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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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We went to the Market last Saturday to get some tree ornaments and candle holders as Christmas gifts. Well we failed to get enough. I have the hairdresser this morning before the greys take over but after that we have to go back, Rory had some Churros so guess he will be looking for more
Scottish Hogmanay (with a stolen Picture)
Last edited by Thomhazel; 12-14-2013 at 09:55 AM..
It never ocurred to me that Paris would do a Christmas Market. For some reason I just pictured that as a strictly German thing to do. I guess it's "European" instead.
I think it's fair to say that they started out as a German thing, now everyone has them. Seriously, every shopping mall I've been to here in the last couple of weeks has at least a couple of small huts outside selling food or gifts in a small scale European market.
You showed some considerable restraint by not making purchases! I couldn't have done that. At Harrod's, I bought 5 jars of jam within 10 minutes of being inside the store. Duh - could have waited till we were on our way out, but no. I just see - and buy.
I have to say I'm often like that, but I was conscious that I didn't bring that much cash with me and I wasn't expecting to buy a lot, so things would've had to go on the credit card, and I was also concerned by how much the backpack was filling up and how much it was starting to weigh.
I admit I wondered when you had eaten the onion soup if you had just made sure it was vegetable broth. I'm sorry it's been ruined for you now, but at least you know.
Definitely better to know and it's just something that genuinely has never crossed my mind at all. If it's called onion soup, surely it's made with an onion/vegetable base? That's certainly how I'd make it anyway...
That market looks nice. I love the unique items and the ornament is very nice. I could use that whole pile of chocolate right now. It's been that kind of day.
I couldn't face it right now - very big dinner last night at our work Christmas do!
We went to the Market last Saturday to get some tree ornaments and candle holders as Christmas gifts. Well we mama fade to to get enough. I have the hairdresser this morning before the greys take over but after that we have to go back, Rory had some Churros so guess he will be looking for more
Thursday 5 December – part eight: I had no idea McDonald’s did these!
We quickly found the Disney Store and got some photos outside, as a few years ago, I was told by a security guy in there that no photos were allowed. It’s the only Disney Store in the world that’s ever happened to me, so understandably, today I was a bit wary.
Once again, there was a big security presence inside the store, so I did a couple of sneak photos to test the water inside and then I didn’t get thrown out I became a bit more obvious and there was no issue. Maybe the guy that day had just been a bit over zealous.
All the Paris stuff was downstairs and they had a cool selection and I ended up getting a card holder, as Mark’s been telling me to get one for a while. I don’t know about you, but on this side of the pond, it feels like every single store has a loyalty card, and I always spend forever finding the right one for the right store whenever I’m out shopping these days.
The whole of the downstairs area was very cool.
And look what I found!
There was also a very cool Steamboat Mickey here and if you pushed the button by him, then the music from the film played and he did a little dance to it, which was really neat.
But perhaps coolest of all was the wallpaper they had down here.
Once we were done in there, we headed back into the cold of the Champs Elysees. By now, the hat, the snood and the gloves were all in evidence (I was very glad for my winter coat at this point… ) as it was getting a lot colder outside now. It wasn’t unbearable once we were all togged out, but there was a definite nip in the air and I’d say Accuweather was right yesterday with its prediction of temperatures in the low 30s, rather than the mid to high 30s, although in fairness, that was probably the temperature earlier on in the day.
We kept walking up the Champs Elysees…
….and we stopped off in this shopping arcade…
… because of this…
Now you know me and macaroons and if you don’t, well I love the things and I rarely get them at home, so I was in heaven here.
I got five in here and then we headed outside again.
It wasn’t long before we both wanted a break and a chance to sit down. I saw a café, but Mark had spotted a McDonald’s a little further along and that worked for me. After all, it would be cheaper.
What I wasn’t expecting to find in there was macaroons and, even better we got a box of six for €5 (c. $6.90), we weren’t expecting much from them. Oh wow, how wrong can you be? They were superb and much better quality than we had expected. In fact, they were so good that when we’d finished eating those and the hot chocolate we also got, we headed back downstairs and I got a box of 12 to take home with us!
