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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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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.

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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
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
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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 02-15-2017, 10:01 AM   #166
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I think the desserts at Tiffins sound yummy - but I'm not much of a purist. Any dessert tends to be OK by me! The whole menu looks good!
The $5 splitting fee isn't uncommon. I don't like it, though, as I feel it's a bit of nickel and diming. I will often split something with my daughter, as we find many restaurant portions to be easily enough for the two of us (and sometimes we STILL have leftover) as American portions have just become obscene over the years. We split the Monte Cristo at Blue Bayou at DL last week, as I cannot imagine anyone eating a whole one - too sweet! The waiter was fantastic - splitting our soup into 2 bowls as well. I had planned on not having the soup, and just letting K have it, but was so pleased with the waiter doing this without being asked. And no upcharge, either!
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:45 AM   #167
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Great dining choices and plans!
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:33 PM   #168
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I'll be dining at Tiffins on my trip, so I can't wait to hear what you think of it! I've encountered plate splitting charges before, but I'm not a fan! Like Colleen, my DD and I frequently split a meal, and I'm so happy that Disney does not have plate splitting charges. We recently dined at a local diner (so not a fancy meal) and were charged a $4 splitting fee for a SANDWICH, and then they didn't even put it on two plates for us. Needless to say, I won't be returning there.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:37 PM   #169
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Your plans look great (busy but great). I like early morning safaris the best since the animals are usually more active. I did it three times during our last trip --- all in the evening. Only one was impressive.
Oh that's a shame to hear. I was hoping the evening ones might be quite good, as presumably they'd be cooler and the animals would be more active?

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I hope that you do get to meet with Jennifer. Judy and I had an enjoyable dinner with her and her family several years ago.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:38 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by cubfancolleen View Post
I think the desserts at Tiffins sound yummy - but I'm not much of a purist. Any dessert tends to be OK by me!
I like your style!

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The whole menu looks good!
The $5 splitting fee isn't uncommon. I don't like it, though, as I feel it's a bit of nickel and diming. I will often split something with my daughter, as we find many restaurant portions to be easily enough for the two of us (and sometimes we STILL have leftover) as American portions have just become obscene over the years.
Oh my goodness, you are so right about that! We thought they were obscene back in the 1980s and they've got bigger since then!

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We split the Monte Cristo at Blue Bayou at DL last week, as I cannot imagine anyone eating a whole one - too sweet! The waiter was fantastic - splitting our soup into 2 bowls as well. I had planned on not having the soup, and just letting K have it, but was so pleased with the waiter doing this without being asked. And no upcharge, either!
That's Disney service for you!
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:39 PM   #171
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I'll be dining at Tiffins on my trip, so I can't wait to hear what you think of it! I've encountered plate splitting charges before, but I'm not a fan! Like Colleen, my DD and I frequently split a meal, and I'm so happy that Disney does not have plate splitting charges. We recently dined at a local diner (so not a fancy meal) and were charged a $4 splitting fee for a SANDWICH, and then they didn't even put it on two plates for us. Needless to say, I won't be returning there.
No way!
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:23 PM   #172
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Your dining choices sound delicious
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:09 PM   #173
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More great plans, especially in dining! I've had dinner already, but your update still made me hungry.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:36 PM   #174
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Great plans and so many details and glad you will be enjoying some great meals with a lot of friends. Glad you were able to snag an ADR for Paddlefish as I plan to go there on my Fall trip. I may be doing some of the same Universal eateries as you. Things are still in the planning stages!

Looks like so many active days and fitting it all in is the challenge.

What is the name of the great restaurant you raved about at Sea World from I think two years ago?
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:35 PM   #175
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Great plans and dining choices!
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:06 AM   #176
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More great plans, especially in dining! I've had dinner already, but your update still made me hungry.
Just as well you had eaten before reading it then....
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:07 AM   #177
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Great plans and so many details and glad you will be enjoying some great meals with a lot of friends. Glad you were able to snag an ADR for Paddlefish as I plan to go there on my Fall trip. I may be doing some of the same Universal eateries as you. Things are still in the planning stages!
Hopefully I'll be able to help in your decision making with my reviews.

