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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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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
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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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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 07-28-2016, 08:33 PM   #16
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Signing on to follow another great trip. Can't wait to read all about your Canada part as I hope to get to that part of Canada someday.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:35 PM   #17
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Found this in the knick of time. Can't wait to read all about your adventures. Hard to believe it's almost been a year!

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Old 07-29-2016, 01:47 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Thomhazel View Post
Can't believe this trip is almost here where has this year gone
On my goodness, tell me about it! I have no clue. It's August on Monday - how did that happen?
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Old 07-29-2016, 01:48 AM   #19
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I am so excited to follow along on this trip as we considered going, but we'd already made plans with my sister's family for time they could be off.
I know - this must be the closest we've come to meeting you, as if we'd stuck to our original plans and gone back to Disney after our cruise, I think you'd have been there... 30 September? I can't believe our luck. One day we will get together!
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Old 07-29-2016, 01:49 AM   #20
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Found this in the knick of time. Can't wait to read all about your adventures. Hard to believe it's almost been a year!
I know. The time just seems to fly by faster and faster every year.
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Old 07-29-2016, 01:49 AM   #21
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Pre-trip report – part two: when are those miles going to show up?

So after leaving you with a cliff hanger from the first instalment, our Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles had finally shown up in our account, meaning we could go ahead, and see whether or not an Upper Class flight to Boston was still available on the day we wanted it.

So was it there? Thankfully yes it was! I pounced on that flight, and within a couple of minutes, it was all safely booked. So now we definitely were set – no turning back at this point. For me, this is when a vacation is real, once the flights are purchased.


The next step was to contact our travel agent Sara and rearrange our cruise. As she said, Bill must’ve been looking down on us, because sure enough, just as I’d thought, there was nothing extra to pay. I guess this was meant to be.

Almost as soon as I booked the flights, I contacted Dave and Robert, whose wedding we’d attended back in September 2015, to let them know that we’d be coming back to Boston. Dave’s reaction was classic, asking me if I meant November 2015. I definitely meant September 2016. At that point, Dave wasn’t sure whether they’d be around in Boston or not, as he could be on sabbatical, which I understood perfectly well, but that’s why I wanted to let them know at the earliest possible opportunity. I’d have kicked myself had they said “well, if only you’d let us know…”

The next thing to do was to sort out our accommodation for our time in Walt Disney World. I hadn’t quite figured out the plans for our road trip around eastern Canada, but I knew enough to work out it would take us just over a week and my plan was to fly down from Buffalo to Orlando sometime on Tuesday 20 September.

I knew I wanted to fly from an American airport, rather than a Canadian one, as if you rent a car in America, then try to return it in Canada, it’s complicated, shall we say? There are very few companies who will allow you to do rentals across country borders, which narrows the choices, and of course, it’s a lot more expensive.

Normally I would be booking any flights as soon as I could, but it just wasn’t an option with this, as we’re looking to fly Southwest and of course, they don’t have flights out that far ahead yet, so I’ll have to play the waiting game – something I’m not good at!

So we’ll be arriving at Disney on Tuesday 20 September, and will be leaving there the following Monday to board the Dream. Now, we absolutely love Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Beach Club Villas, so we knew we wanted to stay at both resorts if we possibly could. We’d only have six nights there, so it would be a push, and the other definite was I wanted to stay at the new Disney Vacation Club villas at the Polynesian as well. So, guess what we opted for?

If you said a two night stay in each location, you’d be sort of right… only because all we could book at this point were our two home resorts, Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Beach Club Villas. We went for one bedroom villas at both locations. We’ll start off at Animal Kingdom Lodge, then hopefully move to the Polynesian, but as we don’t own any points there, we have to wait until seven months before the trip, so February time, to try for there. At the moment, as a back-up plan, we’re booked at Saratoga Springs for those two nights, as that’s the third of our home resorts, and at least we know we have something. Finally, we’ll finish up at the Beach Club Villas. We did it that way, as the only definite we knew from the Walt Disney World section of our trip was that the hope is we’ll hit Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on the Friday night. If we could stay at the Polynesian (or if not, the Grand Floridian Villas or Bay Lake Tower), that would make getting back after the party a heck of a lot easier.

Now I do appreciate this is a lot of moving around, and it’s something that doesn’t appeal to everyone, but really it doesn’t bother us. We’ll have a rental car, and we’ll be used to moving around regularly, given we’ll be coming to Disney off the back of a week long road trip around eastern Canada. It’s also something we’re used to doing, as we regularly have split stays at Disney, and honestly it really doesn’t bother us that much.

