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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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!
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We recently stayed at the Treehouse Villas at SSR. This resort is huge!
I can really only review the Treehouse villa since we didn't really spend any time at the main resort. These treehouse villas were very cool! 3 BR (1 with bunk beds), 2 baths, LR, DR, Kitchen, laundry,deck, fold out sleep sofa (full size)and fold out sleep chair (twin bed size), large dining room table, flat screen TVs in the LR and each bedroom.
These treehouses are in the woods - with all that that entails. While we didn't have a huge problem with bugs, we did get a few mosquito bites from sitting outside on the deck at night.
The treehouses are secluded from each other although not far from each other - it's just that there are trees surrounding them so you really can't see your neighbors. It was very quiet - all we could hear were the crickets LOL!
Transportation was the biggest hurdle for us. The treehouses have their own bus route that takes you from the 2 bus stops within the treehouse area to the main resort. You then have to get off that bus and get onto the main resort bus to get to the parks. The main resort buses have 5 different stops so if you happen to get on at the first stop, you'll have 4 other stops on your way to the park. We found that the springs stop worked best for us. The buses were timely and it really only added about 20 minutes to the total travel time so it wasn't a huge deal for us. The bigger problem was getting drinks or snack or going to the gift shop to pick up packages. Again, if you are at the treehouse and need something from the food court (very tiny) or gift store (just as tiny) it's a schlep onto the treehouse bus to the main resort. It is walkable - but about a 1/2 walk there and another 1/2 hour back. We stayed in treehouse 7009 which was right at the North bus stop so that was very convenient. If we had been halfway around the circle it would have been a bit of a walk to get to one of the 2 treehouse bus stops.
The service at the resort was terrific - there was one night when we returned later at night and the buses to the treehouses were done running. We called the main resort (there's a phone at each bus stop) and they gladly sent over a golf cart to take us back to the treehouse.
We didn't get any towel animals but they did make nice fans for us with our BR towels - but I did miss the animals .
We only ate at the food court once but we found it quite small for such a large resort. But considering the resort is so spread out and most of the room have some sort of kitchen, it probably doesn't get too busy except at peak meal times. A note to parents of finicky eaters:the menu is definitely more upscale than the usual burgers and hot dogs. Had I been there with my kids 15 years ago - they'd have starved!
The main pool is located at the Springs building - the same place as the food court and gift store. Very nice. We went only once but we were there til close to midnight and there were still lifeguards on duty. But let me tell you - the bus ride back to the treehouses are FREEZING when you're wet! The treehouse area had it's own pool - nothing fancy but very quiet, although a little buggy.
All in all it was a lovely stay but I'm not sure I'd stay there again. I love the Disney theming and there is very little of that at the SSR. When I'm in WDW I want to KNOW I'm at WDW! But if you are looking for a more sophisticated place to stay, then you can't go wrong with SSR - and if you want a secluded, outdoorsy stay - try the treehouses.
Hope this helps!
This was a last minute trip and the only room available. We are DVC members and stayed on points in a one bedroom suite. Value as far as DVC points go is good and cash prices for a deluxe level resort is also manageable. Over all, if I had to stay here again, I would, but it would always be my last choice. This trip was December 9 - 13 2012
The positives first: I requested a room near the main building Carriage House, and even though our room was not ready when we arrived, which was fine because we were early, I was able to get my request. I like the first floor, which I did not ask for, but was also given to me, I am guessing based on my reasons for requesting to be near the main building.
The view is wonderful! We could see the balloon from DTD and some of the golf course. Very peaceful!
The pools were very clean, even though we did not swim, it was nice to see they were open and kept up.
We had one drink in the lounge. The lounge was bright and comfortable. The staff was very pleasant. I liked that there was a pool table in there for people who might care to use it.
The negatives: I am not a fan of this store. Very limited choices. Artist Palette had good selections, but we opted to buy a loaf of bread and some packaged turkey and make our own sandwiches since nothing appealed to me on the evening we planned on eating there.
Our room was clean, but had that 'funky' musty smell in the rug.
The jetted tub did not work. When I called maintenance, they said someone would call back in a couple minutes. Over an hour later - after I finally decided to give up waiting for the phone call - a maintenance man showed up at my door. (Yeah, while I was in the towel after just getting out of the shower!) When I asked if he could come back in an hour so I could get dressed, he told me he would come back sometime after lunch. It was only 10:30 in the morning. We left our room and when we returned several hours later, the motor was running on the tub which was empty. The noise was horrible! I called maintenance again and they said someone would be right here. After thirty minutes I gave up and went looking for the manager. Someone did come and got the tub sort of working, but it still wasn't fixed. On the bright side the noise had stopped!
