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As of January 1, 2019, we have closed our forums. This is a decision we did not come to lightly, but it is necessary. The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk. The server software itself must be updated, and it cannot be without removing the forums.

So it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our long-running forums. They came online in 2000 and brought together so many wonderful Disney fans. We had friendships form, careers launch, couples marry, children born ... all because of this amazing community.

Thank you to each of you who were a part of this community. You made it possible.

And a very special thank you to our Guides (moderators), past and present, who kept our forums a happy place to be. You are the glue that held everything together, and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you aliceinwdw, Caldercup, MrsM, WillCAD, Fortissimo, GingerJ, HiddenMickey, CRCrazy, Eeyoresmom, disneyknut, disneydani, Cam22, chezp, WDWfan, Luvsun, KMB733, rescuesk, OhToodles!, Colexis Mom, lfredsbo, HiddenMickey, DrDolphin, DopeyGirl, duck addict, Disneybine, PixieMichele, Sandra Bostwick, Eeyore Tattoo, DyanKJ130, Suzy Q'Disney, LilMarcieMouse, AllisonG, Belle*, Chrissi, Brant, DawnDenise, Crystalloubear, Disneymom9092, FanOfMickey, Goofy4Goofy, GoofyMom, Home4us123, iamgrumpy, ilovedisney247, Jennifer2003, Jenny Pooh, KrisLuvsDisney, Ladyt, Laughaholic88, LauraBelle Hime, Lilianna, LizardCop, Loobyoxlip, lukeandbrooksmom, marisag, michnash, MickeyMAC, OffKilter_Lynn, PamelaK, Poor_Eeyore, ripkensnana, RobDVC, SHEANA1226, Shell of the South, snoozin, Statelady01, Tara O'Hara, tigger22, Tink and Co., Tinkerbelz, WDWJAMBA, wdwlovers, Wendyismyname, whoSEZ, WildforWD, and WvuGrrrl. You made the magic.

We want to personally thank Sara Varney, who coordinated our community for many years (among so many other things she did for us), and Cheryl Pendry, our Message Board Manager who helped train our Guides, and Ginger Jabour, who helped us with the PassPorter-specific forums and Live! Guides. Thank you for your time, energy, and enthusiasm​. You made it all happen.

There are other changes as well.

Why? Well, the world has changed. And change with it, we must. The lyrics to "We Go On" for IllumiNations say it best:

We go on to the joy and through the tears
We go on to discover new frontiers
Moving on with the current of the years.
We go on
Moving forward now as one
Moving on with a spirit born to run
Ever on with each rising sun.
To a new day, we go on.

It's time to move on and move forward.

PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.

But eventually, we must move on and move forward. It is the right thing to do.

So we are retiring this newsletter, as we simply cannot keep up with it. Many thanks to Mouse Fan Travel who supported it all these years, to All Ears and MousePlanet who helped us with news, to our many article contributors, and -- most importantly -- to Sara Varney who edited our newsletter so wonderfully for years and years.

And we are no longer charging for the Live Guides. If you have a subscription, it's yours to keep for the lifetime of the Live Guides at no additional cost. The Live Guides will stay online, barring server issues and technical problems, for all of 2019.

That said, PassPorter is not going away. Most of the resources will remain online for as long as we can support them, and after that we will find ways to make whatever we can available. PassPorter means a great deal to us, and to many of you, and we will do our best to keep it alive in whatever way we can. Our server costs are high, and they'll need to come out of our pockets, so in the future you can expect some changes so we can bring those costs down.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing support over the years. Without you, there's no way us little guys could have made something like this happen and given the "big guys" a run for their money. PassPorter was consistently the #3 guidebook after the Unofficial and Official guides, which was really unheard of for such a small company to do. We ROCKED it thanks to you and your support and love!

If you miss us, you can still find some of us online. Sara started a new blog at DisneyParkPrincess.com -- I strongly urge you to visit and get on her mailing list. She IS the Disney park princess and knows Disney backward and forward. And I am blogging as well at JenniferMaker.com, which is a little craft blog I started a couple of years ago to make ends meet. You can see and hear me in my craft show at https://www.youtube.com/c/jennifermaker . Many PassPorter readers and fans are on Facebook, in groups they formed like the PassPorter Trip Reports and PassPorter Crafting Challenge (if you join, just let them know you read about it in the newsletter). And some of our most devoted community members started a forum of their own at Pixie Dust Lane and all are invited over.

So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!

Best wishes for a wonderful and magical new year!

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Old 08-09-2005, 11:43 AM   #1
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A Cruise to \"Wish\" For

by Jennifer Maxwell, Guest Columnist

No question about it, Walt Disney World is a magical place! From the charm of Epcot’s World Showcase to the imagination of the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, magic abounds in Florida’s most enchanting forty seven square miles. So many "can’t miss" experiences, so little time.

