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PassPorter News Brought to you by PassPorter Guidebooks
June 07, 2012 * Issue 9.23

In This Newsletter 

From the Founders: Guidebook Photo Contest -- Get Published!

Travel Feature: Making the Most of Walt Disney World

Disney Feature: Emergencies While at Walt Disney World

Updates: What's New and Changed

Tips: Gift Card App, Tips for Travel with Tots, Touring Tips

Captain's Corner: Show Offs!

PassPorter PhotoPick: Magic Kingdom - Main Street Horse

Q and A: Multi Generational Disney Planning

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What's New and Changed

This week we have 4 news bulletins:

Big Top Tent Interactive Queue for Dumbo to Open in July Guests waiting to ride Dumbo at Walt Disney World are in for a treat this summer once the new queue area for Dumbo opens in July. Guests will arrive at Dumbo's Big Top and be given a pager. Then while they wait, guests can experience a series of circus-themed interactive play areas and enjoy the air conditioning. When their pager goes off, it's time to ride! This area is scheduled to open in mid-July.
Comments: 1

This updates page 142 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook

Walt Disney World Ticket Price Increase As predicted, Walt Disney World increased the price of admission on June 3, 2012. One interesting note - the cost of adding both the Park Hopper AND the Water Park Option to admission has decreased. Previously, both the Park Hopper and the Water Park Option were about $55 each. So adding both options added over $100 to your ticket price. Now to add both the Park Hopper and the Water Park Option to your ticket is only $79 plus tax, making adding both much more affordable.
Comments: 3

This updates page 122 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook

Disney's Art of Animation Officially Open Disney's Art of Animation Resort officially opened for business on May 31, 2012. Already one of the most popular features of the resort are the new "keyless" doors. Guests need only to hold their Key to the World card near the door to unlock it (they even work if your key is still in a PassHolder Pouch!). Walt Disney World plans to retrofit all of its resorts with these locks by the end of 2013.
Comments: 2

This updates page 045 of PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook

Radiator Springs Historical Exhibit at Disney California Adventure June 8 brings a new exhibit to Blue Sky Cellar at Disney California Adventure, "The Radiator Springs Historical Society's Museum of the History of Radiator Springs." Blue Sky Cellar (formerly Golden Vine Winery) has been the preview center for the park's extensive make-over, exhibiting drawings, models, and films describing the work going on behind the construction fences. With the June 15 grand opening of Cars Land, Buena Vista Street, and Carthay Circle (the last remaining elements to the make-over), "coming attractions" is about to become "history." It seems fitting that the future for Blue Sky Cellar will be firmly rooted in the (fictional) past.
Comments: 49

This updates page 117 of PassPorter's Disneyland Resort guidebook

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

Our thanks to and 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.

'I appreciate the tip about putting your children's souvenir money on a disney Gift Card. I do this every time we go to Walt Disney World. I wanted to mention that there is an app that keeps track of all your gift cards. You register any and all gift cards onto the app, and it will keep track of every purchase made and current balance. And in Disney fashion, it is very colorful and easy to ID each different card and its owner.'
-- contributed by Maggie
Save This Tip

'If you are travelling with extended family, make sure you have your own time too, if only for an afternoon. Time for regrouping, preventing major melt downs or cool down periods. If you are not used to travel and spending vactions with children, get into training i.e days out, sleep overs. Accept there will be melt downs not just by the kids but adults too including you. Agree some ground rules such if you get separated, how to cope with melt downs, discipline, and routine.'
-- contributed by Alison
Save This Tip

'Our family likes to make the most out of our magical visits to Disney. We plan ahead and decide which park we will visit based on extra hours. This saves us a little money because with a little planning of what rides and shows we would like to see, we do not have to purchase the park hopper. Once in the park, we give one person all the park passes and send them to get fast passes to one of our favorite rides. We have an app for wait times on our phones and choose the Fastpass for the ride with the longest wait time. For our dining and entertainment pleasure, we time our dinner reservations with shows. For example, we have eaten at Tony's Town Square in Magic Kingdom, and watched SpectroMagic. We have also made reservations at Rose & Crown in Epcot and timed it with watching favorite! '
-- contributed by Tammy
Save This Tip

Want more Disney tips? Look for the concierge bell icon in future newsletters and throughout the 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:

Magic Kingdom - Main Street Horse

Photo by Dopey007

(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

pbwhite asks: "We're heading to Disney in October with our kids (8 & 11), and my in-laws (70+). Wondering if there are any tips for hitting the parks with the whole group and/or ideas for creating the best trip for all. The in-laws are in good shape, and won't mind walking a fair bit, albeit a little slower that the kids.

