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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 79 articles so far, you can find them below.


Which Disney Princess or Prince Are You Most Like? Take Our Quiz!

DisneyPrincessQuizOur 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 Princess or Prince 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?

SnowWhite

Which Disney Princess or Prince Are You? Let us know who you get by replying here or on Facebook!

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. Subscribe and save 15% off the magazine’s cover price at celebrationspress.com.

 

Disney Bound as Tinker Bell: My Dream Trip Outfit

It’s going to be chilly this week in Florida for my Disney road trip, so I put together a Florida-friendly warm outfit — that means it’s layered! I was inspired by the Disney Bound trend of using fashionable, non-costume clothing to represent your favorite Disney character — and mine is Tinker Bell. Yes, I’m a little eccentric and quirky … what do you expect for a Disney geek like me? It leans way toward comfortable than fashionable, but hey, that’s what I like!

Details on my Disney Bound: 

Coat — I made this coat myself from upcycled cashmere sweaters, a la Katwise! I added a linen circle underskirt for fun. See my tutorial on how to make this.

Hat — A simple newsboy hat from the same green linen as the underskirt!

Outfit — I’m wearing my green Lands End PassPorter shirt, paired with a pretty green linen circle skirt that matches the hat — super twirly and comfy.

Sneakers — Just simple green canvas shoes from Target. I’m not a shoe girl.

Accessories — A Tinker Bell cover band on my pink MagicBand (see my tutorial) and a pretty pink felt flower hair clip. I’m not a jewelry girl, either.

Bag — Ah, I wish I had this one! But sadly, I do not own it and it’s sold out at the Disney Store. I am seriously considering picking one up a different one on my trip, though. Stay tuned!

Don’t forget to follow me on my Great American Disney Road Trip!

Follow Along On Our Disney Road Trip (+ 7 Tips for Packing for Road Trips)

Goodbye, snow — hello, sunshine!
It’s time for mid-winter break and we’re escaping the frozen tundra of Michigan for instant spring in Florida and the Bahamas. Follow along as we take a Great American Road Trip to the south, stopping along the way at Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and visiting Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, LEGOLAND, and Kennedy Space Center. Then we’ll give our car a rest as we board the Disney Dream for a 4-night Bahamas cruise before heading back north.

Here’s our current schedule for those interested:

  • 2/14 – Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
  • 2/16 – Animal Kingdom Lodge and Magic Kingdom
  • 2/17 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios and a little PassPorter Meet in the evening (8:30 pm @ The Mara @ Animal Kingdom Lodge — all are welcome and I’ll have PassPorter Pal pins to hand out)
  • 2/18 – Epcot
  • 2/19 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom & check-in at Cabana Bay Resort
  • 2/20 – Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure
  • 2/21 – LEGOLAND
  • 2/22 – Kennedy Space Center
  • 2/23 – Disney Dream 4-night cruise

Follow Along On Our Disney Road Trip

You can follow along on our adventures the whole way! We’ll be posting and tweeting updates, photos, and videos as we go with our fancy new wi-fi enabled camera, sharing all the cool and new things we discover. We’ll even do our best to take requests for photos or videos if you post it there or message us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Here are the links to our various posts and streams:

2/13Disney Bound as Tinker Bell: My Road Trip Outfit

PassPorter’s Facebook and Jennifer Marx’s Facebook

PassPorter’s Instagram – http://instagram.com/passporterguides

PassPorter’s YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/PassPorterGuides

PassPorter’s Twitter - https://twitter.com/passporterbooks

PassPorter Photo Archive – http://www.passporter.com/photos

Here is our Instagram feed to get you started:

Top 7 Tips for Packing for a Road Trip

Here are the seven must-have things I recommend packing for an epic road trip:

1. Music – Make a play list of music, podcasts, and audiobooks on your phone or iPod to listen to when you go through boring radio station zones. One of my all-time favorite set of songs for a Disney road trip is the Cars album. Life is a Highway!

