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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Saturday 9 June – part five: the reason for the whole trip
We made our way out on our coach and through a little village. We saw so many similar to this…
I think it was here that our guide told us about a place we went through that celebrates the Australians and what they did for the village in World War I. However, it was interesting, because as he spoke, he was talking about how many Australians died here and compared to the British, it was a tiny number, perhaps 0.1%. However, obviously there’s a link, because he said it’s not uncommon for the little bed and breakfast places here to book people in and then if an Australian wants to visit, you’ll get bumped out, with various excuses, so they can accommodate the Australian instead. Not somewhere I think I’d voluntarily come… unless I was Australian of course!
The next cemetery we visited was called Fins New British Cemetery, final resting place to 1,273 souls. It was captured from the Germans in April 1917, but lost a year later and was then finally recaptured in August 1918. Doesn’t that just highlight the sad futility of this war? So many years spent fighting over so little land. Again, the majority in here are British, although there are also Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans and even 233 German soldiers.
Now this cemetery is the reason for this entire trip, although we didn’t know it until we got on the coach earlier. It turns out that one of the members of the club had been on an earlier trip to Ypres in Belgium. They were trying to find the grave of their relative, but with no joy. Our guide took the challenge on and discovered the wrong name had been put down in the book the family had originally found in Stirling Castle. He eventually found the grave here and the family had travelled here to finally see the grave and lay a wreath. Even more amazing, for the first time in something like 100 years, Stirling Castle amended their entry as a result of the research our guide did. Wow, he really is quite something. ;yes:
In the distance, Mark pointed out these guys…
Every time we’re in this part of the world, I can’t help but wonder whether the farm animals roaming around feel any differently somewhere that’s home to potentially thousands of bodies. Probably not. They seem so peaceful, but it is such a melancholy place and I know animals sometimes have a sense for these things….
Once again, there were poppies here:
However, in the distance, there were signs that life still goes on here as normal, despite its morbid history…
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Both of the cemeteries are quite special and so well done with so much detail! They are well laid out and kept up so well. Pretty amazing with your guide and the detective work he accomplished successfully for that family! So many losses for one battle but it pales in comparison to those who were lost during WW II with the D-Day invasion! That's quite odd with the B&B's policy regarding Australian visitors.
October 6, 2017-Enjoying an amazing dinner at Victoria & Albert's with PP's Dot and Drew
My TR from my most recent trip is now underway. Includes: Universal Studios Florida, Disney World and Sea World Orlando Trifecta TR -Updated December 10th! TR is now COMPLETED!
Both of the cemeteries are quite special and so well done with so much detail! They are well laid out and kept up so well. Pretty amazing with your guide and the detective work he accomplished successfully for that family! So many losses for one battle but it pales in comparison to those who were lost during WW II with the D-Day invasion!
If you take just these cemeteries then but the casualties really weren't as high as you might think during D-Day, an estimated 4,000 Allied and between 4,000 and 9,000 for Nazi Germany. Given what happened that day, it could've been so much worse.
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Saturday 9 June – part six: where the tanks first trundled into battle…
We headed to our next stop. This is Ribecourt Road cemetery with just 254 graves here. Yet again, just as with the previous cemetery, this changed hands during the war – captured first by the British in November 1917, lost in March 2018 and poetically, five months on again, recaptured.
The wood you can see in the distance is where the tanks first emerged when they were used during World War I. It was November 1917, when the British launched an attack towards Cambrai, using a large number of tanks in significant force for the first time in history. It was successful… to begin with anyway, with the British taking huge amounts of land, but the Germans launched a counter attack and took back much of the ground the British originally gained.
I can’t even begin to imagine what a sight that was when these machines suddenly came into view out of this peaceful place. Today the most action you’ll see here are some deer, or so our guide told us. We didn’t see any on our visit.
And once again, this poignant symbol was everywhere around…
Once again, we headed out in the coach.
Our next stop was the Monument to the Nations of the Battles of Cambrai. This monument is very recent and all started when a tank was found in 1998… but more of that later. It was decided to create a lasting memorial to honour all those who fought in the battle of Cambrai in World War I. Unveiled to mark the 90th anniversary of the battle back in 2007, it represents the soldiers of all nations who fought here. The ground is laid out as the Union Jack, the British flag, with each arm of it pointing to a significant place in the battlefield. In the centre of it, you see tank tracks and footprints alongside it. Our guide told us that something was wrong with it and they only found out when it was finished. After some searching, someone worked out that the tank tracks are going the wrong way – away from the battlefield. Oops! At the rear of the site are the flags of those countries that took part in the 1917 and 1918 battles.
And again, the surrounding countryside looked so peaceful, but goodness knows what horrors it had seen over the years….