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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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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.

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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.

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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 03-31-2011, 12:27 AM   #31
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What a great start Chez...and a wonderfully looking itinerary. How great that you were able to plan your trip during Wendy's

I was sorry that our trips did not collide this year but I was pretty happy to see that December 2012 is in the cards as we are heading back then as well...I so miss WDW at the holidays.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:25 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by mcc0313 View Post
I was sorry that our trips did not collide this year but I was pretty happy to see that December 2012 is in the cards as we are heading back then as well...I so miss WDW at the holidays.
Cool - hopefully we'll see you then!
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:25 AM   #33
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Pre-trip report – part two: what do you mean we can’t use our points anymore?

Some dates roughly set, all we had to do then was wait until we could start booking things. That’s usually at the 11 month mark, when flights first become available. I had been hoping that we’d be able to fly Upper Class again, and I thought I’d set enough money aside to do it at least one way, but let’s just say that when the prices came out, they were stupidly expensive. I decided to hold fire to see if they changed at all and, when they didn’t, I decided to get on with it and just go ahead and book. By this time, it was mid June and unfortunately, Upper Class really wasn’t an option for us, as the seats on our flights were all sold out. Oh well, I guess we’ll have to slum it in Premium Economy then....

I went ahead and booked our seats and snagged what seemed to be the last couple of seats on both flights. The worse was to come, when I came to actually allocate our seats. On the return flight, there were only two individual seats left, one downstairs and the other upstairs. Not what I needed to see. I rang Virgin Atlantic and told them what had happened and the guy I spoke to assured me that I’d be able to switch things around when online booking opened 24 hours before the flight. Well, I sure as heck hope so. I don’t relish the idea of not being able to sit next to my husband for a seven plus hour flight home. :

Once that was done, I got on the phone to the DVC. As it was still past the seven month mark, all I could do was book at our home resorts, so that’s what I did. I got us a one-bedroom villa at the Beach Club Villas for the first four nights we’d be there and that would be one reservation that would not be changing, as not only do we love the Beach Club Villas, but I also knew Wendy and her family would be staying there at that time as well.

I didn’t book much else, although I grabbed a couple of nights at a studio at Saratoga Springs, then again a few days later, I got the same thing. I was hoping I could swap them out for the Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge respectively, once the seven month mark rolled around.

There was nothing else to book, as I was still waiting to see what Mark’s family were doing. It took forever to find out, with people gradually dropping out, as they couldn’t afford it. It was understandable enough, as one group who were planning on going did have to pay for their wedding in May 2010 and they wanted to do some work to their house as well. As they said, they wanted to have enough money to enjoy it and it wasn’t looking like they would. It was a sensible decision....

By July, I had figured out that there was something else we could do – and that was get our Annual Passes. The pound was still in a poor position against the dollar at just $1.55 to £1, which trust me, is not good. That was highlighted by the fact, that even with our $100 Disney Vacation Club reduction on the price of an Annual Pass, it was only marginally cheaper than buying a 21-day pass over here. That has never happened before. Adding on another $20 or so when the prices went up would perhaps make the Annual Pass even more expensive, so we got on and bought them.

Of course, Wendy and I couldn’t resist talking about the time we’d be spending together, and plans began to form in our minds. When she mentioned that she was thinking about Josh and Ben doing the Segway tour around Fort Wilderness, I was there. I’d wanted to do it, ever since they announced it, as I thought it would be a lot different to the Epcot Segway tours, but sadly with my chronic fatigue, we’d had to bail on it during our Christmas 2009 trip. I was feeling stronger all the time and was managing to pace myself much better these days, so I suggested that the four of us could go on it, so that was agreed.

We also settled on dinner together at the Cape May Cafe on the night we arrived, which would make things nice and easy, as at least we could arrive, get to the Beach Club and then just flop down there for the night. That would work. I also suggested that we all head to Beaches and Cream, as soon as we got back from our Segway adventure, so that was another piece of the puzzle in place. By now, Heather (ilovedisney247) and I were also chatting about meals we could enjoy with her and Brandon and we threw a few ideas around, although my caution was that we didn’t know what Mark’s family were doing.

In amongst all of this uncertainty, we also had to add in the situation with our friends, Sean, Sharon and their son Ciaran, who’s now four. We see them every few weeks, as they live near us and they’re a great family. They were thinking about going to Disney and they liked the idea of going at the same time as us, so that they could tag along with us and “learn from the experts”, as they kept saying. Well, if you say so then! We talked a lot about it and, after one night over at ours for a barbecue, where they both sat down with PassPorters, loving everything they were reading, they decided that they were going to go after all.

Unfortunately, it didn’t look like it would work out for them to be there at the same time as us. When they went to book, they discovered just how expensive it was to go around Easter and apparently the flight we were on with Virgin was pretty much fully booked by early August They e-mailed instead to say that they’d probably look at going in May 2011 instead. My response was that it was way too hot for us, which is why we’d chosen April instead. When we met up with them a few days later, they admitted that they hadn’t thought about the problem with the heat and, as their son didn’t do too well with the heat, they were now looking at taking an earlier flight, arriving a few days before us and then overlapping with us for about five or six days. Finally, that had worked out!

During that conversation, we talked about the fact that we’d be cruising on the Disney Dream and they seemed interested, but as they said, it was too much for them with the Norwegian fjords cruise they were also planning for 2011. As they talked about how much that was costing, they started to say that perhaps they should forget that cruise and just go for the Disney experience instead. We tried not to push them too much, but this was sounding promising...

