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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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You’re Driving Straight Through? No Thanks…I’ll Stay Home
Hello and Welcome to my latest Trip Report! I am sure most of you already know me.
I am Jen, Mom to Claire (and 2 others who are adults) and wife to Skip.
This one is about our Thanksgiving Trip to the Big Apple!
So let me give you a bit of background……and a quick lowdown.
Last Spring, my family had talked about doing another family trip. We had all cruised on the Fantasy in Oct. of 2016. The year before, we had all gone to NYC for Thanksgiving. We always have a great time when we do these family trips and the kids just love it.
There was talk about going to Hawaii for my parents 50th Anniversary in the Spring of 2018, but my mom could not get any time at her time share for Hawaii and that was thrown out the window. My one sisters had said no to many options and I assumed nothing was going to happen…….but my other sister kept pushing for it.
I found out in May that the family was now planning a NYC trip for Thanksgiving this year. I swear they sometimes make plans as a secret and spring it on me….and it drives me nuts!!!! They said they were going a day early this year…and they were going to drive once again. This time straight through!!!! I immediately said no. I get anxiety and last time we drove we made a stop overnight going and one overnight coming back. The van was too crowded and I still had anxiety issues even with doing the drive broken up in to 2 days each way. There was no way I could handle going straight through.
They asked if Claire could come with them, and I said she could.
Now months go by and I am asked every so often if I will be going and I keep saying no. It’s a big deal breaker for me to drive that long in a crowded van. We had 11 people that went last time. We had a 12 passenger van. There was 1 empty seat and I had wanted to have it next to me, but I was vetoed that choice. I had a real rough time coming home and thank goodness we had one of those vans that are taller than normal because I actually stood a good portion of the ride home.
My Aunt offered to pay for my flight if I wanted to go. Now I felt bad and said no, but she kept after it and finally I said yes.
Good thing too! They ended up not being able to get the same van type of van this time around like before. It was one where they had to take seats out of the back to make room for luggage and they had the shorter roof.
I never saw the van till they loaded up to head home, but just looking at it made my heart putter. My one sister literally had to get in and they locked her in with luggage. I had an anxiety attach just looking at that!
This trip consists of Claire and I, My sister Gail, her husband Rob, and their kids, Alexis and Abby, My sister Amanda, My mom, & My Aunt Mary and Uncle Geoff.
If you read my report about NYC from 2015, you will know my Dad made the decision to go at the last minute and of course it put a kink in some things. My mom told him that if he said no, there was absolutely no way he could be added (and if you read my report from our cruise in 2016, you know he did not come and he had a real rough time with Mom being gone).
So Dad made his decision of not coming and Mom, Claire and I were going to room together.
I watched flights and actually got a round trip flight for a decent price, especially with it being Thanksgiving week.
I had a work trip the week before this one and I had the option to stay longer, but once this NYC trip was decided, I decided to not extend my work trip. I was bummed about that as there were more activities I could have done and many of my friends were staying a few more nights…..but I knew I had to come home for a few days and give my husband some time.
And that leads us up to this trip! I came home from my work trip on Friday, Nov. 17. I unpacked, started that laundry and then started packing once again….of course, this time for cold temps.
Our NYC Trip was Tuesday, Nov. 21 to Saturday, Nov. 25.
Join me in my latest adventure in New York City!!!!!
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In the meantime, Dad picked me up. I was just going to take a carryon and send the rest of my stuff with Claire, but since they had so little room, I checked my bag. My sister thought I should have taken Claire’s bag too, but there was no way I could have handled my carryon and checked bag, plus one more.
Dad told me he was already regretting his decision not to go. He even admitted that from now on he will say yes and then if he can’t go, then he won’t…but we all know…he will go.
He dropped me off at the Delta terminal and I said good bye!
I was early, so I didn’t rush in. I have TSA precheck as well, so I typically get through the lines fairly fast.
Once I made my way in I looked around a bit and the terminal was already decorated for the holidays.
I got some McDonald’s to eat and then sat down and set up my laptop and got ahead on some work till it was closer to my boarding time. I don’t fly Delta a whole lot and I never understand how the loading zones works….except that I am never in the first one.
Finally I boarded and got settled in. It’s been a few years since I flew Delta, and it was nice to see the screens on the back of the seats and that they had plugs for charging devices. I wish all planes had this!
