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PassPorter News Brought to you by PassPorter Guidebooks
April 08, 2010 * Issue 9.14

In This Newsletter 

From the Authors: Rats!

Travel Feature: Geneva, Switzerland

Disney Feature: Taking the Grandkids

Updates: What's New and Changed

Tips: Fantastic Fireworks, Tiny Toiletries, Snack Suitcase

Captain's Corner: 18th Street Station

PassPorter PhotoPick: Rose & Castle

Q and A: Which is better: Palo for dinner or brunch?

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Updates:
What's New and Changed

This week we have 4 news bulletins:

Haute Cuisine on the High Seas When it sets sail in January 2011, the Disney Dream will have two adults-only, extra-cost restaurants. Disney Cruise Line has just announced Remy, a tres elegante French restaurant, named for the star of Disney*Pixar's Ratatouille. Think, "Victoria and Albert's at sea," especially since V&A's Executive Chef, Scott Hunnell, collaborated on the menu. Diners will be served eight or nine small, very elegantly presented courses, fine wine will be a major focus, and, with just 80 seats in the main dining room, 16 more at the Chef's Table (again, V&A-style), and a 16-guest Wine Room, this is going to be the hottest reservation at sea (sorry, Palo). Price has not been announced, but we can't imagine anything less than $50 per person, plus at least that much more for a wine flight to accompany the meal.
Comments: 49

This updates page 029 of PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line guidebook

Southwest Added to Resort Airline Check In Passengers flying Southwest can now take advantage of Resort Airline and Baggage Check In at all but two Walt Disney World Resorts. (Old Key West and Caribbean Beach need to have their luggage rooms expanded before they can participate.)
Comments: 49

This updates page 021 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook

Disney's Hollywood Studios Changes In addition to the previously announced upgrades to Tower of Terror, Rock 'N' Roller Coaster will also be getting a new interactive queue during it's planned rehab May 15 - 20, 2010, and Toy Story Midway Mania will be replacing one of the Midway Games. (This change to Toy Story Midway Mania is strictly a software change and should not require the ride to be closed.)
Comments: 49

This updates page 178 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Dates Announced The 2010 Halloween parties at Walt Disney World will be held September 3, 8, 14, 17, 21, 24,28, and 30 and October 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, and 31, and November 1. Tickets are expected to go on sale May 1, 2010.
Comments: 49

This updates page 285 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook


Tip: Need more news? Read, sort, and search all the PassPorter news bulletins at the PassPorter News Desk!

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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Disney Tips:
From Fellow Readers

Our readers deliver a wealth of information! Send us your tips! You may see them in this newsletter and win a copy of PassPorter! And you never know -- your tip could even appear in a future edition of a PassPorter guidebook.

FANTASTIC FIREWORKS
'During our recent stay at the Disneyland Hotel, we could see the fireworks from our room, even though it was not an "official" fireworks room. We discovered that the TV in the room had a station called the fireworks channel, which simulcasts the soundtrack to the fireworks show. On the nights that we were too tired to stay in the park, it was the perfect way to enjoy the show. In fact, our last night of vacation, we had our children all ready for bed and in their pajamas. We turned off the lights in our room and enjoyed the fireworks one last time. Then it was off to bed for the children while mom and dad packed. It was a magical end to our vacation.'
-- contributed by Lorri
Save This Tip

TINY TOILETRIES
'Instead of using regular-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner that take up so much space, I save the small ones that I get at hotels. I refill them with my regular toiletries and bring as many of each as I will need for my trip. They take up less room in my luggage, they don't leak as easily (and if they do, less product leaks out) and when they are empty I throw them away and don't have as much to bring home. Also, if I happen to forget it in the shower when I'm packing to leave, it's not a big deal. You can fill them fairly easily if your regular bottles have pumps on them. To determine how many small bottles you will need, use one at home and see how long it lasts, then go from there.'
-- contributed by Anne
Save This Tip

SNACK SUITCASE
'We brought a small suitcase with breakfast and snack foods/drinks, cheese and crackers, and 'parent' beverages to enjoy in our hotel room. We filled the suitcase with our souvenirs upon our departure. It was a lifesaver after a long day and we just wanted to kick back in the hotel room before bed time.'
-- contributed by Brigid
Save This Tip


Want more Disney tips? Look for the concierge bell icon in future newsletters and throughout the PassPorter.com site. When you see the bell, tap it to view and save the tip to your personal tip collection!