We'll be using Disney transportation to/from POP, and have adjoining rooms, so we can go to the parks at different times, and use cell phones to connect, but wondered if there were any other tips - like, say, while the younger crew is in line for Soarin' or Rock 'n Roller Coaster - the grandparents should visit X or go to Y to wait for the others.

None of us have visited Disney in the last 20 years - though I'm a plan-o-holic so it kind of feels like I have :-) - so we don't really know what to expect."

Dave Marx answers: "I like to keep the "must do as an entire group" activities to a minimum - say, 2 meals a day. After that, just try to facilitate the plans of 2-3 sub-groups.

Obviously, if everyone is due at an in-park meal, then everyone should plan to be in the same park for most of the day - otherwise someone isn't getting good value from their admission, or traveling too much.

So... "Here's where we're going to be. When do you want to arrive, when do you want to leave, do you want to spend some time enjoying the resort (perhaps an afternoon break), is there someplace else you also want to visit today?"

Try to get everyone in the group to name one or two "must do" attractions at each park, then see where they converge, and where they diverge - you may be able to organize a part of the day where everyone is together. If that works, try to arrange it so you only have to meet-up once - too many diverge-converge attempts is just asking for trouble and wasted time. For example, if you meet for lunch, see if you can then do the "all group" attractions right after lunch.

For any rendezvous, pick a very easy-to-find, well-known location, but also pay attention to parade schedules, to be sure everyone really can reach that spot. Be specific "Just to the left of the entrance of It's a Small World." On a crowded day, missing the spot by 20 feet can be as good as a mile.

Be sure everyone communicates any schedule changes during the course of the day. Have a basic plan - possibly, send a text rather than a voice message, as it can sometimes be some time before a voice mail shows up on a cell phone.

Same idea with "if we get separated." Have a plan. Disney will also help with lost children/adults - ask any cast member. Be sure everyone knows this."

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

Have a question? Post questions at -- 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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From the Authors: Guidebook Photo Contest -- Get Published!

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

The last several year's full-color photo supplements have been so popular that we're planning another special photo section for our 2013 edition of PassPorter's Walt Disney World! If you have an extra-magical photo of Walt Disney World you'd like to see in gorgeous color in our guidebook, please share it with us -- we think reader photos really expand our scope and make PassPorter more magical! The best way to contribute a photo is to upload it to the PassPorter Photo Archive and type "2013photocontest" as a keyword so we can identify it. Photos needs to be uploaded by July 15, 2012 to be eligible for consideration. If your photo is chosen, the photo will appear in our 2013 guidebook attributed to you and you will receive a free copy of the guidebook. We look forward to seeing your magical photos! To learn more about uploading photos, please visit PassPorter Photo Contributions.

PassPorter's Club UpdateMore 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!
  • A full revised and updated version of PassPorter'sWalt Disney World for British Holidaymakers is now available for download. The latest version contains details from the new brochures of the major tour operators, including prices, park tickets and accommodation for early 2013. The LEGOLAND Florida section has been expanded and is packed with photos from the park, along with details of their water park, opening this summer. We've added more pages to cover both the expansion to Fantasyland and the new Art of Animation Resort. Other new sections include details about Disney's Magical Express and how to get around on Disney transportation, by public transport, or by taxi or town car. The book is packed with more than 270 pages and features comprehensive information on travelling to Walt Disney World from the UK, plus details on the park passes and Disney Dining Plans available to British visitors. The book also covers attractions, dining, and behind-the-scenes tours at the other major Orlando theme parks -- including Universal, SeaWorld, Aquatica, Discovery Cove, Wet 'n Wild -- plus LEGOLAND Florida, Busch Gardens Tampa, and the Kennedy Space Center. You can purchase the PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers through the PassPorter Store or get the e-book free of charge as a PassPorter's Club Passholder. If you have already purchased PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide from our online store, you can download the updated version for free by going to the PassPorter Store, logging into your account, locating the e-book in your Order History, and clicking the download link. PassPorter's Club Passholders can download the latest version using the Concierge Desk.

