We are now officially living it up in Walt Disney World as Mr. and Mrs. Geek on our honeymoon! However, while we're gone, I didn't want y'all getting lonely out here in blog-land. Every day this week you'll be getting a blog post from one of my friends over at Weddingbee sharing her favorite Disney memory. First up- Mrs. Dragon!
Hi there! I'm Shayla from Northern Exposure, and I'm a Disney fanatic. I have tons of stories -- the time I and two friends accidentally lost my sister in the Magic Kingdom, the year myself and my cousin were literally the only people (a.k.a. crazy Canadians) going on the water slides at Typhoon Lagoon, the thrill of being granted entrance into a Downtown Disney cigar shop humidor even though my friend and I were underage... the list goes on. But, I should start at the beginning. My family's love affair with Disney started because of Dumbo The Flying Elephant.
Photo from Wikipedia / Kids EVERYWHERE!
We drove from Ontario to Florida every year, staying in beach houses, villas and hotels everywhere from Venice to Bahia Honda State Park. On one of our first trips, when I was so young that I don't really remember much other than indignant outrage, my parents took my older sister and me to the Magic Kingdom. After standing in line for ages in the blistering Florida heat, (because this was before FASTPASSes and themed play areas) we finally boarded our elephant. And there, my sister managed to finagle her way into hitting the button that made our elephant soar... and I didn't even get one push. My meltdown ensured that we would be going to Orlando, again, the next year, lining up, again, and this time, I was going to hit that button so help me Mickey. After the Dumbo Incident, trips to the Magic Kingdom became a tradition. My parents endured my undying love for the It's a Small World ride, my uncle accidentally wandered through blocked-off Main Street, leading the way in the afternoon parade, we became unabashed Disney-going teenagers... but I still wouldn't go on Space Mountain. I had this image burned into my head of my dad and sister dizzily disembarking their rocket, when I was either too little or too scared to ride, and I couldn't get over my fear. I knew Disney roller coasters were tame, that they didn't go upside down or do anything crazy, but I still shamefully declined every year, as little five-year-old kids gleefully climbed in. I didn't even like the part of the Tomorrowland PeopleMover that crossed paths with Space Mountain. One year, egged on by three friends, I gave in.
I mustered up all of my courage and walked through that looming white dome... and, instead of entering into dizzying darkness, realized there was a ride malfunction and the work lights had come on. I spent the whole time we were in the queue staring at the illuminated tracks.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
After over a decade of build-up, finally feeling like I was conquering a fear, as irrational as it may have been... the whole thing was laid out in front of me. There was no mystery. Space Mountain was revealed, and it didn't look that scary after all (aside from the fact that the word "malfunction" itself strikes terror into my heart).
Of course, all of that changed when we actually got on the ride, now shrouded in darkness, and went hurtling into laser tunnels and all that.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
That turned out to be our last trip to the Magic Kingdom (we went to Epcot a few years later and as Canadians were kind of disturbed by the Disney version of Canada, but I haven't been to Disney since) so I'm happy I finally rode Space Mountain, even though I screamed like a baby the whole time. I'm already looking forward to taking my non-existent children to Disney one day, and I hope that they're braver than me and tackle the scary rides before age 17.
Fellow scaredy-cats, I know you're out there -- what Disney ride terrified you? Did you ever manage to ride it? (P.S. I was also scared of the Snow White ride, the alien escape one, and Splash Mountain. The Country Bear Jamboree? Totally my speed.)