A family vacationing in Walt Disney World this week was late to their dining reservations at Germany’s Biergarten restaurant in Epcot’s World Showcase. The bridge that separates China and Germany was closed to pedestrian traffic to allow for IllumiNations fireworks floats to get into position for a performance later that evening.
“Our timing issues had been compounding all day and the bridge being closed was what was finally sealed the deal [on us being late],” said Jason Griggs, husband and father of two girls. “I knew we were in trouble when we arrived at Epcot and couldn’t find an open parking spot closer to the gate. We never stood a chance.”
According to Griggs, his family had been late to every reservation and Fast Pass booking all day. He blamed the tardiness on his wife Linda, who is 8 months pregnant with their third child.
“We used to fly through the parks and get to everything on time,” Griggs continued. “But ever since I knocked her up, she’s really been slowing me down.”
Griggs proceeded to recant the story to me, complete with a charade demonstrating the “waddle” his wife now does in place of walking like a normal human.
“We see this all the time,” said Thomas Jefferson Geronimo III, Disney’s Vice President of Pedestrian Bridge Operations. “No matter how much we try to drive home the fact that people need to arrive for their reservations 15 minutes early, most people still tend to be 15 minutes late. They just never seem to account for the great distances they must walk, or in Mr. Griggs’ case, the speed at which his wife waddles.”
Geronimo went on to tell us that the pedestrian bridge in World Showcase has caused more delays to guests’ schedules than any other event in Walt Disney World.
“People love seeing the fireworks, so we have to get the floats out there,” continued Geronimo. “I just don’t see any way around it. The bridge must come up for the floats to pass.”
When I asked why they don’t just keep the floats out on the water all the time so they don’t have to keep driving them back and forth, Geronimo hesitated then responded with, “…Hmm…”