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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Since we are fast approaching our next adventure, I couldn't leave you guys without another trip in the works!!
So back in October, Muffin surprised me one day with a question!!
Muffin and I were sitting around chatting and all of a sudden, he turned to me and said,"Do you want to go back to Vegas in March?". I replied, "What?!?!?" He went on further to say that he had to go to a trade show the week of March 13-17 and that he had gotten an offer from the Wynn for 4 Free nights and 500 bucks each in slot play.
So! He definitely had me at, "Do you want to go back to Vegas in March?", but he also threw in 1st class airfare-----BOTH ways!! He said that he would feel very guilty not to take me on this trip and that even though he had to work for some of it, he thought I might enjoy going back again. Well Duh!!!!!
He told me that the only condition was that I had to attend a couple of events in the evening and schmooze with his customers. As you guys know this is not, nor has it ever been, a problem for me , so I am now going to Las Vegas in March!! Movie star status baby!!
A little background. Muffin and I have been to Las Vegas countless times. If I had to guess a number, I would pick 15. From my memory, we have stayed at Treasure Island three times. Twice we loved it but when it became TI, we did not love it anymore. We stayed at the Bellagio four times and loved it every single time! We stayed at the Luxor three times and loved it every single time!! We stayed at Mandalay Bay twice, Monte Carlo once and this will be our third time staying at the Wynn. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be a true toss up between the Bellagio and the Wynn!!
In short, we love Vegas!!!
We love walking the Strip. We adore the restaurants. We love going into the different casinos. Like Disney, everything is themed to the nth degree and it is so fun to check out the different resorts!!
We have seen most of the Cirque shows. We saw Lance Burton. We saw Siegfried and Roy. We saw Phantom. We saw La Reve at the Wynn twice and we are planning on seeing it again.
We also love the free shows on the Strip. The fountains at the Bellagio are amazing!! The old Pirate Battle at Treasure Island was amazing!!
The only bad show I saw in Vegas was Wayne Newton. No offense to anyone who is a fan but he is not my cup of tea. Adrienne drug me there because she loves hm and she had to keep hitting my elbow because I was falling asleep!! In the beginning of the show, he was walking around kissing people and I told her if he made his way over to our table, I was leaving. Unfortunately, he did not. If the show wasn't bad enough, we were crammed into tables that were not large enough for as many people that were seated at it. The only cool thing was that it was at the Stardust Hotel which is no longer there. But I digress!!
Other than that very vivid memory, ALL of my other recollections are amazing!! We even took the kids once when it was trying to be family friendly. That was when we stayed at the Monte Carlo and it was part of a 'Brady Bunch' Los Angeles, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas adventure. We even rented an Astro Van!!
We have eaten at many world class restaurants in Vegas. They include:
The Eiffel Tower
Emeril's Delmonico Steakhouse
Emeril's New Orleans Fish House
In short, we are very much looking forward to our next Vegas vacation.
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As many of you know by now, Muffin and I love to eat!! We love to try new places and experience different cuisines. This has been a bit of a challenge wherever we go because Muffin has a very sensitive stomach and he is lactose intolerant. That being said, we have eaten at many fabulous places and most restaurants will happily accommodate us. However!!
One of the best things about travelling with my husband on business trips is that I get to spend lots of time by myself!! I don't mean this in a bad way. I have no issues with food whatsoever so dining on my own is not only less stressful but I can try out places that Muffin simply cannot go!! I have also done many solo trips and have no problem eating on my own. I'm sure you can see where this is gong........
Since I have three whole days to explore the Strip on my own, I made some really cool lunch reservations!! Ironically, they are all at the Wynn. I say that because I have no hesitation to get in a cab and go all the way to the other end of the Strip. The restaurants here are simply amazing looking and even though this will be our third stay here, we have only ever eaten at the buffet.
