This Bridge is Old, Like You! - A July 2017 and April 2018 TR *Updated 7/16

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by amazingact21, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. luvpoohandcompany

    luvpoohandcompany DIS Veteran

    Sep 30, 2009
    Wow exciting times ahead for you guys. Sounds both awesome and well deserved. It’ll be great fun to be back together as a family at WDW :)
  2. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

    Mar 16, 2017
    What days are you going to be at DLP? There is a possibility I will be there in mid-June and it'd be crazy if we were there at the same time!

    And for FOP, there is a trick to help get FP for it; I'll PM you!
  3. Avatar


  4. SarahDisney

    SarahDisney So ... Yeah

    Jul 23, 2014
    So much Disney!!!

    I'm so excited that you're doing the DLP Half. runDisney is awesome ... there's no other race where you can run through such a magical setting and get character pictures.
  5. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

    Oct 16, 2015
    YEAH!!!! The Polynesian is the best!!!

    So, will you still have to go to Magic Kingdom and torchure your kids while you get tickets? Or will this solve that problem?

    How much leave does he get?

    Whaaat!!! OMG! Good Luck!
  6. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    I'm hoping we can get a few hours of calm before the massive wedding party group arrives and it becomes mayhem. I mean, Disney can be fun with a big group of people but it can also be stressful. And everyone knows Alex and I are the Disney veterans so they'll probably look to us to plan everything spur of the moment. I don't look forward to that!

    Alex and I figured if we were only getting one night at Disney we might as well go big. And I guess a monorail resort has become our "after deployment" tradition. :confused3:rotfl:

    We're "scheduled" to leave early 2019, so this might be the last opportunity I get to run in DLP while living here. I didn't want to pass it up!

    There's a part of me that slightly afraid to try the Beach Club with Alex, because I feel like once he's stayed there he will never want to book anywhere else. :rotfl2:
    In all seriousness, though, Alex and I are hoping to stay at the Beach Club when the kids are preteen/teens and can make full use of the pool without use having to hover over them every second.

    Right now I'm excited to run the half marathon, but I'm sure come July when I start my training plan I'll wonder why I ever made that decision. :rotfl:

    The FL trip will be busy! I am hoping none of us gets jet lag, because we don't have time for that! :rotfl2:
    When Alex and I were discussing potential Disney time and realized we could only swing one night, we agreed that we needed to splurge and make the short stay worthwhile. We can't do a week at a monorail resort, but one night? Sure!

    This is good to know! My husband gets motion sickness riding Soarin' and Star Tours, so I'm worried I'll go through the trouble of getting him a FP for this attraction and then he'll end up feeling puny afterwards. But from all the reviews I've read, it seems like it's worth the queasy stomach!

    I cannot wait to experience a Disney Half for myself. I always watch the videos runDisney shares after compiling footage from the events and think to myself, "They look like so much fun!" You don't see too many grumpy faces at the races; even the volunteers look like they are enjoying themselves!
    MeghanEmily likes this.
  7. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    I am most looking forward to getting back to Disney with Alex! It'll be so much fun experiencing the parks with him around, again.

    We will be in DLP June 13- June 17. Let me know if our dates coincide and we can plan a DISmeet! I love running into fellow DISers in the parks.
    I got your message, and I'll have to see just how desperate my husband is to get that FP, what he's willing to do. :rotfl2:

    Reading so many reports of the races is partially what convinced me that I needed to run one. They seem to be one of the happiest races you can find!

