Travel in Brief

The Eldridge Street Museum and Synagogue on the Lower East Side of New York will be featured in The New York Landmarks Conservancy "Sacred Sites Open House Weekend."

NEW YORK - The New York Landmarks Conservancy is holding an open house of religious architecture this month.

The fourth annual "Sacred Sites Open House Weekend" is May 17-18.

Forty New York City congregations are participating. They are among more than 125 participating statewide.

This year's theme is "Sacred Sites and the Community: How Immigration and Migration Shape New York."

The sites include the Eldridge Street Museum and Synagogue in Manhattan. The 1887 building boasts a soaring 50-foot ceiling and lavish Moorish-style interior.

An example of the small wood-framed churches built on Staten Island during the 19th century can be seen at the Free Magyar Reformed Church.

In the Bronx, St. Anselm's Church is modeled after the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. Some of the interior decorations were painted by Benedictine monks.

BOSTON - In a sure sign that summer is on the way, the swans are returning to the Public Garden in Boston.

The live swans dubbed Romeo and Juliet, were returned to the park's lagoon during a recent special ceremony that includes a parade, a brass band, face painting and other activities for children, including a reading of "Make Way for Ducklings."

It's the 26th year the return has been marked with a special celebration.

The swans have spent the winter at Franklin Park Zoo.

The Public Garden's famed swan boats are already plying the lagoon's waters.

LOS ANGELES - Disney says it and its Chinese partner will spend $800 million more on their Shanghai theme park, bringing the total investment to nearly $5.5 billion.

The extra spending will go toward more attractions, entertainment and other offerings. Most of the additions are targeted to be completed by opening day, which is aimed for the end of 2015.

CEO Bob Iger said in a statement that Disney has been impressed with the growth of China's economy, the expansion of the middle class and a significant increase in travel and tourism.

- The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is issuing parking passes for those wanting to see the synchronous fireflies this summer.

Parking passes cost $1.50 and will be available online at The passes allow visitors to park at the Sugarlands Visitor Center where they will be taken by shuttle to the viewing area.

The firefly viewing will take place June 4-11. The shuttle service will be the only way for visitors to get to the Elkmont area to see the fireflies during this period.

The parking passes are non-refundable, nontransferable and good only for the date issued. There is a limit of one pass per household per season.

- A primitive campground at the northern reaches of the Grand Canyon will be available by reservation only starting Sept. 1.

Tuweep Campground lacks services such as water, gas and cellphone coverage. Grand Canyon officials say the change will help visitors ensure they have a place to stay once they make the difficult drive.

Campers can make reservations four months in advance. Walk-up permits may be obtained up to six days in advance in Fredonia or St. George, Utah.

Permits had been required for only the large group campsite. The nine family sites had been available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Visitors also won't be able to build a fire or have a charcoal grill at the campground as of Sept. 1. Gas stoves are OK.

Visitors will be able to travel through the east, west and north entrances to Yellowstone National Park.

Park officials say many popular park destinations including Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Norris Geyser Basin and Fishing Bridge are now open.

Entrances to Grant Village, West Thumb Junction and Craig Pass to Old Faithful are set to open May 9 if weather cooperates.

Park officials say visitor services will be very limited during the next few weeks.

The road from the north entrance to the northeast entrance remains open all year.

NEW YORK - The National Park Service says summer operating hours at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island begin Memorial Day weekend.

Boats will depart Battery Park in Lower Manhattan and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, at 8:30 a.m. seven days a week.

There will also be an extra departure from both locations at 5 p.m. each day.

The last boats back to Manhattan and Jersey City will depart at 6:45 p.m.

The hours will be in effect from May 24 through Sept. 1.

Advance ticket purchases are required for visits to the Statue of Liberty's crown and observation deck and the museum of immigration on Ellis Island. They are available through the park's concessioner Statue Cruises at

Associated Press