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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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 6 December – part ten: some very bizarre things…
Once that finished, we headed back to the hotel, as we had a dinner reservation at Café Metropole at 8:00pm. Wow, what a beautiful place it is!
I have to confess that I wasn’t feeling 100% when we got there. I suspect it had something to do with not having eaten properly all day – Ok, so while waffles, chocolates and macaroons were very enjoyable, they were hardly a healthy diet. In fact, when I thought about it, I don’t think I’d eaten anything savoury all day.
Mark ordered the soup of the day, which turned out to be leek…
I tried a bit of it, and it wasn’t what I was expecting at all from the look of it. I was expecting it to be very heavy and rich, but actually it wasn’t, and unlike most leek soups, it was just leek with no potato, which was a pleasant surprise.
I hadn’t gone for an appetiser, as I wasn’t that hungry, but I knew what I wanted for entrée, the tagliatelle with grilled king prawns and courgette with lemon. When it turned up, I have to confess I was disappointed by the look of it.
I ordered this because I liked the idea of the combination of flavours of the prawn and courgette (zucchini to you guys) and there was barely in it. There were a couple of tiny ribbons of the stuff, and that was it, so it wasn’t what I was hoping for.
Mark went for the archetypal Belgian dish, mussels with chips (fries):
He really seemed to enjoy it. I wish I’d fancied that, as I think I’d have done much better with this than my dish.
I have to say a word here about the service. It was, quite frankly, all over the place. We didn’t know who our server was to attract their attention, and while we managed to order our food fine, my goodness getting two more Diet Cokes was just a joke. We asked one guy, and saw nothing, then we saw a woman and asked again, and it must’ve taken 10 minutes to get the drinks.
When we were done with our entrees, the maitre d’, who had served us originally, asked if there was anything else we wanted, and I asked for the dessert menu. We didn’t see that for about another 10 minutes.
However, much more bizarre things were going on all around us. We couldn’t make a lot of it out, as I couldn’t hear the French in the bustle of the café, but one couple opted to move to a booth from where they were seated, and I know they had quite a heated discussion about that with a staff member, before the maitre d’ came over, and eventually they seemed to win their battle and were allowed to sit there.
One guy came in, and Mark saw this, as it all happened behind me, but he wanted a seat inside, as he obviously didn’t want to sit outside on the heated terrace, and given how cold it was, I couldn’t blame him. Mark said he got asked to lower his voice and was politely refused a table inside.
Then there was the couple who walked in and took a table just behind us. They got a menu, then a staff member came over and I thought I heard him say something about drinks, but I couldn’t catch anymore. The next thing I knew, they were being asked to leave, and even more bizarrely, literally 30 seconds later, two women were guided over to that table, and they were allowed to sit there. I don’t think it was reserved either. The whole thing was just weird.
Anyway, we both went for vanilla crème brulee, which was nice, but I’ve had better.
I asked for the check, and if we could charge it to the room. My goodness, you’d have thought we’d asked for the room. The guy again took forever to bring it over, and when he did, I was amazed at how much a meal here had cost - €81 ($100). Wow! It was a lovely place architecturally, and I’m glad I got to eat here, but I didn’t think either the food or the service merited either the cost or its beautiful setting, which was a real shame.
Appetiser 9 9
Entrée 7 8½
Dessert 8 8½
Service 5 6½
Atmosphere 8½ 8½
Value for money 7 7
Average score: 7.71
With that, we headed out, about an hour and a half after we’d sat down, not overly impressed. We went to check with concierge where breakfast was in the morning, and which drinks in the minibar were free, and you did just hear that right. You get two Cokes, two waters and two beers free, which is impressive, and just as well, as we were both still thirsty, and heck, we didn’t dare ask for more Diet Coke, given how long it had taken to get it first time around in the Café Metropole.
We headed back to the room, and as soon as we got in, we heard a thumping noise. Oh great – music coming from somewhere. We’d seen earlier that the cocktail bar was being used by a group, who were then going on to dinner, and we could only assume that the disco was for them. We didn’t go to sleep immediately, but when we did, the music seemed to quieten down, then get louder again. Not great… and not what I expected from such a beautiful hotel.
The weather today was cold, but dry and sunny with temperatures in the low 40s. The best thing today was our wonderful hotel and seeing the Grand Place. The worst thing today was the music when we got back to our room. The funniest thing today was the chaotic preparations for the St. Nicholas parade! Today we tried eating at the Café Metropole And the result was I’m glad I’ve done it, but it wasn’t amazing and I wouldn’t do it again. The most magical moment today was seeing the Manneken Pis as St. Nicholas – the only day of the year he’s dressed like that.
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How disappointing that the such a beautiful setting did not have the food or service to match it. Just a shame! After seeing your pictures of the restaurant I had high expectations for it. Definitely strange things going on with the clientele, too. Then to hear the music in your room. Again disappointing!