    :rotfl:Unfortunately, we'll still have to activate our tickets, but we'll do that on our MK morning. Poor Landon won't have to suffer seeing the entrance without going inside again. :rotfl2:

    Alex gets 30 days of leave a year (2.5 a month), commonly called Use or Lose. At the end of the fiscal year, any unused days can go into an emergency reserve depending on how much you already have or they go to waste. So our rule of thumb has always been to keep our leave days to 30, and unfortunately by going back to the states and using 15 of them, we don't get as many to travel and sight-see around Europe. (We also use them for other situations. Last year, Alex used almost an entire week to study for his promotional test, and then he took a day off to do our taxes. Boring stuff!:rotfl:)
  8. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

    Mar 16, 2017
    Omg-if I go it will be June 10-14! Still trying to figure it all out-my Mom wanted to do a family trip and Europe was the general consensus. Just where in Europe is to be determined (top options are currently France, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Scotland). But I think I will take advantage of wherever we go and head to DLP for a few days! With that 2 night free deal, it’s hard to resist! But I told my mom I really need to know by the end of this month, so fingers crossed!
  9. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    That's awesome! If you're going to go to Europe, you might as well sneak over to the Disney parks for a few days. Even though the food there is terrible (I wish I were kidding) it's still worth a visit!! We will be arriving sometime in the afternoon of the 13th and hope to get in some park time that evening. So if you're there, it wouldn't be difficult at all to meet up...:rolleyes1:rotfl:

    And if you guys decide on Germany, I can give lots of advice on the best places to visit on the western side of the country.:rotfl: Although, Ireland and Italy are both amazing countries, too. Guess it all depends on what you want to see/do with your time. If you're looking for more art sights then definitely Italy. If you're looking for more natural landmarks then go with Ireland or Scotland. And if you're interested in architecture/castles then Germany is the place to be. :rotfl2:
    And once you're in Europe, traveling to DLP is a breeze! There's so many discounted airlines plus lots of trains...
  10. rdkeim

    rdkeim Mouseketeer

    Oct 23, 2006
    Wow - Disney, Disney, Disney with a wedding thrown in the mix. It all sounds fun! For what it's worth, my DH thought FOP was the best ride he'd ever been on - hands down......You have a lot to look forward to!
  11. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    Oh wow! Several people have said it's their new favorite; I guess I've gotta buckle down and get Alex and myself on Flights of Passage!
    purplelover88 likes this.
  12. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2013

    Purely logical, of course. ;)

    Not worth risking family issues!

    Super happy for you! I'd love to stay there again. Soooo pretty!

    That's awesome of them!

    WHA...?! You go, Girl!!!

    Sounds like it!! So much fun on the way!
  13. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

    Aug 10, 2008
    Sounds like you have some amazing travel adventures coming up! I look forward to following along with them!
  14. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    Alex and I always try and splurge after he comes back from a deployment, as sort of a gift to each other for surviving! And now I find it very fitting that we're staying at the same resort we chose after his last stint in 2014.

    While not Africa-level ambitions, a half marathon has been on my bucket list for a very long time. And now that the kids are a little older I think I can find the time (and energy) to train for one.

    Thanks! I'm really excited about our 2018 Disney adventures. Between those and our European trips, I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.
    Of course, I'm not the only one with exciting European adventures coming up! March should be an amazing time for you and your husband!!
  15. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    July 22, 2017 Part 2:

    Upon leaving Restaurantosarous, Landon noticed the Triceratops Spin ride and asked to go on it. I thought since Evie liked Dumbo so much she would come with us, but she screamed in protest when asked. My mom stayed back with her and the stroller while I waited in line less than five minutes with Landon.


    By then he was a pro with the joystick.

    Naturally, Tinkerbell had to be buckled in with us:

    Safety first.

    I caught my mom and Evie standing near the fence while we flied high in the sky:

    I was a little disappointed that Evie wouldn’t give the ride a chance, but the last thing I wanted to do was force it upon her and ruin her day like I did in the Magic Kingdom. I took the loss and moved on.

    Our Fastpasses for Kilamnajari Safari became active while Landon and I were riding, so after we met back up with my mom and Evie we headed towards Africa. The FP line was really long that evening, and we ended up waiting right after everyone merges for probably fifteen minutes. It sounded like some of the vehicles were forced to wait for some animals to move across the road – they had to send someone out to lure them away with food – and that caused a backup on the trail.

