A couple of years after our first family vacation to Disneyworld (a 3 night mini vacation) we decided to visit Disney again. This time we booked 6 days at the resort and got 3 day World passes for the family. This presented us the best of all worlds. We could do all the non-Magic Kingdom stuff on the days we weren’t in the various parks themselves. We ended up doing 2 days in the Magic Kingdom and one day in Epcot, and I got to play a round of golf. But today’s snap shot is about our day 1 visit to the Magic Kingdom and our ride on Space Mountain.
Anyone who has ever been to any amusement park knows it’s all about waiting, the nicer the park the longer the wait. As far as amusement parks go, Disney is the best, it has the best attractions, it has the best rides, it has the friendliest staffs, and the place stays spotless.
Allison was excited beyond belief, with my help she had been counting down the days until we got to Disney, unlike today where you just go to the Internet and find whatever you’re looking for, described to the nith degree, there was little information readily available, a few booklets and some pamphlets was about all you had available before-hand. But kids knew, kids imagined, kids have a sense about them that share secrets with them. And all kids know about Disneyworld and Disneyland. They know about breakfast with Mickey, and all the other characters. Weeks before our vacation Allison was telling us what to expect, not us telling her. She was totally aware of “The Magic Kingdom,” she knew about breakfast with the characters and insisted we go. She also knew about “Space Mountain” and we had to do that. She had significant input into our vacation agenda. The day at Epcot would be sandwiched between Magic Kingdom days.
Guess’s staying on the facility got into the various parks about 30 prior to the general public, which made getting on those 1st few rides real easy. I don’t remember any of the rides or what sequence we rode them, but we did it all. We walked up and down Magic Kingdom main street, we watch the character parade, we went into every shop, ate junk food like there was no tomorrow and had a wonderful time. We started at 930am took a break at noon for lunch, and continue on finishing day 1 at the line for “Space Mountain”.
I believe Allison was 8 years old at the time this story takes place. She was and still is tall, so she was tall enough for any ride we encountered. We got to Space Mountain later in the day than we expected and the line was the longest we stood in all day. While waiting in the line I am trying to explain to Allison what a roller coaster was, how it would seem to be falling of the world, how it would seem to be going very very fast, how it would take endless sharp turns. Steph was also helping to explain the marvels of a roller coaster to Allison. What neither of us explained to her, was that the ride would be in total darkness. I didn’t know, I was naïve I suspect, it never really dawned on me. It took almost 45 minutes to get thru the line, at long last we were the next group to get into one of these small rockets, and just before we were to board the ROCKET, Steph saw an EXIT sign looked at me, said “sorry, I’ll meet you at the end” and slipped out the door.
Allison and I got in the ROCKET the little safety bar dropped down, and off we went. Allison was basically sitting in my lap we both were holding the same safety bar, and the ROCKET began its’ ascent into space. Click Click Click you could hear as the ROCKET slowly climb the passageway into space. With each click you saw more stars, bright stars, it was a sight to behold, and just as we reached the apex it went pitch black, you couldn’t see a thing, you couldn’t hear a thing except for distance screams. Then the rocket began it crash dive. Such a beautiful trip explodes into terror. The nose of the rocket is pointing straight down, Allison and I are thrown against the safety bar, and the screaming began. Allison was scared to death. She was screaming at the top of her lungs, begging it to stop, begging to get out, screaming, pleading for me to do something. When I failed to make it stop, when I failed to slow it down, she tried to escape, she planted her feet and tried to push her way out of the ROCKET, when she didn’t have her fingernails digging into the bones of my forearms, she was pushing against my arms in an attempt to break free so she could jump from the ROCKET. Throughout I am holding on to her for dear life, telling it was okay (she wasn’t buying this at all), that it would be over soon, (“Make it STOP DADDY”), I even used ‘calm down” like that was going to work! With each twist or turn, with each plunge or climb the screams were renewed. The fight would start again. The begging and pleading became more intense. And just as fast as the 1st plunge started my 90 seconds of terror, it was over once the rocket burst into sunlight, and there stood Mom waiting. As soon as the safety bar lifted Allison was out of the ROCKET and into her Mom’s arms. I think Allison aged 10 years during those 90 seconds, I aged 30 years. Folks I kid you not, she tried her best to climb from that ride the entire 90 seconds, I had to maintain a death grip on her throughout the entire ride. Allison was shaking like a leaf immediately after the ride, but calmed down pretty quickly. A bit later she had no issues with having dinner, and she did not have a nightmare that evening. She had survived her first roller coaster ride, and lived to talk about it.
The next day was a non-park day filled with swimming and crafts and this that and the other, some of which I will share in another snap shot. But I wanted to finish this by talking about day 3 when as a family we all when to Epcot. For those that don’t know there are no ‘Space Mountain” type rides at Epcot, they are informative sedate rides, good for the mind and soul.
As we approached the first ride of the day, Allison saw the little carts going into a dark tunnel and about pooped her pants. Kicking and screaming she was not going to get on that cart, she was not going into a dark tunnel, and there was no way we could convince her. Finally Steph and Allison talked, it was a most sincere conversation, but Allison’s tears dried, and she took her Mom’s hand and got on the ride, she sat on Steph ‘s lap, and together we shared the ride. Allison braved herself thru the ride with the help of her Mom. We did 6 such rides that day, each was easier than the one before, each Allison enjoyed a touch more, it turned out to be a great day.
We took another day of non-park before finishing the vacation in the Magic Kingdom. Allison would have nothing to do with the Space Mountain ride, and for that matter I didn’t want to either. We all enjoyed kid stuff.
Folks’ that’s it for this snap shop. If you have any thoughts or comments please feel free. Take care and be safe, Bill