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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PassPorter PhotoPick
 
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:



Rose & Castle

Photo by wdwlovers

(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 and A: With Jennifer and Dave


chelsie asks: "Last time on our cruise we enjoyed dinner at Palo. This time we thought to try something different like Brunch. For those of you who have tried both, how does it compare?"

Dave answers: "Dinner is more romantic than brunch. Also, you're pampered more at dinner, since your server schlepps all the plates.

Brunch is definitely like being a kid in a Beverly Hills candy shop, though. And after the other buffets on board, you feel like you're in a whole new, much more marvelous world.

Fortunately enough (for me), I've had enough Palo dinners that it's not totally impossible to make my dinner choices. I do, usually, ask for a half-order of at least one of the pastas, and sometimes a second appetizer, in addition to everything else... but that's usually enough to keep me from feeling like I missed something.

And, since I'm a Platinum Castaway Club member, there's no way I'm not using that complimentary Palo dinner benefit I've worked so hard to earn."

Did our message board members agree with Dave? To see other answers that chelsie received, check out the rest of the thread on the PassPorter Message Boards..

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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Future Newsletters:
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 news@passporter.com. Articles about Disney and general travel are welcomed!
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From the Authors: Rats!

Hi, {{user('firstname')}}!

After all these years publishing and updating Disney guidebooks, you'd think we'd know that, to adapt a phrase from the Jaws II movie trailer, "It's never safe to go back in the water." We think a chapter (or an entire book) is finished, and Disney tosses out some new announcement or other (see our Updates column). And with Disney Cruise Line constantly announcing new features of its upcoming ship, the Disney Dream... we shouldn't have been shocked yesterday when we learned of a second adults-only restaurant on the Disney Dream. But Dave loudly moaned, "Rats," and there's now a dent in the wall the shape and size of his forehead (Peanuts/Charlie Brown fans will understand). There's enough information about the restaurant to add one more page to PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line 2010. Speaking of which, the 2010 edition of our Disney Cruise guide is undergoing major revision -- significantly more than we anticipated -- and we're still working on it. That means we won't make our projected late April release date (more like mid-to-late May). We will, however, make an e-book version available as soon as we can. Watch for details on that to come soon.

Meantime, since Wednesday was Dave's birthday, it seemed a good time for one of us to get a new Apple iPad. Boy, is it cool! (Don't worry, we won't waste further time here geeking out!) What else is cool? It meant Jennifer could use the iPad's excellent iBook e-book reader software to refine the design and layout of our first e-book designed for the iPad! It'll be available in Apple's iBookstore in the very near future (we hope well before next week's newsletter).

We also have another announcement... Just as we're making a bigger commitment to e-books, we're beginning to offer some of our popular e-books in print editions! First out of the block is our guide to the Disney Vacation Club. Watch for an announcement next week of when and how you can get your print copy!

Brit Guide Updated!
PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers has been updated with the latest information from the major British travel agents' brochures for 2010–2011. All prices for hotels and theme park tickets have been fully updated, and we've added new information on places to stay off-site in Orlando that are featured in the major brochures. The new edition also includes news on changes and additions to Walt Disney World and Orlando's other theme parks for 2010. In response to reader suggestions, we've added more information on shopping, with details about the differences in US and UK clothing sizes. Learn more at http://www.passporter.com/wdw/brits.asp

PassPorter's Disney 500 E-Book Updated ... and in a new format!
Our #1 bestselling e-book, PassPorter's Disney 500: Fast Tips for Walt Disney World Trips, has been updated! And we're also making it available in a new format -- EPUB -- which can be viewed on the new iPad that just came out last weekend, and other platforms such as Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony Reader, and several others. If you already purchased the PDF version through our store, you can login to the store and download the updated version. The new EPUB version is available separately through our PassPorter Store. And both the PDF and EPUB versions are available free-of-extra-charges to all PassPorter's Club Passholders!

PassPorter Airs Eleventh Podcast Episode 
Our new PassPorter Moms Podcast is available directly from iTunes -- just search on "PassPorter" or click this link. eleventh episode with Dave Marx is now available for your listening pleasure! Come listen, get some tips, hear some "motherly advice," give us feedback, and let us know what questions you'd like answered during our podcast! You can listen while you read this newsletter or surf the web! Just go to http://www.passporter.com/podcast/home.php and click Listen Now!





