I don’t know how I have missed this but it’s kept me busy today! Great report! You did so well with the FPs, I booked Dumbo every single night and it never went down once and when we had a FP booked in the evening but it stormed in the afternoon, I could never grab a close time to convert, so I kept what I had.
This is such a fun trip report.
I did too but it’s a lot of walking for the kids. Worked out way better than I thought it would with Soarin’ in SB!
It was kind of incredible how well timed all of the storms ended up being for us. We were never in a park during lightening!! It was awesome!
8/3 - AK and home
I have been struggling to write out this day because I think I’ll probably come across as an overly dramatic person. I spent nearly an hour sulking and on the verge of tears in Pandora. But I’m getting ahead of myself here…
I can’t remember when I woke up. Maybe 6 or 6:30? I think 6. I was giving myself 30 minutes to get ready and an hour to get everything packed up. The kids woke up as I was bumping around gathering all of our stuff and helped me get everything ready to go. We said goodbye to our bird friend and her nest, grabbed our bags and checked them with bell services () and hopped in our Lyft at 8.
It was an EMH at AK. I was planning on utilizing EMH for NRJ and to get breakfast at Creature Comforts. We had FPs for FOP at 9:15 and I couldn’t decide if should go to NRJ first and then get breakfast and then backtrack back over to Pandora or just go get breakfast first and avoid backtracking. I chose the latter banking on our EMH experience last October when we walked on to NRJ at 8:45.
We walked in and grabbed breakfast (not too many folks RDing Starbucks so we didn’t wait long) and headed over to Pandora. The kids had to stop and use the restroom on the way and we made it over to the queue around 8:40 or so with Navi posting a 35 min wait already! Well crap. Oh well. We’d get done right around the beginning of our FOP FP window and it’d move quickly since no one would be using their FPs yet. We finished up our breakfast while waiting in line and it actually didn’t end up being too bad. I think we ended up waiting about 25 minutes and it was fun looking around the queue as we’ve never done that before.
After Navi we headed over to check in for FOP. They pulled DD5 aside to check her height and said “nope. I’m sorry she’s not tall enough.” I may have lost it a bit. I didn’t yell but I did exclaim “but she rode it - THIS RIDE - 6 days ago!!! And she’s ridden Space Mountain 3 times without issue!” They rechecked her but weren’t willing to work with her the way some other CMs had previously done on FOP (“alright sweet girl bend down and touch your toes and stand up really big for me” or “stand up big and straight and tall”) but they just seemed bent on going with their first measurement. Granted, she was pushing it. And I think the fact that she had to wear her Chacos instead of her Sketchers today (her Sketchers got soaked at MK the night before) probably didn’t help. BUT she did say afterward that once when they were measuring her she felt her head barely scrape the height marker. Anyway, she was really sad and disappointed. I sent the big kids on to ride and I waited with DD5. The CM offered to give me a RS to ride next but I declined mentioning that it’d take us an hour and how long that would be for DD5 to wait without doing anything and she just remarked “no! It shouldn’t take that long!!” Umm, yeah it does. In fact, the kids took closer to 45 minutes for a single ride this time around because they had some sort of loading delays getting into their flight room.
I did not handle this well internally. DD5 was sad but she knew I was too and kept hugging me and I hugged her back. I stubbornly stood in front of the FP check in while we waited and looked very sad (OMG as I’m typing this I’m so embarrassed. Ridiculous.) and came VERY close to crying several times.
Anyway, we were ok and once the bigs finished their ride we headed into Africa. I was in a bit of a sour mood but trying to turn it around. The kids of course were fine and started playing and were enjoying the day which helped me perk up too.
We had FPs for KS next but decided to walk GFT first. We caught a TINY glimpse of the new baby gorilla! OMG. The mom was being very protective, cradling him and sitting with her back to the glass preventing us from getting a good look at him. We did see the rest of the gorilla family moving over and fairly active. We also enjoyed the aviary and watching the naked mole rats scurrying around in their holes. It was sprinkling a bit this morning and the weather was a bit cooler than it had been when we walked MJT and we enjoyed the trail quite a bit more because of the cooler temps + more animal activity.
Off the trial and onto KS we go! This was a fun one with more animal sightings that our one in the scorching heat the other day. Saw several cheetahs very clearly, lions, a rhino in the middle of the road and lots of giraffes - including a few babies AND one RUNNING!! That was so cool. I’ve never seen a giraffe run before and it was quite a sight.
We got off of our tour bus around 11:15 - the same time as our Y&Y ADR. We headed that way and checked in probably close to 11:25. I had taken the time to get a Landry’s membership before we left and it worked like a charm! There were quite a few people outside waiting to be seated before we got there but we were called in before just about all of them. Score!!
I love this restaurant. The atmosphere is fun and it’s such a great spot in the parks locationally and a lovely break from the heat. We finished up lunch around 12:45 and headed to use our last FPs of the trip at EE.
