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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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've lost the weight now let's celebrate....with a trip down memory lane.
**Since some of the things that happened during this time also coincide with my Disney PTR, I won't mention it all here so I will just stick with Abby trying to lose weight. And for introductions, it's the usual cast. Me, Lenny and Abby. For those that don't know us, you can click on the link in the bottom to go to any and all of my Disney TR's to know who we are.
This trip came about for one reason only: as an incentive for Abby to lose weight. As you can see, none of us are small by any means but the doctor has been telling me for years that she needs to lose weight. I didn't need to be told this - I knew it already but making it happen is a much different thing. I grew up a Pooh sized teen and it was impossible for me to lose weight. My parents always told me I needed to lose weight and they would buy me things like motivational cassette tapes or Richard Simmons Sweating to the Oldies videos to "help" me do it. Those things weren't a help as what teen wants to listen to someone talking on a tape and whenever I wanted to use the exercise videos, I had no place to do it. The living room had plenty of room but someone was always watching tv it seems. My room had a tv but it was too small to exercise in. Mom and dad didn't help either as the few times I could manage to use the living room, there was still someone there to walk through or watch me and it made me feel very self-conscience. When it came to the supermarket, they didn't help there either. If I wanted to pick up soda or cookies or ice cream, I was never told to put it back unless it was a matter of not having the money that week. All of this means two things. 1 as a teen, I never lost weight and 2) when it came time to telling Abby to lose weight, I was going to support her in that effort.
I had tried various times over the years to encourage Abby to lose weight but it never lasted long. Usually what happened was I would only buy certain foods for us to eat then my mother would turn around and buy junk and then say "one won't hurt Abby" or "Abby can have some" of whatever it is she bought - cookies, cupcakes, fudge bars, etc. Anytime mom did that, I got mad saying "I'm trying to get her to lose weight and you're not helping. It's never one of whatever it is you buy. You have the one and then let Abby eat the rest" which of course made mom mad. Then it seemed like she'd go out and buy more stuff just to spite me. A few times mom did say "Abby needs to lose weight" but she would never admit to any fault - it was all my doing. I'm the one who buys the food, etc but once I started working two jobs (6 years ago and back when Lenny was working two jobs as well) it was my mother who was home at dinner time letting Abby eat whatever she wanted and putting no limits on how much Abby ate. I would tell Abby what she should have but that fell on deaf ears. No one listened.
Now fast forward to last November when Abby had her annual check up with the doctor. He was once again unhappy with her weight and I told him getting her out to exercise was like pulling teeth, watching how much she ate was hard as I'm out of the house 7 days a week and my mother bought stuff and let Abby have it even if I said I didn't want her to do that. He pretty much said that I would have to figure something out with mom, that she should be on board with Abby losing weight (you would think) and for Abby maybe I could come up with some sort of incentive for her to try and lose the weight. Since this appointment was kind of in the middle of Lenny being home with the broken femur and the holidays and all that "fun" stuff I had to deal with I did nothing about Abby's weight. There was nothing I could really think of that would make Abby want to lose it anyway.
Then 2018 came and at the end of February, I stopped and took a really good look at Abby. She's big, just like me and Lenny but she didn't look comfortable in her clothes and I decided enough was enough. She needed to lose weight and I was putting my foot down. She was going to do it, no ifs and or buts about it. I had Abby get on the scale and she pretty much was quite upset with me over it. She didn't want to get on the scale for any reason but I told her too bad. She didn't weigh as much as I feared she did but she still weighed more than Lenny and I did. After seeing her weight, I told her that it was time, she needed to lose weight and while the conversation wasn't as simple as it sounded (I told Abby she was going to lose weight, Abby wasn't happy and was crying, yelling at me I was being mean by making her get on the scale), we finally came to an "agreement." Abby would try to lose weight and for doing so, I would give her different "rewards" - mini golf outings, trips to the go cart track if she was under any weight limits they have, trips to the bowling alley, etc. These are all things she liked and she agreed to it. Then, my mother who came in during the "conversation" stated "Abby, if you lose weight, we'll take you back to Storyland to see Farm Follies. I know how much you love the show." Abby's eyes lit up at that though while I was picking my jaw up off the floor. Mom's suggestion of an incentive got Abby's attention and the two of them kind of ran with it.
