||In This Newsletter
From the Authors: Decade of Dreams
Travel Feature: Antiquing in New York State
Disney Feature: Dining Review: Yak & Yeti
Updates: What's New and Changed
Tips: Bring Your Own Birthday, Good Glow, Pacifier Protection
Captain's Corner: The Prototype
PassPorter PhotoPick: The Flying Dutchman at Castaway Cay
Q&A: What characters will we see on our cruise?
Our Sponsors: We Recommend...
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Brazil's Adriano Bastos won his fourth consecutive Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday with a winning time of 2:20:56. Floridian Melanie Peters won the women's marathon with a time of 2:47:29
What's New and Changed
Here are a few items of relevant news:
Disney and CareerBuilder.com are searching for the next Chief Magic Officer (CMO). If you think you have what it takes, head to the official web site to take the Magic Aptitude Test and fill out the application including a 60-second video about why you are perfect for the job. (The rules are strict about what can be in the video so read them carefully!) A panel of judges will choose 10 finalists and then the public will get to vote for the winner. The winner will be a paid hourly employee of Disney for a year and will attend 4 major events for Disney around the country, all expenses paid.
New Year, new prices! The following prices have increased:
- As of January 9, the refundable deposit for locker rentals has increased from $2 to $5. The cost for lockers is $5 for small lockers and $7 for for large lockers PLUS the refundable deposit.
- As of January 13, both mini-golf course, Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland, have increased their rate to $11.95 per round for adults and $9.75 per round for kids (ages 3 - 9).
Our thanks to AllEars.net and MousePlanet.com from which we get some of our news leads.
Hear some news? Be a "PassPorter Reporter" and send it to us!
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From Fellow Readers
Our readers deliver a wealth of information! Here are the winners in this month's tip contest:
BRING YOUR OWN BIRTHDAY
"If you feel the Disney Cruise Line's Stateroom Celebration package is a bit too spendy and you'd rather have that $$ for bingo and spa treatments, bring your own decorations! My little boy and I usually sail on the Magic right around his birthday, and I like to make a big deal out of his special day. I bring un-inflated mylar birthday balloons (found some Mickey ones at the dollar store!), jointed "Happy Birthday" banners, and anything else I can find. I also bring poster putty to put up the decorations without harming the walls. I wait until he is gone to the kids' club, then I 'birthday up' the whole stateroom. He loves seeing what I've done, and it makes him feel so special."
-- contributed by Gina P.
"When we cruised in 2004, we had an inside stateroom. My son was used to having a night light in his bedroom. I, however, do not sleep well in a room with any kind of light. Our solution was to bring along glow sticks. We put one on the bathroom door so that we could find our way through the dark cabin at night. We also put a glow necklace on one of my son's stuffed animals and placed it at the foot of his bed. The glow stick let off enough light to make my son feel secure but yet not enough light to keep me awake at night!"
-- contributed by Michelle S.
"We have been taking my son to Walt Disney World since he was 9 months old. We have lost many bottles, pacifiers, etc as they would be thrown and lost forever. We discovered while at Disney, that if we took a water bottle lanyard, we could loop it to the stroller at one end and to the bottle, toy, pacifier, etc at the other! Our son if 7 years old now, so it's about time we pass along this tip our fellow 'stroller rollers.' [Jennifer's Note: Just a reminder to ensure any strap you use is short enough that your baby's head could not become accidentally entangled.]"
-- contributed by Barb K.
Send us your tips! You may see them in this newsletter and win a copy of PassPorter!
Want more Disney tips? For Walt Disney World fans, we've collected 500 of the best tips submitted by readers over the past six years. All have been edited for accuracy and categorized. For details, visit the PassPorter Disney 500 info page or the PassPorter store. For Disney Cruise Line fans, we have an e-book with 250 cruiser tips, as well as a special cruise line comparison section and seven customized packing lists. For information, visit the Disney Cruise Clues info page.
