PassPorter... Is It Right For You?

Note: This text applies to the first edition of PassPorter; we'll be updating this page for the 2000 edition soon. Thanks!

PassPorter may be many things — a travel guide, a planner, an organizer, a journal, and a keepsake — but it isn't everything. It can't book your flight for you, pack your bags, or arrange a priority seating at Cinderella's Royal Table.

In all seriousness, PassPorter doesn't pretend to be everything for everybody. PassPorter's focus is on planning and organizing a great vacation at Walt Disney World. To make planning easier for you, PassPorter concentrates on providing the information you'll need ahead of time. You'll have to select and book your resort, make decisions as to which theme parks you'll visit, pick the attractions and activities that seem the most attractive, and determine which full-service restaurants are the most appetizing choices for priority seating reservations. To make planning easier for you, PassPorter provides organization tools, such as the worksheets and PassPockets. It also means the book must be relatively small and light enough to carry around Walt Disney World, while still being large enough to accommodate Disney's guidemaps and all the reference information you'll need to have a great time.

We believe PassPorter is good at what it does (and will keep getting better as the years go by) and we are fortunate to have many, many happy readers. If you think PassPorter is right for you, we encourage you to look around our Web site and read the section on What on Earth is a PassPorter? If you suspect PassPorter isn't for you, you may be right. Not everyone enjoys planning and organizing to the same extent, or needs our help. So if PassPorter is good at planning and organizing, what isn't it good at? Here's a list:

  • PassPorter isn't for armchair travelers. We don't spoil the fun by telling you all the details of an attraction or restaurant. We give you enough information to plan your days at the parks and make priority seating arrangements at restaurants. If you prefer to experience an attraction vicariously, we recommend The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger.
  • PassPorter isn't the smallest Walt Disney World travel guide available. PassPorter needs to be large enough to hold Disney-sized guidemaps, which are 4" x 9", airline ticket jackets (4" x 8") and the resort confirmation sheets, which are 8 1/2" x 5 1/2". The PassPockets are 6" x 9", just large enough for all of these items and virtually everything else smaller. PassPorter itself is 7" x 9" (the extra inch is for the spiral binding). If you're looking for a pocket-sized guide, we recommend Mini-Mickey, also by Bob Sehlinger, or Walt Disney World & Orlando by Berlitz.
  • PassPorter isn't in color, nor does it have photos. Colored ink would price PassPorter too high, and the Walt Disney Company does not grant unofficial guidebooks the rights to use photographs of its property. If you want a travel guide with color and photographs, we recommend Birnbaum's Walt Disney World (the official guide).
  • PassPorter is not critical of Walt Disney World. We love Walt Disney World (why else would we go to the time, effort, and expense to write a book?) Our opinions are honest and we do report problems and offer criticism when it is warranted, but we do not go way out of our way to find problems either. If you prefer a more critical evaluation of Walt Disney World, we recommend The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger.
  • PassPorter does not focus on particular kinds of travelers. PassPorter strives to be a travel guide everyone can use. Thus, we don't focus on Disney for kids, adults, parents, parents-to-be, seniors, the differently-abled, or diehard fans. We try to be sensitive to all these needs, but not in the sort of detail you will find in a travel guide that focuses on the needs of one group. If this is your interest, we recommend Walt Disney World for Adults by Rita Aero, Walt Disney World for Couples by Rick and Gayle Perlmutter, Walt Disney World With Kids by Kim Wright Wiley, and Walt Disney World for Mature Travelers by Kerry Smith.
  • PassPorter does not catalog every aspect of Walt Disney World. We pack an enormous amount of information into very little space, but we had to focus carefully on the kind of information and fun tips that most visitors would enjoy and find useful. No other travel guide accomplishes this feat either.
  • PassPorter does not contain brand-new, never before told secrets and information about Walt Disney World. Unique information is very difficult to unearth, due the huge interest in Walt Disney World. There are dozens of travel guides, hundreds of Internet Web sites, and countless articles in the media. Secrets just don't stay secrets for very long, and Walt Disney World's biggest fans are very knowledgeable people indeed. What PassPorter does contain is a wide variety of knowledge that the typical visitor to Walt Disney World can use to plan a wonderful vacation. However, if you happen to not be an expert we know that there's lots of information in PassPorter that you'll find new and exciting. If you are an expert, you'll find plenty of new information on the rec.arts.disney.parks newsgroup.
  • PassPorter is not an almanac. That is to say, we don't just fill the book with dry facts and charts. We want you to enjoy the time you spend reading it, and we want to add to the excitement and anticipation as your vacation plans unfold.
  • PassPorter is not unbiased. Readers who are less familiar with Walt Disney World turn to travel guides for expertise and advice. As those readers represent the majority of PassPorter's potential readership, we cannot ignore that need. Experienced Walt Disney World vacationers have already formed their own opinions and may have little interest in ours. We apologize if our opinions happen to offend. We also apologize for not being able to recommend a guide that is neutral or unbiased. We have yet to find one. Our fellow Walt Disney World authors speak with many voices and view the world in their own unique ways. We hope you will read other guides (many of which are available from the public library) and find the author(s) with whom you are most comfortable.
  • PassPorter isn't focused on theme park attractions. Most visitors to Walt Disney World will spend more money on lodging than theme park tickets. If a visitor makes the wrong choice of resorts their entire vacation is affected, and that choice may have to be made many months in advance. If a visitor chooses the wrong attraction they may have wasted a half-hour or an hour of their time, or can decide to try a different attraction on the spur of the moment.
  • PassPorter isn't cheap. The spiral binding is expensive, but it's needed to accommodate the PassPockets as they fill with papers. The PassPockets are also far more expensive to make and bind than simple printed pages. If you don't think you need the PassPockets, other guides will be a better value. Otherwise, we think PassPorter is a deal at $19.95 (or less at many online bookstores).