Ranked high among these events is the Magic Kingdom’s jewel, Wishes, the nightly fireworks spectacular bursting over Cinderella’s castle. The thrill of standing in front of the castle watching the rockets explode and shimmer can make you feel like you and your family is the only one in the world sharing this awe-inspiring display. But what if you really could be together for a “private” viewing of this beloved show? You can!

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Old 08-09-2005, 11:46 AM   #2
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Re: A Cruise to \"Wish\" For

The Wishes Fireworks Cruise is a way to explore Walt Disney World’s Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon, learn Disney trivia, and enjoy a front seat to the nightly Electrical Water Pageant and Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. Add dinner at one of the Magic Kingdom resorts and you have an evening guaranteed to charm every member of your family!

The cruise is available at any of the Magic Kingdom Resorts: The Grand Floridian, Polynesian Resort, Contemporary Resort and Wilderness Lodge. Your experience starts at the resort’s marina approximately forty-five minutes before Wishes begins. Your guide will meet you and escort you to one of the marina’s many pontoon boats, each with a capacity of eleven passengers. As your boat moves out onto the dark waters, the guide will regale you with trivia about the many sights around Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon. Our family’s most recent Fireworks cruise followed an animated dinner at Wilderness Lodge’s Whispering Canyon Café, and began with a cruise across Bay Lake to see the old River Country water park, the shoes hanging from the tree across from Fort Wilderness, and bird speckled Discovery Island. Once this tour was complete, we were treated to a breathtaking view of Wilderness Lodge with its “hidden bear” image, lights sparkling in the darkness.

The next event you will experience on your cruise is the Electrical Water Pageant. Your guide will turn the boat around for the best vantage point and you simply sit back and watch as music fills the air and lights dance on the water. Children and adults will be enchanted as you begin to recognize some of your favorite Disney songs accompanying an electrified sea serpent, leaping dolphins, an octopus, and so much more. The grand finale of stirring music and sparkling American flags is also a sight to behold!

Once the Electrical Water Pageant moves on (it cruises around to every resort on Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon), it’s time to cross the water bridge near the Contemporary Resort into Seven Seas Lagoon. Seeing the beautiful Magic Kingdom resorts from your own private sea vessel is delightful. However, as enchanting as The Grand Floridian, Wedding Pavilion, Polynesian and Contemporary all may be, the view of the Magic Kingdom itself will take your breath away.

Stopping in front of the park, you will have a view of the castle as its captivating color transformations take place. You will see the monorail glide effortlessly up to the park and then just as effortlessly depart. You can discover just how large the park is, as your guide may point out Splash Mountain and you can measure all the way across the park to Space Mountain. And then? The headliner of the evening begins!

Music swirls up from the park and is echoed by some of the boats floating around you in the lagoon. The lights darken in the Magic Kingdom and Jiminy Cricket’s voice is heard over all else. The first shimmering firework sails into the air and cascades down over the castle. Wishes has begun.

And the view! You’ll see details you may have never noticed from your observations inside the park. There is the “frowny” face created by the fireworks as the Evil Queen beseeches Evil to show its face. There is the castle lit with a blue cone shape decorated with white stars and moons as the music changes to the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. You’ll see Tinker Bell’s flight as you’ve never seen it before. All this is spread before you, a true feast for the eyes. It is a spectacular that you’ll share with tens of thousands of people, yet feels as though it exists only for you.

The finale is followed by a trip around the Lagoon, back to the marina. No crowds, no lines, no monorail, just a simple private cruise back to the resort. It caps a perfect memory you are able to share together.

A Wishes Fireworks Cruise is as easy to arrange as any other recreation Advance Reservation. Call 1-407-WDW-PLAY (1-407-939-7529) as far out as 90 days in advance to book your own cruise. The current cost is $150.00, and this includes up to eleven people. But it doesn’t stop here. For an additional cost, you can book a birthday cruise, which includes balloons and a birthday cake. You can also add anything from a simple collection of beverages to chocolate covered strawberries all the way up to a full meal. Check with WDW-PLAY for options, they’re happy to help you!

Since our family’s first Wishes Fireworks Cruise – a surprise from my husband – we’ve made it an essential part of every vacation to share as a family and with friends. I can say this for certain: whether you are celebrating a special occasion or just being at the Happiest Place on Earth, a Wishes Fireworks Cruise is a wonderful and unique way to make your celebration even more memorable!

Editor's Note: The phone number to reserve a Wishes Cruise was printed incorrectly in the recent edition of PassPorter News. The correct number is 407-WDW-PLAY (407) 939-7529. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.
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