I am so glad you got your favorite treat! I am planning on trying these next chance I get. I mean not from McDonald's in Paris, but when I see them around here. Lol! Now if our McDonald's was like that I would eat there more often. I swung through there yesterday and got oatmeal. It had a hair in it. I swear this kind of thing happens to me all the time. Sorry, rambling. Anyway love this update!
That Disney Store looks wonderful! I want that wallpaper. I've certainly never seen a MacDonald's around here with anything other than the usual menu. ALL those baked goods, not just the macaroons, look fabulous.
One further note about the onion soup... I know there's no Trader Joe's grocery store in the UK, but in the states they make a VERY good frozen French onion soup that is vegetarian. Perhaps a similar store near you would have an alternative. I make my own with vegetable stock and it's not hard, freezes well.
French Onion Soup
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen
5-6 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (3-4 small ones)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat, mostly because it was there)
1/2 cup + dry white wine (I used a chardonnay)
8 cups mushroom stock (low sodium, if you can find it)
2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 cups (to taste) grated Swiss*
8 to 12 1-inch thick rounds French bread, toasted until hard
*The world of kosher cheese is sadly limited. And the selection of kosher cheeses available to me in DC is even more limited. So my options, while adequate, are not necessarily the best. For cheese, I used Miller’s Swiss cheese slices. Each bowl got one long slice of cheese, either ripped up in pieces and sprinkled on top or cut in half and layered on. If you have shredded Swiss cheese available, then use the measurements above and heap it on.
1. Heat the oil in the bottom of a stock pot over medium to low heat.
2. Add the onions, toss to coat them in oil and cover the pot. Reduce the heat some more, cover, and walk away. No, seriously, go away. The onions don’t need you right now. What they need is a 15 minute break. It’s not you, it’s them.
3. After 15 minutes, uncover the pot, raise the heat to medium-low, and stir in the sugar (it helps draw out the water and helps the caramelization process). Let the onions caramelize for the next 30 or 40 minutes, but make sure to stir them often. If they start crisping, lower the heat. You want them to be dark golden brown, but they have to stay soft. Also, I will tell you from personal experience, if you don’t let the onions caramelize properly, your soup will not be French onion. It will just be oniony soup, which is very much not the same thing. It’s sad when this happens, trust me. If it looks like they need some more liquid, add some wine, a little at a time.
After the onions are fully caramelized, sprinkle the flour over them and cook for about three minutes, stirring the whole time. Next, add the wine. If you used wine in the last step, I still want you to use the full 1/2 cup. There is no such thing as too much wine with your caramelized onions. Also, use the wine to deglaze the bottom of the pot (read: scrape up all the brown bits of flavor from the bottom of the pot).
5. Add the stock and the water slowly, stirring as you go. Once all of it is in, bring the soup to a simmer and let it do it’s thing for another 30-40 minutes, partially covered. Feel free to salt and pepper to taste during this time (Note – if you’re adding cheese to the top, go easy on the salt since the cheese will add some to the dish as well).
Your soup is now done. In fact, it’s delicious. It’s also vegan, so if you don’t eat cheese, please enjoy this amazing soup right now. It’s amazing. For those of you who do eat cheese (and who still have the patience to continue smelling this amazing soup but not yet being able to eat it), please continue reading to get the full effect…
6. Toast your French baguette rounds until they’re hard (but not browned, so set them in your toaster on a very low setting and keep an eye on them). Take a stick of butter/margarine and lightly coat both sides of each round.
Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and place your oven-proof bowls on it. Ladle some boiling soup into them.
8. Top each bowl with as many slices of bread as you will fit, and cover those with cheese( see cheese note above). Place in the oven for 20 minutes, then put it on broil for an additional three, or until the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.
9. Remove the bowls from the oven (carefully, they’re very hot) and serve immediately. If you want, feel free to sprinkle on some dried oregano or herbs de Provence.