||In This Newsletter
From the Authors: Congratulations!
Travel Feature: Stockholm
Disney Feature: Dining Review: The Turf Club
Updates: What's New and Changed
Tips: Trivial (Pursuit) Tip, Disney Downloads, Great Gift Registry
Captain's Corner: W-A-C-K-Y
Q&A: Where can I watch the Electric Water Pageant from at the Magic Kingdom?
Our Sponsors: We Recommend...
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What's New and Changed
Here are a few items of relevant news:
Disney's California Adventure is due for a big makeover! On Wednesday, October 17, the Walt Disney Company announced a $1.2 billion re-theming and expansion of Disney's California Adventure theme park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California. Rumors of a makeover have been circulating for quite a while, but the rumors didn't measure-up to the reality/fantasy announced by Disney Company CEO and President Bob Iger and Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo (in this case a President does outrank a Chairman).
Disney Imagineers have dipped into their deep bag of tricks and tried-and-true concepts for this project, which will add a 12-acre land themed on Disney/Pixar's 2006 hit animated film, Cars, a total of eight new attractions including the previously announced Toy Story Mania (due to open in 2008), a Cars-inspired road race, a Little Mermaid dark ride, and a huge nighttime music, water, and lights extravaganza (think: Fantasmic! on steroids). Several attractions will fall by the wayside, the park's entry plaza will be totally revamped, mealtime offerings will be stepped up ... by the time the project is complete in around 2012 nearly every part of the park will have been touched by the project.
Click here to read our detailed article on DCA's expansion.
The holiday version of the Country Bear Jamboree will not be seen again this year. According to Screamscape.com, this is in part due to the lack of "written" complaints received last year when the holiday version was originally scrapped. If you would like to see the Holiday version of the Country Bear Jamboree (like I would) please send your comments to:
P.O. Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Let's save the Christmas Country Bears!
Construction has begun on T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure, the new restaurant opening next year in Downtown Disney. The construction site straddles the area between Pleasure Island and McDonalds and extends into the parking lot in front of Pleasure Island.
There has been a price increase on refillable mugs at Walt Disney World Resorts. The mugs now cost $12.49 plus tax.
Walt Disney World, as well as other Orlando-area theme parks, have banned Segway Personal Transporters from being brought into the parks and used by guests. The company says that they can cause safety hazards if users are not properly trained on their use in crowded situations and uneven terrain. Also, the Segway Personal Transporters sold on the mass market have a high speed of 12.5 mph, unlike the Segways used by Disney personnel which have had their speed lowered to 5 mph. Advocacy groups for the disabled are protesting the ban on the basis that Segways give people with mobility issues "a degree of personal freedom not afforded by wheelchairs."
Our thanks to AllEars.net and MousePlanet.com from which we get some of our news leads.
>Things To Do: Hear some news?Send it to us at
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From Fellow Readers
Our readers deliver a wealth of information! Here are the winners in this month's tip contest:
TRIVIAL (PURSUIT) TIP
"We take along the trivia cards from our Disney Trivial Pursuit games to use while waiting at the airport or standing in lines for rides and shows. We still haven't gone through all of them. It makes a great time filler and we're learning more and more about Disney."
-- contributed by Jodi M.
"Instead of taking a portable DVD player with 1 or 2 DVDs, load up a video iPod with Disney movies, Playhouse Disney shows or your kids favorite Disney songs (available for download at the iTunes store). For the adults add a few Disney podcasts. It's a lot easier and more portable to pack in your carry on luggage for the plane. It's also great to use anywhere else that you need to keep the kiddos entertained."
-- contributed by Erica W.
GREAT GIFT REGISTRY
"Continental Airlines now offers a gift registry. You can register yourself and one other person. You can also have Continental send this gift registry to anyone with an email address. (They can make payments right online for you!) This will help when you make your airline reservations for your Disney trip, especially if you have quite a few airline tickets to purchase!"
-- contributed by Kristie A.
Notes: 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."
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.
Here is this week's journal entry:
"I do love my music. Today I discovered a new radio station at W-A-C-K-Y, recommended by my pal Goofy. The station only plays country 'tunes' ... yee haw! The DJ on that station is a real cock-a-doodle-do! I do wish the DJ would give real-time air traffic reports, however -- those planes sure can fly low!"
Where is W-A-C-K-Y located and what is the DJ's name?
Send your full answer to firstname.lastname@example.org -- the winner will be notified by e-mail and announced in the next newsletter, along with the correct answer!