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Treasure Hunting Game
Play our fun and quirky treasure hunting game, hosted by Captain Jack Skatt from our book, "PassPorter's Treasure Hunts at Walt Disney World."
Here is this week's journal entry:
The Captain makes a study of the delightful details -- sometimes hidden, sometimes in plain sight but often overlooked -- at Walt Disney World and aboard the Disney Cruise Line. Using notes from his journals, he will lead you to this "treasure" at Disney with clues, questions, photos, or riddles. Your challenge is to discover the answer by searching your memory, visiting Disney, or even just looking really hard on the Internet. If you think you've found the answer, e-mail it to email@example.com -- the first person to correctly submit the FULL answer will receive a free PassPorter enamel pin or PassPorter name badge pin.
"With all this talk about PassPorter's 10th anniversary in 2009, I decided to take a little trip down memory lane. I got my hands on one of the first PassPorter prototypes made back in 1996. My copy is quite old and dog-eared -- it appears well travelled. While there are similarities to today's PassPorter, there are striking differences: the cover is red rather than blue and it doesn't wrap around, the binding is wire rather than plastic, the page design is completely different, and the pockets are about 1/2" inch wider than the text pages. Most fascinating are the title (it's not even called a 'PassPorter' yet) and the author's name (not a 'Marx' in sight)."
What was the title of the first PassPorter prototype edition (circa 1996) and who was its author? For bonus credit, locate the photographic evidence in the PassPorter Photo Archive and post a comment with the photo!
Send your full answer to firstname.lastname@example.org -- the winner will be notified by e-mail and announced in a future newsletter, along with the correct answer!
Congratulations to Stacey Omlund who was the winner of last week's trivia contest! Stacey was the first person to identify the location of the jukebox as Pop Century and the Captain's favorite tune as E11. Stacey was the also first person to find the photo in the Photo Archive and post a comment. To view the original clue, see last week's newsletter.
If you enjoy treasure hunts, we've got an entire book with over 100 distinct treasure hunts and over 1500 questions, complete with clues and contributions from Captain Jack Skatt. Get more details on "PassPorter's Treasure Hunts at Walt Disney World" book at http://www.passporterstore.com.
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Each issue we choose a special photo from the PassPorter Photo Archive which highlights something beautiful, interesting, humorous, or timely at Disney or around the world. Here is this issue's PassPorter PhotoPick:
The Flying Dutchman pirate ship at Castaway Cay
contributed by OffKilter_Disneymom
(click the photo or link to see a larger photo with details)
You can nominate photos as a PassPorter PhotoPick by giving ratings in the PassPorter Photo Archive (you'll need to be logged in to do this). If you'd like to contribute your own photos to the Photo Archive and be considered as a PhotoPick, please read our Photo Upload Guidelines for details and benefits.
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Q & A:
With Jennifer and Dave
emtpej asks: "Are there characters at the parks or character meals that we can skip seeing because they will be on the cruise? Are they some that will NOT be on the cruise?"
Dave and Jennifer answer: "You'll see the Fab 5 (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto) and loads of princesses on board, so you can probably skip their character meals on land. Pooh and pals, on the other hand, are hard to come by at sea, so they're a good choice for a land-based character meal. Thanks to the Disney Dreams show (a must-see on board) and Pirates Night, you may have your fill of Hook, Smee, Wendy, Pan, and maybe even Captain Jack before you hit dry land. But then again, some folks never get enough of them. After that, I wouldn't sweat it -- take the characters where and when you find 'em."
Have a question? Post questions at http://www.passporterboards.com -- and if you're lucky, you may find that folks have already asked and answered the same question that's on your mind!
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Want To See Your Name in Print?
PassPorter News is published weekly, and this means we're always in need of articles! We're on the lookout for guest columnists who want to contribute articles to this newsletter. No professional writing experience is necessary, just a desire to share your experience with others! Not only is this a great way to give something back to the PassPorter community, but you get to see your name in "print" and receive a $25 gift certificate for use at www.passporter.com.