To explain why this thought excited Abby so much you need to understand the first amusement park we ever took her to was Storyland. It was just her size - a small park with rides geared towards smaller kids. No big coasters and nothing scary. It was something that could be done in a day and for us, just a few hours from home (yes, I know Disney is a few hours from home too if we take a plane but stay with me here :-) ). We could go for a weekend and no one would really have to ask for time off from work. With a small child, it was really ideal. Abby absolutely fell in love with Storyland and we took her several times as she was growing up. When Abby was 6, we started going to Disney - where the rides were bigger and longer and fun for several days - and we stopped going to Storyland. Abby never stopped wanting to return to Storyland though. Every time she saw a commercial on the TV or saw an ad or video on the computer, she would ask to return. Then as she got older, she knew how to "find" things about Storyland online and every time she did, she would show them to me making comments like "maybe some day we can go back to Storyland." When I heard this, I normally asked "wouldn't you rather go back to Disney though? Storyland is really small." Abby usually answered that yes, she would rather go to Disney but in her heart, I know she really wanted to go back to Storyland. One part of Storyland that she just absolutely loves is the show "Farm Follies" and I can't even begin to tell you how often she has watched this show either on the disc I made of it or from the online video she has found of the show. Even today - at 18 years old - she still loves this show and watches it often online. With mom's suggestion of going back to Storyland just to see this show was Abby's dream come true even if there was a "catch" to it of losing the weight.
As for me however, as much as this trip might be a trip down memory lane and exciting for Abby, I wasn't happy with the "we will take you" comment I love my mother, don't get me wrong, but there were too many problems with this whole "we" comment. First off is my mother is a lead foot. There really is no way I wanted myself or Abby in a vehicle with her for 3 ½ hours. Second, she's a smoker and whenever she drives, she'll have the windows open EXCEPT when she smokes. I don't get that. Everyone else opens the windows to smoke but she closes them. Third - anytime Abby is in a vehicle with her, especially in the back seat, for any length of time I hear the dreaded "I don't feel well comment" which usually is soon followed by Abby throwing up. Fourth - mom has two dogs and two rabbits. If mom, Abby and I went to New Hampshire, who was going to take care of the animals? Mom's idea was to take the dogs with us but that's not fair to them. Fifth - she was purposely excluding Lenny saying "I doubt Home Depot will give him the time off anyway. Sixth - she wanted to do this all in one day. Drive up for 3 ½ hours, go into the park and then drive home for 3 ½ hours. And this was to be on my one "day off" a week (I work 6 days a week at my "paying" jobs but that last day is spent running around doing all my errands so it's not a day off). Seventh - and probably the biggest problem I had with it - is mom said "we will take you" but guess who was expected to foot the bill? Mom might have thought she was going to pay for it but I know her. When it came time to actually take Abby, she would either renege completely and break Abby's heart (no way was I going to let this happen) or she would pull the "who's going to pay for this? I pay all the bills for the house (not true, we help pay things) and can't afford to take time off or to go." Either way, I knew the minute she made the offer I was going to have to figure out a way to pay for it. Lenny was getting close to going back to work but he wasn't back yet at the time of the offer so it was just yet one more "bill" I needed to figure out how to pay on only 60% of his pay. I could probably think of a few other reasons why I didn't like this whole "we will take you" but I think you get the idea.
Your mom reminds me so much of my grandmother. The only way I could deal with her is send her back to Texas when her vacation with us was over. I give you all the kudos in the world for dealing with your mom every day.
I am so glad that Abby had the incentive to lose the weight. You all are doing wonderfully in that department. Keep up the good work.
Can't wait to read more.
Waiting for our next adventure after enjoying our Alaska cruise. Jenn
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