||In This Newsletter
From the Authors: Back from California
Travel Feature: Consumer Reports' ShopSmart: Motion Sickness Fixes
Disney Feature: Disneyland Hotel
Updates: What's New and Changed
Tips: Terrific Traffic Tip, Convenient Clock, Pin Trading Tip
Captain's Corner: The Fountain
PassPorter PhotoPick: Nighttime at The Great Movie Ride
Q and A: How do you get the attention of the Dream Squad?
Our Sponsors: We Recommend...
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What's New and Changed
Here are a few items of relevant news:
Buzz Lightyear has finally blasted off "To Infinity... And Beyond!" A 12-inch action figure of the popular Toy Story character is on its way to the International Space Station as part of NASA's "Toys In Space" project. The project is designed to introduce aspects of space exploration into the science and math studies of grade school children. Buzz will return to Earth this fall.
American Airlines decision to begin charging a fee for each checked bag has created some issues with Disney's Magical Express (DME) airline resort check-in. Right now DME is a free service and not equipped to handle financial transactions. Disney is working on a solution but in the meantime, guests checking a bag for American need to call DME's baggage-handling supplier, Bags Inc., to make payment arrangements. Bags, Inc. can be reached at 407-285-1231 between 7:00 am and 11:00 pm (Eastern time.)
As of May 30, 2008, Spirit Airlines now charges a fee of $5-$15 per seat per flight if you want to get a seat assignment in advance. Center seats are $5, aisle and window seats are $10, and exit seats are $15. If you do pay this advance seat assignment fee, the Spirit Air system will generate a random seat assignment at no extra charge. A random seat assignment may present a problem if you wish/need to be seated with your travel companions, though Spirit does claim they will try to keep parties together.
Nine Dragons, the table service restaurant in the China Pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase, is now closed for refurbishment. The renovations will include the addition of an open "exhibition" kitchen. The restaurant is scheduled to re-open November 30.
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:
TERRIFIC TRAFFIC TIP
"We are lucky enough to visit Walt Disney World every year, so we buy a new PassPorter annually to keep track of our planning. We carry it in our car with us and read out loud about rides, restaurants, etc. while driving (the passenger reads, not the driver!). Not only can we reminisce about past trips, it helps pass the time pleasantly when stuck in traffic or on long drives, and more importantly, makes use of otherwise lost time to plan for our next trip. We enjoy hearing fun facts about Walt Disney World and thinking about what we'll try next time rather than stressing about traffic jams. And I always know where my PassPorter is!"
-- contributed by Sandra G.
"I found a great idea on our last cruise for those inside staterooms. As you may know, the room can be pitch black. So I remembered to take my Homedics Sound Spa AM/FM Projection Clock Radio with Relaxing Sound Machine with us on our trip. We have used it many times when at a hotel. We like to use it because the time can project on the ceiling. It is a great way to tell time when you are in bed, without searching for your watch or clock, all you have to do is just look up. This works great when your room is so dark, it also provides a kind of night light. The light is adjustable or you can turn the projection off and you still have the digital time on the front of the clock. And as a bonus, it's also a sound machine. So even though you don't have a balcony, you can still hear the waves!"
-- contributed by Kim S.
PIN TRADING TIP
"On one of our Disney trips, we discovered a nice little perk. Cast members wearing green lanyards will only trade with kids. However, sometimes they will have a pin that's pinned on backwards so you can't see the pin. This is often a special pin and usually worth trading for."
-- contributed by Mary G.
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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Here is this week's journal entry:
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." 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 firstname.lastname@example.org -- the first person to correctly submit the FULL answer will receive a free PassPorter enamel pin or PassPorter name badge pin. (Please note: Players can win once every 3 months.)
"I came across this photo of a beautiful fountain in my collection, but I cannot for the life of me remember where I took it. I'm off to scout about and find this fountain again. And when I do, I will sit beside it, soak in the sunshine, and listen to a little music ... jazz, I think."
(click the image above for a larger photo)
Where is this fountain located at Walt Disney World?
For bonus credit, locate the photographic evidence in the PassPorter Photo Archive and post a comment with the photo!
Send your full answer to email@example.com -- the winner will be notified by e-mail and announced in a future newsletter, along with the correct answer!