For details and our article submission guidelines, please e-mail email@example.com. Articles about Disney and general travel are welcomed!
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PassPorter only accepts advertising from services of the highest quality -- we recommend these companies because we use them ourselves. Please support our sponsors and, in turn, support this newsletter! This week's sponsors are (in order of appearance):
Mouse Fan Travel -- Decade of Dreams Offer
MouseEarVacations.com -- Disney Cruise Line Special Offers
Quicksilver Tours & Transportation -- Save $5 off airport round-trip transportation in a town car
|| From the Authors: Decade of Dreams
May 3, 2009 marks the realization of a dream ... a decade of dreams! Join us as PassPorter celebrates its TENTH anniversary in grand style with a year-long celebration from coast-to-coast! Everyone is invited to PassPorter's Decade of Dreams Tour and all are warmly welcome to join us at all or part of our celebration.
Decade of Dreams celebrates all of our dreams by going "on tour," coast-to-coast and online! We're planning everything from online events with contests to one-day parties (meets) to grand, multi-day group trips. Our once-in-a-lifetime group trips include a 7-night Disney Cruise to Tortola, a 4-night celebration at Walt Disney World, and a Disneyland visit that includes park time and an Adventures by Disney expedition, with travel arranged by our friends at Mouse Fan Travel. To get all the details and reserve your spot on the limited-availability trips, visit the Decade of Dreams Tour Overview. Everyone is invited and welcome!
In other news, PassPorter's Walt Disney World 2008 is now #13 on the list of bestselling travel books in bookstores across the nation, a new record for us! Dave was quoted in his hometown newspaper (The Bergen Record) on the topic of kids and car travel (see Family trips redefined by car gadgets). And our site traffic continues to peak, meaning continued slowdowns until we get our new server hardware. Our apologies for the sluggishness, and we expect to be back up to speed (or even faster!) before February.
Our new Disney World Hotels Reviews & Ratings Forum is off to a resounding start with more than 100 reviews -- WOW! Our reviews are fully searchable, sortable, and include numerical ratings and useful flagging tools to help you in planning your vacation. Many thanks to the great folks at MouseEarVacations.com for sponsoring this valuable resource!
Pre-orders of our sixth edition of PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line and its Ports of Call are proving popular! A special electronic preview version of the guidebook is available to everyone who pre-orders a new cruise guide through our PassPorter Store. Currently, the first chapter is available for download -- chapter 2 will go up within the week. To pre-order, visit the PassPorter's Disney Cruise Pre-Order Center.
In this issue, Guest Contributor and PassPorter Message Board Guide Sue Kulick whets the appetites of antique hunters, in Antiquing in New York State. Then, Featured Contributor and PassPorter Message Board Guide Cheryl Pendry addresses a different kind of appetite in her review of Yak & Yeti, the recently-opened restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Finally, Jack Skatt is back with a brand-new Walt Disney World Treasure Hunt. Enjoy!
Jennifer and Dave
PassPorter Publishers and Authors
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Walt Disney World® Resort - from $250*
5/2/09: 4-nights & PassPorter Dessert Party!
Visit us at: www.MouseFanTravel.com
*Per person/double occupancy, subject to availability - CST207807440
Click for full details - As to Disney artwork: ©Disney Ships' registry: The Bahamas
|| Travel Feature:
The Antiques of Madison County (New York That Is...)
by Sue Kulick, PassPorter Message Board Guide and Guest Contributor
When you think about New York, antiques are probably not the first thing that comes to your mind. But let me tell you, there is a wonderful tiny corner of New York State where they have honed antiquing and bargain hunting to an art form.
Madison County in central New York State could well be called the antique capitol of New York. In a tiny town called Bouckville, there is a string of antique shops all along the main road. But there is more to it than that...
Every summer, Madison County puts on a show for the residents and tourists alike. Between the lush green farmland and the gently rolling hills of this beautiful area, thousands of antique dealers gather every summer in a field to show their wares. Yes, it's time for the Madison-Bouckville Antique Show!