2. Snacks – Visit the grocery store and get yummy, healthy snacks and drinks at decent prices in advance rather than rely on the junk you find in gas stations. Plus, then you have it when you need it. Oh, and I recommend clear liquids for the kids. Alexander does still spill his drinks from time to time!

3. Maps – Map out your route in advance on your phone or GPS. But don’t rely on just your phone or GPS. I still print out a simple route from Google Maps and stash it in my car, just in case I have bad reception or a phone that I forgot to charge.

4. Power – Make sure you’ve got enough chargers in your phone to keep all your devices charged while you’re driving, and make sure you test them before you leave! I also like to have a battery converter in my car in case I need to charge things like laptops or Nintendo DSs.

5. Entertainment – When Alexander was young, I had to focus more on keeping him entertained. I used a combination of paper-based activities, movies, and games that we played in the car. These days, as a road-hardened traveler, he pretty much entertains himself either on the iPad or just by looking out the window. I am helping things out, however, by downloading a couple of movies to my iPad. I’m also making him a Disney Surprise Bag with little activities and other things he likes, and he’ll earn them as we drive along to give him something to look forward to.

6. Luggage – I like to pack my stuff for a road trip the same way I pack for a flight , using regular wheeled suitcases that hold the things I really need. That’s because it makes it a lot easier to get in and out of hotels. And on this trip, I’ll be staying in seven different hotels, so it’s important that I can move in and out without a lot of fuss. Avoid the temptation to just use your car as some sort of big suitcase! I make two exceptions to this rule: The first is that I always pack blankets and pillows in the car — they are so nice to have on a road trip and you can just leave them in the car. The second is I like to have a separate overnight bag just for those motel stays during the trip — something I can grab quickly when I have to stop at night to sleep and help a sleepy kid navigate into the room.

7. Emergency Kit – Always take a road emergency kit with you, just in case. In addition to the usual car stuff, I also add in a first aid kit and cleaning supplies (trash bags and disinfectant wipes, because, spills!) I also recommend a roadside assistance service. I love AAA. I’ve been a member for something like 20 years now and it’s so worth it to me because I inevitably need a few jumpstarts each year after we left a door open. And AAA will help when you’re driving a rental, too. Some rental companies offer roadside assistance, too.

And don’t forget — pack the car the day before you leave. It is much less stressful and it’s fun to just wake up, take a shower, and hop in the car for your adventure.

 

Remember, if you have requests for photos or videos on our trip, let us know!

Disney Cruise Line Changes Some Payment Due Deadlines and Cancellation Penalties

Disney Cruise Line’s already complex deposit, full payment due, and cancellation penalty dates have changed for some cruises and stateroom categories. Non-concierge staterooms are affected in two areas: 6-9 day cruises begin and/or end at US ports, and 1-9 night cruises (that originate/end in US ports) that include certain major holidays (New Years Day, July 4, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day). Concierge staterooms on 1-9 day bookings beginning and/or ending at US ports will see changes to the dates at which certain cancelation penalties kick in. These changes will affect new cruises booked on or after March 3, 2015, as well as for bookings for which the sail date is changed or has been reinstated. All other cruises and categories are unchanged. Altogether, we think you’ll need a chart to keep it all straight.
Categories
Dura-tion
Sea-son
Begin/
End
Final Payment Due
Cancel – Deposit Lost
Cancel – 50% Lost
Cancel – 75% Lost
Cancel – 100% Lost
Old
New
Old
New
Old
New
Old
New
Old
New
Non-Concierge
1-5
Reg-ular
US
75
75
74-45
74-45
44-30
44-30
29-15
29-15
14-0
14-0
Non-Concierge
1-5
Holi-day
US
75
90
74-45
89-65
44-30
64-43
29-15
42-15
14-0
14-0
Non-Concierge
6-9
Reg-ular
US
75
90
74-45
89-56
44-30
55-30
29-15
29-15
14-0
14-0
Non-Concierge
6-9
Holi-day
US
75
105
74-45
104-75
44-30
74-43
29-15
42-15
14-0
14-0
Non-Concierge
10+
All
US
120
120
119-56
119-56
55-30
55-30
29-15
29-15
14-0
14-0
Non-Concierge
All
All
Non-US
120
120
119-56
119-56
55-30
55-30
29-15
29-15
14-0
14-0
Concierge
1-5
All
US
90
90
always
always
44-30
89-56
29-15
55-30
14-0
29-0
Concierge
6-9
All
US
90
90
always
always
44-30
89-56
29-15
55-30
14-0
29-0
Concierge
10+
All
US
150
150
always
always
55-30
89-56
29-15
55-30
14-0
29-0
Concierge
All
All
Non-US
150
150
always
always
55-30
89-56
29-15
55-30
14-0
29-0
Notes:
All deadlines refer to the number of days prior to sailing. “Non-US” refers to cruises that both begin and end in a non-US port.