    Gotta love live animals…they don’t give two hoots about waiting passengers.


    In the above picture you can kind of see the group standing behind my mom and me. They consisted of three college-aged kids, one of whom had a popular Instagram. I know this because the two guys were being flattered senseless by the girl who recognized them. It was fun listening to her introduce themselves, realize they had mutual acquaintances and discuss said person’s aforementioned fame. From what I could make out, all three worked at Disney in some capacity; the girl was trying her hardest to work her way up to a Voices of Liberty performer.

    As I said…we had a long wait. I got to hear all these random tidbits of details. Made me think that must be what it’s like when guests have to listen to DISers have a meetup. Somewhat entertaining stuff.

    Eventually, a whole slew of safari trucks pulled up and we were loaded into a row. (Instagram and Co. seated directly behind us.)

    Me, Evie, Landon, Nana.


    And Tinkerbell.

    I love the safari, if only because I get to see giraffes up close.

    Evie’s a massive animal lover, as well, so she really loved the attraction. This was, by far, the most involved she ever was on a ride, happily pointing out the animals she saw and asking for names she wasn’t sure of. This was also our first time riding after sunset, so my mom and I were able to see the African dogs. We have them at our local zoo, but it was still nice to see something new and fresh in the parks.

    Everything was going along great, and then we went over the bridge that shakes you around a lot. Our safari guide casually said through the microphone, “Hold on, folks, this bridge is really old. Let’s see if it’ll hold up for us to pass.”

    And Landon, in his 4 year old voice that’s more like a shout, exclaimed, “Nana! This bridge is old like you!”

    Oh my gosh, son. You did not just say that.

    There was an awkward silence in the vehicle, and then everyone burst into laughter. The Instagram friends behind us were practically crying, they were trying so hard to be polite and not laugh too hard.

    Thankfully, my mom is cool with innocent ribbing (you kind of have to be when you grow up with two stepbrothers and two sons) and laughed along with everyone else. Heck, she was probably the person who found it the funniest.

    Me? I found it hilarious, but I was also immensely embarrassed that my son said that.
    Jeez, Landon, way to call your grandma out like that…

    The rest of the safari was uneventful, with the exception of one incident where Landon misunderstood the guide and thought he mispronounced cheetah.

    “It’s cheeto!”

    “No, Landon, that’s a snack. This is a cat.”

    “There’s no such thing as a cheetah, there’s only Cheetos!”

    That got the three kids behind us going again.

    Could we please make it through the rest of this safari without you showing off any more of my stellar parenting skills here, kid? You’ve already let everyone think I allow old people jokes and crappy snack food fly, let’s stop while we’re ahead.

    Goodness gracious, that was one heck of a ride.

    I needed a drink.

    Fortunately, there was a snack in Animal Kingdom that I had only tried once, many years before, that I had been trying to get my mom to taste. This was the perfect opportunity to buy a few and enjoy.

    Once my mom and I found the stand (the blind leading the blind when it comes to us two) I got my mom situated in line while I went and found an empty seating area for me and the kids to wait. I had known about this place thanks to @MEK (who’s no longer comes on the boards) and I had been keeping it in mind for just such an occasion. It was quiet, shaded, and provided plenty of room for the kids to run around.

    When my mom returned with our treats, we dug in!

    Well, first I took a selfie to commemorate the occasion.

    The famous Dole whip with coconut rum. One of the best desserts a responsible adult can indulge in while at Disney.

    I had to get my mom in on the selfie action:


    She had the same reaction to the dessert as me; she loved it and told me, “Oh, this could get addictive!” Think I found my Dole Whip partner in crime.

    The kids, meanwhile, got some regular Dole Whip ice cream to share.