Day four with DVC you are supposed to get towel and trash service. We did not get our towels replaced or our trash emptied. I did talk to someone and as of 8:20 pm, they still have not taken care of this problem.
I sent DVC an email with my concerns and got a call back from them. I was told the manager was on his way to my room. Instead of the manager, I got a phone call from Engineering wanting to come fix the tub. The manager never showed up!
I heard scratching at the door, which creeped me out. I thought it might be the manager, but thought it weird he would scratch and not knock. It was not someone that was supposed to be there. Pushed through the door was a flyer for pizza delivery.
We went to the front desk to have our boarding passes printed. The clerk (can't even call her a CM!) was just shy of rude! Apparently we were a bother to her! She printed our passes, and I then asked her if solicitation was allowed on property. She said "No", and I explained about the flyer and gave it to her. I also explained how distressing it was for me. She didn't care. She put the flyer aside and glared at us like she couldn't get rid of us fast enough.
Now I know I should have asked for the manager again, but honestly, I came here to relax. This was not relaxing!
Buses: average wait times, but long loops through the resort make riding the buses extra long!
Over all I give the resort a 5/10. The staff was pleasant with the exception of the concierge girl who was obviously not liking her job and her 'attitude' came through loud and clear!
The room was clean, but the musty smell was kind of gross. It did clear up after we opened the doors for a bit.
Nice Pools, good family areas.
Too spread out. Bus rides way too long.
Good resort if you have a car.
Over all not happy with the "customer service". If you tell me someone will call, have them call. If you tell me someone is coming to my room, have them come to my room. And if you do not like your job, please take the day off or get another job!
UPDATED: We ate at Artist Palette on our last day. We were disappointed that the Turf Club is no longer open for lunch. Sadly I was very disappointed in the food at the Artist Palette. DH and I both got sandwiches that tasted like they had been made earlier in the week and stored and were a bit 'stale'. Hopefully SS is a bit nicer place to stay in the Peak Seasons.
Last edited by tinker_me_happy; 12-14-2012 at 10:57 AM..
SS&S is my home resort. However, we try to stay in all other DVC resorts as available. This year we tried to stay at the Boardwalk to no avail. SS&S is a very nice place. I requested a room near the Carriage House and a bus stop. We received both requests. Never waited more that 20 minutes for a bus to our destination.
Dinning at the Turf Club was very nice, the service was very good and the food was better than average. Dinning at the Artist's Palette was better than expected. The salads where very good.
The resort was neat and clean. The staff was friendly and very helpful. Our room was clean and very comfortable. Everything worked. We enjoyed the little time we spent in the room.
Transportation to and from the Carriage House and our building, at first was looking like a hike until we talked to a bus driver who told us that the park buses ran one way and the Down Town Disney bus runs the opposite way. The front desk cast members should tell guests about this. That was a great piece of information especially at night. In any case ask for yourself to be sure.
We will gladly stay here again.
SSR is our Home resort but we've only stayed there a few times. The main reason is really the size of the rooms...small for our family of 5. We have stayed at BCV, AKV-both of them, BWV and OKW. I am not a fan of AKV...I love the animals but it is quite a far trip from everything and the lighting is so dark...drives me nuts. I like BCV and BWV for the location and the theming but the 1 BRs don't sleep 5 so that's a no go for us most of our trips. OkW is our favorite. Huge rooms and I love the ambiance. Drawbacks here for me are the pool is just meh and the CS offerings are pretty pathetic. I am not someone who wants to cook on my vacation! But the positives outweigh the negatives and we have many times traveled to SSR for the zero entry pool which is great for our daughter and an expanded lunch selection.
We were lucky to borrow points from my father in law to stay here. Really enjoyed our week long stay. The resort is very pretty - and very spread out. We did not have our own car, and like others have said, it would have been nice to have had it. That said, I did request we stay in the Grand Stand section and luckily we were in that section. Our building was right outside of the quiet pool and it was nice to enjoy that in the evenings after the parks, a great wind down to the day. The quiet pool even had a jacuzzi hot tub which felt great on sore muscles. We had a 1br villa, and it was really wonderful. The pull out sofa bed was enjoyed by our 13 yr old son and he said it was very comfortable. Our room overlooked the parking lot, however we weren't in the room alot for that to be an issue. The Artist's Palette food court was nice, however they should have more choices food-wise. We missed the variety that we were used to from staying at POFQ in the past. The store was a bit small for our taste as well, but adequate. All in all, we really enjoyed this resort and would stay here again if we have the chance.