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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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.
To post messages and ask questions, join our FREE community today and you'll get access to tools and resources not available to guests, such as our vacation countown timers, "living" avatars, private messaging system, database searches, downloads, and a special PassPorter discount code. Registration is fast, simple, and completely free. Just click the Join Our Community link.
Feature Article: Lights, Cameras, Education! - Learning at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Lights, Cameras, Education! - Learning at Disney's Hollywood Studios by Keely Hutton
Keely previously brought us her insights into educational opportunities at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Here is her take on Disney's Hollywood Studios!
According to American novelist Gail Godwin, "good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater." While visiting Walt Disney World last year, I had to wonder if the Disney Imagineers used Ms. Godwin's formula when creating Disney's Hollywood Studios. For beneath its glitz and glamour, behind its bright lights and special effects are learning opportunities worth a standing ovation. For smaller children, Disney's Hollywood Studios offers interactive lessons taught by their favorite stars at Playhouse Disney Live, where learning and fun are the "primary" goals. Guests are encouraged to sing and dance with the stars of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins, Handy Manny, and My Friends Tigger and Pooh. The 22-minute stage show also asks audience members to put on their thinking caps to create the best birthday possible for Minnie Mouse.
With your imaginations and creativity primed, take a lesson in art at The Magic of Disney Animation. Begin with a 10-minute segment about the importance of character development led by "the powerful, the pleasurable, the indestructible Mushu!" Eager artists can then study at the Animation Academy and create their own Disney character art under the tutelage of a Disney artist. Next, learn about the importance of our sense of sound at The Sound Stage, where guests create their own soundtrack for an animated series in this "ears-on" lesson. Color recognition and the moods each color elicit are important concepts at The Digital Ink and Paint workstations, where guests design the perfect atmosphere for their animated scene with an array of hues and shades. The "You're a Character" booths answer the one question on every Disney fan's mind, "Which character am I most like?" This fun quiz opens the door for interesting conversations on different personality traits and emotions.
Continue your education in the fine arts with a lesson in music with Belle and her hairy prince. Several times a day, the curtain rises on the breathtaking 20-minute show, Beauty and the Beast, performed at The Theater of the Stars. The catchy tunes are the perfect tool for a mini-lesson in rhythm and rhyme and how these poetic tools aid us in memorization. Don't believe me? Be my guest, and put this theory to the test. Ask any person over the age of seven to finish this sentence: In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean ______. If you are looking for music with a more contemporary beat, pop over to American Idol Experience, where guests live out their singing dreams on stage and judges render their verdicts, allowing for a lesson on manners. Discuss the difference between encouraging constructive criticism and cruel, insensitive remarks. What can we say and how can we act in order to treat family and friends more like Paula and less like Simon?
Move from musical numbers with Belle and Randy to mathematical numbers with Buzz and Woody at Pixar Place. In Toy Story Midway Mania, guests are encouraged to hurl pies, chuck eggs, break plates, toss rings and throw darts with only one caveat; shoot for the highest score. Like its predecessor, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, this 5-minute ride has guests sharpening their aim and math skills, but this time it is through a series of 4-D, virtual midway games. From recognizing numbers to differentiating between low and high values and calculating the difference between final scores, math has never felt more like playtime than it does with Andy's toys. An important component to education is the ability to listen and follow directions. Near the iconic Sorcerer Mickey's Hat, High School Musical fans can join the Wildcats in a choreography class during daily lessons in learning their famous footwork. Outside Star Tours, young Padawans must follow precise step-by-step instructions if they hope to defeat Darth Vader at Jedi Training Camp.
