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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
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Moving on with the current of the years.
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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.

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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!

Best wishes for a wonderful and magical new year!

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Old 03-10-2014, 09:23 PM   #31
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I love reading travel books. with your questions and getting answers.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:09 AM   #32
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Departure Day: Monday, July 21
Being part of a group we had to book our plane tickets months ago to insure that Ab and Boo would be on the same flight as the group returning for tour. I like to hunt around and wait for the best deal I can find on airfare, but when it was time to book it was time to book and I little control over what I could do. We finally narrowed down when we wanted to leave, based on what we thought might be happening at the Vatican. The Pope usually does general audiences on Wednesday morning, so we knew that we had to arrive before Wednesday, which meant leaving on Monday. Jeff and I talked it over for great lengths of time and agreed this was important to our family and that we would make it work. So I went online and looked at flights that would work for what we wanted and then contacted the groups travel agent and had her book our flights. Can you say STICKER SHOCK? We normally do not like to put anything on credit cards, but we were not in the position to pay cash at that moment (we had budgeted having airfare saved by midSpring) and did not have the choice. Slowly we are paying off the tickets.



I am happy with the late morning flight departure will give Jeff a chance to get his crews going for the week and make any last minute work schedule changes as well as give me time without rushing to get us all out the door and the house secured. Our flight to Dallas is pretty short but once we arrive we will need to grab a quick lunch somewhere in the terminal before making our connecting flight to Chicago. In Chicago we will make a quick connection change for our flight to Rome for our overnight flight to Rome. I am hoping that we can get some pretty decent sleep on the plane. We land in Rome midmorning on Tuesday, which gives us a lot of time to settle in and enjoy our first day in Rome.

Things I need to think about/plan for in regards to departure day
*Packing list (including bedrolls for the tour part of the trip)
*External Batteries for all the electronics (as well as converters and power strips)
*How to pack regalia and carry it on (size limits)
*Snacks, toiletries and carry on activities for overnight flight
*Cell phone in Europe for Jeff’s business
*ATM transactions in Europe
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:29 PM   #33
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Wow, looking at the route you'll be taking makes me feel so glad that we're just half an hour from London Gatwick (our usual airport) and an hour from London Heathrow, as between them, we can pretty much fly to most places in the world direct - Hawai'i is sadly a notable omission.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:24 PM   #34
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Congrats on getting your airfare!
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:53 PM   #35
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Congrats on the airfare!
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Old 03-11-2014, 03:19 PM   #36
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Congrats on getting the flights arranged. Sorry about the sticker shock.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:32 PM   #37
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Congratulations on getting your airfare. Sorry about the sticker shock!!
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:47 AM   #38
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I found it! I just have to catch up and then will come back and post!
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:19 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam22 View Post
I love reading travel books. with your questions and getting answers.
I love reading travel books too...sadly right now as I answer one question the next one pops up!

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Originally Posted by chezp View Post
Wow, looking at the route you'll be taking makes me feel so glad that we're just half an hour from London Gatwick (our usual airport) and an hour from London Heathrow, as between them, we can pretty much fly to most places in the world direct - Hawai'i is sadly a notable omission.
Any place we fly is automatically a 2 stop trip...either in Denver or Dallas since we have to fly out of a regional airport. I am looking forward to the flight from London...direct to Dallas then home.

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Congrats on getting your airfare!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colexis Mom View Post
Congrats on the airfare!
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhinohunter View Post
Congrats on getting the flights arranged. Sorry about the sticker shock.
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Congratulations on getting your airfare. Sorry about the sticker shock!!
Thanks...we are still in stick stock. But atleast it is booked!

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I found it! I just have to catch up and then will come back and post!
Yay....nice to see you Heather on PP!
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:20 PM   #40
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CHERYL-

Can you tell me anything about what to expect with customs. Both when we depart the US and then land in Rome. I am sure that the UK is somewhat similar when you depart for a different country.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:25 PM   #41
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Arrival Day in Rome: Tuesday, July 22
Part 1-Airport & Apartment

When we arrive in Rome around 9 am and we will have to make our way through customs, which I have no idea how long it will take or even what to do. I need to do some reading up on that. Then we will need to get a car service scheduled to take us to our apartment that I have rented for the week.

Other than plane tickets and general outline of the trip, I have a place for us to stay in Rome. Being a family of 5 is really a pain in Europe, just like at Disney. At Disney, I stumbled on renting DVC points and for our trip to Rome I decided after looking at hotel options that it would be much cheaper and easier to find an apartment to rent in Rome. I narrowed down where I wanted to stay, either near the Vatican or in the center of the city. So I spent much of November searching for the perfect apartment rental and haggling on price. Finally after about a month, I booked my very first choice in the Heart of Rome just off of the Piazza Navona.


I picked this apartment for 2 simple reasons...location and the entrance just screams Rome to me! It was built in the 14th century and has been recently renovated. The owner is so nice and so is the caretaker, from what I have experienced so far with them. I love that the inside still has the roof beams...It will be nice to have wi-fi and be able to walk to most of the places that we want to visit.

Things to do Prior to Arrival:
-Find more about customs and airport layout
-Arrange car service to take us to apartment
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:28 PM   #42
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The apartment looks adorable!
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:40 PM   #43
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Great apartment!

As far as customs and immigration go (two separate things), I'll do what I can to help, but I really have no idea what the system is for arriving in the European Union, as we can travel without restrictions between all European Union countries. I know that on flights back here and within the EU, they do say if there are any non-EU nationals, there are forms to fill out, but much more than that, I don't know.

With the US, we have to apply for our ESTAs, which last two years and that's what we do clearing immigration. I assume there's nothing similar you need to fill in, although usually most EU countries want your passport number and expiry date etc. in advance as a minimum.

For customs, we have to fill out a form handed out on the plane on the way over (ESTAs are now totally automated and have to be filled at least 48 hours before you fly to the States) and I think that's the form that's offered round to EU nationals, but as I say, I'm not sure.

When you get to the airport, you'll probably find there's one line to clear immigration (passport control) for EU nationals and one for non-EU nationals. That's because the EU line is normally a lot faster to get through, as we only have to show our passports to the immigration people or, in the case of some airports, use the automated system, and then you're straight through. With non-EU nationals (and again I'm guessing to a certain extent here), you'll probably be asked about the nature of your visit (this is what happens to us when we enter the States), and then once they're satisfied with your answers, they'll stamp your passport and let you in.

I don't think that's really much help, as I am guessing a fair bit here.
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My Previous Trips21 trips to WDW, 6 to Disneyland in California, 9 to Disneyland Paris, 1 to Hong Kong Disneyland, 1 to Tokyo Disney, 1 to Aulani, 1 to Hilton Head, 2 to Vero Beach and 13 Disney cruises on the Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:51 PM   #44
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Congrats on the apartment in Rome!
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:51 PM   #45
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Nice apartment. You sure sound excited about this trip. I have been through immigration and customs all over the world. Some have been easier than others but all are quite similar. You have to fill out the forms on the plane then go thru immigration for the passport check. The next stop usually will be customs. It usually takes more time coming back into the US than going into other countries.
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