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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Disney Update: Dsis finally booked for our stay. She stays fancier than we do, so the deal is that I will give her what a cheap place would cost for August and I, and she takes that and books whatever she wants. She made a decision and booked the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista family suite with King BR for her and DH and and bunk beds or sofa bed for DS and I in the living room area.
I love the bunk beds, just because the top bunk gives a great place to keep belongings off the floor and out of sight.
I get to cancel my own hotel for August 16th, because they have this place from the 13th to the 21st. There is a free shuttle, so we'll use that some, and it's closer in, so Uber is a good option.
Cheryl, Cam, and Pam: yes, it's nice to have the whole thing sorted out. Now that the hotel is booked, Dsis is finally getting excited about planning the trip.
She clarified that she'll be in a smaller standard room the night we arrive, so I'm keeping the good old Rodeway for DS and I that night. It will be a little bit of a pain to have to move hotels on a park day. I hope I don't have too much crap, but I probably will. We are headed to the Keys next, and we probably will have our camping gear. Sigh.
Which itinerary would you pick? I've based the choices off of crowd calendar predictions, both seem like they will be ok, no EMH at the chosen parks, no early closures, no serious crowd alerts.
Fr-Epcot and move hotels
Sun-MK (closes at 9)
Fr-rest day. Move hotels
Sa-MK (closes at 10)
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Now let me say this. I'm touring with DS, who will be 10. He does not do thrill rides or creepy rides (ie Haunted Mansion). Epcot is likely to be boring. If I could take the trip without him...well, lets not go there...
MK will be much more entertaining for him, which was a big part of me deciding to do EP first. I'm worried that if we do MK first, he will want to bail on EP.
BUT, being able to stay at MK until 10+ at night is VERY appealing to me.
I think we will go with choice #2!
ADRs for Option 2: Well, I had ADRs for Beirgarten on Friday and Crystal Palace on Sunday. I have Beaches and Cream on Monday. BUT, I was able to get Beirgarten and Crystal Palace on Option 2 days as well. I'm currently holding both. Yay!!!! I think I don't care as much about B&C, so I'm happy to give it up, or leave EP to walk over on Monday. Either way.
Thanks for your input! I'm going to keep my ADRs for both days options till we get a little closer, but I'm now strongly leaning to Option 2.
DH has been working hard our visa applications. It's taking FOREVER, but I think he might be ready to submit. They wanted SO much info, and all in very specific formats. Itinerary, bank statement, flight reservation info, hotel info etc.
My job was to type up an itinerary. Honestly, we have no idea where we are going or when. We'll make lasting decisions once we get there, we only have hotel ressies for the first 2 nights, cause that's how we like to travel. That said, I had to come up with something. It was good, got me exploring around on TripAdvisor some more, and now I'm a little more educated and a little more excited to visit the country. This is what I came up with:
Jun 21-28 Santa Cruz (Large European-style city)
Jun 29-31 Samaipata (Historic small colonial Andean Foothills town, near site of Che Gueverra's death and memorial)
Jul 1-Jul7 Cochambamba (Large colonial city, great climate)
Jul 8-10 La Paz (High altitude big city near lake Titicaca)
July 11-17 Coroico (Wet tropical town, foothills, jumping off point for rainforest adventures).
July 18-22 Rurrenabaque (Small town, edge of Amazon rainforest)
July 23-26 Coroico (see above)
July 26-28 La Paz (See above)
July 29-Aug 1 Sucre (Capitol, colonial architecture)
Aug 2-4 Santa Cruz (see above)
As you can see, it's easy to spend 6 weeks in a country the size of Bolivia. If we follow the above itinerary, we will only see a small portion of the central area of the country. We won't be seeing the Pampas area, nor will we be heading south to the wine country area. The rainforest is our priority, so that's the direction I created the itinerary toward.
In WDW news, I'm debating AK over EP for our 2nd day now. The main reason is I think the shows will hold DS's interest more at AK. No decision made on that yet.