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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Destination: Gatlinburg, TN Date: April 1-5 Adventurers: Wendy(29 and holding), Ben(47), Michael(8), Gabby(7), Carol(aka Mom/Grandma) and Aunt Joyce(mom’s sister) Resort/Hotel: Gatlinburg Falls Resort Four Seasons cabin Celebration: Spring Break and something new
This is taken from my journal. Some things might be a bit disjointed, just to kind of help jog the memory as days go by and I tend to forget. And as per my usual style, I am just going to jump on in and not beat around the bush.
Friday March 30, 2012
The kids are excited to leave tomorrow. I am excited to see my aunts! There is so much stuff to do and I don’t know how I will get it all done???
Saturday March 31, 2012
We woke up early, insanely early for me, at 1am. I logged onto the computer and signed up for Food City’s savings card and printed off the temporary one. We woke the kids up at 3am so we could be sure to give them time for the Dramamine to kick in before we attempted to drive. Josh and Carlee didn’t get up to see us off, and I cannot say I blame them! LOL
We picked Mom up at 4am and she was also up earlier than we planned, so we got on the road at a good time.
We made it as far as Pendleton, IN before someone had to stop for a bathroom break. Me. The place we stopped at was less than 30 minutes from my house.
We didn’t stop again until we got to the Petro Iron Skillet on I-74 in New Point, IN. I love Iron Skillet. I just wish they still sold their seasoned salt. I don’t remember what everyone had, but I had the corn beef hash, egg over easy and toast. Only the eggs were fried hard and my toast was obscenely slathered in butter, which I promptly sent back and asked for dry toast.
We got back on the road and stopped a couple more times for nature breaks, the last one being in Richmond, KY. Had I timed it a little better, we would have called upon my friend, Heather, on our way. But it was just too early!
We had good traffic, good weather, even if it wasn’t the most picturesque.
After what seemed like hours on the road, okay so it really was 6 hours, at 10am we arrived at my aunts in Somerset, KY. Having not seen Aunt Joyce since Thanksgiving and Aunt Georgie for too many years, it was so good to be there! I was so tickled to see my aunts’ dog, Buddy! But I didn’t even take a picture of him! We did however take pictures of outside.
We sat down and started chatting. I showed the kids the back room where they could chill out, watch TV, and play in their bag of fun. The bag of fun has Nintendo 3DS and their games; hand held games like Yahtzee and Tetris, and magazines. My own bag of fun had my WDW PassPorter (I carried my hotel info in), my DCL PassPorter, iPad, chargers, Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, and several magazines (Budget Travel, Weekend Getaways, etc.)
We were getting really hungry by 11am and the aunts eat lunch at 10am……………not joking…………..so we tried to stick to their schedule. Lunch was Krystal burgers and chili pups. Krystal burgers are like White Castle, but I like them much better. They have mustard and a pickle. The chili pups are awesome!!
After lunch, Joyce, Georgie and I watched mom and Ben sleep and snore where they were sitting. After their little naps, Mom, Joyce and I went out shopping a bit and looking around. It was so good getting out and seeing Somerset. It’s been at least 8 years since I’ve been down there and so much has changed, it’s hardly recognizable. We found the Q Store and checked it out. It was good seeing in person some of the stuff QVC sells. I might have my aunt go pick me up a couple of casserole dishes.
While out, I saw a bunch of Kentucky blue and white on people. It was after all, Final Four day.
Back at the house, Ben and I took the kids for a short walk around the downtown area. They’ve built a brand new courthouse.
We stopped at the little Food Fair and got some apples and Coke Zero and walked back down the hill.
Supper was pizza from Snappy Tomato. It was pretty darn tasty! Bed time came pretty quick after supper for me. I lasted until 7:30pm and I just couldn’t take it any more.
I woke up at about 7am and had breakfast, then went for a walk with Michael, Gabrielle, Buddy and Aunt Joyce. I didn’t see my mom, even though I walked right past her! LOL She’s very quiet in the mornings. Some more photos from around my aunts’ house. Love their piggy.
We just could not wait any longer……….okay, I couldn’t wait any longer and we left their house at 9am. Sure, it’s only about 3.5 hour drive to Gatlinburg from there but I wanted to get moving!
We stopped to top the gas tank off at the gas station across from where we used to turn to go to her old house. Nice memories. She’s lived here since I was around 2 years old and we’ve been coming down ever since.
Aunt Joyce drove us over to General Burnside Island Park. Again, this is something I hadn’t seen for so long. The state of Kentucky has been working on the dam so they’ve drained Lake Cumberland. It is so low that you can see the old road and parts of old Burnside. I neglected to take a picture of the old road.
They’ve added a golf course over here, changed the playgrounds and closed the pools. I used to swim in these pools. L
We had to make another pit stop just outside of Burnside and then it was smooth sailing until lunch time. We crossed the Tennessee line within 45 minutes of my aunts house. Because they live in a dry county, many, many times over the years we went to this dive to buy adult beverages. Even though it’s been over 20 years since I did a run with them, I can remember it like yesterday.
We stopped on I-75 exit 129 at La Fiesta Mexican Buffet. It was good and killed a little bit of time.
Funny sight at this exit is a big ol’ cross next to an adult store(it even had an adult arcade but I was vetoed). LOL
Before we know it, we are super close to Gatlinburg, passing some sights along the way like Wonderworks and the Titanic. We didn’t stop at either while we were down here.
We arrived at Gatlinburg Falls Resort at 2pm, but unfortunately went to the wrong part. We were quickly back on our way and when we got to the right one(2 minutes away) I was so pleased to find out that our cabin was ready!!! Check in is at 4pm and you’re lucky if you get in there at that time. I had a huge headache, so I was eternally grateful that Four Seasons was ready!
This resort is pretty big and being that it’s on a mountain, there are steep hills and lots of good curves. We did finally find our cabin after several wrong turns. She was beautiful! She sleeps 9 with 2 king beds, a queen sleeper sofa, a twin sleeper sofa, and twin bunk beds. There was a pool table, air hockey, Ms. Pac-man/Galaga arcade game and a hot tub!!!
The view was AMAZING! We were looking right at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and to the right of us was Mt. LeConte, so we faced east which meant I’d get my wish of watching the sunrise while sitting on the deck sipping coffee!!
We quickly got settled in and we unpacked. Us womenfolk went to get groceries. I programmed Bertha B(my GPS) to the nearest Food City. Or so I thought. LOL We ended up going to the one past Dollywood, 10 miles from our resort! Oh well, it really was a nice drive and got us off the congested Parkway. Aunt Joyce paid for groceries and the Food City card saved us nearly $40!
The cabin looks great! I did laugh at the heart shaped tub though. I hope you took some pics of the sunrise - I'm sure it was beautiful!
Lol I understand, I think I rolled my eyes and called it a few names. I wasn't impressed with the tub, but the kids enjoyed it. I can't remember if I did take a sunrise photo or if I was too busy gawking at it.
Originally Posted by Desurae
Wendy your pics have me ready to pack my bags and go!!! I have wanted to take the family there ever since we passed through while moving across the country. Can't wait to see more