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Looks like so many active days and fitting it all in is the challenge.
Isn't that always the case?

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What is the name of the great restaurant you raved about at Sea World from I think two years ago?
Sharks Underwater Grill. It was amazing!
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:09 AM   #178
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Pre-trip report Ė part twelve: it would be nice to see the Star Wars fireworksÖ

Thursday 2 March

The next day itís Epcot and Flower and Garden Festival day, with lunch at the booths. Iíve got a Fastpass for Soariní and Iím really looking forward to seeing the new version of this again. It was such a huge improvement to have a new film, and much better quality than the last one. I really wasnít sure what else to pick, as for me, outside of the tier one Fastpasses, thereís not that much else I want to see at Epcot. Equally, I feel weird picking Fastpasses for things that might not have much of a wait in line, if that makes sense? I ended up opting for Turtle Talk with Crush, as you can end up waiting quite a while for that, but I left it there, as by the time weíll have done these first couple of attractions, weíll be making our way towards the World Showcase, as our focus then is going to be the Flower and Garden Festival, and particularly the food booths they have now as part of this festival.

So what are we likely to be sampling? Well, Mark tends to just graze as he goes, whereas I usually have an idea of what I like the look of beforehand. I am also aware that I may not get to sample all these, as otherwise I might burst but hereís what I like the look ofÖ

Starting at La Isla Fresca, the sugar cane shrimp skewer with steamed rice, and coconut lime sauce sounds good, as does the Caribbean Conch salad, with avocado, mango, and onions. The FlanCocho, vanilla caramel custard with chocolate coffee cake intrigues me, so maybe Iíll give that a go tooÖ
Nibble on Caribbean-seasoned dishes thatíll send appetites swaying to the island beat! Read More

The Cider House will be a complete no-go for me, given my allergy to apples.

The Urban Farm eats frankly donít do that much for me, as they seem to rely on arugula, which doesnít agree with me. The watermelon salad with pickled onions, B&W Gourmet Farms baby arugula, feta, and balsamic reduction might be worth trying, with the arugula picked outÖ The crabless cake with crispy vegetable slaw, lemon vinaigrette and old bay remoulade is vegetarian, so I guess itís made to taste like crab. Could be something else worth tryingÖ

Pineapple Promenade is definitely more my sort of thing, especially as you can get pineapple soft-serve, although I noticed on this yearís menu, thereís no mention of the options in previous years Ė i.e. you could get it with or without Parrot Bay coconut rum. I hope that is still available. I do remember trying the sparkling pineapple wine two years ago when we were last in Disney for the Flower and Garden Festival, and I enjoyed it, although I didnít feel that great, as I was coming down with a really bad cold. Hopefully this time, Iíll be in better health, and enjoy it more.

Get your tropical fruit fix from tart Ďní tangy to the sweetest frozen treats! Read More
Something new this year is Northern Bloom, which is food from Canada. Sadly, there doesnít seem to be much there for me, as the options as beef tenderloin tips, seared scallops with smoked bacon, and I have no idea what a Naomi Bar trifle is, but there are things that appeal more to me elsewhere at other booths.

Another new booth is the Berry Basket, but one option is a lamb chop, while Iím not sure about the field greens with fresh strawberries, blue cheese, strawberry vinaigrette, and spice pecans. As for the warm wild berry buckle with pepperberry sorbet/ice cream? thanks. That just sounds a little too weird and wacky for me liking!

Iím not a huge fan of Mexican food, so I wonít be sampling anything at Jardin de Fiestas.

Take a food-tastic tour of the Mexico PavilionÖ these tantalizing tastes will add some spice to your day! Read More
Next we come to the Lotus House in China, and the Beijing style candied strawberries sound interesting, but whether theyíll be too sweet remains to be seen.

