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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Remembering the fallen on France’s battlefield COMPLETED 7/6
As our Swiss trip report has just concluded, I thought I'd start the next one...
Remembering the fallen on France’s battlefields
Pre-trip report: Sold!
Dates: Saturday 9 June Adventurers: Me, Cheryl (45) and DH Mark (52) Destinations: Arras and Cambrai, northern France Resorts: N/A Meets: meeting new friends on a coach trip Celebration: enjoying a day out to the continent
A couple of years ago I joined a club through work, which offered some great benefits, not least admission to all English Heritage properties for two adults (and up to six children – not that we’d take advantage of that!). Considering I only pay something like £45 a year ($58) for membership and for two adults to have English Heritage membership for a year would be £99 ($129), it was a no-brainer really.
Since then, they’ve added in free admission to Historic Royal Palaces, which includes the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace and we’ve taken advantage of various other offers, including a taster day clay pigeon shooting, a cocktail tasting evening and a special screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, where a whole screen was booked out for us. All were very reasonably priced and lovely bonuses to my membership.
It was January when I received an email, one of many, from this club, but this one piqued my interest. It was for the Battle of Cambrai tour. There wasn’t much information available, but it said it was a day trip to visit the sites marking the battle, renowned as the first great tank attack in history.
Even better, it was only £15 ($20) for me as a member and £25 for Mark ($33) as a non-member. Sold!
However, the trip was obviously popular, as I emailed quite quickly after the notification came out and I was told that we were on the waiting list – spots one and two. The guy organising it said that he’d got a couple of people who’d be coming back to him that evening and I hoped that perhaps they’d pull out. Well, we were in luck, as we had our places confirmed the following morning.
I tried to find out a bit more information now we were booked on it, but information was limited. I knew the names of the cemeteries we’d be visiting, but given there are literally hundreds of them across Northern France, that didn’t help much. We would be going to the Cambrai Tank Museum, I found that much out and there would also be a lunch stop in Arras, but that was about it. I knew it would be a long day, as the event times were 7:15am to 9:00pm
I didn’t find out just how long the day would be until a few days beforehand, when we got an email with instructions for the pick-up points. The group we were going with were from east Kent, not quite local to us, but near enough to get there for events. Therefore, the two pick-ups were both in east Kent – one in Dover and the other in Folkestone. After finding out that there were only 30 parking spaces in Dover and they charged for those, we opted for Folkestone, which was the slightly later pick-up time. It would be leaving at 7:05am prompt, as we had to be at the Eurotunnel terminal by a specific time. Boy, this would be a very early start for a Saturday morning…. Hopefully it would be worth it though….
Saturday 9 June – part one: how coach passengers arrive at Eurotunnel…
We were up and early when the alarm cheerfully started to chirp at 5:00am. Ugh. I am at least a little happier to be woken up early when adventures await and they certainly did today.
We were ready and on the road earlier than I figured we would be – by 5:45am and we had a smooth journey down to Folkestone. It’s so nice that we were able to do this drive in the daylight, one of the delights of going away in June, around the longest day of the year.
We got there to the car park about 6:25am and we were the first to arrive. We watched as others turned up, enjoying the parking exploits of some of them, shall we say?
Then a guy turned up who got out what appeared to be a poppy wreath out of the trunk of his car. We figured that had to be the organiser and I figured we’d get out of the car. Let’s just say that was a shock to the system. My goodness, it was cold and windy there! Mark immediately began to reassess whether he should have worn shorts. I was in cropped leggings and felt just about Ok in those. At least there was a woman joining us on the tour that had a very summery dress on, shall we say?
We quickly discovered that the guy with the poppy wreath was Phil, the event organiser, and oh my goodness, what an amazing guy he was. He ticked names off and then started to hand out folders of A4 paper, which must’ve run to 50 odd pages. It detailed the battles of the sites we’d be visiting today, along with details of the tanks, although it was very intense reading, shall we put it that way? Still, he had obviously gone to so much trouble, it was clear that he wanted people to get a lot out of today and that certainly came across when we spoke to him later in the day. He started out just doing one of these tours and to date, has done 27. He’s very heavily involved with the Commonwealth War Graves commission, more of which later…
Anyway, the second we boarded the coach, I was impressed. This was a big improvement on the standard of coaches we usually get for shore excursions whenever we’re cruising, let’s put it that way…
We got seats fairly near the front, and they turned out to be very positioned, as there was a guy opposite us, who’s one of the main organisers in the club, and two guys in front of us, all of whom shared Mark’s sense of humour, shall we say? They all got on like a house on fire, although I really cannot repeat a lot of the conversation on family boards. Suffice to say they had an absolute ball together and I’m so glad we got the opportunity to talk to them.
There was a bit of confusion just before we were due to leave, as apparently there were two people who’d turned up for the tour on the off-chance that there might be space for them, and then there were three people who were booked who didn’t turn up at all, so the couple were very lucky and got on board after all.
We left at the appointed time of 7:05am and made our way over to the Eurotunnel terminal, which was about 10 minutes away. Our guide for the day had already checked everyone had their passports with them.
Although we’ve used the tunnel many times before, this would be our first time on a coach, rather than in a car, so we were fascinated to see how it all worked. We headed into the coach parking area and were told that we would disembark and go through passport control, before then having a bit of time for shopping and a restroom stop, and by a bit of time, I mean a very little bit.
We headed inside…
… and were greeted by a passport control just for coach passengers. We were through in a couple of minutes and were immediately into the main terminal. The irony was we’d walked past this goodness knows how many times without realising what was here. How bizarre!
We made a restroom stop and Mark bought a newspaper and some mints for the trip (they kept me going all day! ) and then we headed back to the coach. Sadly the place is starting to show its age and, in fairness, it is more than 20 years old now.
We saw this on the way out…
Next: are we going to get an “extra special” check