We had to wait a couple more weeks before we could book the return flights home. Once again, it was the most frustrating process ever. The original plan was to fly back from Orlando after we returned from the Dream, but we really wanted to fly Upper Class. We have been completely and utterly spoilt, and if we have enough points, we’ll always go Upper Class, whereas if we’re paying cash, we’ll have to settle with Premium Economy.

A flight from Orlando came up on exactly the night I wanted, so I cashed in some more of our Tesco Clubcard points, as to fly back from Orlando would take 100,000 miles for the two of us, whereas if we were flying back from say New York, Washington or Boston, it would only be 80,000 miles for the two of us. Of course, I had 80,000 miles in my account, but not 100,000. Thankfully, the process was a lot quicker, and within 24 hours, the miles were in my account. Result!

I logged on to the Virgin Atlantic website, only to discover the flight I wanted had gone. Only Premium Economy seats were left for that night, and I knew Mark would much prefer to have his bed on the red eye back. Ok, no worries, there’ll be another flight from somewhere… won’t there?

Good grief, for about the next hour, I looked and looked and looked, then I looked a bit more. I tried routes from Washington, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Miami and Chicago, all to no avail. I was getting more and more frustrated with the whole thing. I could get Premium Economy flights, but nothing Upper Class, except from Boston. Eventually, after getting more and more frustrated with the whole thing, I had one final look at New York, and you seriously couldn’t make this up – from having nothing at all available to fly home on Saturday 1 October from JFK – suddenly there were seats in every category!

It took another 10 minutes before I was able to complete the booking, after the system refused to log me in, told me once the seats were no longer there in Upper Class (two minutes later they were back again ) and finally I was there. I had our return flights!

One of the reasons I went for a return flight from JFK is because of the Clubhouse Virgin Atlantic have there. That’s one of the perks for flying Upper Class, and outside of London Heathrow, it looks like one of their best. That was why I held off with some of the other destinations, like Chicago or Atlanta, as Virgin Atlantic use the airline lounges from other airlines. I knew from comments on previous trip reports that the American airline lounges are nothing like Virgin Atlantic’s, and heck I want to experience the best. See what I mean about being spoilt?

That meant that we’d have an extra night to spend at Disney – bonus! I went ahead and booked another night at the Beach Club Villas, although I have a plan in the back of my mind that may see us swap to the BoardWalk Villas for that final night, as we haven’t stayed there in many years and I know they have recently undergone a renovation. Hmmm…. We’ll see…

Next: 10 days to tour eastern Canada…
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Old 07-29-2016, 06:16 AM   #22
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Wow, what an ordeal to get all the flight arrangements take care of! But I'm glad it all worked out and you got the upper class that you wanted!
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Old 07-29-2016, 06:32 AM   #23
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Oh my goodness the flights were stressful! Glad it worked out.

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Old 07-29-2016, 07:25 AM   #24
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Glad you were able to get the flights all sorted out!!
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:00 AM   #25
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I know what you mean about being spoilt! Oh my goodness, I do love first class!!
Glad you were able to get all the flights aligned as you wanted them to be! And an extra night in Disney?
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:28 AM   #26
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Just signed on Cheryl Wow, those plans were complicated but I knew if anyone could pull it off, it was going to be you. This trip itinerary sounds like it's going to be amazing! I'm looking forward to hearing all about your plans.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:06 AM   #27
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That was a lot of work getting those flights booked! Glad it all worked out in the end. We're flying United Economy (in less than 3 weeks now! ) and I know I'll wish it was business or first. But, we have a daytime flight, so actually it may be better as I do not want to sleep one minute, so that when we get to our hotel in London maybe we'll be tired (even though it will only be about 5 pm East Coast time).
Tesco must be really generous in how they give out points, as you seem to be able to use them at least annually for flights?
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Old 07-29-2016, 11:03 AM   #28
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Wow that flight searching sounded exhausting - glad you ended up with the flights you wanted after all that work!
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Old 07-29-2016, 11:28 AM   #29
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:44 PM   #30
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Wow, what an ordeal to get all the flight arrangements take care of! But I'm glad it all worked out and you got the upper class that you wanted!
It was a bit of an ordeal. I wish Virgin and British Airways, as they operate a similar system, did things the way I understand most American airlines do - i.e. when you have enough points, you can just use them on any flights. I assume that's how it works anyway? This business of only being able to use your points on flights that suit the airline is a real pain.
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