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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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To post messages and ask questions, join our FREE community today and you'll get access to tools and resources not available to guests, such as our vacation countown timers, "living" avatars, private messaging system, database searches, downloads, and a special PassPorter discount code. Registration is fast, simple, and completely free. Just click the Join Our Community link.
We had such a busy day yesterday that we slept in a little today. Which broke the #1 rule of touring…..Get there at rope drop! This would come back to bite us later today.
We did have some drama this morning however. After I showered, DD hopped in the shower. After her shower, the knob on the shower broke! So we had to call maintenance. The maintenance man came and looked at it and determined that the knob had been installed incorrectly and he would have to replace it! It ended up taking him an hour to get the knob fixed. My husband called the front desk and they did give him a key to another room so that he could take a shower and get ready.
With all of the sleeping in and the shower messing up, it was 11:00 before we finally left the room. Our goal today was to hopefully see the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coke and possibly do the CNN Tour.
We chose to take the Atlanta Metro- The MARTA, today instead of taking our car. Traffic and parking in Atlanta can be somewhat of a mess, so we decided to take public transportation. The MARTA is clean and easy to use for those of you planning to travel to Atlanta.
The closest MARTA station was a couple blocks away from our hotel. We did have to wait a while for a train since they were running on a Saturday schedule.
Once we arrived at our destination- Peachtree Center, we decided to eat lunch there. There is a small mall with a food court there. DH and I had our favorite- Chick Fil-A, and DD found some pasta.
We then walked to the Aquarium. It is about a 2-3 block walk, all downhill. But it is uphill on the way back..ugh!
By the time we got to the Aquarium, the crowds were CRAZY! There were very long lines to purchase tickets and to get in.
The World of Coke is in the same plaza so we went there to see about the wait. We decided to wait, hoping the line would move quickly. We ended up waiting over 1 ½ hours to get in. The World of Coke is nice, but I really don’t think I would do it again. You start in the museum with a short film, then you are on your own to explore. They show you the vault where the secret formula is kept. You can also see how Coke is bottled. The bottles they create there are given to you at the end of your tour. There is a room where you can watch old Coke films. They also have a 4-D movie (so we saw two 4-D movies in two days). At the end of the tour is a room where you can taste flavors of Coke from around the world. Similar to Club Cool in Epcot, this room is much larger and features more flavors of soda. You can also taste flavors of Coke sold in the United States.
As you exit the tour, you are given an 8 oz, souvenir bottle of Coke. You exit into a gift shop (just like Disney). If you are a Coke collector, then this would be heaven for you! I purchased some post cards for my travel journal and a Christmas ornament. (I try to purchase a Christmas ornament for our tree from all the places we travel),
When we exited the World of Coke, we noticed that the lines for the Aquarium were very low, so we decided to go ahead and tour the Aquarium. The Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest in the world and has some good features. They have a tank that you walk through with some very large sharks. One of the highlights is the Dolphin Tales show. We were able to get into a show at the last minute. This show has dolphins doing a variety of tricks. (Similar to a show at Sea World) Sorry no pictures, since they do not allow photography during the show. After the Dolphin show, we walked around to a few more exhibits. By this time it was 6:00 pm. And we were getting a little tired and hungry. We decided to start heading back to the hotel and get some dinner. We took a quick walk through of Olympic park (remember the Summer Olympics were held in Atlanta in 1996) and headed the three blocks to the MARTA station.
We had planned to just eat at a restaurant located in the mall that is attached to our hotel. But when we arrived there, we noticed that all of the restaurants were closed! Since these restaurants are located in a downtown area, they tend to close up on weekends. We decided to just relax and order a pizza. The pizza was surprisingly good (maybe cause we were starving by this point). I had also brought a couple of sodas and snacks to go with our pizza.
We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and I updated my Travel Smash book.
Atlanta Braves game performance today! When we found out we were going to a game, we were hoping that the Braves would be playing the San Francisco Giants. Why you may ask??? One of the Giant’s pitchers, Madison Bumgarner, graduated from the school where I teach and my DD’s attend. He graduated a few years ago and was drafted right out of high school. (He has since pitched in two World Series!)We had not seen him pitch in person since he was a senior in high school.
On another note, our high school, South Caldwell High School, has another claim to fame. For all of you country music fans out there- Country music singer Eric Church (won Country Music Album of the Year this year) also graduated from South Caldwell, and grew up down the street from me.
After our long day yesterday, we decided to sleep in a little today. We also knew that it would be pretty late before we got home. We had originally planned to attend church somewhere in the area this morning, but decided to skip today.
