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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Celebrating 25 years together, where shall we go? Our Portuguese Adventure
Let me begin by saying this trip was taken in May 2012. I donít normally do trip reports, as I am not great at writing, but give me numbers and Iíll add them up 24 hours a day. I am trying to break out of my shell and tackle things I donít normally do. So if anyone is interested, Iíll get this show on the road.
First off a little background, my DH and I got married way back in 1987, due to some family issues on his side it was not a great wedding day, so I gave my DH the option for our 25th to either renew our vows and have a party or go on a trip. He of course chose to go on a trip anywhere I wanted to go. I immediately thought of Disneyworld but we were a little Disneyed out (I know, crazy), then I said what about Italy, France and Europe, but when I priced it out - $$$$$ sticker shock, it was more than I was willing to spend. Finally after much toing and froing, and driving my DH crazy, he said letís go to Portugal for a month and since it is one of my favourite places I quickly agreed.
So this trip report will be our Portuguese adventure, I hope I can keep you entertained and provide some information on a really great country to visit that is still relatively inexpensive. Some days I will skim over as we just hung around the house.
Me: At time of trip 47, Manager of a Retail Food Service operation, in a hospital, lover of food, traveling, reading, Disney and of course Tigger. Sum total of Portuguese language skills: able to ask for a beer, the washroom and kisses.
DH: At time of trip 46, Maintenance Mechanic, loves to fix things, puts up with my Disney obsession (and the 47 Tiggers in our room), born in Portugal, moved to Canada at age 4. Fluent in Portuguese.
Carlos and I at our surprise 25th after we returned home.
The plan was to fly to San Miguel Island and stay in a B&B for 4 nights, then head to the mainland. We booked all our flights and hotels, and then about a month before departing I was checking our flights and noticed they had moved our arrival date to San Miguel to the Sunday night instead of Saturday morning and flying to Lisbon on the Tuesday morning instead of Wednesday, all without notice. Of course this would not work, and there were no other flights available, so we had to cancel that portion of our trip and fly right to Lisbon.
We went from Friday May 4th to Saturday June 2nd 2012, for 30 wonderful child (ok they are now 21 and 23 so technically adults) and pet free days.
Day one: Friday May 4, 2012 running into Saturday May 5, 2012
Woke up at 5:30 am, which for me is great as I am a terrible flyer, so sleeping that late was an amazing feat (or it could have been the drugs). Got all the last minute items ready and had the two DDís drive us to the airport, which took 5 mins as we live really close by. After lots of hugs and final instructions we were off.
A little side note, since I am not the greatest flyer, a few years ago I went to a therapist for hypnotic treatment. After about 4 treatments I went on a flight to San Diego. It was a much better flight - not perfect, but I was much calmer. I also keep a low dose of a tranquilizer on hand.
Winnipeg had just opened a brand new airport, it is not a huge airport, but it is nice and modern.
We made it through security without issue, and found our gate. Our plane took off on time at 9:00 am and we arrived in Toronto at 12:16 pm. The problem with living in Winnipeg is we donít have many direct flights to anywhere, so we now had an almost 12 hour layover to contend with. We could have taken a flight that would have gotten us into Toronto later, but I didnít want to risk any flight breakdowns. Since I do not do great flying, hanging around the airport for 9 hours is not my idea of fun (which in turn does not make life easy for my DH). So we booked a hotel for a few hours, we retrieved our luggage and caught the shuttle to the 4 Points Sheraton, about 5 mins away. We checked in and grabbed lunch then headed to the room and rested. We then each had a shower; this really seems to refresh us before we head on a long flight. We checked out and headed back to the airport for 6:15 pm.
Tigger and I ready to go.
We took off on time at 9:00 pm, and had great seats (the first ones after first class) so no one in front of us, which gave us a little more leg room. For dinner they served broccoli stuffed chicken, potatoes, salad and chocolate cake, my DH ate his and mine. We napped lightly on and off, but it was a very turbulent flight, about half an hour before we landed they came around with a warm cloth to freshen us up and also gave us a granola bar. Soon our 6-hour flight to Lisbon was over, it was now 9:00 am on Saturday May 5, the time in Winnipeg was 3:00 am, so we were already almost on the go for 24 hours with no end in sight.
We walked off the plane and got on a bus to the terminal, cleared customs, picked up our luggage and headed to retrieve our rental car. We had rented from a company that did not have a booth at the airport, instead they meet you at arrivals, you fill out the paper work and then they walk you to the car waiting at the front of the airport. 90% of the cars in Portugal are standards, but my DH is used to driving an automatic so we paid extra to get one. We put our luggage in, fired up the GPS and we were on our way. A little tip, we took our own GPS and pre-programmed in as many addresses as we could.
We headed to our first destination, Monte de Santa Luzia in Viana do Castelo, in the northern part of Portugal. Portugal has something called Pousadas, which are state run hotels in a historic castle or building. If you ever visit Portugal you should check these out, they can be pricey but you will definitely enjoy a unique experience.
I thought I would finish each entry with the costs spent each day, since many people have never traveled to Europe it might be helpful.
2 Flights from Winnipeg to Toronto return, used air miles, leaving $344.72 cnd in taxes and fees
2 Flights from Toronto to Lisbon return $1538.72 cnd, plus $160 cnd for seat selection
Hotel in Toronto for 9 hours $86.47 cnd
Car for 23 days was $1247 cnd, additional 60 euros paid at the airport.
Food and beverages with tips $46.90 cnd
Shuttle Tip $8.00 cnd
Up next: day two (although we still have not slept).
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Great start! I appreciate the cost breakdown as we've never traveled to Europe, at least not yet. Quite helpful information!
I plan to tally the cost at the end in my final wrap up, I also tracked my trip to Disney with my DD's and my DH's trip to Vegas. I wanted to see per person per day what trip was the cheapest, it turns out to be Portugal.
Originally Posted by chezp
You've made it, but what a travel day! I know only too well how exhausting it is to head over from America/Canada to Europe - the red eye flight is always a killer!
I think I would prefer earlier flight times, with the night flights everyone is sleeping and you have to stay quite.
Originally Posted by dutchdisneyfamily
I'm living your TR. I think you write very well. I'm looking forward to hearing more!
Thank you, my DD who is currently doing her masters is actually my editor, she is enjoying finding all my mistakes.