The show is held on the third weekend in August and opens on Friday for the early birds. For an increased fee, dealers and serious collectors can get in to the show a day early to poke around and make some deals. The show opens to the public on Saturday morning. For a mere $6 ($7 for a weekend pass), you can gain entry to a veritable super market of antiques!
The dealers bring along a huge variety of things. Some of them bring things that have been sitting too long in their shop. Some dealers bring things that they think will sell. Some dealers bring whatever is "hot" that year. One year it was Depression glass, one year it was snowshoes, and another year it was wagon wheels. This year the trend seemed to be toward old kitchen items!
You enter this antique wonderland knowing that, like Walt Disney World, you are not going to see everything in one trip. Spread out before you are tents, tables, trucks and tarps, resplendent with items to delight the most seasoned antique-er or the bright-eyed novice!
If you're like us, the monetary value plays second fiddle to the decorative value. We own a log home, and we tend to look for things that will enhance the beauty of our home, rather that what will bring us money on the resale market.
If you get hungry, there is a large food tent in the center offering foods that range from salads to sandwiches to burgers to fresh fruit. It is run by the local fire/rescue department, so you know your lunch money is going towards a good cause.
So, let's say you've found the perfect item. But that beautiful rocking chair is a bit much to carry back to your car. Never fear! Look around - there are young men and women everywhere in yellow T-shirts with the word "Porter" on them. These young people will load up your purchase on a trolley, pulled by a tractor, and take it back to your car. But don't forget to throw them a few bucks. These young people work for free and depend on your tips!
If you get tired of the actual show, take a stroll into the town of Bouckville. Every store, every nook and cranny, every square inch of space, is covered by someone selling something. The dealers that don't get inside the antique show set up shop on the fields and side streets of Bouckville. There are treasures to be found everywhere you look.
And don't be afraid to bargain. It's not only accepted, it's expected! Don't want to pay $20 for that old map of the world? Offer $10! And on Sunday, many dealers would rather bargain than pack everything up again and haul it home.
If yard sales are more your style, this is the weekend for them! Every road leading into central Madison County is chock-full of people selling their household goods. We usually stop at a few on our way to and from the show. We have gotten a few good deals along the way, as well as a few classic pieces for our home.
Come and spend the day or the weekend having fun and shopping in this lovely area of New York State!
To find out more information, check out the web site:
About the Author: Sue Kulick is a resident of the Pocono Mountains and an avid Disney fan. She and her husband, Steve, live in a log home with their Golden Retrievers, Cody and Belle and their cats Tigger, Rocky and Adrian.
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Did you enjoy this article? Have questions? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.passporterboards.com to discuss your travel plans. Also check out our Article Collection for more great information!
Yak & Yeti: Dining With An Asian Flair
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
The Walt Disney World Resort is ever changing, and that doesn't mean just adding new attractions or updates to old favorites, it also means new dining opportunities. Over the past few months, we had watched with eager anticipation as plans were announced for various restaurants and each one that was new or had undergone major changes was dutifully added into our itinerary.
One of those that I was probably most eager to try was the new table-service restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom. For a long time, I've loved this park, but my main frustration with it has been the lack of good places to sit down and enjoy a good meal. We're just not counter service people. We like to settle down, browse a menu, pick some food and enjoy it, rather than having to go and order it, find a table (sometimes not the easiest of tasks!) and then feel rushed, as other people are in the same position. When I heard about Yak & Yeti, I just knew we had to try it out. Fortunately, that ended up being just a few weeks after it opened.
