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About jennifermarx

Jennifer Marx is the author of more than 50 travel guides and the recipient of more than a dozen awards. She is also the co-founder and co-creator of PassPorter.com, an active community of enthusiastic travelers. Her amazing son, Alexander, is the subject of many of her posts and thoughts on family travel. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.
Website: http://www.passporter.com
jennifermarx has written 72 articles so far, you can find them below.


How Well Do You Know Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Take Our Quiz!

Our friends at Celebrations magazine are sharing their fabulous quizzes with PassPorter fans. Here’s a fun quiz by Jennifer Bright Reich that quizzes you on how well you REALLY know Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Like our Epcot quiz last month, this quiz is packed full of trivia, from knowing the name of the vehicles on DINOSAUR to figuring out the height of the Tree of Life. Try it and see how you do!

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

The scores are just for fun, but I’d still love to see them! Share them on Facebook, Twitter, or just reply to this blog post.

animalkingdomquiz

About the quiz author: Jennifer Bright Reich is the director of partnerships and marketing at Celebrations Press, publisher of Celebrations magazine and the Guide to the Magic book series, at http://www.celebrationspress.com. She is anxiously awaiting her family’s next trip to Walt Disney World

 

How Well Do You Know Epcot? Take Our Quiz!

Our friends at Celebrations magazine are sharing their fabulous quizzes with PassPorter fans. Here’s a fun quiz by Jennifer Bright Reich that quizzes you on how well you REALLY know Epcot! This quiz is packed full of trivia, from knowing the name of the “cave man” on Ellen’s American Adventure to figuring out the scale height of the Eiffel Tower replica in the Eiffel Tower. Try it and see how you do!

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

The scores are just for fun, but I’d still love to see them! Share them on Facebook, Twitter, or just reply to this blog post.

epcotquiz

About the quiz author: Jennifer Bright Reich is the director of partnerships and marketing at Celebrations Press, publisher of Celebrations magazine and the Guide to the Magic book series, at http://www.celebrationspress.com. She is anxiously awaiting her family’s next trip to Walt Disney World

 

PassPorter Tip Pinning Contest: Pin to Win!

Like Pinterest? We love it! We had great fun with our last Pinterest contest, so we’re doing it again! We love to see what you pin and to share it with others.

This contest will be all about TIPS! We have lots of Disney and travel tips here on PassPorter, plus there are a great many tips out there to pin.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow PassPorter on Pinterest
  2. Create a Pinterest board and name it “PassPorter Disney Trip Tips” (helps us find you)
  3. Fill it with at least 10 Disney tips – a minimum of three must be repins of our tips from PassPorter’s Pinterest boards. You’ll recognize our tip pins because they read, “PassPorter Tip #” at the top of the pin! Here’s an example of a PassPorter tip pin! We are posting new tip pins all the time, too! But the tips do not have to have been pinned already — you can find new tips and pin them yourself! You can even submit your own!
  4. Tag all the pins on your board with #passportertip (this also helps us find you)
  5. When you’re done, repin the following “PassPorter Disney Tips” contest pin:

PassPorter-Tip-Pinning-Cont

Tip #1: It also helps to reply to this blog post with the link to your Pinterest board, just to be sure we see it.

Tip #2: I will be extra impressed if you submit some of your own tips to PassPorter, as I’ll be looking out for them and will pin them, then YOU can pin them on your own contest board!

Prize

The pinner who makes the most creative, engaging, and MAGICAL board filled with Disney tips will receive a PassPorter PassPack filled with a Deluxe PassPorter of their choice, two PassHolder Pouches, some extra PassPockets, a PassPorter Pin, and a $50 gift certificate in case there’s more you want that we didn’t include! If you want ideas on pin boards we really like, check out the winners from our last pinning contest!

Announcing the Winner

Winners will be judged by MediaMarx, Inc. on criteria including originality, creativity and adherence to the rules. Please have your pinboard ready by October 31, 2014. The winner will be contacted on November 1, 2014. The winner and runners up will be promoted on the PassPorter web site and social media channels.

How Badly Do You Need a Disney Fix? Take This Quiz!

Our friends at Celebrations magazine are sharing their fabulous quizzes with PassPorter fans. Here’s a fun quiz by Jennifer Bright Reich that helps you find out just how badly you really NEED a Disney fix! But be prepared for tough questions … this is hardcore Disney nuttiness here!