Congratulations to Jackie Steele who was the winner of last week's trivia contest! Jackie was the first person to identify where the location of the robot in last week's clue as the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. 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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Q & A:
With Jennifer and Dave
x2qwk2cx asks: "I'm planning on staying late one night at the Magic Kingdom on our trip and am going to try to catch the Electric Water Pageant while there. Does anyone have any recommendations as to where to watch it from? Thanks!
Dave and Jennifer answer: "About the only place you can see it well is from the waterfront. If you go to the boat dock for the Polynesian/Grand Floridian and keep walking around to the right you'll be on an extension of the Walk Around The World, with a beautiful view of the lagoon.
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):
MouseEarVacations.com -- Disney Cruise Line Special Offers
Mouse Fan Travel -- Book by 10/31/07 and we'll make a donation to Deb Wills fund for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
ALL STAR Vacation Homes -- Choose from more than 150 homes within 4 miles of Disney World
Thank you, sponsors!
|| From the Authors: Congratulations!
This week we have the pleasure of congratulating several PassPorter people ...
Congratulations to PassPorter community members and Club passholders BellaBuggy and Caldercup, who have both made it to the next phase of the selection process for the first ever Walt Disney World Moms Panel! The Walt Disney World Moms Panel was announced in our Sep. 13 newsletter. Bella and Caldercup were selected from among thousands of applications and we're so pleased two PassPorter moms are moving on to the next round. Way to go, Bella and Caldercup!
Congratulations to Deb Wills and Debra Martin Koma, authors of PassPorter's Open Mouse to Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, for being reviewed by the Orlando Sentinel and MousePlanet recently! Deb and Deb can also be heard on episode 319 of WDW Today and can be heard on VoiceAmerica on Tuesday, October 23 at noon ET. You can learn more about the authors and their new book at our new domain, http://www.OpenMouse.com
Congratulations to the nearly 200 PassPorter members and readers who've now registered to attend the MouseFest gathering ... wow! You're going to Disney soon! (Read more about MouseFest later in this letter.)
Congratulations to three new upcoming PassPorter authors, Cheryl Pendry, Thomas Cackler, and Petula Brown, and our hard-working e-book editor, Carrie Hayward. Their e-books are shaping up wonderfully and we'll be able to release two of them very shortly. Expect to see PassPorter's Festivals and Celebrations at Walt Disney World by Thomas Cackler and PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers by Cheryl Pendry available soon. More details will be available in future newsletters. (Tip: This is a good time to join the PassPorter's Club to get access to these future e-books plus our current ones!)
Tip: If you live in the United Kingdom, you can give us your input in a quick survey. While you're taking the survey, you have the option of leaving a tip or trick for fellow Brits. If we publish your tip, you'll get a free copy of the PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers e-book by Cheryl Pendry when it is released. You can take the survey here:
Poll for British Readers
MouseFest News: Registration is still open for MouseFest!
We've got an all-new registration program this year that offers a host
of new benefits and gives folks a chance to support this great event. Read all about it! Special MouseFest room rates available!
MouseFest has arranged for a special discounted rate at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort for MouseFest!
Stay near the heart of MouseFest action within walking distance of Epcot(r), Disney-MGM Studios, Disney's BoardWalk
entertainment district, Disney's Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf courses, and Saturday's MouseFest's Mega Mouse Meet
at the Walt Disney World Dolphin. To learn more, visit http://www.mousefest.org.
And check out the MouseFest event schedule , also at the MouseFest.org web site.
New meets are being added to the schedule on a regular basis, and the
list of people attending just keeps growing! At least ten of our
PassPorter Guides (moderators) are attending,
as are nearly 200 PassPorter community members and readers! Stay tuned for more
MouseFest announcements in the weeks and months to
In this issue, PassPorter Featured Columnist Cheryl Pendry takes us for a tour of Stockholm, Sweden, and PassPorter Guide Michelle Clark gives us a delicious review of The Turf Club at Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. Finally, Jack Skatt is back with a brand-new Walt Disney World Treasure Hunt. Enjoy!
Jennifer and Dave
PassPorter Publishers and Authors
|| Travel Feature:
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Contributor
Think of Sweden and chances are that you'll think of their most famous exports - perhaps ABBA, a familiar name to most people of a certain generation and nowadays, IKEA, the furniture store that's made it big worldwide. But there's much more to the country than that.
