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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Billy, Elton, Passporters and new friends: The concert of a lifetime 8/1/2009
Another adventure begins.....
When: August 1, 2009
Where: Citizen's Bank Park, Philadelhpia, PA
Who: Steve and Sue and 45,000 other fans!
Why: My Bucket List, of course!
It has been said, and only in a good way, that Steve and I seem to have adventures no matter where we go. The further along I get in my life, the more inclined I am to agree with that. If you are of my generation (read: old), then you remember the Ike and Tina Turner song "Proud Mary". Tina starts the song with "We're gonna take the beginning of this song nice and easy. But we're gonna take the end nice and rough." A modified version of that for us could be "We're gonna start out our days nice and simple. But we're gonna finish them with a new adventure to celebrate!"
Hence, our concert experience. When the Billy Joel/Elton John Face 2 Face Tour was announced, Steve and I decided that we really wanted to go. You see, both Billy and Elton were on my bucket list of performers to see. And the thought of seeing them together...well! That was almost too good to be true. And at first, it seemed that it would stay that way. See, the initial tour schedule was not in this area. Travelling to another venue was not in the cards this year, so we put that thought on the back burner.
Then one day, Steve called me from work. He had heard that the tour was coming to Philly! I logged back on the website, and it hadn't even been anounced yet! I kept checking back, and finally...there it was! And there were tickets available! All kinds, all prices, all locations! Citizen's Bank Park is the Phillie's home field, and the stage was going to be in centerfield. I chose tickets in the field level behind the Phillie's dugout. I paid but, what the heck, it was a once in a lifetime concert after all!
Shortly after purchasing my tickets through the online ticket broker that the venue used, they arrived. However, the driver for the delivery company (and I won't say who) left them on the downstairs table. In the open. IN THE RAIN. Very early in the day. And it poured all day. The tickets in their envelope lay there. Did I mention the rain? I got home from work to find a soggy, sodden mess in a box on my table. I literally peeled the tickets from each other and called both the delivery company and the ticket agency. The ticket people were great. They told me how to dry them out (apparently I was not the first one to have this issue ) and to bring the receipt, also, in case the bar code didn't scan. They also took care of the delivery company for me, but not before I let them have a few choice words of my own.
So the tickets dried, the day approached, the weather cleared, our pinball machine broke down....
Yes, it's related to the story!
We have a 1976 "Spirit of 76" authentic pinball machine that was given to us by some friends. It's worked so-so, not perfect, but we could make it work, and it was always a highlight at parties. Well, about 2 months before the concert, it really stopped working. Steve searched long and hard for a repair center, and found one in Valley Forge, PA. Only problem was getting it there. He talked back and forth to the repairman, and finally we decided to bring it down the same day as the concert. We would be there anyway, right? So that morning, we loaded it in my SUV, programmed Garmin and off we went. We figured this was sort of a dual duty: the pinball machine got delivered, and we would get down to Philly early enough to get some dinner before the show.
The pinball machine got delivered, we took off and arrived in the area of the stadium around 4:30. We drove up Broad Street but nothing really said "Eat here!" to us. We decided with a heavy heart to go park, and suffer through nachos and hot dogs for dinner. We drove past the stadium, headed towards the parking lot and spotted....
McFadden's is a restaurant attached to Citizen's Bank Park! Having never been to the park, I never even thought to look right there for a place to eat! We were golden! We parked our car, paid our $20 and headed over to McFadden's.
We got on line for McFaddens. My intrepid husband was overheard to say "This doesn't look so bad!" McFadden's was only allowing concert goers in for dinner tonight, we had to show our tickets. When we got to the door, they actually swiped us in! Our tickets got through with no bar code issues, although I had all my paperwork, just in case. The lady at the door actually laughed knowingly when she sawour tickets, confirming my theory that we were not the only ones with this issue. : Another good thing that happened....no bag search. Now, I was not carrying anything illegal or contraband, but I did have my camera! I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to bring it in, but they never asked!
We got on the "not-so-bad" line inside, and got up to the podium, where we were told the wait was at least an hour. Steve mumbled and groaned (you all know how patient he is... ) but what could we do? It was 5 PM, the concert started at 7 and we couldn't go back out. I told him we would wait for a bit, and if we didn't get seated, we would go to the park for the aforementioned nachos and hot dogs. The hostess told us that we could also wait for bar seating. To quote Robert Frost: "And that has made all the difference...."
