19 September 2011

See the rare and unsual

Today, I’m talking about the new gateway into Adventureland, more precisely the bridge that was refurbished earlier this year. I’ve held off on talking about this new crossing for a couple of months because I myself have been conflicted in how I feel about the structure and the changes that have been made. Part of me is proud of what has happened and another part of me is dismayed at losing another piece of my childhood memories of Walt Disney World. I’ve weighed the matter carefully, and that may sound silly to some of you, and I think I have finally come to peace with the matter. But, let’s walk through it anyway.The design of the new bridge definitely has a much more savage feel to it. Weapons and skulls associated with a warrior lifestyle are much more abundant and clearly the focus of the crest of the bridge. Additionally, the font of the new ADVENTURELAND also has more of a swashbuckling feel. Although most of these changes are brushed aside but longtime visitors who immediately notice the bridge has lost its arch and is now flat.

As a child I would love to sit in one of the old blue strollers as my parents pushed me up and over the bridge, feeling the strips of grip material that bounce the stroller as we hurdled over the span. When seated I would let out a constant sting of uh-uh-uh-uh-uh noises to accentuate the journey. When I was allowed to push a stroller over the bridge, I loved the way it tickled my hands when the handle reverberated against them. The Adventureland bridge was one of the most fun sections of a walkway to anywhere in the Magic Kingdom. Similarly, I’ve also had the opportunity to push a friend over the Adventureland bridge, a friend who had sustained an injury prior to a trip and had to rent a wheelchair in order to move through the parks. Getting my friend over that hump took some effort, just as I would imagine a stroller loaded down with a child, diaper bags, and other miscellaneous items would take.As a young adult, I ventured into education, more specifically Special Education. Those days were some of the most trying and rewarding days I’ve ever had in my life. The individuals I worked with didn’t seek out special treatment, they simply wanted to be able to maneuver through the world as everyone else did. Thinking of the wonderful people I worked with, the Adventureland bridge I grew up with could have kept many of them from having that same welcoming experience I always felt when I entered the land. Of course, someone could help them over the bridge, but it isn’t quite the same, is it?

After much pondering I’ve decided the change was for the best. If the flattening of the bridge allows more guests to take part in the adventures in an easier fashion, I’m all for it. I do miss hearing the continuous sound of wheels running across the bumpy bridge surface, but I’ll live. The decorations that adorn the bridge are, like all things in Walt Disney World, are subject to change at any time. I guess that’s the point really, Walt Disney wanted his parks to continually change for the better, and overall this is definitely one of those changes.

Now, if they try to take away my mask emblazoned shields that line the bridge, that will be a whole different matter…


thebigfez said...

I'm right here with you on this. I loved the arched bridge as a kid in the old blue metal strollers. Loved the bumps and rattle and all of that. I was fortunate enough to be able to share this with my son as well (he's 4).
That said, my mother visited once and had to use a wheelchair due to recent foot surgery. Getting over this bridge wasn't extremely difficult, but it wasn't easy either. Can't imagine the difficulties someone trying to do it alone would face.
I'll miss it too. It was the only unique bridge into a land off the hub.. the rest are all flat and not as exciting.
So I accept it. As far as a need to change the parking lot at the Transportation and Ticket Center... not so much. People are still going to lose their cars there no matter what it is called.

Ryan P. Wilson said...

thebigfez - or what color the individual lot is...