getting set to vote on a proposal that would pay a family of four over $70,000 to commit to spending 10 years living there, as a way to bolster the dwindling population.

New residents will be eligible for grants of approximately $25,000 per adult and $10,000 per child for two kids. There are, of course, a few stipulations: new residents must be under the age of 45 and commit to making the town their permanent residence for at least 10 years. (If they leave before the allotted time frame, they’ll have to pay the money back.) They'll also have to choose to live in a home with a minimum price of $201,000.

Currently, the village is home to about 240 people, but that number is beginning to shrink, as longtime residents have chosen to move away. According to commune president Beat Jost, the recent relocation of three families in particular led to the loss of eight pupils at the local school, which forced its closure. While jobs in the village itself aren't plentiful, Albinen is close to several larger towns. And if you're game to do a bit of traveling, Geneva's only two hours away and Zurich is just about three hours.

The hope is that the promise of some cold hard cash, which could come in handy when it comes to purchasing a home in the town, can help to reverse this trend.

In a newsletter to residents detailing the proposal, the town noted that the program would be “an investment in the village’s future.”

[h/t: The Independent]

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