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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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!
Welcome! We're happy you've found the PassPorter Community -- the friendliest place to plan your vacation to Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and the world in general! You are now viewing the PassPorter Message Board Community as a guest, which gives you limited access. As our guest, feel free to browse our messages by selecting the forum you want to visit from the list below.
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We're back from a great but tiring weekend. We are me (48),Dh (48), Ds (12) and dd (10). We left NC at 3:30 pm on Friday and made it to our hotel in Arlington, Va at 9:00pm. Dinner was at the Islamorada Fish Company inside the Bass Pro Shops just outside of Richmond. If you are in the area, this is a great stop on a road trip. We even got the kids to try fried alligator. It was really tender and crispy.
After unloading and getting set for bed, we finally fell asleep around 11:00pm. Saturday's forecast included showers and highs in the low 70's. Hmm. Lucky for us, Saturday's activities were planned for inside.
Saturday - June 21
The weather forecast was correct. The day started with some drizzle that turned to light rain in the morning. I packed an umbrella and light rain jackets in my backpack, but only used the umbrella once. The temps. stayed in the low 70's. I get chilly easily, but stayed comfortable today. The afternoon skies were cloudy, but no precipitation.
A little backstory, my dad and Dh are masters at finding parking. Free parking, front row, you name it. I had been looking into parking vs. metro vs. whatever ideas I could research. Dh wasn't worried, but downloaded the Parking panda app. to get some ideas. You can guess how the morning began.
On his phone, Dh mapped a parking location. Siri was instructing us where to turn, but Siri didn't know there was a huge BBQ festival blocking the Main Street we needed. After rerouting a few times, Dh pulled into the first available garage. We parked under the Willard Hotel. When we came up to the lobby to exit the building, my dd exclaimed " I want to stay here next time!". It is a grand hotel with marble floors, dark wood paneling, oversized chandeliers, etc. Yeah, I want to stay here, too. Later, we learned that The Willard Inter-Continental is the oldest hotel in D.C.
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After parking the car, we walked to the Smithsonian Castle. The castle opens at 8:30am and is a good place to start for an overview of what the Smithsonian museums offer. There is a gallery showcasing items from the different buildings. Of course, my kids zoned in on the gift shop. So, first purchase of the weekend was a book for ds.
Our plans changed from the pretrip report. Both of the children decided to visit the Natural History Museum, then the American History Museum. We needed to be finished by 4:30, to have enough time to make our way to the American Girl Doll store in Tyson's Corner, Va. It's in a mall and we planned on dinner there.
We spent some time in the castle, made the short walk down to the NHM, and went through a quick bag check. The first thing you see when entering the rotunda is a huge taxidermy elephant. However, there was a mass of people surrounding it when we got there. I didn't think anything about it, then realized that a couple had just gotten married right there! It seemed to be a small casual affair. Kinda neat.
Since the NHM had only been open for about a half an hour, we decided to explore the upper level first. Maybe the crowds haven't moved up there yet. There were plenty of people, but very manageable. Ds requested mummies and dd requested the Hope diamond and gems. Before we made it to the ancient Egyptian exhibit, dd spotted the butterfly habitat. Although the Smithsonian is free, this costs $5.00 each. You are allowed to walk through an enclosed environment and watch live butterflies. Before you exit, staff contain you in a seperate chamber, to check for escapees. Sometimes the butterflies hitch a ride on your back. We have an exhibit very similar to this in the NC NHM in Raleigh. I've been through it on field trips. Not wanting to pay $20.00 extra, Dh and I were going to let the kids go through without us. Nope. 12 and under must have an adult with them. So, I went while Dh waited. The kids had a blast and I got some good photos. Next was the ancient Egyptian exhibit. Overall, much smaller than we expected, but quite interesting. I thought ds and I knew a bit about mummies, but we learned some new things. After that, we made our way to the mineral and gem exhibit. The family made its way to the Hope diamond and each person decided "It's not as big as I thought it would be!" I had to explain the blue color, the clarity, and the Curse! Oh, well that made it more interesting. We wandered through the area where tectonic plates, volcanoes, meteorites, and other 6th grade science subjects were presented. Ds just finished 6th grade, and we weren't in the mood to review all that again.The exhibit was very well done.
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