I was still perhaps stewing a bit over the FOP debacle and decided I’d have them measure DD5 at EE just to see what they said. Well, they measured her once and said “oh yeah!! She just makes it!!” Which made me think “aha FOP people!!!” and I decided I’d try for the 1:01 drop and pray for better luck. I sent DS and DNiece up the FP line and just had them set up a RS on DD8, DS and my bands so our FPs would all be cleared from MDE before the FOP drop.
The girls and I walked over to watch for DS and DNiece to go down the hill. I pulled up MDE and started refreshing for FOP around 12:59. At 1:01 on the dot there they were and I snagged ‘em up!! Woohoo! Fingers crossed!!
DS and DNiece came off EE and I sent DNiece to ride again and then DS and I went. I really wish the girls would ride it. I think they’d like it after the first time or two. Maybe next trip they’ll be ready.
After our EE bonanza we went to check into the 2 pm FotLK show. It was kind of chaotic getting in. We were sent up one side and waited and waited before realizing that section was completely full and the CM who was helping people find seats was actually on the opposite aisle in that section. We had to walk down and across the arena before finding a seat toward the top of a different section. DD5 had a taller-than-her adult in front of her and struggled to stay seated during the show. Admittedly I wasn’t too adamant about her sitting down as she wasn’t impeding anyone’s view behind us (she wasn’t, I checked!)! We love this show! I think the Tumble Monkeys may be my favorite.
We finished up the show and headed over to FOP. I exhaled a bit when I saw different CMs. They measured her and “no. I’m sorry ma’am she’s too short.” I asked them to check her again and give us a minute or so to try to get it. They were kind to agree although they were mainly humoring me. They had just told me no again when I told my girl to take a big deep breath and stand up real tall. She held her breath and I felt DD5’s head and could tell for sure her head was touching!! I pointed it out to the CM and she exhaled real big, looked DD5 in the eyes and said “you need to stand exactly like this in there or they won’t let you on ok??” and then to me “if they don’t let her on don’t get mad ok?” and I gave them my word.
The next two height checks had all of us holding our breath along with DD5 but she flew by those way easier than the first one!!! We finally all made it into the decontamination room and exhaled. I was on cloud 9 and so so happy she had another chance!! I know it’s such a silly little thing in the grand scheme of things but it made the end of the trip so perfect.
We savored our last ride on our banshees and walked happily to the exit to begin our journey home. We caught the Macaw show and snapped a picture in front of the Tree of Life on our way out. I was sad to leave this place but I was really missing DH and DD3 and ready to have our family all together again.
It was such a magical week. Thanks to all of you. The knowledge you share on here helped us have a fantastic time. I’ll post some final thoughts here in a bit. Thank you for reading and letting me relive the magic!
I’m so glad it finally worked out! I would have lost it. I would be searching for the ride picture of her on it 6 days ago, then asked to speak to a “manager”. (I’ve never tried that, I wonder where it would get u with a ride CM?)
Oh, man, sounds like the right shoes are everything! I’m glad you had a nice last day and didn’t have to go home soaked. You’ve given me plenty of ideas for our trip!
I wonder if they have a slightly higher measuring stick (millimeters) out in front of the rides to avoid false hopes when people get through the first check. There is bound to be at least some variability because of differences in construction and assembly.
Had some sketchers with 1.5" bottom to get DD to height. Only needed an inch but wanted to be safe.
One of mine was near a cutoff last time I measured. I was hoping for a summer growth spurt before our fall trip, but I haven’t re-measured to decide whether special shoes are necessary, lol. I much prefer to know in advance which rides they can go on, rather than finding out on site.
I would probably have reacted just like you! I’m glad she got to ride in the end.
i wish there was something if they get measured, they then get a wrist band with their height so its not questioned everytime… that would drive me mad
Or a scan in. If the band gets lost, all they have to do is a quick scan.
This is what they do at Dollywood. It makes things much easier!
i bet! they could even attach it to the magicband, too short, would show a diff color, or gtg diff color if thats my understanding of the taps lol. or make sound? a big air horn if they are too short…
This is how they do it at every amusement park I’ve ever been to. It works great.
Magic bands are removable, that’s why they can’t do that. Even the wristbands that you have to cut off have been known to be stretched over a taller kid’s hand so they can be put on a shortie who wants to ride.
yes, didnt think about that, always some way around it
Oh, that makes sense that people would find ways around wristbands. My shorter kid is the one who isn’t the daredevil so I didn’t even think of that. Though he rode ToT and EE twice each and Dr Doom (which he is just tall enough for in shoes) and Hagrid, so was way more daring than I expected.
@DeepInTheHeartofTexas, I’m so glad you did all get to ride FoP in the afternoon and sorry the morning went sideways! That baby gorilla is so sweet – I spent 5 or 10 minutes talking to the CM at the gorilla enclosure and watching the mum snuggle baby Grace, most of the time you could barely see her but then the mother walked a ways with the baby hanging onto her belly!
I agree! At Silver Dollar City there is a measuring station where you can go and have your child officially measured. They give you a wrist band coded for your child’s height so they don’t have to get checked before each ride and the ride attendants know right away if a child is too short. Works really well.