Congratulations to Pat A. who was the winner of last week's trivia contest! Pat was the first person to identify the year Casey's Corner was established as 1888. Pat was also the first person to identify the photo in our PassPorter Photo Archive. 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:
Nighttime View of The Great Movie Ride
contributed by mestitch
(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
Evil Queen asks: "How do you get the attention of the Dream Squad? We are celebrating a Sweet 16 on this trip and would love something special to happen."
Jennifer and Dave answer: "As I've often said, there's nothing you can do to make magic happen. The harder you chase it, the more likely it will slip through your fingers and escape. You've got to slow down, and give the magic a chance to find you.
The Dream Squad members generally wear blue, button-down shirts, khaki slacks, and carry a black messenger bag. They're fun to chat with (because they often have to wait around until the moment they have to make their magic), and fun to trade pins with (for the same reason). But if you were going to win something, it would have happened before you could strike up a conversation.
Once, and only once in the many trips we've taken since the Year of a Millions Dreams began, we were approached by a Dream Squad member. She wanted to know if this was Alexander's first visit. We answered honestly (no, of course), and continued with a pleasant conversation. Who knows what the "right" answer would be? They could just as likely be looking for repeat visitors as first-timers. Again, if you try to chase the magic, it tends to slip from your grasp."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 -- MouseFest Land & Sea Offers
MouseEarVacations.com -- Disney Cruise Line Special Offers
Quicksilver Tours &Transportation -- Save $5 off airport round-trip transportation in a town car
||From the Authors: Back from California
Dave's back from California, but no banjo's on his knee... This has been his third visit to the Golden State in as many months, once for research at Disneyland, and twice for book shows. This most recent visit, for Book Expo America, the biggest book industry gathering in the U.S., was exhausting and fruitful. We're happy to report that things look good for seeing far more PassPorters on store shelves in Canada in the year to come, and prospects are also improving for distribution in the U.K. and Ireland. We're sure more than a few of our readers will be delighted to finally get our books without paying high, international postage rates and customs handling fees. We'll keep you posted when we have more specifics! We also renewed contacts with our many friends among the booksellers and librarians attending the convention, and made more than a few new friends for PassPorter. The convention only visits the West Coast every few years, so this was a special opportunity to familiarize the locals with our Disneyland and Southern California guide, and our Disney Cruise Line guide as well. With the Disney Magic currently visiting the West Coast, and with the likelihood that a Disney ship will be permanently based there in a few more years, we're making sure our Disney Cruise guide is more widely known. Dave also had help in the booth from Carrie Hayward, our Senior E-book Editor. Carrie, with previous book show experience, was able to jump right in and was a huge help. We can also thank her for introducing Dave to a great Los Angeles eatery, which will undoubtedly find its way into the new edition of our Disneyland and Southern California guidebook. Thanks again, Carrie!
While in Los Angeles, Dave was also honored by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), which ratified his nomination to the group's board of directors. We've been involved with the IBPA (formerly known as PMA, the Publishers Marketing Association) since the earliest days of PassPorter, and have been proud to win the organization's Benjamin Franklin Award on several occassions. IBPA is the largest organization of independent publishers in the U.S., with over 4,000 members.
As we explained in previous newsletters, sales of PassPorter's Walt Disney World 2008 have been so good that we have none left in the warehouse (although they are still in stock - for now - at book stores around the country). If you can't wait for October to get a 2009 edition from us, you may purchase a 2008 electronic edition (download only) or get a 2007 edition at a close-out price. Refer to the 2008 electronic edition for the most up-to-date info, and print-out the pages you'll need when you travel. Rely on the 2007 edition for all our great planning features, PassPockets, and info that's still pretty darned accurate and useful.
PassHolder Pouches are back in stock! Not only that, but we upgraded the printed PassPorter logo to a full-color version that we think is much more attractive than the old, all-yellow version. Order at http://www.passporterstore.com/store/0966899437.aspx.
PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line and its Ports of Call 2008 is in stock! All orders of our cruise guide ship the next business day.
Will you be joining us for PassPorter's Decade of Dreams Tour? PassPorter is celebrating our 10th anniversary in 2009 in a year-long celebration from coast-to-coast! Everyone is invited and all are warmly welcome to join us at all or part of our celebration. We are combining small parties (meets) with grand, multi-day trips, including a 7-night Disney Cruise, a 4-night stay at Walt Disney World, and a Disneyland visit that includes park time and an Adventures by Disney expedition. See our Tour Schedule for the latest details.
|PassPorter's Club Update
Nearly 1400 vacationers are now enjoying access to all our e-books, e-worksheets, and super-sized photo archive images.Thank you for your continued support!