    One of them loved it while the other thought it was too tangy. I just can’t remember which one was the fan. Probably Landon, he prefers citrusy foods while Evie doesn’t.
    (And don’t worry, they didn’t eat that entire cup.)

    After finishing our favoritist snack ever, my mom and I headed towards the Tree of Life. My dad had asked her to take Landon to It’s Tough to be a Bug, so those two had Fastpasses for the show that were active. While my mom took Landon to that, I went back inside the shops with Evie and browsed for a bit, eventually ending up outside with a couple pin packs to open.

    The view while we waited for the rest of our party to finish up was wonderful:

    I feel like people either have this cult following for Animal Kingdom or could take it or leave it. I’m in the former in that it’s one of my favorite parks. I think it ranks as Number 2, just below the Magic Kingdom. I really want to take a weekend trip with Evie when she’s older and stay at AKL and do the Wild Africa Trek tour and stay until park closing. I know a lot of people wouldn’t make a trip to WDW just to go to Animal Kingdom (well, that’s maybe less true now that Pandora’s open) but I definitely would.

    My mom and Landon found us on the sidewalk – Landon was terrified during the entire show, as I expected him to be. I told my mother she wasn’t allowed to take Landon anywhere by herself any more. She was scarring him for life!

    Unlike my mom, I chose Expedition Everest instead of ITTBAB and with our group reunited we could all head over to Asia to let me ride. Getting there proved challenging, because the standby line for Rivers of Light was a complete cluster. People were standing around in huge groups on the street trying to kill time until the first show began while others were confused about where the line was set up. I remember Evie was sitting in the stroller and Landon was refusing to walk so I picked him up and pushed our way through the masses.

    Not the easiest feat in the world but better than trying to hold onto his hand while we jostled our way through.

    Once at Everest, I picked up a Rider Swap and my mom took the kids to our preferred seating area – the open space right outside the gift shop. I used my Fastpass and entered the queue but it wasn’t necessary; the standby wait was only five minutes.

    I suppose that was one advantage of Pandora opening…less people on the other side of the park. (I’m sure Rivers of Light helped matters, as well.)

    Way back in the day…2012 era…Alex and I were able to ride EE at night after we finished the 5K race held in Animal Kingdom. It was an awesome experience and the two of us fell in love with that version of the attraction. We were disappointed to see the race come to an end more because that meant we’d miss riding EE at night than the actual race itself. So when Disney announced AK would be staying open later and keeping Everest operating after the sun set, I was over the moon.

    I think this has to be my favorite coaster at Disney.

    But only the night version.

    If you’re not doing EE at night, you’re not appreciating its full potential!

    Naturally, I asked for the front row.


    Alex would’ve been proud. He trained me well.

    The reason I love the nighttime route so much is because of the views you get as you climb to the top of the mountain.


    The whole park is lit up, you can see for miles, and it’s extremely quiet and peaceful. Plus, the darkness adds a new level of mystery and suspense to the ride.

    When we reached the broken tracks I got a special treat. It was just after 9p.m. and IllumiNations was going off in the distance! Whoo-hoo! I tried to tell the girls sitting behind me to look ahead but they were off in their own little world and didn’t hear me.

    Oh well, their loss.

    When I finished with my turn my mom told me I could use the Rider Swap and go again, but I was feeling a little beat up (I think carrying Landon around tired me out) and so I passed on the chance. It hurt me a little to do it, but I could tell the kids were getting tired and were only going to last so much longer. And my mom and I really wanted to walk through Pandora at least once to say we saw it.

    I put Evie in the baby carrier, because she was becoming really grumpy and that allowed Landon to sit in the stroller. The two were much happier with this arrangement than the prior one, but it meant I was a hot sweaty mess almost instantaneously. Animal Kingdom is crazy muggy and Evie’s warm little body pressed right up next to me made it that much hotter. I actually had to air the baby carrier out on the balcony the next morning, because we’d sweated so much on it.


