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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Today is officially 60 days and counting until our next Disney World vacation. Tomorrow is officially two months until we enter the Disney bubble. So it must be time for this pre-trip report of officially begin.
When we returned from WDW last May, Luke and I began a discussion of when to return in the spring of 2017. We are getting smarter in our retirement as we rethink the way weíve always done things. We truly enjoy traveling down for the Flower & Garden Festival, but our May trips have been a mixed bag of weather. The first year was super pleasant with chilly mornings, mild days, and cool evenings. Nearly perfect every day. Last yearís trip occurred in the midst of an unusually early spell of heat. Phooey! We were hot and sweaty by the end of every single day. Luke also noted that our Gold Annual Passes would expire on May 7. We also knew that we didnít want to be a part of the crazy crowded spring break/Easter season. Easter 2017 arrives mid-April (4/16), so no trip prior to then or shortly after. I went to touringplans.com to check the crowd calendar, which gives a basic idea of what to expect for late April/early May. But we all know that a year out means all the numbers anyone offers are based on averages more than reality. Additionally, we had no idea of what airport and airline we would most likely being using. We flew Allegiant out of Evansville, a 45-minute drive from home, back in October 2016. We were honest with ourselves after those flights that we really prefer flying Southwest. For us with Southwest, the flight attendants and pilots are friendlier, the planes are newer and more comfortable, two pages for each of us ship free, and no car rental is required. Where we are located in Kentucky, we have two options for airports, Louisville, KY, or Nashville, TN. We like both as they arenít huge, they are well laid out, and the staff at both is Southern friendly. At both we have found places we trust off site to leave our car, though I personally prefer the place in Nashville as it feels more secure to me. Overall, flying SWA costs us less even though we have to drive either two or two and half hours since we donít pay for our luggage or for a rental car. So as you can see, we had quite a bit to think about before we could determine the WHEN of this trip. We will be staying at our home resort this trip (more on that in another update on the WHERE), meaning we needed to book our stay one month or less after we returned home back in May 2016.
With time elapsing quickly and with no concrete information on flights from either Louisville or Nashville, we decided to set our dates so that Allegiant could be a backup if necessary. The date to book our resort was looming. I again checked touringplans.com and now we began from the end with our last available date on the APs and worked back from there. The Owensboro Allegiant flight leaves on Friday while the one out of Evansville leaves on Thursday. Remember this might be our backup flight. We wanted to keep the length of our stay at our usual 11 days, so Thursday would do that. Finally, the answer to WHEN was Thursday, April 27 to Sunday, May 7. By the way, if we end up with Allegiant as our air carrier their flight back to Evansville is on Sundays, though it is incredibly early, meaning no park time at all on the last day.
I am so excited that it is time for another Cam & Luke trip. Great start.
I must admit here in the Pittsburgh area the one tiny airport in Latrobe flies Allegiant. Many people are happily using them. I am torn. The prices after including the shipping would be close but add on free parking and virtually no security headache makes it look more appealing. I'm still up in the air but there is a lot to consider. After a long road trip to see my ailing Aunt this past week - driving and the auto train (connection is still a 4+ hour away drive) is out!
Having to plan that far out sure adds to planning conflicts. By now you should them all worked out. I have gone thru the Allegiant exercise before as well. Just like you, I found there are more positives when not using Allegiant. Looking forward to reading more of your plans.
Great start! I was so excited to see your PTR today! I'm also going to the F&GF this year, although a few weeks before you. I'll be there over the dreaded Easter weekend, through no choice of my own. We're going to watch my DD's HS marching band march in the MK, so we'll just have to make do with the dates we're there.
I've been looking forward to this as well...I love your trip reports! Just be mindful you will be overrun with cheerleaders both weekends you are there. The World championships are that last weekend of April, and the National Summit is the first weekend in May. that my DD's team gets a bid so I can see you again!
First trip DW--Nov. 1975; Senior Class Trip DW--Oct. 1979; First trip w/kids--Oct. 1995; Halloween at DW--Oct. 2002; Spring Break at DW--April 2004; Christmas/Pop Warner Nationals-POR--Dec. 2005;Cruisin'--April 2008; Mom/Son trip-POP--March 2010;Taggin' along w/DD on DH's conference-BWI--Oct. 2011; 50th birthday with the Gartner Geeks--Adults only!--BWI--Oct. 2012; The Trip That Almost Wasn't--BWI--Oct. 2013; We climbed The Summit (National Cheer Competition)--ASMovies--May 2014
Yay! I'm so glad you've gotten your TR started. I will be paying particularly close attention to this one. Next year during the same time frame, one of my oldest and dearest friends and I are planning on taking a Girls Trip to WDW. I can't wait to hear about everything.