I digress for a moment to explain just how amazing the Wynn Buffet is!! First of all, eating at a buffet in Vegas can be truly equivalent to fine dining most anywhere else. We absolutely love the buffets at the Luxor, the Bellagio and Paris. They have filet, crab, wonderful soups and the food is fresh, plentiful and delicious!!
But our hands down favorite is the buffet at the Wynn. The buffet here has all of those items plus a bakery and an ice cream parlor with handmade gelato!! When we were here with Dave and Adrienne last year, we had a breakfast, a brunch, a lunch and a dinner at the buffet!! It was every bit as good as any restaurant we have dined at in Vegas.
That being said, there are some amazing looking restaurants that happen to be open for lunch at the Wynn that I would love to try. I have made it my mission this trip to knock three of them off my list for lunch since I will be on my own anyway.
I will l side track for a moment here to tell you guys that I have come to Vegas with Muffin plenty of times on business trips and am used to being off on my own. I plan to do my usual routine of walking the Strip in the morning. That entails either taking a cab down to the other end which is where Mandalay Bay is and walking back to the Wynn. It is just about four miles to walk from one end of the Strip to the other. I sometimes do the reverse and walk down and get a cab back.
My mornings are usually spent picking one or two casino resorts to stop at and walk around in. I haven't decided which ones to do that in yet this time but I am working on a plan. I figure that by the time I get back each day, it will be time for lunch and I will surely be hungry!!
After researching lots of eateries, I thought it would be fun to try a different restaurant each day for lunch as dinners will be spent with Muffin's clients and although I am sure that they will be fun, I really don't get to pick where we go.
Let me start by saying that the Wynn/Encore has eighteen restaurants. Eleven of these are open for lunch. It was seriously hard to pick three of them. I went on Open Table and decided to pick ones that were available there and this is what I came up with:
La Cave- LA CAVE—WINE & FOOD HIDEAWAY
Low ceilings and quiet nooks are what you'll find behind the glass facade and revolving door that is set into the hallway next-door to Terrace Pointe Café at Wynn. At La Cave—Wine & Food Hideaway you'll savor Chef Billy DeMarco's menu of small-plate items from the sea, farm, oven, garden, grill and butcher, paired with artisanal draught beers and an impressive wine list. La Cave offers three distinct environments—the cellar, the front bar area illuminated from above by a sign proclaiming In Vino Veritas, the rustic yet refined dining room, and a patio that looks out over the elegantly-landscaped Wynn resort pool and gardens.
Country Club- COUNTRY CLUB—A NEW AMERICAN STEAKHOUSE
The Country Club—A New American Steakhouse presents innovative fare by Chef Rene Lenger overlooking the 18th hole on the Wynn Golf Course. A Forbes Travel Guide Four Star award-winner, this restaurant is the realization of Steve Wynn's vision to create an upscale golf club that would be accessible to all guests. Savor charred-to-perfection steaks, ocean fresh seafood and prime rib elegantly carved table-side. The Country Club serves lunch, dinner and brunch on weekends, with a unique Jazz Brunch offered on Sundays featuring live music that was voted the "Best Brunch" in Las Vegas by the Southern Nevada Hotel Concierge Association.
Tableau- Just steps away from the private Wynn Tower Suites elevators, you'll find the bright and elegant American-style restaurant Tableau. If you are a guest in our Wynn Tower Suites, this is where you will enjoy daily complimentary breakfast. Chef David Middleton's menu builds on seasonally-sourced ingredients to present market-fresh breakfast, lunch and brunch selections like strawberry blintz buttermilk pancakes, heirloom tomato salad and Mediterranean branzino. Choose to sit in the conservatory to enjoy the gorgeous garden and pool views or dine outdoors, poolside on the patio.
These menus all look terrific and I can't wait to try each one!!
After my lunch, I will most likely gamble a bit and then go and get ready for the evenings. Our evening plans will depend on whatever events are happening related to Muffin's show. Usually, there are some nice parties.
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