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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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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!

Best wishes for a wonderful and magical new year!

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Old 07-10-2004, 07:59 AM   #1
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15 Years Of MGM - A Shining Star

MGM Studios recently celebrated its 15th anniversary by announcing further new attractions for visitors. As Cheryl Pendry explains, the park’s already undergone considerable change since it opened and there’s still more to come…
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Old 07-10-2004, 08:01 AM   #2
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Re: 15 Years Of MGM - A Shining Star

A shining star

“A star is born” – how Disney describes May 1 1989, when Walt Disney World opened its third theme park, the Disney MGM Studios.

But for all the fanfare of its official opening, many visitors, used to the numerous attractions of Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, were probably disappointed by what was originally offered at park number three.

Many of the Studios’ attractions that we know and love today were not open for the world premiere, attended by such legendary names as Bob Hope, Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn, Kevin Costner, George Lucas and Bette Midler.

The first year of operation saw the arrival of Star Tours, the perennial children’s favorite, the ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Adventure Set’ and Muppet-Vision 4D. The Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant also began to serve up meals “under the stars” and there were displays of a different kind under the stars with the Sorcery in the Sky fireworks display.

The park’s fifth birthday saw the arrival of one of Disney’s most popular attractions, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ and in the last 10 years, it has become steadily more terrifying, with the latest version introducing random drop sequences.

For the 10th anniversary, the Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster® starring Aerosmith, powered into the park, blasting guests from 0 – 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds, similar to the feeling of sitting on a supersonic jet as it blasts off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. Disney’s first American coaster to feature inversions, the half mile long track includes two roll over loops and one corkscrew.

But more was still to come. By 2001, the Studios were the centerpiece for the “100 Years of Magic” celebration, which commemorated the 100th anniversary of Walt’s birth. The 12 story high Sorcerer’s Hat at the end of Hollywood Boulevard became the park’s new icon and Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream, an interactive exhibit, took visitors on a fascinating journey through Walt’s life, recounting the story of how his dreams first led to animated films and then the development of theme parks, which could be enjoyed by the whole family. Originally planned as a temporary attraction, its popularity with guests meant it become a permanent celebration of Walt’s life and his achievements.

2001 also saw the arrival of two new shows at the Studios, both with very different audiences. For many children, Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage! is a “must-do”, while quiz lovers make a beeline for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Play It!

Even now, the Imagineers are busy in the park, creating the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, which is scheduled to open in spring 2005. Drawing its inspiration from its French cousin in the Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris, it will show visitors how stunts are created for the big screen, with motorbike and car chases which both amaze and delight audiences. With a car ballet that has to be seen to be believed, motorbike chase and a grand finale, the 45 minute show is already one of the most popular attractions at the Paris studios and is likely to become another e-ticket attraction at the MGM Studios.

Prior to the spring opening of the Stunt Show, there are plenty of other special events, designed to attract visitors to the Studios.

Already home to the successful Star Wars weekend, which each year draw in thousands of sci-fi fans, a new family festival is being planned over the weekend of 31 July – 1 August to celebrate the 25th anniversary of sports network ESPN. A must for any sports fan, events over the two days will include special appearances from athletes and sports celebrities, live ESPN broadcasts, interactive fan events and a special sports version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Play It!

From a new event to an old favourite, as November sees the ninth ABC Super Soap Weekend, the largest annual soap fan event in the world. Dates for this year’s event are 13 – 14 November.

Younger guests can meet the stars of JoJo’s Circus, as JoJo and Goliath join the Disney-MGM family. The six year old clown girl and her pet lion Goliath already appear daily in the Stars and Motor Cars Parade and this summer, the pair will also be meeting and greeting their young fans.

JoJo and Goliath greet their fans

There’s a treat in store for all ages during the festive season, with the return of the Osborne lights from 24 November until 2 January. Disney promise this year’s sparkling spectacular will be bigger and better than ever, with over five million lights reaching three storeys high, making an already breathtaking display even more amazing. Teams will begin work on putting the lights up at the end of July and four months later, the results will be on display for everyone to see.

From humble beginnings 15 years ago, there’s now certainly something for everyone at the Disney-MGM Studios, with high thrill rides, spectacular shows and entertainment specifically for youngsters. Over the next year, Disney promise more of the same for the park, which is already gaining a reputation for having some of the best attractions on Disney property.

In the recent Readers Choice Awards in the Disney Magazine, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock’n’Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and Fantasmic! were all voted into the top five of favourite attractions at Disney World. By next year, the new Stunt Show could be up there with the old MGM favourites.

One thing’s for sure. There’s plenty more showbiz magic to come at the Disney-MGM Studios. If a star was born in 1989 when the park opened, then that star is now shining brighter than ever.

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Old 07-10-2004, 08:04 AM   #3
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Re: 15 Years Of MGM - A Shining Star

<font color="#666666"> I can't wait to hear the new things planned! </font>
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Old 07-11-2004, 08:43 AM   #4
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Re: 15 Years Of MGM - A Shining Star

I, too, can't wait for all the new things they have planned for MGM. Thanks for going to this Cheryl and writing about it!!
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