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

The scores are just for fun, but I’d still love to see them! Share them on Facebook, Twitter, or just reply to this blog post.

How did I do? It’s past time for my Disney fix!

disneyfix1b

 

About the quiz author: Jennifer Bright Reich is the director of partnerships and marketing at Celebrations Press, publisher of Celebrations magazine and the Guide to the Magic book series, at http://www.celebrationspress.com. She is anxiously awaiting her family’s next trip to Walt Disney World

 

Which Disney Character Are You? Take Our Quiz!

Our friends at Celebrations magazine are sharing another of their fabulous quizzes with PassPorter this month. Here’s a fun quiz by Jennifer Bright Reich that helps you find out which famous Disney character you are most like!

The personality test is just for fun, but I’d still love to see them! Share them on Facebook, Twitter, or just reply to this blog post.

How did I do?

MickeyMouseQuiz


Which Disney Character Are You?

About the quiz author: Jennifer Bright Reich is the director of partnerships and marketing at Celebrations Press, publisher of Celebrations magazine and the Guide to the Magic book series, at http://www.celebrationspress.com. She is anxiously awaiting her family’s next trip to Walt Disney World

 

How Big of a Disney Nut Are You? Take This Quiz!

Our friends at Celebrations magazine are sharing their fabulous quizzes with PassPorter beginning this month. Here’s a fun quiz by Jennifer Bright Reich that helps you find out just how big of a Disney nut you REALLY are! But be prepared for tough questions … this is hardcore Disney nuttiness here!

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

The scores are just for fun, but I’d still love to see them! Share them on Facebook, Twitter, or just reply to this blog post.

How did I do? I’m a true blue Disney fan!

disney-nut2

About the quiz author: Jennifer Bright Reich is the director of partnerships and marketing at Celebrations Press, publisher of Celebrations magazine and the Guide to the Magic book series, at http://www.celebrationspress.com. She is anxiously awaiting her family’s next trip to Walt Disney World

 

Fabulous Disney Pin Boards: Pinterest Contest Results!

Back in March I proposed a little Pinterest contest for PassPorter. The idea was to have Disney Pinterest fans make a Disney-themed pinboard, include some PassPorter tags and pins, fill it with Disney-related pins, and submit it by May 10. And you all came through brilliantly! I’ve been in Pinterest heaven for the last several days looking through nearly 200 pinboards jam-packed with Disney and travel related pins.

Narrowing that list down to just one pinboard was VERY difficult. With future Pinterest contests (and yes, I’d love to do more!), I’ll probably want to get more specific simply to help find a winner easier. For this contest, I simply asked you to include Disney pins and announced I’d pick a winner based on originality, creativity, and adherence to the rules. Nearly everyone followed the rules, which left looking for something cool and different. I narrowed the list down to 10 pinboards, which I’d like to showcase here for your enjoyment! Here they are:

  1. Chiradora (42 pins)  – I enjoyed Chiradora’s pinboard primarily because of the awesome stick figure family she made to show off her Disney side. Super cute.
  2. StephBlovvski (260 pins) – She used the description field (super helpful!), and I really liked how she made her own pins for remembering tips.
  3. Hypnozia (41) – This is a great use of a map pinboard! (Here’s how to make a Disney map pinboard.)
  4. RosemondG ( 21) – Great focus on plans for the 2015 Princess Half Marathon!
  5. DisneyAC (166) – Excellent collection of Disney-themed pins.
  6. KillBunny (51) — I love how many of these pins are new pins, not simply repins (though she certainly has those, too).
  7. Jacksmom (505) – Over 500 pins! Wow! I’m impressed with the sheer size of this pin collection!
  8. Altchar (29) – And to prove you don’t have a lot of pins to get my attention, this pinboard only has 29 pins (when I checked), but I LOVE the theme of Disney at night. Beautiful photos bring back great memories.
  9. IrishSkater425 (95) — It’s ORGANIZED! Unique graphics were pinned and placed carefully to create a lovely showcase.
  10. SuellaDaville (202) — This pinboard is impressively large, but I really admired all the personal notes on pins about her interests/hopes/dreams. She’s personalized nearly every pin! I can feel her enthusiasm for Disney in each pin she selected here. She also used a description on her pinboard very effectively and met all our rules. This is a really great use of Pinterest!