As you can see, PassPorter isn't everything. In fact, it takes many different kinds of travel guides to cover everyone's needs. We strongly encourage you to get the travel guide that you feel best suits you — we're more interest in happy readers than hordes of readers. You may also want to consider more than one travel guide: a general guide and a specific guide.

If you have any questions about PassPorter and whether it is right for you, please feel free to e-mail us at If we don't feel our book is right for you, we'll tell you — and let you know which one we do think you'll enjoy.


Updated 11/21/03

Copyright 1999-2006
PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Questions? Problems? E-Mail Us!

  PassPorter.... Pros and Cons

Another way to determine whether PassPorter will work for you is to ask others who have a copy of it. Below is a chart of quotes from our readers... both positive and negative. You will notice they tend to contradict one another, but that isn't surprising — everyone is different and has different needs on a Walt Disney World vacation.

Pros Cons
The plastic cover is a great addition! — Lori Ann I wish the cover was attached to the front. — Tracey
I really enjoyed the way it is written. I enjoy the "conversational" tone that you both take about WDW. — Tina (We've only heard one complaint on our writing style, which is thatPassPorter is "sugar-coated.")
The vast amount of information in one book. — Kathy • I'm amazed how much information is in such a compact book. — Terri The book leaves out too much information and is of no help to me at all. — Anonymous
I like the index tabs on the edge of each page. — Marjorie Perhaps insert some tabs in the first part to make finding things easier. — Alayne
Gave me all the inside tips on visiting the parks! — Bill More insider tips on various attractions. — Patricia
The coded maps with rides/events and restaurants. — Mimi I found it hard to cross reference Charts of attractions to map and to narative. — Greg
*The* definitive coverage of the resorts. — Allen • The detailed resort maps are great!! — Kathy • EXCELLENT resort descriptions! — Michelle • I loved the detailed resort descriptions. I learned new things about resorts I've already visited! — Tina [awaiting constructive criticism]
You provided info about the parks attractions in great detail. — Jennifer • I like the charts of the attractions. — Marjorie Add more info/your opinions on the various rides/attractions in a style similar to how you described the restaurants. — Wendell
Restaurant reviews, including $$$ for price range and ***** for ratings; we probably never would have tried Whispering Pines or 'Ohana if it hadn't been for you. — Jana I thought your restaurant critiques were all overwhelmingly positive. I was hoping for a brutal honesty! Okay, maybe not brutal but more critical. — Rosemary
The info on the restaurants is good. — Eve The too detailed information about all the full service restaurants. — Colleen
I have been to WDW 5 times and plan each of our vacations a year in advance pouring over books and websites for any info I can find and I am finding new things in your book. That's great. — Michelle I travel quite a bit and have made 5 trips to WDW, and did not find that this scratched the surface with your brief ride and meal reviews. — Anonymous
The pocket pages are great for scrapbookers to help us remember when and where things happened. They're a terrific journaling tool, not only for scrapbooking but also for writing trip reports. — Pam Most space devoted to writing about each day. For myself, who keeps a detailed journal I will still have to take a small journal to write about each day. — Connie
It answered a lot of questions I had and I am better able to plan my time now. — Vicki No new info. — Leslie
I love the pockets best of all. The ability to holds things is great and to be able to write our plans for each day is the most helpful planning idea I've seen in years! — Kyle I think there should be more pockets. — Sara • I really don't need so many pockets. — Gail
I love it's compact size. — Elise • Without being too bulky or heavy, you have put TONS of information in your book, plus made a wonderful keepsake! — Kendra The book, especially the pockets need to be bigger. It would be great if it would fit into a three ring binder. — Lisa • Maybe the book can be a little smaller, more compact. — Eve

As you can see, everyone has their own opinion... what's good for one is bad for another. And while we do receive many more positive comments than negative, we take both very seriously. If you'd like to submit your own comments, please fill out our survey or send in a registration form.

If you're still interested in PassPorter after all this, here are the details on how you can get a copy for yourself.

Explore Some More


Search the entire site


Home to the top page


Or jump back to the...