    I did not take any pictures of our walk through Pandora because A) it was too crowded to mess with a camera B) I wanted to enjoy it without worrying about photos C) I couldn’t see.

    I have terrible vision at night, to the point where I avoid driving after sunset if possible, and struggle in settings with low lighting. Walking inside a que from the bright Florida sunshine? Forget it. My fellow party members have to take my hand and guide me along until my eyes adjust. (Usually about the time we’re loading into vehicles.) This is one of the reasons I hardly go on Nemo anymore. That queue wreaks havoc on me.

    Anyways, Pandora had a lot of illuminated flowers and bioluminescent walkways, but it was also a lot of heavy foliage with minimal lighting, therefore I didn’t see much of the actual Pandora. I was blind as bat, mostly watching my mom walk in front of me and trying not to hit the two million other people teeming about.

    I’m sure I’d enjoy it more during the daytime when I can actually see, but for my first experience it was just Meh. My mom and I made it to the gift shop and went inside to check it out. In there, I did manage to take one single photo of the new land:


    I am sure Pandora is great. I mean, its theme of conservation fits right in with Animal Kingdom and while not a huge fan of the film, it’s something different than princesses or Star Wars. Fresh content is always welcome when you’ve been visiting the parks as much as we all have.

    However, I don’t think it’s worth the madness that’s surrounding it right now. Every square inch of Pandora is taken up by guests; there’s no breathing room! I don’t know, maybe if I didn’t have my kids with me I could handle the close quarters and the long waits. I might even get in the spirit of waiting in long lines for the new attractions. But with my kids, I just don’t have the patience for those crowds.

    Ain’t no parent got time for that.

    I’m really, really hoping Star Wars Land will take the heat of Pandora and disperse the crowds. (Although, if my kids keep up with their Star Wars interest I might have to be one those people pouring into the new land. Ugh…why kids, why? I blame BB-8’s cuteness and Rey’s fierceness.)

    Our walking –erm, crawling – tour of Pandora complete, my mom and I took one last look at the Tree of Life.


    (I had wanted to see the projection show so very bad but the kids were beat, and we’d just missed the end of one, so I wasn’t about to make them wait around for the next showing after dragging them through Pandora.)

    We left the park and walked over to the Shades of Green bus stop. There were several families already waiting, and the area quickly began filling up with more people. Before we knew it, there were hordes and hordes of guests waiting for the Shades bus with us.

    My mom and I remembered a little too late that the bus system for the resort runs on a specific time slot, and after doing a little digging I discovered that our bus wouldn’t arrive for another fifteen minutes.

    The two of us talked back and forth and took in the large crowd. It was an insane number of people.

    Now, it’s been a few years since I’ve gone to college and taken my math courses, but I could look at everyone and their strollers and do a quick calculation. In order to get all these folks back to Shades, they were going to need at least 3 buses.

    The terrifying part of it all was that other people were starting to come to that same realization. Men were starting to get mad and threaten to bring holy living terror upon Disney if they didn’t make it on a bus. Moms were holding their sleeping kids and inching closer and closer to the front of the crowd. People were making passive aggressive remarks to others that they’d been there first and nobody better cut ahead.

    It was a heated crowd, and I was afraid it was going to get ugly. My mom and I talked about it, and we decided that even if we all did get on the bus, we’d be packed in like sardines and it would be a miserable experience.


    I put my Disney skills to work and walked away with my family members. We wandered over to the regular resort bus stop and found the designated location right near the front for the Polynesian. No sooner had we walked up then a bus pulled up and we got on!

    It was practically empty so we all got seats and were back to the Poly in fifteen minutes’ time. Sure, we had to walk back to Shades but that was a happy sacrifice for not having to deal with the madness of that Shades bus.

    My mother and I heartily agreed:

    “Best decision we made the entire trip.”

