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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 The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk.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 -- 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, 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 . 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 11-26-2003, 12:07 PM   #1
Jennifer Marx
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Party-Poopers and Scrooges: Bringing the Magic of Disney to Everyone

[Preface: Due to our impending trip, we've chosen to recycle an oldie-but-goodie article we wrote over three years ago. The topic is as relevant today as it was then, and we've freshened it up with some new tidbits. Enjoy!]

Does your dear husband roll his eyes when you talk about your upcoming vacation? Do your kids hound you to stop reading the PassPorter Boards so they can use the computer? Are your co-workers ready to relocate your desk to the storeroom so they don't have to hear another word about The Mouse?

You're not alone. Many planners find it challenging to get their family and friends into the spirit of organizing a great vacation at Walt Disney World. Those who seem most reluctant to plan usually have misconceptions about Walt Disney World. We're sure many of you have heard these excuses before:

"What will I do there for five days? It's just Disney World."
"We don't have kids and I don't like roller coasters. Why bother?"
"It's all for little kids. There's nothing for me to do."
"It's too expensive. We can't afford it for four more years."
"This is your vacation. You're the Disney expert. You decide."

You know and we know that there is something for everyone at Walt Disney World. Perhaps you've even mentioned this to your family or friends. Maybe you showed them pictures, maps, and videos. But as the old proverb goes, "Tell me, I'll forget. Show me, I may remember. Involve me and I'll understand." It's time you involved your family and friends in planning that perfect Walt Disney World vacation! We offer these tips and tricks for converting all your skeptics, grouches, and martyrs.

You may enjoy hunting down the names of all the snack carts at the Magic Kingdom, but it's a good bet no one else in your party does. Can your family and friends find answers to their questions easily? (No, being available to answer their questions doesn't count.) Put out all your Disney guidebooks, guidemaps, brochures, and videos where folks can get to them easily. Sneak a few into the bathroom. If you share a computer, make a list of favorite Disney Web site links in your browser, or even set your start page to

"My husband did not even know there was more than one park at Walt Disney World 'til I clued him in!" -- DisneyDoll

You love Disney, but what do your family and friends love? Golf? Shopping? Sunbathing? Scuba diving? You'll get a different reaction to "Honey, we're spending a week at Walt Disney World!" than you'll get to "Honey, you can shop 'til you drop!" Find out what turns them on, then turn them on to doing it at Walt Disney World.

"Think about what he loves to do for leisure, and then find the WDW versions of those things. Golf lover? Seven fabulous courses in WDW and a dozen more in the Orlando area. Thrill rides? Plenty of them in Disney and Universal. Night life? Pleasure Island and Universal Citywalk, not to mention plenty of places in Orlando. Shows or theater? More in WDW than you can shake a stick at, plus a half-dozen or more great dinner theaters just off Disney property. Sports lover? Disney's Wide World of Sport complex. NASCAR? Richard Petty driving experience, and there's a NASCAR Cafe outside the Universal parks. See, it's all in the marketing. Walt Disney World has something that appeals to everyone; all you have to do is emphasize the parts that appeal to your hubbies and they will start to show a little more enthusiasm." -- WillCAD

Sit each person down with a guidebook, map, or Web site and instruct them to make a list of anything that sounds fun. Be careful to match the individual with the information. Got kids? Try a copy of "Birnbaum's Walt Disney World for Kids, by Kids." Teens may feel more at home on a Web site. And we hear from our readers that reluctant spouses enjoy PassPorter guidebooks for their concise information. Once you've got their ideas, you've got them involved.

Almost everyone is familiar with Disney's characters, even if they haven't been to Walt Disney World. Ask each person to choose his or her favorite Disney character, and then together you can find ways to incorporate that character into your vacation. A Belle fan may enjoy a visit to Fairytale Garden at Magic Kingdom, while a Martin Short fan (hey, he's a character!) will get a kick out of "The Making of Me" at Epcot. Encourage your kids (or kids at heart) to make their own autograph books featuring their favorite characters and those of their family and friends.

If worries about money are keeping your companions from getting excited, make a special effort to budget and save money. If appropriate, let them know about the great deals you're finding... it could go a long way towards relieving their stress.