Thereís nothing that interests me in the Bauernmarkt Farmerís Market in Germany, as itís either got meat in, or it has apples in it, and sadly it looks as if that will be the case with Florida Fresh too. I honestly thought that Iíd had something from there a couple of years, but I guess they must have changed the line-up, as thereís nothing I can have. Itís either got meat in or cherries, which Iím also allergic to. Even the key lime sparkling wine does nothing for me.

However, Primavera Kitchen in Italy is more promising, with the strawberry tiramisu. I adore tiramisu, so I will definitely need to give this a go. Iíll definitely indulge in a glass of moscato, rossini or prosecco, as theyíre amongst my alcoholic favourites. Sadly, I can no longer indulge in a bellini though, as that contains peach puree, and guess what? Yes, thatís another one of my allergies. I have a fewÖ.

The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews at the American Adventure doesnít have anything Iím interested in, but I suspect Mark may find something there he likes the look of, especially given pulled pig slider, and smoked pork ribs are on the menu. Piglet, anyone?

At Hanami in Japan, I want to try the frushi again, as I had that a couple of years ago, and really enjoyed it. Itís fresh pineapple, strawberries, and melon, rolled with coconut rice, topped with raspberry sauce, sprinkled with toasted coconuts, and served with whipped cream on the side.

I donít know that Iíll try anything at the Taste of Marrakesh in Morocco. They have baklava, which is nice enough, but to me, itís nothing that special, and I can get it quite easily, and the home-made falafel with pickled beet and turnip, tomato salad, and Tahini sauce doesnít inspire me.

Now Fleur de Lys in France is a different matter. The Tarte a líOnion Alsacienne, or the Alsatian Onion Tart with sautťed onions, fresh thyme, and rosemary on a flaky puff pastry crust, sounds wonderful. And then look what else there is on the menu: Macaron chocolat framboise, a large raspberry macaron with chocolate fudge and raspberry jam! Oh Iíll definitely be trying that, given how much I love my macarons.

This time, I also want to go and visit the Disney Vacation Club member lounge in the Imagination pavilion. It was around on our last trip, but I completely forgot all about it. From what Iíve heard, itís nothing overly amazing, but it is a nice place to be able to go and chill somewhere for a while, and heck, thatís always welcome whenever youíre wandering around the parks, getting yourselves exhausted.

I also want to go into Canada, because apparently theyíre giving away commemorative buttons to celebrate the countryís 150th birthday until 1 July. You have to answer a trivia question to get one, but hopefully having been there last year, that shouldnít be too much of an issue for us. I canít imagine Disney asking questions that are too complicated, can you? There are also two new totem poles there, which sound really neat. Apparently one is the Eagle Totem Pole that tells the tale of a boy who frees an eagle he found caught in a net on a beach. He then encounters the eagle many years later, who pays back the kindness. Thereís also a depiction at the bottom of this totem pole about a beaver teaching a family about how they need to treat all creatures with respect. The other one is the Whale Totem Pole, which represents the first potlatch, a ceremonial feast celebrated by the Nagunaks and creatures of the undersea world. Thanks to All Ears Net for those details by the way.

Weíll have a break back at the room, one of the lovely benefits of being in one of the BoardWalk resorts, and then for the eveningÖ. Well, hereís what the original plan was:

Iíve booked dinner at Nine Dragons at 6:45pm, so we should have time to eat, then get a decent spot to see IllumiNations again. This is truly my favourite thing to do at Epcot. We had one trip where we were planning to see IllumiNations quite a few times, but each opportunity fell by the wayside until about the last night, as the meals we booked took far too long. Hopefully this one wonít. I donít know what it is about this show, but to me, itís truly magical and itís not a Disney trip without seeing it.

Ok, so what changed? Well, you know you suddenly have that moment of revelation when you realise you might be missing something? Thatís what happened to me. I suddenly thought that we never got to see the Star Wars firework display, otherwise known as a Galactic Spectacular. I checked on the Disney World website to see what time they were on, as I donít think they even had a time displayed when I last checked. They are on, every night at 7:45pm.

