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Disney PassPorter Author Does What She Loves

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Hanging in my office is a page torn from a PassPorter's guidebook to Disney World, across which I have written, “DO WHAT YOU LOVE!” I was inspired by PassPorter co-author Jennifer Marx's drive to follow her passion. So I was thrilled to get an opportunity to interview her.

Disney PassPorter Author Does What She Loves - An Interview with Jennifer Marx

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How PassPorter Started

Jennifer originally made homemade binders filled with itineraries to take on Disney trips with her husband and PassPorter co-author, Dave Marx. The organizers helped her plan their vacations and served as a souvenir scrapbook. During one of their Disney adventures, it occurred to Jennifer that she could sell a combination organizer/guidebook to help other vacationers plan and remember their trips too.

Jennifer's Disney Favorites

During our chat, Jennifer gave me her top tips for touring Disney with kids and divulged some of her Disney favorites.

Disney World with children

Jennifer Marx shares her tips for visiting Disney World with children (Photo credit: Disney)

Top Tips for Doing Disney with Children

Jennifer suggests, “Go at their pace. Don’t try to do 50 rides. Try to keep to their schedule as much as possible and get back to the hotel if you can for a nap or to go swimming.”

Jennifer also recommended bringing along a good stroller instead of renting one of the hard plastic strollers from Disney. Her favorite is the McClaren Quest, “because it folds in half for getting on and off the buses and monorail plus it reclines for naps.” She sewed patches on her four-year-old son Alexander’s stroller from the 15 countries their family has visited together.

Jennifer's favorite park, EPCOT

Jennifer's favorite park, EPCOT (Photo credit: Disney)

Favorite Park

Epcot. “It’s probably because of sentimental reasons because that was the first park that I ever went to when I was a teen. We went just for one day and didn't go to Disney World until a couple years later.” Epcot is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It is divided into the Future World (which focuses on technology and innovations) and World Showcase (with shops, restaurants and attractions representing the cultures of 11 countries).

Favorite Disney Restaurant

“Victoria and Albert’s because that’s where Dave and I got married. We had a small wedding with 18 people – just immediate family.” Victoria and Albert's is the most upscale of all Disney restaurants. It is located at the Grand Floridian hotel at Disney World and is solely for guests aged 10 and older.

Chocolate “Purse” with Seasonal Fruits at Victoria & Albert’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Photo credit: Disney)

Chocolate “Purse” with Seasonal Fruits at Victoria & Albert’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Photo credit: Disney)

Favorite Disney Attraction

“The Carousel of Progress at Disney World.  It is quintessential Disney.  There are a lot of new great rides these days but this is old school Disney.  It's kind of cheesy, but I like it. It just feels like Disney.” The 21-minute show was created by Walt Disney for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair and then was moved to Disneyland in California. The show moved to the Magic Kingdom park in Florida in 1975.

Secret to Disney PassPorter's Success

Jennifer and Dave's authenticity and approachability has helped to sell nearly a third of a million Disney PassPorters to fiercely brand-loyal fans. Jennifer seems like one of your best girlfriends- unpretentious, fun, self-depricating. She said, “I don't look like a supermodel. I look like a mom.” It is this couple-next-door realness that readers can relate to. Jennifer admits, “I’m really shy so at events Dave is in charge and I'm standing back and smiling and trying not to say something stupid.” I never would have guessed that from our conversation – she seemed nothing but confident, witty, and easy to talk to.

This year PassPorter is celebrating 10 years of helping people enjoy Disney World, Disneyland and Disney cruises. Jennifer and Dave are currently on a weeklong Disney Cruise to Tortola with about 150 readers. The festivities will continue at Disneyworld next week. Plans are in the works for a Disneyland party in the fall for West Coast fans.

I read PassPorter's Walt Disney World several months ago while planning a family trip to Disney World. The guidebook's easy-to-read format and neighborly advice prompted me to flip to the to the front to read more about the authors, where I discovered how Jennifer was inspired to create the first Disney PassPorter. I tore the page from the book (sorry, Jennifer and Dave!) and put it on the bulletin board in my office.

Jennifer's story encouraged me to follow my dream. She transformed her love for Disney into a successful career writing a unique series of Disney guidebooks. She inspired me to turn my love of traveling and writing into a career too.

You can imagine how thrilled I was to interview the woman who has been such a source of inspiration to me! I just hope I didn't say anything stupid.

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Are you a fan of PassPorter or another Disney guidebook? Let us know in the comments!

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

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