The capital, Stockholm, is in the southeast of Sweden and is built on 14 different islands, which separate the Baltic Sea from Lake Malaren. When we ventured there, it was mid summer. Summer in Sweden was an eye opener in itself. I don't know about you, but I always thought that the Scandinavian countries, like Sweden and Norway, were wintry places, cold most of the year round. Nothing could be further than the truth. During our visit, we experienced a heat wave with temperatures regularly in the high 80s and exceptionally long days, as they're so far north. It wasn't unusual for the sun to still be up after 10:00 pm.
Perhaps one of the first things that hits you about Stockholm is the beauty of the city, surrounded by water, which makes for some gorgeous picture postcard views. In fact, some of those views can be seen in some of the IKEA stores mentioned earlier, helping to promote the city as widely as possible.
The first stop on most people's list of places to visit here is the Royal Palace -- and with good reason. Although it's no longer the private residence of the King, it's got more than 600 rooms and lives up to any of the finest palaces in the world, such as Versailles in France, Buckingham Palace in London, or the Prince's Palace in Monaco. Highlights inside include the Hall of State, complete with Queen Kristina's silver throne and, as you'd expect, the State Apartments. These are still used for official functions and are full of beautiful finery. The Karl XI's gallery, where all the major meals are served, is modeled on the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles and is truly striking.
Outside the palace, it's well worth catching the Changing of the Guard ceremony that takes place every day at midday. The guards make an impressive picture as they march over one of the main bridges in Stockholm to head for the palace. They are an interesting sight, with uniforms that could definitely be described as built for work, rather than ceremony, with colors predominantly navy blue with striking silver helmets.
The Palace isn't just a place to view the various rooms -- it's also home to museums, including Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities, a wonderful collection of statues brought home by that king from his journey to Rome. The Treasury is a bit like the Tower of London, filled with the most important State regalia, including the fount that's used for royal baptisms and the crown, sceptre, orb, and keys of the kingdom.
Although the Royal Palace takes up a huge part of Gamla Stan -- the Old Town -- it's well worth some time to browse this area. As you turn every corner, you're greeted with more beautiful ancient buildings. Many places claim to have an Old Town, but Stockholm's definitely has history everywhere you turn.
A short walk from the palace but a couple of islands away, which gives you an idea of how water based this city is, you'll find the Stadshuset or City Hall. Completed in 1923, it contains the Council Chamber and the Blue Hall, which is where the annual Nobel Prize festivities take place. But perhaps the most stunning room here is the Golden Room -- and that's essentially what it is. It has something like 19 million fragments of gold leaf in it! You're taken on a tour, so time to linger in each room is limited. We could've stared all day in this room, taking in all the detail. It also offers some superb views back towards Gamla Stan.
As you'd expect from a city that's very much based on the water, another must-do on any visit to Stockholm is a boat ride around the city, which gives you a unique perspective. It's also the only way to easily travel to two of the other major visitor attractions in Stockholm. They're located on the island of Djurgarden, which, as the name suggests is a huge natural park and garden area, although it started life as a Royal hunting ground. Today that's where you'll find both the Vasamuseet and Skansen.
If your Swedish isn't that great, Vasamuseet is the Museum of the Vasa, which was a Royal warship that capsized in Stockholm harbor in 1628. It was found on the seabed in 1956 and after a major salvage and conservation program; it was finally put in its own museum, which opened to the public in 1990. Essentially the museum is built around the ship and it's kept fairly dark to help preserve it. You can walk around different levels of the museum, each giving different views of the ship, with exhibitions all around, explaining about life in Sweden at that time and life on board the Vasa itself.
It's a fascinating place and, looking at the ship, it's hard to believe it is actually the real thing and not a very good replica, so good is the standard of the preservation. Highlights include the stern, which has been painstakingly restored to how it would have originally looked and the figureheads on the ship, both giving some indication of the beauty of the Vasa when it first set sail.
Quite a walk away is Skansen, which celebrates life gone by. When it opened in 1891, it was the world's first open air museum. Today it's home to houses and cottages from the past, along with craftsmen, including glass blowers and shoemakers, demonstrating work from the 19th century. But perhaps one of the biggest draws here, especially for the younger members of the family, is the animals. When we were there, we were lucky enough to see the brown bear cubs, only a few months old, and they were truly delightful. It was also the closest we've ever been to creatures like wolves and elk and it was quite an eye opener to see them so close up.
We spent three days in Stockholm and came away with plenty of places that we didn't get time to see, such as Drottingholm, the actual home of the Royal family today, and the Archipelago, the outer islands of Stockholm with their traditional wooden houses, linked to the main city center by frequent boat and even steamboat services.