So now how the heck to fit those in? Of course, I already had plans for every evening by now, which just figures. The most logical time to see this would be when weíre at the BoardWalk. With one night at BICE, another at the Rose and Crown (and trust me, that place is seriously fully booked for every night I tried around IllumiNations), and bluezoo, that really only left this evening. I figured Iíd just ditch our dinner reservation at Nine Dragons, and replace it with something later at either the Studios or Epcot.

A later reservation wasnít an option at the Studios, as that closes earlier than Epcot, so I looked into Epcot dining options. I figured maybe weíd go for a restaurant with a view of IllumiNations, so we could see both shows, and I tried Spice Road Table. Well, I guess word is now out about how good the place now is, as thereís nothing beyond 7:50pm. That wasnít going to work. I could switch out the Rose and Crown, but as I said earlier, that was a no-go.

Then something popped up that piqued my interestÖ the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. Iíve never thought of doing something like this, because firstly itís obscenely priced at $69/adults. However, now I looked at it and wondered whether it would be worth doing or not. One of the reasons for my change of heart is that Mark traditionally has had a dairy allergic, and if he has too much dairy, he gets a really bad headache. However, over the last couple of years, that seems to have eased significantly. He seems to be able to tolerate dairy much more, and given that a lot of desserts contain dairy, this finally opens up the possibility of attending a dessert party.

As it was a lot of money, I decided before we bought, Iíd do some research, and read some reviews. I found a number online, and frankly, I couldnít find a bad review of the party anywhere. I learnt that Disney had changed the format of the party last summer, pretty much to universal approval, setting right anything that people thought was wrong with the original version.

I also learnt that they appear to have some savoury items Ė cheese, olives, grapes etc. on sticks, and perhaps some flatbreads, which also sounded good to me, as if we did this, this would essentially be our dinner for the night. I also found out why itís got such a hefty price tag, as all beverages, including alcoholic, are included in the price. Ok, now that makes a bit more sense.

I am a bit concerned about the fact that thereís nowhere to sit, but at least itís indoors, and if necessary, I can still down during the party itself, as I know I wonít have to worry about rain. This is important to me, given my chronic fatigue. Standing up for long periods of time is one of the triggers that sets off my ME (chronic fatigue), so that was another plus point, although why on earth Disney donít provide chairs is beyond me. I did note that itís not suitable for wheelchairs and ECVs, which seemed like a massive own goal, as theyíre effectively excluding people from attending, which doesnít seem very Disney to me.

As for the VIP viewing area, from everything Iíve read, it is apparently a great place to see the fireworks from, which obviously is important to me, especially given how much weíll be paying for the privilege.

Ok, now Iím officially sold! I went ahead to book it, and was a bit shocked to discover you had to pay for it upfront, but you know what? I had the money in our account, so why not? And heck, at least thatís one thing we donít have to pay for when we get there, so thatís somethingÖ

So now thatís our plan for the evening. At least it guarantees this time we will see the Star Wars fireworks, and weíll get to try a new experience at Disney, and one that people appear to think is very good. Hopefully it will be, given the price weíre paying for it!

You never know, if we feel up to it (and who knows after the opportunity to sample one or two alcoholic drinks at the dessert party ) we may even make our way back to Epcot in time for IllumiNations. Who knows?

Next: it would be nice to get another signature meal inÖ
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:33 AM   #179
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Naomi Bar is like a chocolate layer bar, I think with coconut too. So how they put it into a trifle.... with some creamy layers? Sounds good to me!

The buttons from Canada I received came without having to answer any trivia. I guess it depends on who you get. Although, the CM was from Calgary and I told her we were going to Calgary this summer so maybe she was happy with that and didn't care about any trivia!

Enjoy the DVC club, it looks very cool and quite relaxing.

I've heard good things about the Star Wars party too - especially the fact that alcohol is included. Not that folks are going overboard with it or anything, but we all know Disney drinks are expensive! So this helps with the price tag. Plus - that viewing area, as I've understood from reading, is the best location to be in. Good choice!
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:41 AM   #180
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Epcot is the hardest park for fastpasses. I hate the tiers and some of the tier 2 options are useless. Why would I need a fastpass for Figment?
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