Our newest e-book, PassPorter's Answer Book is now available for download. This 85-page e-book is full of the detailed, up-to-date information on the topics that really matter to you.
We have a brand new e-worksheet for you to use to plan your next trip (click the link to go directly to it): the Daily Ride and Meal Plans e-worksheet lets you plan the rides, shows, and meals around the park(s) you plan to visit in a single day!
More details at http://www.passporter.com/club
In this issue, we break with long tradition by reprinting an article from another publication. The editors of Consumer Reports' ShopSmart put together such a nice piece on motion sickness fixes that we just had to share it with you. Then, Featured Columnist Cheryl Pendry describes some of the pleasures and delights of the Disneyland Hotel. Finally, Jack Skatt is back with a brand-new Walt Disney World Treasure Hunt. Have a great week!
Dave and Jennifer Marx
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|| Travel Feature:
Consumer Reports' ShopSmart: Motion Sickness Fixes
The following is an article featured in the July 2008 issue of ShopSmart.
Don’t let a queasy stomach ruin your next cruise, road trip, or flight. The July issue of ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports – which hit newsstands Tuesday, May 20 -- has tips on what to do when motion sickness hits.
What to bring along when you take to the road this summer, so you can enjoy your lunch -- and avoid losing it:
First, try these: GINGER AND WRISTBANDS Although far from proven, these are safe and worth a shot, especially for mild symptoms. Ginger root, typically sold in candies and capsules, has the most supporting evidence. Occasional use of up to 250 milligrams four times a day is considered safe for most people, including women who might be
pregnant. Bracelets such as Sea-Bands, found at drugstores, stimulate acupressure points on the wrist and have been shown to combat nausea in some situations. The evidence that they work against motion sickness is mixed. However, they're safe and can be used along with other remedies.
Next, try this: ANTIHISTAMINES
Older over-the-counter antihistamines such as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl) have been proven to counteract motion sickness and are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use by children older than 2. The catch is that they take 30 minutes to an hour to kick in, and they can leave you feeling drowsy or light-headed. Newer, non-sedating over-the-counter antihistamines such as loratadine (Claritin) and cetirizine (Zyrtec p) might relieve allergy symptoms but don't appear to quell a queasy stomach.
If all else fails, try: PRESCRIPTION DRUGS Promethazine (Phenergan) is another antihistamine effective at relieving nausea, but it might make you sleepy. Another choice is prescription strength meclizine (Antivert), although it, too, may cause drowsiness. A scopolamine patch (Transderm-Scop) is also very effective, but side effects including blurred vision and severe drowsiness make it a treatment of last resort. Some patients also report a rebound effect, including nausea, dizziness, and headaches when they remove the patch.
How to nip that queasy feeling in the bud:
Eat stomach-soothing foods. Have a light meal about 3 hours before setting out. Avoid dairy products and foods that are high in protein or sodium. A light breakfast of an orange, for example, may stay down better than bacon and eggs. If motion sickness strikes, munch on
crackers and take small sips of a carbonated drink or fruit juice. Chew on ginger candies or pop a ginger supplement. Chamomile and peppermint are also used to quell stomach upset.
Get the best seat. Pick the spot least affected by motion-up front in a car, over a wing on a plane, or midship on a boat deck.
Avoid nausea triggers. These include alcohol, cigarette smoke, and pungent odors. The power of suggestion is strong, so if possible, stay far away from other sick passengers.
Focus your mind. If you can, lean into your headrest to minimize movement and focus on the horizon or a distant object. Don't read or watch movies. If you're queasy, close your eyes and recline until the feeling passes.
Get some air. Crack a window, turn on a vent, or step out on a ship's deck to get some soothing fresh air.
About the Author: Consumer Reports' ShopSmart is published every two months by the same organization that brings you Consumer Reports. Information, sample articles, and subscriptions are available at http://shopsmart.typepad.com/
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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 travel plans. Also check out our Article Collection for more great information!
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Disneyland Hotel: The Original and Still the Best?
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Disney resorts have come -- and some have even gone -- over the last 50 years, but there's one that's been going strong the entire time.