In this issue, PassPorter Featured Columnist Cheryl Pendry shares information on Making the Most of Walt Disney World. Then PassPorter Guest Contributor Laura Schmitt gives us a glimpse into Emergencies While at Walt Disney World. 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:

Making the Most of Walt Disney World: Lessons Learned
Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist

On each Disney vacation, you learn something new.

That's something I guess I&'ve always known, but it's only recently I've really thought about it, and I figure that if that lesson is useful to one person, it may also be useful to others as well.

In this article, I'm going to look at our last Walt Disney World trip back in April 2011, far too long ago now! So what did we learn from that vacation?

The first lesson we learned is that perhaps we need to narrow down the times we go to Florida even further. We’re not hot weather people at all. Heat and humidity are no friends of ours, and we really feel both. We’ve never been able to understand how people can visit Walt Disney World in the blistering heat of the Florida summer, and survive the experience! If we visited then, we would literally spend the day in our room, happily encased in blissful air conditioning.

As such, we’ve always said that we would never visit Walt Disney World in June, July, August, or September. After my last trip in May, we also ruled out May, as the heat was unbearable then. See what I mean about learning something on every vacation? Well, on this vacation, we learned to add April to the “do not travel to Orlando” list. The months available for trips are rapidly diminishing for us! We experienced record breaking temperatures, as the newscasters would gleefully tell us every morning, hardly what we needed to hear! It affected our whole trip, meaning we did tend to spend more time back in our room, and we accomplished less in the parks, which was a shame.

Our trip included the week running up to Easter, and we'd heard horror stories about the crowd levels at that time of the year. People had told us that it was worse than the crowds you see between Christmas and New Year, and those are pretty horrendous. However, if I'm honest, although there were big crowds, they were still manageable, particularly if you headed into the parks early, and left by, maybe, the early afternoon. We did learn quickly that the Magic Kingdom was chaotic, with, among other things, an extra parade added in. This meant that one day we visited, people had to be funnelled into the park via the backstage area, which was an interesting sight to see. However, we were surprised to find the park deserted on Easter Sunday morning, with crowds only building when it got to lunchtime. Would I go again over Easter? I think, weighing everything up, and provided it didn’t fall in late April, as it did in 2011, I probably would.

Something else I also learned, that I think in fairness I probably already knew, was that while resort-hopping can be fun, there can be such a thing as too much of a good thing! In two weeks on Disney property, we moved rooms five times, taking in four different resorts. It didn’t give us long enough to settle anywhere.

We also learned that two nights really isn't long enough to enjoy a single resort either. We spent two nights each at the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge and Bay Lake Tower, and it’s frustrating when you can’t get into your room until check-in at 4:00 pm (for Disney Vacation Club Members), and then after only one full day there, you’re leaving the next morning. I think any stay now needs to be a minimum of three nights for us to really spend some time in a resort.

Having learned from previous, somewhat bitter, experience (again, see what I mean about learning from every vacation?), this time we planned our meals around where we were staying. For example, when we were at the Wilderness Lodge, we ate one night at Artist Point, while our California Grill dinner was during our stay at Bay Lake Tower. It was certainly the most sensible thing to do, and something we’ll be doing again in the future. I’m just waiting to see what dates I can get into Animal Kingdom Lodge, and then you can be sure we’ll be dining there at one or maybe more of their restaurants during our stay.

Another thing I discovered during that trip was the best time to visit Downtown Disney. It’s not rocket science, and you can probably guess what I'm going to say here; first thing on a weekday morning. We were in the World of Disney Store just a few minutes after its opening, and it was lovely and quiet in there. It was a real pleasure wandering around the shops with so few people around.

For this vacation, we left our plans a little looser than previous Disney visits. To a certain extent that worked, as it gave us more freedom to decide what we wanted to do on the day, and it was nice not to be tied to plans all the time. However, we also found ourselves heading back to our favorite parks again and again, particularly Epcot, and ignored others as a result. Despite spending two weeks in Walt Disney World, we only managed to spend a total of about five or six hours in Disney's Hollywood Studios, a pretty pitiful performance. That’s something we definitely need to learn for our next vacation, to try and ensure that we’re a bit more even-handed with our park visits. I did leave Disney that time feeling that perhaps we should have given the Studios a bit more time, and done it more justice.