Now my Uncle Geoff used to travel to New York all the time for business. He gave me the low down basically. He told me to fly into LaGuardia. He said really the best way to get to our hotel was a taxi. I had read also on other reviews not to use Uber from the airport. I looked at some shared shuttles just to price compare, but the extra time made them not worth it for me.
We were staying at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. A taxi with tip is roughly $50-$55 each way.
I gathered my bag and this is the first airport I have ever been to where they check your bag number against your claim ticket. Maybe this is true for all busy airports, but I have never run into that before. Good thing I had it easily available.
The weather wasn’t too horrible. It could have been worse. I think they were having an unseasonably warm day if I remember right.
I got in the taxi line and waited for my turn and then headed off to the Marriott.
As we got into Manhattan I started clicking my camera…but most shots were pretty bad!
I got my things and paid my driver and headed inside. The lobby is not on the main floor and you have to go up to get to it, so I punched in my floor request and it gave me the elevator I was to use to get there.
I got in line then to check in. Of course my room was not ready. There seemed to be some confusion. Geoff has stayed here many many times. He knows people that work here. He put in the request for my room to be ready, but they said it wasn’t. Yet they told me everyone else is already checked in. Um no….they are in Pennsylvania somewhere right now. Geoff said he did not do online check in either. So sadly, I had to store my bags for now. They put in a “rush” to get my room ready….and that didn’t do anything either. Geoff told me later, I should have asked to just get one of the other rooms to put my things in. Of course we didn’t think of it at that time.
I walked around a bit and my feet were killing me. I had on these short cowboy boots that are normally comfy, but after walking a bit I was already forming a blister on the ball of my foot. I decided to go in and check if my room was ready.
No such luck. I went to the luggage storage area and asked if I could change my shoes….they let me in the room and I found my bag and made the exchange. Go Walks! Much better!
I headed up to the perks club room then. I was hoping for a snack to tie me over. Unfortunately they weren’t putting out the hot stuff yet for another hour or so. I grabbed 2 small cottage cheeses and a drink.
Well time was going fast and I was meeting up with 2 friends tonight to see a show! Both are former co-workers and live in the area….somewhat. Nikki and Brook! Now if you read my last report about my trip to Ft. Lauderdale…you will have noticed Brook was there as well.
Nikki belongs to some website where they offer discounted show tickets closer to the date. She had messaged Brook and I last week while we were in Ft. L and gave us some choices. Avenue Q was the winner. It’s a show that also uses puppets….that look like muppets….but it is adult content. After seeing it, I don’t think I would bring Claire to see it yet either and she can handle quite a bit….but just a bit too much adult content for her yet.
So I walked around some more as I waited for Nikki to text me to let me know she was in the city and then to park at a garage.
Nikki couldn’t find the Marriott, so I walked out and found her right away. If you don’t know where to go, it can be a little hard to find.
We were both starving now so we decided to find a place to eat. There is basically an Irish Pub on every corner of Times Square. We settled on one that didn’t look busy and went in. O’Lunney’s Times Square Pub.
We chatted and had a nice time. We finished and paid our bills and headed out. Brook was now on her way into town and we were going to go meet up with her. Brook broke her foot months ago and it has been a very slow process healing so she was going to try and get off the subway very close to the show so she wouldn’t have to walk so much.
Another text from the family…..they are getting close.
Sadly the seats are teeny tiny for this bootie of mine and I felt squashed and had major restless legs going. I think it was also still lack of sleep from the trip last week….but I felt squirmy!
However the show was great and we really enjoyed it. We were shocked at some young kids in the row in front of us and this show was much too mature for them. I am pretty easy going and I know Claire is mature enough to see many things that other parents probably don’t let their kids see, but even this was a bit too much for her. Just for instance….there was a sex scene with the puppets…and though it was hilarious….it was pretty mature too.
The show ended and we made our way out.
The family had now arrived and were getting something to eat.
We walked Brook back to her subway and then said our good byes and parted ways. Nikki and I went a little further and then she moved on and made sure I knew the way back….and I did.
It was so nice to see both of them again. Yes, I had just seen Brook, but I enjoy my time with her so any time I can see her is great.
I haven’t seen Nikki in a few years, so it was wonderful to see her again. I had a great time with both.