PassPorter's Club Update
  • More than 1500 vacationers are now enjoying access to all our e-books, e-worksheets, and super-sized photo archive images. Thank you for your continued support!
     
  • Two new e-worksheets are available, both for cruisers: Cruise Budget Worksheet and Cruise Reservation Worksheet

In this issue, PassPorter Featured Columnist Cheryl Pendry shares information on Geneva, Switzerland. Then PassPorter Guest Contributor Jane Price gives us a glimpse into Taking the Grandkids. Finally, Jack Skatt is back with a brand-new Walt Disney World Treasure Hunt.

Jennifer and Dave Marx
PassPorter Founders and Authors


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Travel Feature:

Geneva, Switzerland: A Multi-Cultural Center
Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist

Geneva is somewhere that many of you have probably heard of. It's so well known internationally that it's a common misconception that it's actually the capital of Switzerland. Before we go any further, I'll set the record straight on that one. The capital is actually Bern, although it's understandable that many people give the accolade to Geneva, as it is definitely better known.

One of the main reasons for that is the multi-cultural feel to the city. It's home to a multitude of international organizations, more than 200 in fact, with many national government organizations choosing to base themselves in the city. It's perhaps best known for international diplomacy, with the European headquarters of the United Nations (UN) based there.

The Palais des Nations was originally built in the 1930s and it started life as the headquarters of the League of Nations. That was dissolved a few years later and then the complex became the European base of the UN. It's something that is immediately obvious as you pass it, with its rows of flags of member countries and a striking sculpture outside of a chair with one leg missing. Sensibly enough called Broken Chair, it's a protest against land mines.

Just a little further up the road is the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, which is inside the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross. But most of the major attractions in Geneva are to be found in the city itself. We were on a road trip around Switzerland when we visited, so we had the benefit of a car to get into the centre, although that did prove to be an issue at times, with traffic jams at peak times, as you get in every city around the world. Then, of course, there is the thorny issue of finding somewhere to park.

As far as parking went though, we lucked out every time we wanted to see one of Geneva's biggest attractions. The Jet d'Eau, or jet of water in English, is essentially a fountain, but it's unlike any you've ever seen before, with the water jetting nearly 500 feet into the air. You can approach in along a stone pier, but the closer you get, the more you feel the force of the water on you. We made it as close as we could, but even then, we were probably a good 20 feet from where the water issues forth at more than 100 miles an hour. It's a sight you can see from everywhere around the waterfront of Lake Geneva and, during the busy summer season, you can also enjoy it at night, with illuminations ensuring it can be seen until late into the evening.

Travel further round the waterfront, so that you're directly in front of the city centre and you'll come across another iconic symbol of Geneva. The Jardin Anglais (English Garden) is a perfect spot in the summer to look out over the lake and the Jet d'Eau in front of you, but throughout the year, the flowering clock is a sight that most visitors stop to see. The clock was originally put in place in 1955 in tribute to the Swiss tradition of watch making, has eight intersecting wheels, and is planted out with more than 6,000 flowers.

Head into Geneva city centre and you can instantly see that it's a thriving shopping centre, packed with both designer and high street names. It's a flourishing place during the week and is happily still home to many one-off niche shops, which make it a pleasure for souvenir shopping.

The heart of Geneva is its Old Town and we made the mistake of parking at the bottom of the hill that leads up to it, not a mistake we'll make again in a hurry. The centerpoint here is the Place du Bourg-de-Four, a central square that was used as a market place hundreds of years ago. Today it's home to chairs out across the square, waiting for people to sit and enjoy a light snack or a drink. The square is surrounded by some beautiful buildings, including amongst them the Palais du Justice (Justice Palace) and the Hotel de Ville, Geneva's original town hall.

Only a few minutes' walk away, is the Cathedral St. Pierre that was completed in the 13th century. It's an imposing building and, unlike many churches, it reflects a lot of different architectural styles. Of course there are the spires that you often find, but head around to the main entrance and your instant thought is that this could have come from Roman remains, with all of its columns.

From there, almost any direction you take will see you walking through more enchanting streets, packed with historic buildings. We happily wandered, taking in the sights and seeing the Maison Tavel on the way, which is home to a museum devoted to life in the city from the 14th to the 19th centuries. Nearby you'll find the birthplace of famous philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Almost every building you past no doubt has its own fascinating history and, as you walk along the narrow cobbled streets, you can't help but wonder what life was life a few hundred years ago and how much these streets have changed since then.