"I think a lot of men especially worry about the cost and it makes it hard for them to get excited." -- mrsmaup

Speaking of characters, wouldn't your kids love to get mail from their favorite Disney character? If they still believe in Santa Claus, they'll have no problems becoming pen pals with a giant mouse or princess (and you'll have a ball playing that mouse or princess). Just find some appropriate greeting cards or stationary and send a letter to your child, signed by the character. Encourage your child to respond and share his or her trip plans. Even older kids may appreciate a "see you soon!" card from their character before their trip. E-mail works too, especially if you can create an e-mail address with the character's name in it (how about or

It's hard for most people to think about a vacation until it's almost upon them. To encourage advance planning, set out a suitcase or box in a central location and have everyone add some things they'd like to bring along. It's a daily reminder of the upcoming trip, plus it's fun to see what gets put into the suitcase. We know some families that start a "Disney Chest" as soon as they decide on a trip, tossing in everything from pocket change and Disney Dollars to books and magazines they want to read.

Have everyone pick one eatery or the first attraction of the day, and appoint them as hosts of their respective events. Encourage them to learn something fun about the attraction (or restaurant) that they can share with the group. Who knows? Once they have "ownership" of a small piece of their vacation they may be eager to plan an entire day (or evening) on their own.

Schedule a weekly planning meeting with the whole family or group. Watch a Disney video, crank out some Disney tunes, or play a Disney game to get in the mood, and then gather around the table to discuss your vacation plans. Spread out the maps, open your guidebooks, and attack one small part of your itinerary. Keep it short, keep it light, and wind things up before everyone gets antsy.

"This summer I thought what the heck I'll order the Disney video since we started talking about taking a trip to warmer climes in Jan-Feb 2004. I got the video and one Friday when there was nothing on TV and he was too tired to protest I popped it in. His eyes perked up when he saw Epcot and Animal Kingdom and with the golf preview too. 'Well,' he said 'Okay let's take a look at this and see what it is about.'" -- Charlie

The Secret Mickey game is a great way to involve all the members of a large group and put them in a giving mood. Here's how it works: Put everyone's name into a hat and let each person take turns drawing a name, becoming a "Secret Mickey" to the person whose name they've drawn. Their job? To find ways to make their secret buddy's vacation a little brighter with magical notes or small gifts, without giving away their identities. Hold a Secret Mickey Party at the end of your vacation and have each person guess the identity of their Secret Mickey.

Make sure your plans are accessible to everyone at all times. Use the computer to e-mail itineraries, or create a Web site. Put up notes on a bulletin board or refrigerator door. Use a PassPorter to record your plans and keep it in the living room or near the phone. Encourage everyone to comment on the plans and make suggestions -- put a feedback form on a Web site, a sheet of paper on a bulletin board, or a page flag on the PassPorter's Notes page.

"I'm the planner for most of our trips (Disney and otherwise). And it's not 'cause I'm more organized.... 'cause I'm not. I just love planning vacations. My wife is more than content to let me go crazy with it 'cause she's got veto power on everything... doh!" -- Matt

So you've tried all the tips on your unsuspecting spouse and just don't feel like you've made an impression. Never fear. Disney weaves its' magic in subtle and imaginative ways. Chances are very good your reluctant companion will have a ball at Walt Disney World!

"My dear husband never acts excited about an upcoming trip. Then when we get there he tends to not want to ride the rides and wants to wander off and take pictures. Then when the trip is over, he tells me he had a great time and it was the best trip yet. Some people just have different ways of expressing happiness." -- MinnieMary

Of course, you can probably plan your vacation all on your own. But when you involve your companions, you're not just getting a helping hand or a little less grief -- you're helping to make their vacations that much more magical. And just think -- all these little tricks and tips you use today may become the grand traditions and stories of tomorrow's trips.

"My husband was never into planning vacations either. He didn't fully appreciate Disney until we were on other vacations then he realized not every hotel has a snack bar and restaurant in it. He'd listen to my kids say 'Oh it was okay, but it wasn't Disney.' And 'When are we going back to Disney?' I finally told him to face the fact that Disney World is the ultimate vacation spot as it has everything you could want or need while on vacation. I guess he agrees because he agreed last month to purchase points in the Disney Vacation Club! I still can't believe it! And he actually is requesting me to make priority seatings at some of his favorite restaurants for our upcoming trip. And the biggest shock... I caught him reading my PASSPORTER!!!" -- gymnuts

The quotes in this article come from our marvelous message board members! Discuss this topic in more detail at;Number=401210
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