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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Sorry for the delay guys. I will get there. We've just finished building a new playground at DS's school and I moved 40 yards of mulch today alone (never mind last week). My arms are ready to fall off. I will get this done, I promise!
Glad that after a few delays with travel you made it safe and sound. What a great first day. Love the pictures....when I first saw the picture of Colin and Alexa I actually had to take a double take, I could not get over Alexa...she has grown up so much.
Sunday April 14, 2013 – Sunrise, El Tovar and hiking down into the Canyon
We got up very early this morning to see the sunrise. It helped that we were still a bit on east coast time. I think the alarm went off at 5 or 5:15. Everyone got dressed and we headed out. I decided to go to Mather Point, as it was a hot spot for sunrise. There could have been other more desolate places, but it was early and it was easy. So we thought. We got into the car and attempted to get there. After a few wrong turns, we made it. It was dark (very dark) and there are no streetlights and the street signs don’t reflect off the car lights very well (just sayin’). There were probably 100 people there, maybe more, but it was fine. The problem was it was COLD. The temperature was in the low 30s, and there was a 30 mph wind blowing. I had left the hats/mittens in the hotel room, so much for that! But it was a beautiful sight!
All the people on Mather Point for sunrise!
Colin trying to stay warm using the rocks for windbreak!
It was now just after 6 AM and the sun had risen. We were frozen solid. We decided to head to El Tovar to see if we could get in for breakfast. Apparently for dinner, you need to make ressies way in advance. I was hesitant to book for dinner, as the menu I knew wouldn’t appeal to Colin, and I didn’t know what our plans would be so I didn’t want to be tied down. They don’t take ressies for breakfast, it’s first come first served. We arrived at the hotel to this sight!
We still had 10 minutes before it opened, but I got in line anyway since there were already people lined up. We ended up at a table right next to the windows, and had a great view. The restaurant was empty at that hour, so if you want to experience the restaurant, get there at opening for breakfast!
We all ordered hot drinks except for Colin. The food here is expensive, I won’t lie, but it was good. I told Colin I’d give him $20 if he could finish his plate? Did he do it? No!
Alexa had a waffle, and Matt had stuffed French toast, I think. I had the same as Colin, although mine didn’t have pancakes. We were stuffed. Total was $71 with tip.
After breakfast, we headed back to the room to change so that we could go on our morning hike down into the canyon (the Bright Angel Trail). We loaded up on snacks and water, and headed down to the trail. In my research, I forgot that it was warmer in the canyon than on the rim, which would come back to bite us. We were all dressed for the cool morning, but once we started going down, it got quite warm. We started peeling off layers and put them into the backpacks, which were now quite heavy! I will also say that there seemed to be quite a few people on this trail that shouldn’t be (physical wise and unprepared for water). There was no water on the trail yet as everything was turned off for winter still. And it was quite steep (my calves/shins were in quite a bit of pain by the afternoon). It was still a beautiful trail. Alexa managed with her fear of heights issues. We made it down about 1200 feet, turning around just before the 1.5 mile station (which didn’t have water anyway so it didn’t matter not making it there). Colin is in the best shape of all of us, and he ended up carrying one backpack up by himself, and just kept on going. We had a group of mules pass us, bringing supplies down to the campsite down below. Here are some pics.
After the hike, we stopped at the Bright Angel Lodge to look in their shop, and to get some ice cream. And just rest! Then we went back to the room for more rest, before the next adventure this afternoon.
What a great update. The sunrise photos are absolutely stunning, but after some early starts ourselves at the national parks for sunrises, my goodness I hear you about the temperatures at that time of the day! Breakfast looked very filling and set you up well no doubt for the trail... you're definitely fitter than me, doing that.
I found the tough part of hiking the Grand Canyon was how easy the going down part was - until you realized out meant up!! I had to keep reminding myself to turn back well before I felt tired!
What an amazing sunrise! You all look cold, and I think Colin had the right idea-- snuggled into the rocks for warmth. Breakfast looked pretty yummy and worth the money for the view, too. Great photos from the trail. I can imagine you had aching legs after that climb!
We loved the El Tovar dining room for both breakfast and dinner. Of course we were there in January - so no ressies needed for dinner. I wish we'd had time to hike down Bright Angel some - but of course we didn't - and with the snow and ice - I don't think it would have been a good hike.