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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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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Where to start with this? I guess the first thing I should say is you should most likely have a tissue or handkerchief for every update. I cried the whole day, the whole way. It was one of those experiences that changes you. One of those things that you will never forget, and never should... one of those events that changes those around you as you share it with them, as you’ll see in my final thoughts. It was the trip of a lifetime for these men (and women!), and the “Honor of a Lifetime” for me.
"There are moments of life worth purchasing with worlds."
I just realized that I assumed that everyone knew what Honor Flight is. I probably shouldn’t do that . You can get more background and information on Honor Flight here : Honor Flight Network . The story behind why it started, and why it’s so important is sure to need a tissue or two. In a nutshell, they take veterans for a day trip to Washington, D.C., to spend time at their respective memorials and to sightsee in the nation’s capital.
One of my co-workers has been involved with Honor Flight for several years (the Honor Flight Dayton organization was the first one in the nation). She is now the treasurer of our local branch. At staff get-togethers and in the hallways she kept telling me I would love it. She told me that I would see a side of America that we rarely see anymore – the patriotism and caring would overwhelm me. She said this experience would change me, and she reminded me that as a history teacher there couldn’t be a better way to spend a day than with the heroes that fought for our nation so many years ago. After a few years of hounding, last fall I submitted my application. It wasn’t much of an application process since I knew her, but I got the call in early March that I was approved and would be assigned on the April 20th flight if my calendar was open. Of course it was! My son had AP tutoring that day, but my husband could drive him. I was nervous and scared of the responsibility, but so excited about this opportunity. My veteran was named Richard, Dick for short. (I won’t give more than first names here for privacy reasons.) He was 86 years old and in a wheelchair. He was supposed to go on the October trip, but fell and broke his hip. Now he was cleared to make the upcoming trip in April. I am so glad that he was, because he was such a delight to spend the day with! (I added this with all due respect, because while these tough old men had earned the right some of them were down right difficult!)
I had not expected to be called so soon (Angela worked a little magic), and so was caught unprepared when they told me that guardians paid their own way – about $300 for the day. It was clear as day on the paper, but I had assumed Angela had told me everything, and so didn’t read it clearly. Veterans’ trips are paid for by donations, and in Dayton, their airfare is covered by AirTran. After a little rearranging of finances and a generous donation by my mother-in-law, I was paid up and all set. And then Angela dropped the bombshell -- there would be a national news crew on our trip
"There are moments of life worth purchasing with worlds."
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I've heard of these trips, and seen the veterans 'around town' here in DC. What an amazing thing to be a part of! I look forward to hearing about your trip. Maybe I'll look in to volunteer opportunities on the DC side......
We were on one of these flights that left St. Louis and landed in Baltimore. It was very exciting! One of the veterans asked my youngest if he was a veteran too, and then winked at me. It was very cool to land with them. I won't go into detail, because I'm sure they did it for your flight too.
I wish my wife's grandfather would still be alive to do this. He would have loved the opportunity to go back to DC.
A few weeks went by, and I got more excited, and more nervous – especially after Monday of the week before the flight. That was the day the Boston Marathon bombing occurred I mention this because I wasn’t sure of how it would change the security measures at the airport, or how things would change in D.C. How would this impact our ability to get close to the monuments, on and off the planes, and the trip in general?? As the week went on, I watched the news praying that the people would be caught.
On Friday Angela brought me my “Honor Flight Guardian” T-shirt and I gave her a photo of my grandfather. (You will see why later in the trip report) We talked a little more about the trip, and she was so thrilled to be sharing this experience with a coworker! That night I went through my list of things I needed to bring – camera, batteries, note pad, sunscreen, etc. I wanted to be prepared, and I hate going anywhere without this stuff. I was packing my carry-on bag and getting more and more nervous. I really began to feel the responsibility at this point. At about 9 p.m., the news broke into regular programming. They had the second bombing suspect cornered! After what seemed like forever, the police drove him out and I felt like this trip was going to be awesome.
I went to bed at about 10 p.m. so nervous about the whole thing. What would my veteran be like? How would I make it through the day – I’d never pushed someone in a wheelchair before!!! What if my guy died on the trip??? (That happened to Angela once!) The whole news crew thing freaked me out. And I COULD NOT WAIT to be in DC with these men.
"There are moments of life worth purchasing with worlds."