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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Hey all! Better late than never! It won't be a detailed update, but there's lots of photos!!
On Monday, my friend Toni picked us up at 930am. We hit McDonald's for Meri's pancakes, and Starbucks for some lattes, and we were off to Baltimore! We parked in the Hyatt parking garage, off of East Conway, about a block down from the Inner Harbor. Our ticket said 11:09am, so we made excellent time, I have to say! We walked down to the Harbor Place, and I was shocked at how few people were there! I expected crowds, but it wasn't busy at all!
It was, however, ridiculously hot!
This is us in front of the tall ship in the harbor
This is the aquarium. We didn't go there, but it's a nice one. I was there years back, and it was great.
The Harbor Place, which has lots of restaurants and shops (there are two buildings, this is just one of them).
Paddle boats, which we did not go on, because it was just way too hot.
I wish we could have gone on this!!! It looked SO cool!
We went to Fells Point for lunch, and ate at The Greene Turtle. Honestly, I wasn't impressed. The food was just ok, and the server was swamped so our service kind of stunk. I still tipped her 20%, because it really wasn't her fault. I could see her rushing around all over the place, and frankly she looked like she was at the end of her rope at one point, but she never stopped smiling or trying. Having "been there done that" before (as recently as two weeks ago) I understood. Next time, though, I'm going with my gut and eating at Hard Rock (or Phillips). Ah well, at least I tried it!
Anyway, we were at least fed, which was something. Toni, Meri and I played go-fish all through lunch, which helped to pass the time. Then it was off to the Water Taxi again. We bought an all-day-unlimited-rides pass for $10 each ($5 for Meri). Well worth it. We rode that taxi a LOT! LOL!
After our water taxi rides, we went over to the carousel for the worlds longest carousel ride. We were on there for over 6 minutes! It was getting to the point where I was going to just hop off, lol! I hadn't even intended to ride, but I hopped on to get Meri's little toy out of her hand, and he started it! Geez!
Then it was BACK to the Harbor Place to watch the "fudge show". They have a fudge shop, and the workers there are all incredibly talented singers. They sing popular songs, but change the words to have to do with eating / making / buying fudge. It's hilarious. This time they were doing lots of Motown songs, and they sounded amazing. Talent agents would do well to go down there to watch the show one day. Meri loved watching, and I loved listening.
We shopped a little, and then headed out of town around 355pm, stopping to take this pic on the way out:
We got back to "our" house (where we're staying) at around 545pm, and had some Chinese food for dinner. Then it was laundry and bed time.
Up next: A scorching hot afternoon in Washington DC!
FINALLY...pictures of places that I know and have been to. I love getting some of that fudge whenever we go to the Harbor! If you ever go back, eat at Phillips, skip the Hard Rock. I was not that impressed when we ate there.
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FINALLY ready to update for Tuesday - our DC day! Phew!
We left work around 120pm on Tuesday, and headed straight for the Vienna metro station. We took the Orange Line all the way in to the Smithsonian stop, and exited pretty much right in the middle of the National Mall. We walked about 50 feet to the left, and took this photo:
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO it was hot, let me just tell you. I think it was something like 107 with the heat index. Ridiculous! Fortunately I had plenty of drinks, and there were water fountains galore throughout the entire mall area.
We decided to begin by heading towards the Washington Monument...
I let Meri run a bit in the field just past the Washington Monument. You can see way way way in the distance, there's the Lincoln Memorial. I don't know how she had ANY interest in running, but run she did!
Then we did a silly picture, lol.
We continued walking toward the Lincoln Memorial, pausing at the WWII Memorial, which is new to me! It is just beautiful! This is where Meri dropped my camera while trying to take a photo of me, and shattered the viewing screen. Fortunately it still works and you can still see. It's just cracked. Thank heavens I bought that "accidental damage" insurance. When I get home, I'm going straight to Best Buy to turn it in and get a brand new one (or get it fixed, if they can fix it). The lens initially jammed, which terrified me, because then it truly would be dead. In a fit of pique, I smacked the camera against the cement, and poof, the lens unjammed. Phew! I was MUCH relieved. So was Meri, lol.