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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Desired a Disney Cruise - Instead DH Tennessee Family Reunion -PTR
After I got back from WDW May of 2011, DH, DD, and I were discussing a family vacation (DH didn't go to WDW). DD and I both wanted a Disney Cruise and DH said ok, but DD wanted her grandma (MIL) to come with us. MIL lives about 45 minutes outside of Chicago in Indiana and we do not get to see her regularly. So I called MIL and told her what we were discussing and did she want to go with us? "No, I get seasick" was her answer. I explained that on the big ships it was like a floating hotel and shouldn't be rocking (I've never been on one but it's what I've heard) still she wouldn't agree to that. We've been to her house twice (she's been to Alaska six times) and we didn't want to just fly there again, but MIL didn't like any other choices, doesn't like big amusement parks. We were stumped. We couldn't afford to do a cruise and go visit her but she wasn't being very helpful as to what she would like to do.
I knew DH's dad's family has a reunion every June alternating between MO and TN, DH was supposed to go last year while we were in WDW but decided not to go. So MIL called and asked about all of us going to the family reunion since some of DH's family getting older and health issues. MIL really wanted DH to go and thought if DD and I went with him, DH would go. So I agreed. Have you ever been to a family event where you've only met 5 people from that family? Well that's me. I've met MIL 8 times in person, one aunt visited us for 2 weeks up here, DH's brother twice and one aunt and uncle twice. I'm a fairly nice person but I told DH that sitting around for a week talking to a bunch of people I didn't know didn't sound like lots of fun for a family vacation especially since that's what he would want to do. (I'm happy for him to visit with his family but wanted to know if he was ok if I didn't join him for four days straight of visiting and he agreed).
DH and I talked, well I talk and he listens with the occasionally comment or question. The end result was that I get to do one thing a day I want to, so that I get to see places and have something to look forward to and if DD or DH wants to go with me, then I'd have company. DD is not real excited about going either - the bonuses for her are she gets to see her other grandma and swimming. She LOVES the water and apparently the campground we are staying at has 3 pools and a lazy river.
I got online and started researching, complied my list of places I was interested in, then talked to DH and DD to see if they wanted to go to any of them. So far this is my list, America's Hit Parade (concert), Titanic (recreated musuem), GSMNP, Dollywood, and driving down (from IN) stopping in Kentucky Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace NHS, and then over to Mammoth Cave for a tour there (trying to decide between 2 - Nigara or Passage) and spend the night prior to heading into Pigeon Forge. If anyone's been to any of these places I'd really appreciate feedback, or if there's a place you think is great I'd love recommendations.
The reunion is Sunday - Saturday, I guess some people stay the entire time while others stay only part of the time, the big day is Thursday when there is a big family dinner and silent auction (raises money for the dinner the following year.)
DH asked for 2 weeks off - this would allow 1 week for reunion and 1 to visit DD (29) and grandsons in WA on way home. (DD (13) and I were staying in WA longer.) DH only got a week and 1/2 off. He said he'd just fly home and not stop in WA. which made him and grandsons so I said a few days were better than none. We started looking for flights that would work and still get him home Wednesday since he has to work on Thursday.
Up next: a call to MIL, will she agree to my plans? Will she let me borrow her jeep to drive places?
You cannot go all the way to Pigeon Forge and not go to Gatlinburg!!!
I grew up about 5 hours from there and it, as well as Pigeon Forge, was a yearly destination for us for many years. Dollywood also has a water park that I'm sure your DD would love. There is Ripley's Aquarium in downtown Gatlinburg that is really cool. You could spend an entire day (or two) just walking around the parkway in Gatlinburg, checking out the shops. I mean, it's a total tourist trap, but so much fun. So, no, it's not Disney, but that area is a huge tourist draw for many people in the South. I really think you might be pleasantly surprised!