I was so impressed that I’ve chosen SuellaDaville’s pinboard as our winner! She wins a Deluxe PassPorter of her choice, two PassHolder Pouches, some extra PassPockets, a PassPorter Pin, and a $50 gift certificate in case there’s more she wants that we didn’t include! Congratulations, Susan – please e-mail me at jennifer (at) passporter [dot] com so I can send you your prize!

I’d love to do another Pinterest contest! Before I settle on an idea, does anyone have ideas they’d like to share? Themes? Rules? Please reply here!

Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade at Disney’s MGM Studios (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

On May Day (that’s May 1 — tomorrow!) Disney’s Hollywood Studios turns 25. It’s hard to believe my “baby park” (it was the newest part when I began my regular visits as an adult) will be so old. Like many others, I still tend to think of it as Disney-MGM Studios. I hear there will be a big hoopla to celebrate the milestone anniversary, including a rededication ceremony at 10:00 am, a motorcade at 7:00 pm called “Stars of the Studios” with famous characters, a dance party in from of the Sorcerer Hat stage, and fireworks at 9:30 pm.

As I was thinking about the Studios, I remembered a very cool parade that began there 13 years ago — it was called the Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade. I went back into the PassPorter Archives and found photos, and was delighted by the various stars’ motor cars … and I thought you might enjoy a peek, too! Here are 25 of my favorite photos from the parade — all were all taken on October 6, 2001, just a few days after it debuted! (Larger versions of all photos are available in our gigantic Photo Archive – click on a photo to go there.)


It began with a Grand Marshall, in traditional Disney style!

First came Jessie and the Toy Soldiers, leading the way for the first motor car of the parade. 

In the Toy Story motor car were Sheriff Woody, Buzz, and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. Note the car is Andy’s bed!
 


The second motor car was the Mary Poppins float with Mary and Bert … the Penguins were nearby, too. Yes, Mary and Bert are RIDING carousel horses while riding a car. Now that takes talent, folks.

The third motor car were The Muppets, with Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Sweetums. I had no idea Kermit and Miss Piggy were so, well, HUGE!

R2D2 came along next, making way for …

Princess Leia in her awesome land speeder-esque motor car.

We can’t forget old wheezy himself, Darth Vader! <insert Darth’s theme here>

Next we have the Huns …  Mulan must be nearby!

Mulan’s Motor Car in the old Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade — LOVE the lanterns!

Next up … harem girl dancers! Is she doing “The Swim” here? Hmm.

Aladdin and Jasmine in a giant Genie car!

Hercules and Megera wave to the crowds.

We can’t overlook Phil, who is preceded by his pleasantly plump belly!

Cue the villains! The Evil Queen is looking particularly feisty here.

Jafar and Frollo glare everyone down.

Hades gets his own hot rod, of course.

Anyone remember these guys? Yes, it’s a quiz! Reply to this post — let’s see who gets it first.

Dancers wearing the latest in … seaweed?

Ariel and Flounder … it’s a clammobile!

Ooh, another less familiar character. Anyone remember this guy?

The Playhouse Disney moto car with Bear and Stanley.

The Fairest Of Them All … Snow White! Dopey is riding shot gun, I see.

The grand finale … Mickey and Minnie, with Goofy as the chauffeur. Now THIS is a classy motor car.

And we cannot forget the motorcycle escort at the end.
 

Facts about the Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade

  • Run Dates: October 1, 2001 to March 8, 2008
  • Motor Cars: 15-18
  • Length: 25 minutes

 

Getting Disney Tickets From a Discount Ticket Seller: What You Need to Know

disney-discount-ticket-sellAs of March 31, 2014, everyone with a Disney park ticket can use MyDisneyExperience to book FastPass+ ride reservations in advance — yes, even off-site guests. You just need to have a valid, non-expired Disney pass (ticket) and link it to Disney’s MyDisneyExperience system via the web site or the app. This means it’s now a very good idea to purchase your park tickets at least 30 days in advance so you can book FastPass+. Sure, you can buy tickets directly from DisneyWorld.com and have them shipped to your home, but you can save money if you purchase tickets through a discount ticket seller. So let’s talk about that!

First, what is a discount ticket seller? These are businesses that resell Disney tickets to the public — they buy in bulk at a savings, and then pass that savings on to you. Some are considerably more reputable than others. The key is to identify the ones that are reputable, and then find the one that offers the best discount for your particular purchase. We list several that have passed our tests in PassPorter’s Walt Disney World guidebook on page 123, but there’s one in particular we recommend: MapleLeafTickets.com.

