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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Short trip and Short trip report….. Where: Atlanta, GA Who: Me (wife, mom, teacher, lover of Disney and travel in general!) DH (husband, father, pastor, loves to travel but not a big Disney fan…) DD17(typical teenager, loves to travel as well, Not a big Disney fan either)
Some of you loyal Passporter Board Readers may remember my Trip Report from July 2013…”Clogging our Way to Disney World” My DD17 is a member of a competitive clogging team…(if you are not sure what clogging is, it is a cross between tap dancing and Irish Step dancing. There was a group of cloggers on America’s Got Talent last season. You can also see videos of her team on You Tube…just search Sims Country Cloggers)
Each year, the clogging director plans a summer trip where the cloggers can perform. They have performed at Disney World (twice); the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC; the Independence Day Parade in Washington, DC.; and Merlefest (bluegrass festival started by Doc Watson).
This year, the team was asked to perform at an Atlanta Braves game, so it was off to Atlanta this year for our summer trip!! The director also scheduled a performance at Stone Mountain.
Thursday, July 25
The team did not take a bus on this year’s trip since Atlanta is only a little over 4 hours from home. My husband decided to go on this trip (actually, I begged him to go because I didn’t want to deal with driving in Atlanta!) My DD19 would not be going on this trip since she is working at a summer camp. So, it was just the three of us on this mini family vacation (Me, DH and DD17).
We left home around 10:00, and just took our time getting to Atlanta. If you have not travelled on I-85 between Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA you have not seen the giant Peach in Gaffney, SC.
When we arrived in Atlanta, it was still too early to check in the hotel, so we found a Cracker Barrel to eat lunch. This was not the best Cracker Barrel that I have eaten at. The service was poor and the food was great.
It was about 2:30 when we arrived at our hotel- The W Hotel-Midtown. It was a nice hotel, but I think it was really geared more toward a younger crowd.
We found this in the room. I had to Google to figure out that this was a Kaleidoscope. (it was broken and didn’t work…) I could have done without this and had a lower room rate!! After settling in, we rested for a couple hours before heading out for dinner. The team met at The Varsity for dinner. This Georgia landmark has been featured on the Food Network. I had the chili cheeseburger. I also split an Orange shake with my DD. (it was good)
After dinner, we drove back to the hotel. The team practiced their dances for a couple hours. While they were practicing, DH and I relaxed and I worked on my Travel Smash book for a few minutes. We had a busy day tomorrow at Stone Mountain, so we were in bed around 11:00.
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Great start! I live in N. GA so it's neat to see some of the things I see semi-frequently.... Love the Varsity! Looking forward to more...
I should have noticed where you are from before my trip and emailed you for tips!! You would think living 4 hours away we would have visited prior to this. I haven't been to Atlanta since I was about 10 years old.
Stone Mountain performance day. We were up early so that we could get to Stone Mountain. They hotel offered our group a grab and go breakfast consisting of fruit, pastries, granola bars and juice. We were scheduled to perform at Stone Mountain at 11:00, so we arrived there at 10:00. For those of you not familiar with Stone Mountain, it is the largest body of exposed granite in the world. It features a memorial carving of three heroes of the Confederacy…..General Robert E Lee, General Stonewall Jackson, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. There is a lot of activities to do there so we were looking forward to spending the day.
While we were waiting for the performance, we looked around the area and I purchased a couple of postcards for my travel journal. The cloggers performed near the Cable car Sky Ride. There was not a big crowd there so it was mostly parents watching this performance. It was a good practice for their performance on Sunday though. They did a great job, but I could tell that they were hot!!
After her performance, DD17 changed clothes and we drove to the picnic area to eat our lunch. I had brought food for sandwiches so that we could save a little $ and not have to pay theme park prices for food.
After lunch, DD and DH decided to ride the Sky ride to the top of Stone Mountain. I decided not to ride since I am deathly afraid of heights and I cannot stand to ride any type of chairlift. Here are some pics from the top…..
After DH and DD came back down from the top, we walked around and took some pictures at the Memorial Lawn. They have terraces along the side of the lawn that are named for the states that were part of the confederacy. The terraces can be reserved during the nighttime laser show.
We also went in the Discovering Stone Mountain Museum. They had a replica of a section of the carving so that you could see how large they really are. Here is my daughter sitting in the mouth of one of the horses.
DD wanted to watch a couple of films that they had there (one was on how the mountain was carved, and another was on Atlanta’s role in the Civil War). She really only wanted to watch the films so that she could take a power nap. (She said….”Let’s go watch a film so I can nap like I do in American Adventure!”)
We then walked over to ride the Scenic Railway. It is a train that takes you on a 5 mile ride around the mountain. Just as we boarded, they announced that they had to shut down the train since there were storms within a 10 mile radius. Are you kidding me? So we got off the train, and got some ice cream. Cause ice cream is the answer to all of life’s problems….right?
After we finished our ice cream, they allowed us to board the train, and thankfully all the storms were over around the area. The ride was relaxing, but not a lot to see. During Christmas time, they have more to see along the train ride. (They still have some of the Christmas decorations up)
We were a little tired and thirsty at this point, so we walked back to our car to get some of the water bottles from our cooler in the trunk. After getting our water, we went to see the Journey 2- a 4-movie that they have there. It was a while to the next show, so we walked in some of the shops in the area. We went to see the show which features spraying water and moving seats.
After the show, we had about 13 minutes to get to the pavilion reserved for our team meal. Our tickets actually included all of the activities in the park, a catered meal, and a reserved terrace for the nighttime laser show.
We had hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and cookies for our catered meal. After the meal, we went to play mini-golf (it was included in our ticket).
By this time, it was time for us to head over to our reserved terrace to watch the night time laser show. They also provided sodas and popcorn…and chairs!!!!!
The laser show was pretty good. It focused on Georgia athletic teams, Georgia music and of course a good rendition of Dixie. The patriotic ending was the best part.
After the show ended, we headed back to our hotel. We were so tired that we got into bed pretty quickly.
Glad you guys enjoyed Stone Mountain! I haven't been in a few years now; I love the Laser Show.... Reading this makes me think it's time to visit again.... last time we were there it was during the winter and they had "snow mountain"; which meant there was no laser show playing.... So, it's been a long, long time since I've seen the laser show....
Stone Mountain looks like a beautiful place! I'm not sure I'd have braved the chair lift, either, but they got an amazing view from the top. I enjoyed the clogging videos-- those girls are hard workers!