We quickly discovered that a road trip is a bit like a cruise, in that often you don't have adequate time to do your destinations justice. That was certainly true of Geneva. It's a truly multi-cultural place and I'd love to return one day to see more of everything it has to offer to visitors. And of course, there's always the lure of coming back to see the famous Jet d'Eau all illuminated on a summer's night. One day, I'm sure...

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About the Author: Cheryl is the author of the new e-book, PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers, and is the co-author of PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide: For Members and Members-To-Be. Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have traveled around the world, visiting every Disney theme park on the way.

Questions, feedback, or corrections about this article, or just want to give kudos to the author? Share a comment here or e-mail us at news@passporter.com. Also check out our Article Collection for more great information!

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Disney Feature:


Taking the Grandkids: Tips for Disney Trips
Jane Price, PassPorter Guest Contributor

Nowadays, more and more grandparents are taking their grandchildren to the Disney theme parks. While some are going with their children who are the parents of these grandchildren, many are now just taking the grandkids. Having done this both ways, I can definitely recommend just taking the grandkids only!

I have taken my granddaughters to both U.S. resorts, Disneyland and Walt Disney World (and on the Disney Cruise Line as well) without their parents. It is so much fun, even better than taking your kids. Usually, grandparents and grandchildren are more simpatico than parents and children. Grandchildren think you are cool and want to be with you!

Let's face it, it is the sworn duty of all grandparents to spoil their grandchildren. What better place to fulfill these duties than at the Disney parks? It is a win-win for both "grands" and parents as well. While the grands are vacationing, the parents get a well deserved rest at home. So, how can a grandparent do his/her duty and spoil the grandkiddies at Disney?

Schedule lots of character meals, for starters. These work out better for the grands because you are more willing to sit back, relax and take lots of pictures. Neither of you are in a hurry to get to the parks. It is a great time for grandparents to get a breather and the grandkids to do one of their favorite things at Disney, spend time with characters.

Another wonderful place to spoil them is either the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or Pirate's League. Once again, a great break for you, and the kids love getting makeovers into their favorite characters. Get the biggest, baddest package (or costume)! As grandparents, we usually have more disposable income than parents, and this is one of the best places to dispose of some income. You will also get some terrific photos of the grandkids, making for lots of bragging rights when you get home.

If your grandchildren are young, the nice thing is you are often both on the same rest vs. active cycle. Both tend to get up early with lots of energy, both tend to nap in the afternoon and go to bed early by Disney standards. If you are also a grandparent who is not that into coasters and other wild rides, when the grandkids are young, you always want to do the same rides together.

As one of my granddaughters has now gotten older, it has been so fun to take her on a "new" ride she has grown into. When we rode Indiana Jones Adventure in Disneyland last summer, I was as excited as she was about her first time. It felt like my first time, too. Now, "Indy" is one of her favorites, as it is mine. I look forward to two more "first time(s)" with the two younger granddaughters as they grow into it.

One of the other favorite things for the "grands" to do is hang out by the pool. As I have gotten older, just relaxing by the pool has climbed higher on my "must do" list while at Disney parks. I try to book a hotel with a great pool, like The Beach Club. As before, it's a good breather for the grandparents and a fun, favorite activity for the grandkids.

If there is an evening you want some adult time, there are child care options at most of the Deluxe hotels, and-in room babysitting by outside agencies, licensed and bonded is available at any hotel. We used one of the in room sitters and had a good experience. Our granddaughter got to go to the playground at our hotel and play fun games with the sitter while we dined at Citrico's. Just be aware some more income will be disposed of to do this.

When the grandchildren are young, be sure to call their parents nearly every day, so all parties can be assured all is well. The grandkids also love to tell their parents about their exciting days.

At present, we have four trips planned to take our granddaughters to either Walt Disney World or Disneyland within one year. Taking the grand kids on vacation? I live for it!

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About the Author: Jane lives in southeast Arizona with her husband, three granddaughters, and the family parrots. She is an Annual Passholder for Disneyland as well as a Disney Vacation Club member.

Questions, feedback, or corrections about this article, or just want to give kudos to the author? Share a comment here or e-mail us at news@passporter.com. Also check out our Article Collection for more great information!

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