Set in Asia, its no surprise that Yak & Yeti is an Asian-themed restaurant, offering food that seemed to be Chinese, Japanese, and perhaps Thai in origin. You can start off with a choice of appetizers, soups, and salads. The wonton soup, with pork wontons and a clear chicken broth ($4.99) got a thumbs up from our table, although I found the prawn flavored crisps ($4.99) to be nothing special. I think perhaps I was hoping for more than the standard prawn crackers that we get with any Chinese takeaway at home! That's not to say that the menu isn't ambitious. More unusual dishes to start with include the seared ahi tuna ($9.99), the steamed mussels with a Thai basil broth and lemon grass ($9.99) and the lettuce cups with minced chicken breast, chopped vegetables and maple tamarind sauce ($10.99).
There's a strong focus on seafood and fish here at Yak & Yeti, as shown by the fact that of the four specials offered when we dined there, only one was meat-based, the other were all fish. It was one of those that I eventually went for - the seared miso salmon ($20.99), following a glowing recommendation from our server. It came with jasmine rice, which seemed to be a staple accompaniment to a lot of the main dishes, baby bok choy and a shiitake mushroom stir-fry. As soon as I bit into it, I could see why our server had been so keen on it. It was one of those dishes where all the flavors blend together perfectly and eating every mouthful was an absolute treat.
If fish isn't your thing, there's plenty for meat eaters, with other dishes including the crispy honey chicken with broccoli, carrots and honey sauce ($15.99), maple tamarind chicken with an Indonesian tamarind glaze and coconut-ginger rice ($17.99), duck with Anandapur glaze - a roasted half duckling with orange wasabi glaze, jasmine rice (again) and stir-fried vegetables ($21.99). My husband went for the shaoxing steak and shrimp ($22.99). Despite its fancy name, this is essentially surf'n'turf, although the shrimp is tempura-battered and it's served with the ever familiar jasmine rice, stir fried vegetables and chili plum dipping sauce.
One comment I had heard before dining at Yak & Yeti is that there isn't much for true vegetarians and the menu certainly failed to highlight anything under the entrees that didn't feature either fish or meat, which is a great shame. However, this is Disney and usually a word with your server and the chef can come up with something, but it's still a disappointment not to see vegetarian dishes appearing as a matter of course on the menu.
Dessert choices include mango pie ($6.99), chocolate brownie sundae ($7.99) and fried wontons ($7.99), which we sampled. This is skewers of fresh pineapple and cream cheese wontons, vanilla ice cream and honey vanilla drizzle. Odd as it sounds, it seemed to work and was met with smiles from around the table.
If you're thinking that perhaps Yak & Yeti's food is a touch too exotic for you, don't worry. We dined with friends, one of whom I think it's fair to say is fairly conservative in their food tastes and they found plenty to enjoy.
But the food is only half the story here. Yak & Yeti has to be one of the best themed restaurants on Disney property. It's clear the Imagineers had a ball putting this place together. Everywhere you look are Asian artifacts, and this is a photographer's paradise. The minute you walk in, you really do feel as if you're stepping onto a different continent.
Within the restaurant, there are a series of different rooms with different color schemes, including pale greens, blues and orange. As you walk from one part of the restaurant to another, you get a different atmosphere, and that was a great touch. It's worth chatting with the Cast Members here. They were only too happy to explain to us all about some of the artifacts that are on display, some of which have very interesting stories behind them. There's even a fertility Buddha in there, so if children is something you'd like in your future, be sure to find it and rub its belly!
All in all, Yak & Yeti is a great new addition to dining at Disney's Animal Kingdom and it's just a shame it was so long in arriving. Let's hope, as the park prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year that plans are in the works for more table service restaurants in the park's second decade. If they are, Yak and Yeti has already set the bar exceptionally high here for good food and wonderful theming. Any other restaurants here in the future will have a lot to live up to.
About the Author: Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to America. They were on the first 11-night sailing of the Disney Magic around the Mediterranean and have recently returned from 19 nights in Walt Disney World. They are now looking forward to visiting Hong Kong and Hong Kong Disneyland.
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Did you enjoy this article? Have questions? E-mail us at email@example.com or visit http://www.passporterboards.com to discuss your Disney vacation plans. Also check out our Article Collection for more great information!
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