For now, the coronavirus outbreak isn’t slowing down air travel to Orlando International Airport. In fact, MCO is seeing more traffic thanks to short-term changes made by airlines.

As first reported by the Orlando Business Journal, instead of letting aircraft sit unused as international flights are scaled back, carriers like American Airlines and United Airlines are redeploying their fleets to serve more domestic routes. 

According to a post from travel data company OAG Aviation Worldwide, Orlando is one of the beneficiaries of this redistribution. American is adding more flights between MCO and Charlotte, while United is adding more flights between Orlando and destinations such as Newark and Chicago. 

“Such short-term fleet changes create great opportunities for the regular domestic road warrior suddenly faced with a deeper seat, more leg room and more space in which to catch up on business or catch up on some well-deserved sleep,” OAG analyst John Grant said. “However, enjoy the experience because as we said earlier, aircraft can fly anywhere and at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later those planes are heading back to Asia.” 

Despite fears about the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 — with 15 confirmed cases and two deaths in Florida as of Tuesday — Central Florida’s theme park industry remains relatively unaffected. 

The same can’t be said for the rest of the travel industry. As Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told USA Today, the negative effects on tourism could be worse than the slump seen after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 

“Global travel is effectively shutting down,” Zandi said. “It’s going to take a while to get it back up and running again. This is going to be a very tough year for the travel and tourism industry.”

BOGO tickets to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 

Universal Orlando has announced a buy-one-get-one-free deal on tickets to this year’s edition of Halloween Horror Nights — with a few restrictions.

The online-only offer, costing $85 per person plus tax, will allow guests to pick any two nights on the HHN calendar, with the exception of four dates which are being blocked out: Oct. 11, 17, 24 and 30. Guests do have the flexibility to pick non-consecutive nights.

The offer will be available through June 3.

Halloween Horror Nights 2020 — the 30th edition of the event — runs on select nights at Universal Studios Florida from Sept. 10 through Nov. 1. The event will once again feature 10 houses and five scare zones around the park, but Universal has yet to reveal any of the original concepts and horror movie properties that will be featured this year. 

Daredevil Nik Wallenda to mark opening of Legoland’s Pirate Island Hotel

After a tightrope walk over an active volcano, Nik Wallenda’s next stunt will be “walking the plank” at the opening of Legoland Florida’s Pirate Island Hotel.

“This event will be no ‘walk in the park’ for the Wallenda Team as they will construct a high wire longer than 500 feet for the walk,” Legoland said in a press release. “They will also work closely with Legoland  master model builders to craft Lego bricks onto Wallenda’s 28-foot balance pole.”

The event will take place on April 16, one day before Pirate Island Hotel opens to guests. The 150-room hotel, located next to the existing Legoland Hotel, will offer rooms with separate sleeping areas for kids and adults, along with a heated pool, Lego play pits and character meet-and-greets.

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