Well, as I'm currently planning our next Walt Disney World vacation, that's a lot of lessons to take on board, and learn for our next trip. I wonder what lessons will come from that? In the next article in this series, I’ll be looking at the lessons learned from our cruise on the Disney Dream.

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About the Author: Cheryl is the author of the 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 travelled 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 Also check out our Article Collection for more great information!

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Disney Feature:

Emergencies While at Walt Disney World: Surviving Medical Issues in the Land of Magic
Laura Schmitt, PassPorter Guest Contributor

For many of us, there is no magic to rival a vacation at Walt Disney World.
Submerged in the depth of free-form joy, so far away from the worries of day-to-day, we can truly be carefree. If only life would allow us to travel through vacations without accidents, injuries, or emergencies, we wouldn't need to broach this topic, but a little villain can sneak up on us at any time during our vacations.

As the unexpected has a way of happening, I'd like to help you plan ahead for those emergencies you can prepare for, as well as talk about what happens in the unlikely event that you are faced with one of those emergencies for which you can't prepare.

Over the eight trips our family has made to Disney in the past five years, we have experienced a range of situations, and those experiences have altered how we pack, prepare, and plan. With a little luck, and pixie dust, you won’t need this type of precaution, but the planning and discussion can make all the difference, should you need it.


There are those emergencies that you can easily predict, plan, and often avoid, when you travel to Disney World, so why not be prepared?

Every tour book will remind you to drink plenty of water when touring parks in the peak of Orlando's summer heat. That goes for any time of year when you are out in the sun and heat. Staying hydrated with refillable filter bottles, or water from any stand, is a great way to avoid a potential hydration disaster.

Sun Protection
The runner-up for obvious injuries to avoid is sunburn. Bring sunblock, or purchase it at the resort store and then apply and reapply as needed. Sun hats and protective clothing can be a life saver! There is no need to lose vacation time or enjoyment due to weather, if you remember to take the time for sun and heat protection. That seems so obvious, I almost didn’t mention it, but sometimes, that Orlando sun can sneak up on you!

Scrapes, Cuts and Bruises
While you don’t have full control over accidental cuts, scrapes, bumps and bruises, you can avoid some very predictable injuries by following some guidelines. 
Don’t run for the bus. I have seen many children and adults fall when chasing a resort bus at Disney. Besides the obvious accidental fall from running, there are frequently wet areas on the ground from rain, watered plants, general cleaning, and spills. Don’t run! There will be another bus, and it will be there soon. Instead, sit down and enjoy a little break while you wait for the next one.

When you are in the parks, try to be aware of water on ground surfaces. Cast members do a good job of marking areas, but I have seen people slip, and even hurt themselves severely, from the morning moisture on the pavement when getting off the train at Magic Kingdom, or from walking on a brick or stone edging and slipping off.

Another area of injury that we witnessed first-hand was debris in the eyes after fireworks. We happened to be in the First Aid station at Magic Kingdom as a fireworks show was ending, and multiple people came in to ask for medical help as they had eye injuries due to debris. If you have glasses, or light sunglasses, consider wearing them when watching the fireworks show, and don’t forget the kids!

Finally, under this category, we have to remember to wear sensible shoes. Blisters, sprained ankles, and strains on the feet can land a person at the hotel room instead of in their favorite park. Let’s avoid this by making sure you arrive with comfortable shoes that are already broken in. 

Allergies, Asthma, and The Like
If you have allergies, bring your medications with you at all times during your vacation. Don’t assume that you can avoid peanuts, flowers, or shellfish (for example). Odds are that you will have a wonderful vacation with your allergies at bay, but if you truly have a life-threatening allergy, keep your epi-pen or other medications with you. My stepmom had an anaphylactic reaction to a meal that was said to be shellfish-free (off property). This was a prime example of where a quick dose of Benadryl would have prevented quite a bit of discomfort and scare factor!