How Well Do You Know Walt Disney? Take Our Quiz and Find Out!

So how well do you really know Walt Disney? Our friends at Celebrations magazine are sharing their great quizzes with PassPorter fans. Here’s a new quiz by Jennifer Bright Reich that quizzes you on how well you know the man behind the mouse, Walt Disney. Try it and see how you do!

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

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

walt-disney-quiz

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. Tip: Subscribe and save 15% off the magazine’s cover price at http://www.celebrationspress.com

Disney Cruise Line Q&A: Passports, Port Hotels, and Rental Car Shuttles

Today a reader asked me some basic Disney Cruise Line questions, so I’m answering them on the blog for everyone:

Hi ,I have a few questions Id like to see if you can help me with. Firstly- can you do a 3 day cruise with Disney to Bahamas without having to obtain a passport for it- (Expensive for a one time 3 day trip) also, we are considering leaving one evening ,flying to Orlando,renting a car, driving to Port Canaveral to save on transfer fees and staying a t nearest hotel to terminal (any recommendations???) then like to return car next morning but need ride to terminal- do rental companies nearby there pick up? When return to Pt Canaveral we will do one way transfers as we will be heading to WDW for a week. I appreciate any help and insight you can give me.

Let’s break this down.

Question: Can you do a 3-night cruise to the Bahamas without a passport?

Answer: Yes, in most cases you can do a Disney cruise to the Bahamas if you’re a U.S. citizen without a passport. U.S. citizens traveling to the Bahamas by sea (not air) can use a valid U.S. passport or passport card, a valid Trusted Traveler Card, or a government issued photo ID along with a state-issued birth certificate. I just double-checked this on the DisneyCruise.com web site, too.

Question: Do you have any recommendations for a hotel near the Port Canaveral terminal?

Answer: I’ve stayed in a bunch of hotels: Radisson Resort, Cocoa Beach Suites (formerly Quality Suites), Motel 6, Residence Inn, Holiday Inn Club Vacations (formerly Ron Jon Cape Caribe), etc. They were all fine for what they are — a place to sleep the night before. I’ve got them all detailed in the PassPorter’s Disney Cruise guidebook. I may stay in one again this February. I recommend you pick the one that fits your budget — you probably won’t spend much time there.

Question: Do any rental car companies in Port Canaveral give rides to the cruise terminal?

Answer: Yes indeed. Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, and Thrifty all have complimentary shuttles from the offices to the terminal. I recommend you shop around for a good rate with one of them, and then call to confirm that their shuttle details. I just double-checked with Avis, and sure enough they still have their complimentary shuttle service and no advance reservations are required for it — you can read the details here: http://www.aviscapecanaveral.com/shuttle.php

I’m greatly looking forward to my visit to Port Canaveral in just a little over a month!

How Well Do You Know the Most Decorated Place on Earth? (Walt Disney World!)

Ready for a Disney holiday quiz? Our friends at Celebrations magazine are sharing their great quizzes with PassPorter fans. Here’s a fun holiday quiz by Jennifer Bright Reich that quizzes you on how well you know all the ins and outs of the amazing holiday decorations at Walt Disney World! Like our Animal Kingdom quiz last time, this quiz is packed full of trivia, from knowing the height of the tallest holiday tree to knowing how the Dream Lights are attached to Cinderella Castle. Try it and see how you do!

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

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

holidayquiz

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 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.

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