    Gosh, even writing about it now I can’t believe how nice that alternative was. That was certainly a case where having a bit of Disney knowledge played in our favor. A lot of those people waiting at the Shades stop probably didn’t know they could take a resort bus or that the Polynesian was close enough to walk. We did tell one family that we had struck up a conversation with what our plans were, but I don’t think the grandmother trusted our course of action and insisted they stay and wait.

    I mean, it was a gamble. The Poly bus could have been just as crowded, the Shades bus could have pulled up the second we walked away, but my mom and I figured the resort buses would be running more frequently than Shades. So even if we had to wait a few cycles for the Polynesian bus, it still wouldn’t be that long.

    Either way, it was a great choice and made my mom and I feel like we were finishing the day on a win. I was worried the kids wouldn’t go to sleep in the room since they’d both fallen asleep at the bus stop, but fortunately it only took about half an hour for them to settle down and drift off again.

    Up Next…A Day of Last Minute Planning
  16. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

    Apr 21, 2016
    Of course. Kids, amirite!?

    :laughing: So true! The same thing happened to us with a FP once. Not being able to control what the animals choose to do and where is simultaneously the coolest and most frustrating part of this attraction.

    What a neat little conversation to be able to eavesdrop for! I also wonder what people must think when they overhear Dismeets in the parks. And Voices of Liberty...I hadn't thought of that...but I may have to add it to my list of dream Disney jobs!

    This is probably 70% of why I ride this ride. No shame.

    Oh. My. Gosh! :rotfl:

    I've been waiting for this moment. I love your kid!

    Landon strikes again! This is hilarious! :rotfl2:

    For the record, if I overheard a kid saying those things on a ride, I wouldn't be thinking about their mother's parenting at all. I'd just be thinking about how hilarious and adorable that child was.

    Hear ye, hear ye! I'm in this camp as well. Wild Africa Trek was one of the highlights of our honeymoon. We always schedule our trips with MK as first priority, and then AK as second. I have a hard time deciding, but I think AK is my favourite park, though if I only had time to visit one park it would always be MK.

    Definitely seems to be the case!

    So cool! Those girls didn't know what they were missing!

    Such a good decision! That was good thinking on your part. I always feel a little win when I do something like this, like taking the resort monorail to the TTC when the direct one is backed up for ages.
  17. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

    Mar 16, 2017
    OMG-Landon is the best!
  18. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

    Oct 16, 2015
    Soooo Funny!

    Awesome Selfie!

    Good Move for sure!!!! I hate when people start to get pushy.
  19. SarahDisney

    SarahDisney So ... Yeah

    Jul 23, 2014
    I'm glad to hear that Evie enjoyed the safari! That's such a great ride, and it's always great to see so many animals ... I'm sure she really was thrilled!
    Landon, on the other hand ... maybe next time try telling him it's a quiet ride and you're not allowed to talk? (Kidding ... sometimes kids will be kids and you just can't help it ... at least he didn't say anything too terrible)

    Secret confession: I could take or leave EE. I think I do have to try it at night and see if I like it better in the dark.

    Good call taking the Poly bus - that's where having Disney knowledge really comes in handy! (We've done that with Pop and AoA a few times, but I feel like everyone knows that secret. Shades/Poly is probably less well-known but really smart!)
  20. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

    Apr 27, 2012
    Funny story on how the TR title came to be! Landon sounds like he was a riot on the safari!

    The dole whips with rum are so tasty! I'm glad you and your mom could indulge :)

    Glad you could ride EE at night as I know that's your favorite!

    Smart/fast thinking with the bus situation! Glad it worked in your favor!
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
  21. MickeyReeds

    MickeyReeds Mouseketeer

    Oct 25, 2007
    It is so funny how kids say things and then it becomes something you remember and laugh about over the years. When my DD was about 4, we were visiting my parents in Arizona and we were kind of lost. She was in the backseat just singing her heart out and my mom told her to stop singing. She replied, "Can I hum?" It is something we still laugh about and she is 21!

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