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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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The last time we were at WDW, we could still pull our Fast Passes out of the machines by each ride! The new FP+ system is new to us. During our many past visits, DH and I never planned anything but since we are up early in the morning, we always arrived at the park of our choice for "rope drop". We always found that we could get on many attractions before the park actually got crowded without using any Fast Passes and without waits or very minimal waits. That being said, we do know that we have to "plan" now to take advantage of FP+. For those of you who get to the parks for "rope drop", can you still manage to get on some attractions before the parks begin to get really crowded? If that is still the case, what time do you recommend making your first FP+ time for? We will be at WDW in early March. Thanks.
We, too, have transitioned from legacy Fastpass--the kiosks--to FP +.
As to what time to make your first FP of the day, for us, that depends on what park.
In Magic Kingdom, we make our first FP within the first hour the park opens. For example, we would have a FP for Pirates, but ride Jungle Cruise first in stand-by and then head to Pirates. We would then try to have 2 more FP lined up back to back for the first three hours. Because, you can get a 4th FP when the 3 are used. And, then a 5th, 6th etc. Magic Kingdom seems to be the best park to use this strategy.
At EPCOT--there are FP Tiers and you can only have 1 FP from Tier 1. So, select your FP more to fit your touring style. If you are rope drop and can get to Test Track and Soarin, then save your Tier 1 FP for FROZEN and make it for a time you plan to be in that area of World Showcase.
At Animal Kingdom--again, go towards your touring style. If you plan on riding an attraction at rope drop, then make FP for the rides you know you want later in the day and plan for what area on the park you plan to be in at what time. We sometimes let your FP selections determine the direction we move around AK.
At Studios, FP at least one attraction in Toy Story Land in the first hour and enjoy the others as part of your rope drop arrival. Guests can select only 1 Toy Story Land attraction for FP. Then, pick for the rest of your day.
We find that at Studios and Animal Kingdom, our FP selections are a combination of attractions and shows.
There are many website articles about various FP strategies. Sharing what works for us.
If we get to the parks for rope drop, we also go for the first Fastpass+ within an hour or so of the park opening. We figure the quicker we can get the first three in, then the more chance we have of getting another one later in the day....
Here's a valuable tip for making your pre-selections (which you can do for your whole trip at T-60 days if you're staying at a WDW resort, or one day at a time at T-30 days if you're not staying at a WDW resort):
When you make your pre-selections, you'll be given a number of pre-set options to choose from. None of them will be exactly what you want, but select the one that is closest to what you want.
After you make your selections for the day and confirm them, you can go back and edit the selections. While editing, you're not limited to the pre-sets, you can change the attractions one at a time, and also select other time windows. Example: In MK I might choose a pre-set that gives me Pirates 9-10am, Buzz 1-2pm, and TTC 6-7pm. When I edit, I can switch Buzz to 10-11am, and trade TTC for Haunted Mansion 11-12am. Or any other combination available.
It takes some time and effort to get it all the way you want it, but it's worth the extra to get a set of FP selections that fits your plans and touring style. It also allows you to select FPs in an order that prevents you from having to run all the way across the park to get to your second one, then cross the park again to get to your third one.
Personally, I like to make all of my advance FPs come one after the other in the morning, which means that I can then make additional selections with the app or kiosks for my afternoon, and also allows me to park-hop after lunch - I'm not tied to only one park all day by a third FP that might be near dinner time. It's all about flexibility.