Opened in 1955, the Disneyland Hotel really is the original Disney resort, opened in the same year as the theme park just a short walk away. Since then, the resort as a whole has changed beyond belief, with the addition of a second park, Disney's California Adventure, two more hotels, the Grand Californian and Paradise Pier, and Downtown Disney, an entire area dedicated to the twin pleasures of dining and shopping. And yet the Disneyland Hotel still literally towers over all these additions.
The first thing that strikes you about this resort is the size of the three towers, which house the guest rooms. You enter the resort to check in through the Marina Tower and that's where we spent our first couple of nights of our stay at the Disneyland Hotel. Our room gazed out over the resort's wonderful grounds and at its center, the Never Land Pool, complete with an illuminated image of Tinker Bell on the bottom of the pool. It's a stunning sight and much of our first evening in our room was spent staring outside in amazement at the beautiful view.
But there was also plenty to take in inside the room. Everywhere you look, this hotel just shouts "Disney" at you, from the bedspread with its images of some of the popular rides at Disneyland (see how many you can spot!) to the familiar Mickey Mouse hands in the bathroom. For Disney fans, it's perfect, and we had great fun spotting all of the Disney touches throughout our room.
From the Disneyland Hotel, it's a short walk over to the theme parks - and an even shorter walk over to Downtown Disney, which we could see from our room, if we craned our necks out of the window a bit that is! Literally, in two or three minutes, depending where in the complex you're staying, and you can be shopping or dining in Downtown Disney. Yes, it's a longer walk to the actual theme parks than if you're staying at either of the other two Disney-operated hotels, but it's also a pleasant walk and, if you want to take it easy, the monorail station is at the Disneyland Hotel's end of Downtown Disney.
After two nights in our original room, we moved up to our concierge room in the Sierra Tower. I was disappointed that we didn't manage to snag a room overlooking Downtown Disney and instead we had the same view as before, just from a different perspective. It was a very different story when we headed to the concierge lounge to enjoy some snacks. It's no surprise to learn that the views from here are breathtaking - after all, people pay good money to stay in concierge and expect to get something in return. We certainly weren't disappointed.
The lounge comes into its own every night just before "Remember... Dreams Come True," the evening fireworks display at Disneyland Park. It's fair to say that if you want a window seat for this stunning display, then you need to be early. An hour before it was due to start, we arrived in the lounge and grabbed a prime viewing spot - and we weren't the first ones there! By the time "Remember" got underway, the lounge was packed with concierge guests all enjoying a unique view of this display that's very different from the perspective you get in the park itself.
The Disneyland Hotel is also home to some great dining options. As a vegetarian, Granville's Steak House held little interest for me, but we tried out the other two table service restaurants during our stay and were impressed with both. Our first night took us to Hook's Pointe, right by the main theme pool. It's a light and airy place with some great views of the resort and the food is also pretty impressive here.
If it's characters you want, you'll find plenty hanging out at Goofy's Kitchen by the convention center. Character meals are dinner and brunch, as breakfast lasts until midday every day. We went for a brunch and were amazed by how many characters we saw while we were seated, although they did take some time to get to us. Don't be afraid to mention something to your server if you think you're missing out on the characters. That's what we did and we got some superb one-to-one interaction as a result. Be sure to allow plenty of time for your meal -- things are certainly more leisurely here than they are at the character meals at Walt Disney World!
If you've got time while you're at Disneyland, it's also worth exploring the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel. We left that until our last afternoon and it's a shame that we did, as there was a lot to see. The real treats are right in front of the Bonita Tower, with Horseshoe Falls and the delightful koi pond and waterfront garden all worth some of your time. The Rose Court Garden, between the Bonita and Sierra Towers, is also a great place to explore, particularly when the roses are in full bloom.
There's a lot to take in at the Disneyland Hotel and it's definitely a place that you'll enjoy more if you allow some time to fully explore it, from the Disney touches in the room to the wonderful restaurants and the beautiful grounds. It may be the oldest of any of the Disney resorts, but it's still got plenty of magic to capture its guests with.
About the Author: Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to America. They are in the process of visiting every Disney theme park around the world, having already spent a day in Disneyland Resort Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland so far this year. They are looking forward to returning to America in October to visit both Walt Disney World and Disneyland in California.
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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 Disney vacation plans. Also check out our Article Collection for more great information!
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