It was around this time that the fateful day of Saturday 21 August dawned. It’s a day that will forever be etched in my memory, as it was such a nightmare and a real rollercoaster of emotions. I logged on to the PassPorter boards that morning, as I always do every day and was horrified to see rumours circulating that DVC members could no longer use their points for either Alaskan cruises in 2011 or, even worse from our point of view, the Dream until September 2011. Surely not! :

As soon as Member Services opened, I called to ask what was going on and the lovely woman on the end of the phone confirmed it to me that this rumour was true. She was so sweet, asking if she could do anything else or book any other dates for me, but as I told her “we only have one flight booked to the States before September 2011 and we can’t afford another”. My voice was breaking and as I put the phone down, I just burst into tears. It’s strange, but sometimes it’s only when you see something about to be snatched away from you that you realise how much you really want it. That’s exactly what had happened with the Disney Dream. Without realising it, I had really set my heart on going on that ship.

By the time the tears stopped, a fierce determination took its place and I knew that, one way or another, I was going to get on that ship. After all, if I wanted it so badly, surely we should do it? I then put my frustrations to good use, researching what was still available on that cruise and how on earth we could fund it.

I worked out that if we didn’t go to Universal this trip, that would save us about £350, between one night’s stay at one of the Universal hotels and a two day pass for the parks, so that was about half of the fare saved already. I also started to look at how else I could use the points that been mentally already allocated to the Disney Dream cruise. One option was to do an exchange, so we could stay at one of the Club Intrawest properties in Vancouver and, if we did that, that would save us another £300 off our August/September 2011 trip. Those savings would pretty much pay for our cruise, so at least I knew we could afford it...

The next issue was what was still available? I had been keeping an eye on the Disney Cruise website to see what would be available to use our points on, so I knew a lot of the lower categories had already sold out. Indeed, the lowest category now available was 8C and that was about as far as our budget would stretch. Having established that, I decided to request a quote from Mouse Fan Travel and I asked for everyone’s favourite PassPorter newsletter editor, Sara Varney, to be my travel agent. She came back with a quote for me for an 8C cabin and, just as I was about to pay for it, I asked in passing if there was anything available of a lower grade. I assumed that the answer would be : but I was delighted when Sara came back and said there was a category 10 GTY available, which would save us about £100 or so (result! ).

I asked Sara’s advice on the likelihood of an upgrade, knowing there were, of course, no guarantees, and she was very honest with me and said that because the Disney was a new ship, at this stage they just didn’t know. Her advice was to only go down this road if we would be happy in a category 10 cabin. I did some research on the location of those cabins, as that was the only thing that concerned me slightly, but they all seemed to be in reasonable locations, so after discussing it with Mark, we decided to go for it. After all, the worst that could happen was that we’d end up with an inside stateroom – and heck, you know what that means on the Disney Dream, right? Virtual portholes! If we were upgraded, well, heck, so much the better! Either way, we couldn’t lose!

I told Sara that we’d go for that and she had already read my mind and had put a hold on a category 10 GTY the night before when she’d first mentioned it, as she had a suspicion that would be our choice. How well she knows me! So finally, we would get aboard the Disney Dream – it had all worked out in the end, thank goodness.

Next: a wonderful Disney surprise in Bordeaux, France!
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:21 AM   #34
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I remember when DVC announced this- what a nightmare for you. At least it all worked out and you still get to go on the Dream
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:32 AM   #35
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Ugh that sounds so frustrating! Glad you were able to figure it all out in the end!
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:44 AM   #36
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Glad you got it all sorted out! Sorry about not being able to use points for the cruise!
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:47 AM   #37
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Oh, the suspense!! With me not being a DVC member, I pay no attention so I had no idea about not being able to use your points. Wow, I think I would have reacted exactly as you did - tears!!! Thank goodness you were able to figure out a way to go after all. Good work Cheryl!!!! Having only cruised twice, I never had the courage to book a GTY room - I can't wait to see if you get upgraded or not!!!!
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:12 AM   #38
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Great start Cheryl! Glad to hear that you were able to work the snag out with the Dream (you guys deserve it after Egypt!! ) I can't wait to hear the rest of your plans!
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:57 AM   #39
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Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:18 AM   #40
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Ack! I remember when DVC made that announcement. I'm glad it all worked out for you.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:26 AM   #41
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A great start! Can't wait to hear all about the trip.

It's really eating at me that you'll only be one state away!
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:32 AM   #42
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So glad you were still able to work the cruise in!!!
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:40 AM   #43
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So happy that everything worked out for you!!!!
More pls!
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:30 PM   #44
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More great plans.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:06 PM   #45
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We were so relieved to have booked in July when the no DVC points announcement came out! But I remember how upset everyone was by that. I hope they never do that again!
We have our first ever GTY booking for the 2nd of our B2B cruises on the Dream - and for once I am hoping NOT to get an upgrade as I so want a virtual porthole for part of our trip (we have a verandah the first half).
Plans are sounding great! I think it would be so much fun to have a bunch of PP meets on a trip!
Looking forward to tomorrow's installment. I assume you already have this all mapped out to string us along right up to your departure!
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Check out my NEW Trip Report: http://www.passporterboards.com/foru...d.php?t=300278
My Countdown Counting down to: Melekalikimaka - our Hawaiian Christmas
Aloha....back to reality, and a new countdown
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My Previous TripsDisneyLand too many times to count; DisneyWorld: ('82; '94; '00; '04; '05; '08 - twice!; '10;'11 - twice; '13; '14, '15, '17); DCL (all 4 ships): ('00, '05, '06, '10, '11, '13, '15, '17); DVC Hilton Head Resort :D ('06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13 - twice, '15, '16, '17, ‘18)
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