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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Living the dream and remembering the Bagman UPDATED 3/21
This is the second part of my trip report from our September trip - yes, I know, but it's taken me this long to get to this point!
If you're only joining here, you've already missed the first 10 days of our vacation, which took us first to Boston, then we drove up to Maine, visited Acadia National Park, crossed the border into Canada, and visited Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara Falls, before returning to the States and spending the night in Buffalo. If you want to catch up, the first part of the trip report can be found in the Globetrotting trip reports forum.
You join us the next morning waking up in our hotel in Buffalo, about to make our way down to Florida and some Disney time...
Just to give you an idea as to the title of this trip report, that relates to two elements of this adventure. The first is a double reference - living the dream can refer to either our cruise on the Dream, which we took after our time at WDW or our visit to Canada, as it's been my dream to visit that part of the world for about 20 years.
The second part relates to the WDW portion of the trip, as we were heading there to remember Bill (LizardCop) on the boards, who was killed in the line of duty a year earlier. We all knew him as the Bagman, as he would look after everyone's bags while people went on the rides, as he did very few of them.
Hopefully that's enough of an introduction for people joining anew and for those following me here, glad to see you here!
Tuesday 20 September – part one: “are those rocket propellers on that plane?”
I struggled to get to sleep last night, but obviously slept well, as I heard the sound of water running, and assumed it was a tap. I wondered what Mark was up to, and he came back (I thought) to bed. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was running the shower, as it was just past 5:00am. My goodness, already?
We got going, packed the few bits we’d unloaded last night, and then made our way downstairs to the buffet. There wasn’t much I wanted. I got a couple of tiny chocolate muffins, and left it at that, as I couldn’t face scrambled egg that early in the morning. Mark had no such worries though…
At one point, I went over to front desk to ask for something, and the woman was asleep. This wouldn’t worry me that much, except it then turned out she’d be our shuttle driver. Thankfully, it was fine, and she chatted to us the whole way over – all of a five minute journey.
When we arrived, we were literally the next in line for Southwest to check our bags, and the first one came in exactly at 50lbs. The next one was 49.5lbs. Ok, this is impressive. The remaining two were 40lbs and 31lbs respectively, so I think we did really well.
We headed through security, and if I say we had about as many people in front of us in the regular line as in the TSA pre-check line, you get the idea. It was pretty dead this morning. The only problem was we had a complete idiot in front of us, who was emptying his pockets as he got to the scanner. At one point, the security guy actually came and asked him to move up, so other people could start unloading their stuff, which is what I wanted to do, except he was taking the whole conveyer belt up.
Just before we went through security, he decided he needed to remove his belt, and put it in a small tray. By the time he got to the other side, he was up at the top of the belt, removing his stuff, and stopping anyone else’s coming through. Then when I finally got there, I realised he’d caused a jam with the tray with my laptop having capsized on top of his small belt tray. What an idiot! I quickly realised that my liquids had also lost something from them (my lavender oil I use to help me sleep), but I’d moved away to make room for others, as you’re supposed to. Thankfully, Mark was still there gathering up his stuff and was able to rescue it for me.
We made our way through the terminal, with Mark stopping to look in the shop. I wasn’t thinking he’d have much luck there, but he did, finding a new Clive Cussler book, so he was happy, as he was worried he’d finish his current book during the flight down.
We headed for our gate, and given we were an hour and a half early, I was surprised at how many people were already there. Wow! Thank goodness we had left early, otherwise I don’t know that we’d have got a seat at the gate.
We were told quite quickly that the flight was oversold, and would anyone like to take a later flight? Not likely…
As we waited, we were treated to a beautiful sunrise…
… and I heard the best line ever from a kid to his mom. “Are those rocket propellers on that plane?” She just about kept a straight face, and told him they were jet engines. I just laughed and said if they were, we were all in trouble!
We were eventually moved to the next door gate, which was a relief, as there a plane there. We were all starting to wonder…
When it came to lining up, as usual, there was no-one in the A1-15 group, so we had three people in front of us. There were a lot of people pre-boarding though, as there were a lot of people in wheelchairs. At least with Southwest, they say you can only have one person to help you, which is fair. On some flights, we’ve seen six or so people go with one person in a wheelchair, which isn’t exactly fair.
I figured we didn’t stand any chance of getting the front row seat, as I thought at least one, if not more of those three people in front of us would grab those, but I was wrong. As we boarded, all three seats on the front row on the left hand side were open, so we grabbed those. The only downside was everything had to go in the area above your seat, as there were no seats in front of you, but at least you had a lot of legroom, which was good.
It was quite funny, as the woman who’d sat near us at the gate boarded, and asked if the seat next to us was taken. We said and despite the fact she hadn’t once said a word to either of us in the terminal building, she happily chatted away to us prior to and during take off.
Now here I have to say a word for the amazing Lori, whose description of the flight safety demonstration was as classic as you’d expect from Southwest. Things like “if you really don’t like our service, the emergency exits, are here, here and here” and “pull down the masks and alcohol… oh sorry I mean oxygen will start to flow!”
As we took off, I got a few shots, including perhaps my coolest one ever…
I believe this was Buffalo, judging by the map…
Then you started to see little fingers of cloud edging out across the land below…
… and gradually they grew to be more and more, so you saw less and less..
However, we did see power stations emitting above the clouds, which was a bit scary…
Then we were served our salted peanuts – Jeff had joked last night that you get six, but I counted them all out and you get a total of 27. You also get these…
Now when we saw they were labelled as plane crackers, we thought it was a play on the word “plain” not realising they would actually be planes!
I'm glad Mark was able to find a book. I was second guessing myself after I'd told you there was a store that had books.
As always, your photos from the plane are great! The Southwest flight attendants are the best, aren't they? We had some similar joking on our flights. The plane crackers and peanuts are just enough to whet your appetite!
Sounded like a pretty smooth morning; always a nice way to start the day.
Southwest is always our first choice of airline! Glad your experience went well so far with them! The plane crackers are the best! hahaha... my kind of humor.
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When you said you lost something from your liquids, I first thought that somehow the guy had caused your lavender oil to spill on your laptop. Happy to realize that was not the case!
Cool pictures of the shadow of the plane!
I have to admit. I thought the same thing, that something had spilled. Glad I was wrong.
The guy in front of you was really rude but then I see a lot of that.
I'm glad Mark found a book to read. I don't know about him, but I'd be lost without one.
As for the Christmas special, I did did enjoy it and thought it was funny. I thought it was better than last year's.
Glad you made it thru security with only a small delay. Isn't it awesome how some people wait to the last minute to empty their pockets. Your pictures from the plane are very interesting especially the ones of the shadow. Glad you are now on the way to sunny Florida.