After getting ready, we headed out to find some lunch. We drove around and the family just wanted to eat at Applebee’s. I had a couple of other places in mind, but I was out voted this time.
After eating lunch, we went and looked at some stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls’ for some Braves shirts. We knew that the prices would be higher at the stadium. My DH and DD both found some Braves t-shirts at a good price. We headed over to Turner Field. I had purchased our parking pass online (it is cheaper to do it this way!) I scored a pretty close parking lot. We met with our representative to get ready for the team’s clogging performance. We were allowed in the park early, but we still had to go through a security check and ticket scan. We were shown to a small room where the dancers could leave their bags. The team had two performances in the plaza area right inside the entrance to the park. Both performances were well attended and well received.
After their performance, DD still wanted to purchase a shirt and hat with the money she had been saving this summer. We walked around and looked at the different shops looking for just the right shirt!
After she made her purchases, it was getting closed to game time. DD and I purchased a hot and a drink (in a souvenir cup of course!)
We had great seats. We had a great view of the field. The game was a lot of fun! We have a minor league team, the Hickory Crawdads, in our area but I had never been to a game. We all agreed that we are going to travel back to Atlanta for a game! On a good note, the Braves won 5-2. We battled the traffic back to the hotel. It was after 12:00 until we arrived back. We were tired, but we had a great day.
I told you guys that this would be a quick trip report. I am trying to get it knocked out because we are going on another adventure next week to the North Carolina Outer Banks. Stay tuned for the trip report……
We slept in a little this morning. Is this sounding like a pattern for this trip?????? We got everything together and started our trip home. Like I said, it is only a little over 4 hours from home, so it was not going to be a very long trip. We stopped a couple of times for gas and lunch. We try to fill up our gas tank in South Carolina since they have a lower gas tax than we do.
I had one more important goal for this trip…..get some peaches!!! We always try to get to South Carolina to buy some peaches during the summer. There are many roadside stands in both South Carolina and Georgia to purchase these.
Here are the peaches we purchased.
I will be using these to make some peach jam and to put some into the freezer for pies and cobblers this winter. Aren't they huge?
One more picture of the giant peach in Gaffney, South Carolina…..
We also stopped so that DD17 can get some more interstate driving experience……
Some Final Thoughts…. We had a great time even though we did not do everything I wanted to do. Atlanta is such a short drive for us, we may consider coming back to do some of what we did not get to do.
If you are considering going to Atlanta, here are some of my suggestions….
· Be sure to take in a Braves game if you are in town. It was a lot of fun and we hope to at least go back for a game if we don’t get to Atlanta for anything else. BTW, the hot dog I had at the game with slaw and Vidalia onion relish was delicious!!!!
· Atlanta offers a City Pass that you can purchase that include admission to 5 different attractions. We did not take advantage since we would not be able to get everything in during our short trip. But, if we were going to be there longer, I would have purchased those.
· There were a couple attractions that we did not see that I wanted to see: CNN Studio tour; The Margaret Mitchell House (author of Gone with the Wind); and the Civil War museum which has a Cyclorama. I also wanted to tour the Chick Fil-A corporate offices. They offer tours, but we were unable to get a reservation-they fill up fast. Again, another reason to go back.
· My aunt used to live near Atlanta and she suggested we eat at Pittypatt’s Poarch. We didn’t get to, but it was near the Peachtree center area. It features southern cooking-which I get at home anyway. (If you are curious about the name….then you have not seen Gone With the Wind. Watch the movie, or better yet, READ the BOOK!)
· The Atlanta MARTA is a good way to get around the city. You can even use it to get to a Braves game….they have a shuttle from the MARTA station to the park. (we learned this when we were on the train Saturday night)
· If you go to Atlanta, do not miss eating at The Varsity, visit the Aquarium and see Stone Mountain. If you are not from the South, try some fried chicken, and try some grits somewhere!! And be sure to eat at Chick Fil-A if you have not tried it. (there are some in Orlando) They have the best chicken sandwiches!!!!!!!
Hope you enjoyed my small trip report. The folks that live in Georgia can probably give you some better tips than I have created!!
Fun quick report! Sounds like you got a good sampling of what Atlanta has to offer. Glad the clogging performance was well received! Those peaches look so delicious. By the time they get up here, they're not-so-great.
Great TR! I enjoyed watching the clogging video, and I'm glad that the performances went well. The Braves stadium looks really nice! It was nice to see some of what Atlanta has to offer, and your tips were really great!