Time to shift gears and "Walk this Way" over to Hollywood Boulevard for a mind-blowing lesson in science with Aerosmith. On this popular thrill ride, the 3R's of education are no longer Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic; they're Rollercoasters, Rock and Roll. Before entering the ride, ask your child to keep a lookout for a common scientific tool that Rock ‘n' Rollercoaster relies on to propel riders from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds. No, it's not a rocket, sling shot or catapult. It is the magnet, but to be fair, these magnets are a little more advanced than the Mickey one stuck to your refrigerator. Rock ‘n' Rollercoaster is a LSM (Linear Synchronous Motor) launched coaster, using the concept of the attractive and repulsive properties of electromagnets. Have your kids discuss what happens when you try to force the sides of two magnets together. Do they pull together or push apart? How might this be used on a larger scale to pull or push a rollercoaster car forward if there are magnets built into the track and cars?
Now on to my favorite subject, language arts, let's take a quick peek at the educational stages Disney has prepared for lessons in literature. On Mickey's Avenue, step into the pages of a good book, in this case, C.S. Lewis's classic series, The Chronicles of Narnia. In the exhibit, Journey into Narnia: Prince Caspian, guests can explore an exact replica of Aslan's stone table chamber movie set and view actual props and scenes from the film Prince Caspian. If your children have read the books and seen the movies, this exhibit sets the stage for an interesting compare and contrast lesson. In what ways did the movies differ from the books? Which did they like better? Why do they think the directors changed aspects of the books when making the movies?
When you return from Narnia, head over to the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater for the grand finale of literature lessons, Fantasmic! This 25-minute extravaganza including comedy, adventure, and romance is an eye-popping, jaw dropping opportunity for guests to learn about elements of a story. The storyline of Fantasmic! centers on Mickey Mouse and his band of do-gooders battling a mob of Disney ne'er-do-wellers. It is the classic tale of good vs. evil, heroes vs. villains, or as we English teachers say, protagonists versus antagonists. In addition, our protagonists must face several literary conflicts throughout the show, including character vs. character, character vs. nature, character vs. society, character vs. self and character vs. supernatural in the form of a 32,000 lbs fire-breathing dragon. But as with all great stories, Fantasmic! ends happily and even provides some spectacular fireworks to punctuate a perfect lesson in storytelling.
When it comes to discussing theater, one cannot ignore the genius of William Shakespeare. The Bard was right, "All the world's a stage!" And Disney's stage is set 365 days a year, so sit back and enjoy the show. I guarantee by the end of an exciting, educational day at Disney's Hollywood Studios, your family will be screaming "Encore! Encore!"
PassPorter's Free-Book to Walt Disney World Itís hard to believe anything is free at Walt Disney World; but there are actually a number of things you can get or do for little to no cost. This e-book documents over 200 free or cheap tips to do before you go and after you arrive. You could save a considerable amount of money following these tips. Perhaps more importantly; you can discover overlooked attractions and little-known details most people whiz by on their way to spend money. Click here to see free sample pages from the e-book! Get this popular e-book free of extra charges when you join the PassPorter's Club for as little as $4.95. A club pass includes access to all our other e-books; e-worksheets; super-size photos; and more! This e-book is also available for separate purchase in the PassPorter Online Store for just $5.95.
I love this series of artcles, they really give me food for thought and make me consider WDW past the asthetics.
Maybe its due to my choice of career but I always think disney movies and characters carry so many social values messages especially beauty and the beast. which I think has a huge anti discriminatory message, about stigma, disabilitys and messages about peoples behavior masking anxietys.
Clare Loves Stitch
"sometimes the right path is not the easiest one"
Grandmother Willow - Pocahontas
Proud DVC owner at BWV from March 2011
Thank you so much for the kind words about my articles. I am glad you are enjoying the series.
I agree that the Disney movies and characters are vehicles for valuable lessons from overcoming discrimination to believing in your dreams. It is actually a point that I discuss in my upcoming article about lessons learned at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
I could fill volumes with the amount of educational opportunities at Walt Disney World. It has been a struggle to pick and chose which great lessons to cover in these articles.
Registered Message Board Members Get Our Free Newsletter! When you register you'll have the option to sign up for our weekly PassPorter Newsletter. It's chock-full of feature articles; news; tips; contests; photos; and special offers in our online store.