If you thought that Sweden was just about winter, ABBA, and IKEA, then Stockholm will definitely change your mind. It's packed full of history and things to do and see and is definitely somewhere that's well worth a few days of your time.
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 are now looking forward to returning to Walt Disney World in December.
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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!
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for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
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Dining Review: The Turf Club at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort
by Michelle Clark, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Our family was bitten by the Walt Disney World "free dining" bug in 2005, so when the promotion was offered again this year, we planned another trip for the Labor Day holiday. We made our dining reservations in May. A few days before our trip, we made a last-minute decision to leave earlier than we originally planned, which would give us an extra day. That meant we had an extra table service meal to plan! I called Disney Dining to determine our options. Our choice had to be outside of the theme parks since we had no park tickets for that day. Every restaurant we considered was completely booked up. The Disney operator suggested the Turf Club Bar and Grill at Saratoga Springs resort. We reserved a table for dinner for our party of five, my husband and our three teenagers.
I'm by no means a professional food critic, but I love to eat, so I thought I would share a simple review of our experience at the Turf Club.
On the evening of our dinner reservation, we drove the short distance from Port Orleans Riverside to Saratoga Springs Resort. Once inside the resort, we followed the signs to the rear of the resort where the Carriage House is situated. Both eateries in Saratoga Springs, the Artists' Palette and the Turf Club, are located in the Carriage House. From the parking lot we had a good view of the lake and Downtown Disney. We could see guests utilizing the walkway to Downtown Disney's West Side.
We walked up the stairs and inside the Carriage House to check in at the Turf Club. We were 30 minutes early for our reservation, so we relaxed in the lounge area which has pool tables and other gaming sets available. The decor features deep cherry wood tones with hunter green and taupe accents. The Turf Club has both outside and inside seating. We saw only a couple of parties seated on the covered porch. Our table was ready in about 20 minutes after check-in. We were seated at a round table near the restaurant entrance next to windows overlooking the outside seating area.
For appetizers, our son ordered the fried calamari. The calamari was a generous portion that could be easily shared. I chose the crab cakes with mango salsa, which consisted of three small cakes which were very tasty. My husband and daughter both ordered the buffalo chicken strips, to which our server German suggested that they order the buffalo sauce on the side as it was very spicy. This appetizer included three good-sized chicken strips. Our youngest selected the onion rings, which was probably the best value for an appetizer at only $4.99. The onion rings were served in a large basket with three dipping sauces and was more than one person could eat!
Our entree selections were pretty simple. My husband, son, and I all ordered the Grilled Top Sirloin Steak. I chose to add the blue cheese, Portobello mushrooms, and balsamic-port glaze topping while my husband and son decided to top their steaks with crab meat and grain mustard sauce. My steak (ordered medium) was a bit dry, but the other steak eaters at our table (who ordered medium rare) declared theirs to be the best steaks they had ever eaten! The blue cheese topping on my sirloin had a sharp, salty taste and was well complimented by the balsamic-port glaze. The sirloin steak is served with a side order of Turf Club potatoes which are velvety scalloped potatoes that were heavenly! Both of our daughters decided on the Penne Pasta with Shrimp. They were a little disappointed that the pasta was not served with a cream-based sauce like they have eaten at other Disney restaurants.
From the moment our kids first glanced at the dessert menu, all three were anxiously awaiting the chance to sample the Chocolate Lava Cake. When it came time to order dessert, German came to our table and informed us that they had unfortunately run out of the Chocolate Lava Cake. He explained that they had never been out of a dessert before, but there had been a larger crowd than usual at the restaurant that evening. After the let-down, most of our party ordered the individual apple pie with vanilla ice cream and the cheesecake with vanilla sauce and seasonal berries. My son and husband enjoyed the apple pie, but declared it to be a typical apple pie. I am a true cheesecake lover, and the Turf Club did not disappoint! The cheesecake was a very large portion, so large that two people could easily enjoy it. The vanilla sauce was so smooth and added just enough punch to raise this dessert from great to spectacular!
Our server German took very good care of us. He was friendly and accommodating, and even offered to snap a picture of our entire group at our table.
Overall, we were very pleased with the quality of food and the service at the Turf Club Bar and Grill and would eat there again. But, we'll check on the availability of the Chocolate Lava Cake first!
About the Author: Michelle Clark is the mother of three teens who provide her with endless scrapbooking subjects! Michelle and her family are currently planning their 11th trip to Orlando's theme parks. She is also a PassPorter Message Board Guide.
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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!
| Did You Know?
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