In an earlier edition of “Snap Shots” I spoke of a trip to 5 night 6 day family vacation to Disney World. That story recounted an adventure Allison (my daughter) and I had on/in Space Mountain, and what the first couple of rides at Epcot Center (after our Space Mountain drama) were like. This episode is going to be another adventure of Dad and Daughter had during this Disney World vacation.
It was a family decision to only get 3 day passes for Disney World. We knew from prior experience that collectively we would be beat to a pulp if we tried to do 3 consecutive days of Disney adventure. So as a family we decided to spend a day in a park, then the next would be a mini adventure day, followed by another day in a Disney park, and so on. Because of Allison’s age and interests, it was decided that we would only try to do Magic Kingdom (2 days) and Epcot (1 day).
We were staying in the main building of the Contemporary Quarters, we had a room on the 2nd to highest floor (I don’t remember how tall the building was), and standing on our balcony you could see the Magic Kingdom off to the left. It was a great room! As a family we watched the nightly fireworks display put on from Magic Kingdom. Then we would race down stairs thru the lobby, and out the other side of the Quarters to see the river fireworks and boat light show. These 2 events ran consecutively and between the two lasted around an hour. The shows started around 9 or 930pm each night. This was nightly advent and Allison knew that once we got back to the room it was bed time. As a family we all really knew it was bed time and we were glad of it.
As a family we had scoped out all the available information on what Disney had to offer in the way of attractions for the mini adventures there were go-cart rides, motor boat rides, arcades, fishing, golf (as if you didn’t know), and a bunch of other things. Steph was going to take the day relaxing and reading by the pool, also recharging her motor. Allison would’ve been happy to go fishing, but being the wuss I am, I (we) passed on that. Allison and after reviewing the millions of options decided that we wanted some pool time with Mom, and that we also were going to go go-carting, mini-motor boating and the arcades. But before any of these activities could take place we had to have breakfast with Mickey and company. Allison had the time of her life, someplace around here, we have a picture of her with Minnie’s hand on her shoulder, and Allison with the biggest grin imaginable. Yes, yes, yes at some point I will get to the mini-power boat ride.
So after we visited the go-carts (waste of time) and the arcade (fun in that stupid kind of way) we had lunch with Steph. After lunch Allison and I deposited Steph at the pool with a book, sun glasses, sun screen (she never used) and a beach towel, and we headed towards the boat dock. Surprisingly the wait wasn’t as long as I expect. After about 20 minutes or so it was our turn, we had decided to use the mini-power boat for an hour ($20 dollars in 1985). I need to explain these were in fact mini-speed boats. They were about 10 feet long, had a steering wheel and throttle, and seating for 4 at the most. The engine was strong enough to give you a real sense of being in a much higher powered boat and it was so much better than the very disappointing go-cart ride. There were no real ground rules as to where we could take the boats, we were on a semi-man-made lake that didn’t have an exit point, and the environment was controlled. There were no wilds critters in the water, and it was my understanding that the water at its deepest was maybe 3.5 feet. The only caution I was given was that if we kept the boat longer than we agreed, we would be charge for the additional time. So off we went, we were out jumping wakes, driving in circles, backing up, racing as fast as the boat would take us, and having a great time. At one point Allison asked if she could steer and of course I let her. I slowed the boat way down and Allison just drove us around and around, she was having a ball, and she was stealing my fun LOL LOL. I wanted to drive the boat.
We had been out to sea for about 30 minutes and we and both had great times driving. Then suddenly the boat just stopped, the motor went to idle speed, but it seemed the prop was no longer engaged, then the motor stopped as well. And with the sudden lack of engine noise it got real quiet. We were off by ourselves (as much as you can be in a controlled environment) and the boat started just drifting. There was immediate fretting on Allison’s part when the motor died, and it was amplified in only a couple of minutes when Allison got that fret full kinda look and asked if we would be lost out here. While she was asking the question I was wondering if I could get my money back LOL. I explained to Allison that everything was cool, that the folks at the boat docks knew we were out and about someplace, and if we were gone to long they could come searching. Allison was cool with that and we just chatted and played. But the mini-power boat continued to drift towards the shore line and the tall grass along the bank, I was concerned that it may take them longer to find us if the boat was hidden by the taller grass. BTW that was the single warning, if the boat should stop for any repeat any reason, stay with the boat. Do not get out of the boat. Allison and I paid close attention to that warning. As we drifted further and further, and deeper and deeper into the tall grass it got much quieter on the boat. We must have been lost at sea for oh 10, maybe 15 minutes at the most. Allison wasn’t nearly as talkative as she had been and it was getting much more difficult to entertain her.
Suddenly we heard the roar of a much more powerful boat, and as we peered thru the grass that had captured our little boat, a giant motor boat appeared. The chipper Disney employee (who looked to be about 12 but was probably 18) slide up next to our boat, help us onboard his much much bigger boat, and secured our little one to his. He turned and smiled and said “hold on” and slammed his boat in to High gear, the nose of his boat jumped out of the water, and we were off to the races. Our little boat was jumping around and dancing on the line that secured it to the rescue boat, it looked like the much larger boat had caught the smaller one, kinda like the fishing Allison would have been happy doing LOL . Our rescuer got us back to the boat landing in about 4 minutes, it was the best 4 minutes on water LOL. Allison and I were laughing our butts off, and asked our captain to continue the ride, he did say sorry he had to take us back. But that was a fun ride.
Back at the boat dock, the Disney folks were very good. They gave us our money back, and said we could go out again in a different boat at no cost. I explained that our time was up and we had to get back to mom, so they gave us a head of the line pass and said we could get a free ride during the rest of our stay. We thanked them graciously and raced off to tell Steph how we had been lost at sea, and how they had to send a rescue boat. We had a great time recounting the story to Steph several times, as a matter of fact probably more times than she wanted LOL LOL, but she was a good sport.
Folks, 15 minutes of being lost at sea with your daughter is priceless. Just keep that mind. As always your thoughts and comments are welcome. Take care, Bill