So why MapleLeafTickets.com? We’ve known MapleLeafTickets for many, many years — they are the oldest contracted discount ticket agent for Walt Disney World and we’ve purchased tickets from them in the past. MapleLeafTickets.com has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. They have an actual, physical office in Kissimmee (4647 W US Highway 192) that you can visit. And they are responsive — e-mails get answered quickly and completely. They sell real Walt Disney World tickets; not vouchers, e-tickets, or will-call tickets. You get “hard tickets” mailed to you that are just like the ones sold at Disney’s ticket booths — you take those tickets you receive right to the gate. They are RFID-enabled, too! Their tickets have the same benefits as those purchased at Disney and their numbers can be attached to your MyDisneyExperience account.

In fact, I wrote to MapleLeafTickets (as well as other ticket sellers) recently when the new pass prices came out and I got an answer within an hour. I was so impressed with this that I decided to work with them to offer some excellent park pass prices for PassPorter readers, which I’ve not ever done before in our 16-year history. At the time I am writing this article (April 2014), their prices save you 80-95% off full gate price, plus $1-2+ extra on several different pass options compared with other discount ticket sellers, especially on Magic Your Way base tickets without park hopping. For example, the lowest price I could find on a 3-day Magic Your Way base ticket (from the “secret link” folks talk about on our message boards) was $1.89 more than MapleLeafTickets special prices for PassPorter, while a 6-day was $2.18 more than MapleLeafTickets. It should be noted that MapleLeafTickets charges for their shipping, but it gets there quicker and you can always pick your order up free at their office.

That said, if you’re shopping around for discount tickets, here’s what you need to watch for:

  1. Is this a reputable business? Do you see the authorized Walt Disney World Ticker Seller logo on their site? (That indicates they are an authorized Disney ticket seller.)
  2. Are terms and policies spelled out up front? Look for a FAQ or Q&A link and read it first!
  3. How do you get your tickets? Are they shipped? Can you pick them up on arrival? You need the options that best meet your needs.

What do you want to avoid? Anyone offering free tickets — there’s no such thing, and you can be sure there’s a scam or timeshare hardsell involved.

So by now you’re wondering .. where are these great park ticket deals for PassPorter readers? I like to reward loyal readers, so first dibs go to our PassPorter’s Club passholders (see link) and to our PassPorter Newsletter subscribers. So if you’re not a Club passholder, make sure you’re subscribed to our free weekly newsletter and look for a link to begin apparing there this week! If you’re not currently subscribed to our newsletter and really really want to see those prices now, try asking on the message boards!

Let me know if you have other questions about buying and using tickets from a ticket seller!

PassPorter Pinning Contest

Like Pinterest? We love it! So we’re going to have a little fun with a little Pinterest contest so we can see who else enjoys Pinterest and hook up. We love to see your pins, too!

5/12 Update: I’m going through all the Pin boards now! If you want to be sure I see yours, leave a comment on this post. I’ll post the link to the winning board here on May 15 (Thursday).

5/14 Update: I’ve identified 165 pinboards entered into the contest!! That was considerably more than I first thought, and I’m concerned I’m overlooking some. Make sure your pinboard is being followed by PassPorter — this means we’ve found it!

5/15 Update: There’s a lot of great pinboards and it’s taking longer than anticipated to narrow them down to one. Hang in there — hope to have a winner by tomorrow!

5/17 Update: Whew, that was tough! But we have a winner — read about it here!

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow PassPorter on Pinterest
  2. Create a Pinterest board and name it “My PassPorter Disney Plans”
  3. Fill it with at least 10 Disney trip planning photos – a minimum of three must be repins from PassPorter’s Pinterest boards. Think trip planning — where will you stay, what parks will you go to, where will you eat?
  4. Tag all the pins on your board with #passporter
  5. When you’re done, repin the following “PassPorter Disney Plans” contest pin:

passporter-pinterestcontest

Prize

The pinner who makes the most creative, engaging, and MAGICAL board for their Disney trip will receive a PassPorter PassPack filled with a Deluxe PassPorter of their choice, two PassHolder Pouches, some extra PassPockets, a PassPorter Pin, and a $50 gift certificate in case there’s more you want that we didn’t include!

Announcing the Winner

Winners will be judged by MediaMarx, Inc. on criteria including originality, creativity and adherence to the rules. Please have your pinboard ready by May 10, 2014. Winners will be contacted on May 15, 2014. Winners will be promoted on the PassPorter web site and social media channels.

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