Wash Your Hands
Before your hands go into your mouth or on your food, please wash them. Children will need help from parents with compliance on this one. This can help prevent a huge number of potential illnesses. Hand sanitizer can be used if a sink is not available for proper washing. When we travel to Disney, I am militant about hand washing as well as taking vitamins and getting enough sleep. I will say that we maintain overall good health when we travel the vast majority of the time. We even traveled to Disney at the peak of the Swine Flu scare, and we managed in good health throughout our trip and en route home.


Some injuries you certainly don’t plan to experience while on a magical vacation, but some pre-planning for these difficult-to-predict situations can give you ample piece of mind, should you find yourself in a pinch. 

Of course any severe burns need prompt medical attention, but very minor burns can be treated with burn cream, antibiotic cream, and pain relief ointment. My youngest daughter received a minor burn the size of a nickel, on her arm. This injury was from a light bulb in the shop at Epcot's Japan pavilion. We ran outside to the nearest drink cart for some ice, covered the burn with temporary wrappings, then cleaned and treated it when we made it back at the resort. While I was able to locate antibiotic ointment in the resort store, I couldn’t locate the type that had pain relief built in. Now, I bring this from home, just in case. Also, we found some gauze for protecting an injury, but the size available was very limited.

Because of this, I like to bring along a variety of bandages and gauze when we go on vacation. They take up a minimal amount of space in packing, and should you need it, you’ll be grateful you thought ahead. Ace wrap and a sling are also easy items to bring along, should you want to create a small first aid kit in your packing. We would consider this for our eldest daughter, who has a connective tissue disorder.

Motion Sickness
For those of you prone to motion sickness or even if you suspect that you may become motion sick, take your medication before you start moving. This will save you plenty of grief (speaking from personal experience on this one). The medication works better when you have it in your system before you put yourself out to sea or on a ride.


Now that we have covered some basics of easy to avoid disaster as well as the more difficult to predict, let’s discuss true emergencies.

You can’t control everything, but you can always get help. Each park has a medical care station where you can go to receive quick care, such as pain relievers. Emergency vehicles can be arranged to pick up from these locations as well. During one trip, our daughters developed eye infections that came on suddenly and caused them severe reaction during a meal while we were at a Disney park. We went to the medical care station, where they ordered us a van to take our family to a nearby urgent care facility. The van arrived promptly and took us out of the park, so that we did not have to walk out to the bus depot. It drove us through the backlot at Disney's Hollywood Studios and delivered us to a clinic that was able to treat the girls and get us all back on track. This was all handled very smoothly and with great kindness and care, as is the case for all things Disney. It was a relief to me to find that we were not on our own in a strange city, when looking for help. They even provided a booster seat for the transfer back and forth. I called our resort and had them change bedding, and both kids were better the next day, once their eye drops kicked in.

Of course in a true emergent situation, call 911. Let’s hope you never need to use this service, but don't hesitate if that is what's warranted. Keep your cell phone charged and on you during your trip. If you don’t have a phone, odds are high that everyone around you will, so ask for help when it is needed. As each person has their own unique needs, discuss any pre-planning recommendations from your health care team before travelling, as your unique situation may benefit from some planning that would not fall under the general categories discussed.

Finally, here are some key items to bring as part of your basic travel first aid kit for Disney, and vacation. Bring your insurance cards, or copies of them. I always keep a photocopy of my card on my cell phone so I can access it quickly. I keep a backup copy in my bag. The same advice goes for prescription medical cards as well as medication and allergy listings.

Remember to pack basic first aid items such as bandages, blister pads, antibiotic ointment, pain relievers, anti-diarrheal medication, and sunblock. For those of you who take prescription medications, bring them with you as well as any emergent medications that could be required, inhalers, and so on. Talk to your, or your child's, medical care provider before leaving for vacation if your unique situation would benefit from their guidance.

By taking the steps recommended above and thinking ahead, you can avoid predictable injuries and you can save yourself plenty of discomfort and hassle for many others. It's true that you cannot plan for everything in life, but with a little preparation, hopefully your trip to the land of magic will be carefree and joyful from the start to that bittersweet goodbye as you head home safely. Now, you can set off to enjoy that unrivaled magic and joy that is Walt Disney World.

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About the Author: Laura Schmitt and her family of four travel to Disney each year for the fun, food, and memories. You can view photos of the gluten-free, dairy-free meals the Schmitts enjoy throughout Disney property on Laura's blog,

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