Steve grabbed a beer (all is well with a Coors Light in your hand) and we went to the end of the bar. We were standing next to a couple about our age who were also obviously waiting for a table, a bar stool, something... We happened to have to dubious pleasure of standing right in front of the trash bins where the overworked wait staff was dumping the uneaten food. Finally, after about the fourth full tray of nachos was dumped, I turned to the woman next to me and said "You know, they could really just bring us one and we'd be happy to snack!" She started to laugh and said she had been thinking exactly the same thing! One thing led to another, and soon, we were gabbing like old friends. Her name was Sharon, and she was a radiology tech at Reading Hospital. I told her that I was a paramedic, andf that Steve was, too, albeit retired. Steve had actually done some internship time at reading when he went to paramedic school! We met Sharon's husband, Mike, although I never did catch what he did. After waiting about 45 minutes, Mike and Steve went up to check on our status. Sharon and Mike were alot closer then we were, but we all went up to the front to wait, as it became clear that those who HAD bar seats were in no way GIVING UP their bar seats! This was the time that Sharon came up with a brilliant idea: if they got seated first at a table for 4, they would invite us to join them! Just 5 short tables later, their name was called. We were still on the next page, at least 20-25 names away. Sharon asked if it was a table for 4, and it was! So we joined our new friends for dinner!
Dinner was great...Steve had another beer, I had a Blue Moon, Mike and Sharon were drinking Margaritas. Steve and I had cheesesteaks "wit" and fries, Mike had a burger, Sharon had a chicken and provolone sandwich with roasted red pepeprs that she said was awesome!!! Our server told us that if you ordered the nachos and they weren't out in 5 minutes, they were free. I felt kind of bad for these servers, as busy as it was and to have to worry about free nachos, too! We passed on the nachos, as we had seen the size of the food platters and how much waste was being dumped in those cans.
Dinner was wonderful, we laughed and ate, exchanged phone numbers and email addresses, and then sadly, went our seperate ways.
We headed off to our seats, but I needed to make a pit stop first. I got on line for the ladies room, and my cell phone rang. Who could this be? It was Jill (cre8fmom)!!! We had been PM-ing back and forth once we realized we were going to be at the same concert, and decided to do a quick pre-concert meet!
As it turned out, she was seated pretty much right above me! I had a bit of a hard time finding the ramp up, but I got there and we had an impromptu PP meet! Jill is great...she is so nice, and I was so glad to be able to meet her for real! (And yes, Jill, I "borrowed" your picture! )
By now it was after 7, so we went back to our seats for the concert. The lights went down, the crowd went wild, and...the show began!
What can you say about two of the greatest performers of all time on the same stage? Billy Joel had cancelled two shows earlier in the week due to illness, and he looked a bit tired tonight. But he still gave an incredible perfomance.
The stage was in centerfield, and our seats were great! There was a huge LED-type screen above the stage, and two video screens, one on either side of the stage. There were also two big screen canvases, one depicted Billy's New York roots and one depicted Elton's UK roots! The stage itself was a myriad of instruments, wires and legends!
The show started with Billy and Elton together. They performed several songs, and then Billy left the stage for Elton's part. Elton perfomed alot of his older hits, which suited us just fine! There wsa lots of singing, lots of cheering, but the place really went wild when Elton did "Philadelphia Freedom".
Then Elton's part ended, and without a break or an intermission, Billy came on the stage. He played alot of his old classics. One of the funniest moments came when one his roadies, who apparently is a wanna-be rock star, performed AC/DC's Highway to Hell!
After Billy was done, Elton joined him again, and they finished the show by alternating hits that they both played on! The show ended with "Piano Man", which meant 45,000 fans on their feet, singing along, especially the "La-da-ditty-da" parts!
Needless to say, they got a standing ovation!
After the show, we sat and waited for the crowds to thin out. We called Mike and Sharon, and they had LOVED the show as much as we did! We finally funneled out of the stadium and to our car. Parking so early gave us the added benefit of parking close, so we were out of the parking lot in about 10 minutes and on the Schuykill in about 15. We didn't hit any traffic going home, and other then a fuel and bathroom break, it was smooth sailing!
Since they never questioned my camera, yes, I did take pictures. I don't yet have a zoom lens for this camera (I need to decide if I am keeping this camera or trading up before I make that investment) so some of them are blurry and some of them are far away. But...enjoy!
The stage before the show:
The tour sign:
The first set:
Pictures of the video screens:
The screen canvases:
The LED screen:
During Elton's show:
Billy takes the stage:
And the encore: (these were the only two I took, I video taped most of it!)
What a perfect report of the concert! I feel like I was there......WAIT, I WAS! I had no idea of what happened before the concert started with dinner, but I am soooooooooooo glad we were able to meet! It was truly a night I will never forget!