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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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The Trip of a Lifetime to Alaska – Land and Sea – Trip Report - COMLETE!! 4/13/12
The Trip of a Lifetime to Alaska – Land and Sea – Trip Report
Cast of Characters:
Me (Marnie) – 42
DH (Matt) – coming up on 45
DD (Alexa) – 12
DS (Colin) – 9
We are at t-minus 5 days, so time to step up and get moving on this trip report. It’s end of the school year time here (tomorrow is the last day) so all heck is breaking loose with class parties, gifts, etc. DD is in 6th grade, and making the big jump to middle school next year, so there’s a whole range of emotions also going along with that!
How this trip came about!
DH turns 45 this year, and it’s also our 15th wedding anniversary. Alaska has always been on our bucket list, and since it is a big year with all the celebrations, what better time than the present. DH has also forgot (literally, I’m not joking) our anniversary the last two years in a row, so what better revenge than to plan a big trip and make sure I enjoy myself. The anniversary is not until August, but heck, close enough! For our 10th anniversary (and his 40th) we did a 4-night cruise on the Disney Wonder, and spent about 12 days at WDW (and US/IoA). We had to top that! Hence, Alaska. We were blessed this year that DH’s company did really well last year. His company builds machines that make computer chips and since everything under the sun now have chips in them, business has been great! They have a profit sharing bonus for the employees, and let’s just say Alaska was now a reality. DH came home one day in early January and said the bonus was going to come thru, start looking at Alaska. Little did I know that most people doing Alaska are booking in April for the following year, so I was already 9 months behind!
First up to plan was dates to go and what we were going to do. I had wanted to spend some time experiencing Alaska on land first (Denali NP) and a cruise down thru the inside passage. I also wanted to go in late June/early July, as I wanted to experience hours of sunlight, and I figured going right after school got out would leave us the rest of the summer to rest and relax. I started playing around with airfares, and scouring Cruise Critic for information (which was an invaluable resource – I’d highly recommend them for anyone going to Alaska – both forums and trip reports). I ended up deciding on a Royal Caribbean cruise on the Radiance, leaving from Seward Alaska and ending up in Vancouver, BC. This left some time before to do our own land tour before the cruise. Marisa (marisag) booked our cruise for us and our insurance! After watching airfares for a couple days, I found a sale on Continental, where we could fly out of our small airport (BDL) and into Anchorage, and then we’d fly home from Seattle. Flying out of Vancouver was going to be around $600/pp, where going out of Seattle brought it down to $416/pp. Sold. This would also give us time in Seattle, which we’ve never been to before!
While I was planning and reserving all this stuff, here in the Northeast, we were being inundated with snow. I had booked the trip with a 10 day buffer between the original end of school, and when we’d fly out. We normally get 5 to 6 snow days a year (we’re in the hills), so I had about a week buffer. Unfortunately we were having a snow day every 2 or 3 days. By February 2nd, we had had 7 snow days already. And the possibility of 2 more months of snow. Are you kidding me? I started going into panic mode, thinking my dream vacation was now going to be foiled by snow. I don’t know what happened, but the snow gods turned off the snow, and we didn’t end up with another snow day for the rest of the winter! Thank goodness!
During all our snow days, we did a lot of planning. Playing around with dates, I was able to get the rental car down from $800 to $225 for our land portion in Alaska. I also started planning out our days up there and what hotels to stay at. I printed out the excursion list from RC and let the kids look thru and had them start listing things that they wanted to do. DH’s only request was to see Butchart Gardens in Victoria, and go fishing. I must say, planning a trip to Alaska is extremely overwhelming. Now I know why people usually give it a year or more to plan. I also discovered that our ship was going into dry dock in May. They are turning it into a “foodie” ship, adding a whole bunch of restaurants that are on the much bigger ships (Oasis/Allure). Of course, most of them are not free! But at least we’ll have a spanking clean ship when we get on her (we’ll be the 4th cruise after dry dock).
Really great trip! I like the idea of doing land first and then sailing one-way through the passage. Sounds like you've done an impressive job of planning in such a short time and have saved a lot of money in the process. Looking forward to the details!
Great start Marnie, can't wait to hear all the plans. Love that you are going to get some time on "land" before the cruise. My boss is doing an Alaska cruise in August, and they also planned some downtime in Seattle, figures if you are going to be in that neck of the woods, you might as well explore...and with the great savings that you will get for flying out of Seattle, it is definitely worth it.
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WDW - August 1997 Off Property
WDW - January 2005 AKL
WDW - May 2006 Pop Century
WDW- november-dec 2007 pop century
WDW- dec/jan 2009/2010 pop century
WDW- oct/nov 2012 art of animation
WDW- sept 2013 port Orleans riverside
WDW- july 2015 beach club
Marnie- I'm so excited about your trip! I made my first trek to Alaska when I was Alexis' age (although we drove in a tent trailer on the Al-Can highway from California for 6 weeks, so not quite so glamorous ) and it has stuck with me for the rest of the life. I think she's the perfect age for it! Can't wait to hear about your plans and I'm crossing my fingers early for a McKinley sighting for you!
Karen, aka Zack's Mom - Lover of all Things Disney and the San Francisco Giants!