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I Dare You…

October is the season of the spook- so what better time to talk about what spooks me, Ellie, at Walt Disney World.  I’m not talking about ghouls and goblins, but what I am ACTUALLY too terrified to ride yet.  Most people just assume that if you are a Disney fan, you have ridden all the rides. Well, I am proof that you can love Disney to pieces, but stay far away from certain attractions.  Come along with me to explore the “what’s” and “why’s” of my Disney fears.

Since 1991, I have been scared of Space Mountain, located in Tomorrowland inside the Magic Kingdom.  I know, I can hear some of your shock and awe all the way from WI.  First off, I have never been a fan of rollercoasters- I don’t like the heights, the drops, or the feeling of being out of control.  (I am sure a shrink would LOVE me). Since Space Mountain is a rollercoaster, then adding the dark to it, WITH flashing lights… I would rather go to the dentist.  My favorite way of riding it is on the TTA, in the comfort of a car going 5 mph.

Another rollercoaster… Rock n’ Roller Coaster found at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  I can tell you, without a doubt, I will NEVER ride this thing. Why? Any ride that makes me wear a harness, I KNOW is taking me upside down.  Add loud music, and granted, Aerosmith is AWESOME, I just think it would put me into an instant migraine, and that wouldn’t be good in my happy place.  I know many who swear by this ride, I will take your word for it.

Just feet away from that gem is a free-falling elevator ride, with spooks, with Twilight Zone music, with creepy rooms, oh and did I mention FREE-FALLING elevator? The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is that ride. Story time break-when I was a small child, my brother and I decided to hit all of the buttons in an elevator at my Grandma’s nursing home, thus getting us stuck BETWEEN floors. As a child, all you worry about is “PLEASE DO NOT LET THE ELEVATOR FALL.” So the idea that this is somewhat a “fun” ride for people doesn’t seem appealing to me yet.  Last trip, Belle and I did approach it, but it wasn’t in the cards for us.

Heading over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are several here that just make me cringe.  First, let’s start with the Primeval Whirl.  I don’t mind spinning, but riding the Tilt-a-Whirl on a rollercoaster track is sure terror to me. Seriously, if someone wanted me to talk, they could just tie me into one of those cars and threaten to make it go. Yeah, no thank you.

Last but not least, there is a certain Yeti on a certain mountain that I will NEVER see in this lifetime, unless I am watching it on you tube.  I am sure he is a great guy and everything, and maybe if he took a break for terrorizing riders for a change, I would love to give him a hug and buy him a Mickey bar. Since hell hasn’t frozen over, I will gladly be watching Carl and Belle enjoy Expedition Everest from the comfort of the solid ground.  Again, it’s a rollercoaster, and it also rides backwards. I don’t know about you, but if I am about to die from pure fear, I would like to see what is about to get me.

Now, I would like to talk about what fears I DID conquer this past trip with MUCH success!  Let’s start with a ROLLERCOASTER!! I know, you are now a bit confuzzled.  Well, you see, I have been looking at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad since 1991, wanting to ride it so badly, but never having enough courage to do so.  Our last trip in June of 2009, I decided that enough was enough.  We fast-passed it, and I rode it for the first time with my oldest girl, Belle.  I was so incredibly nervous, as that “tick tick” sound tickled my stomach and spinal cord, all at the same time.  I knew I couldn’t get off, but I also knew that this coaster was NOT going to be going upside- down, and it was rarely in the dark, so I felt relatively safe.  Besides my butt leaving the seat a few times, I LOVED this ride! We fast-passed it several more times, and I cannot wait to ride it again!

Another Disney Mountain that had me curious, was of the water sort. I am talking of course about Splash Mountain.  The funny thing is, is that our own little Jessie girl was the one who convinced all of us chickens to try it out.  We fast-passed it, so there was no wait. It was a wise decision, because I don’t know if we would have been able to do it, waiting like that can drive a person mad.  So we literally walked on, thru the line, and into an awaiting log.  So Carl gets into the log, and it’s front row, with Jessie.  She doesn’t seem to get the enormity of the ride, so we play along, nervously.  Belle and I sat right behind them, and we were all pretty much holding our breaths.  Not until the first major drop, inside a DARK Mountain, did Jessie freak out.  Tears and screaming, it was a nightmare for Carl.  I felt horrible and useless, and I stroked her hair from behind her.  All we could do now, was ride it out and get it over with.  After each drop, she would become increasingly scared and upset.  We got to the last final drop, and you know it’s coming, because you have that awesome view of the Castle for about 5 seconds before you plunge to your death.  As we dropped, I tried to scream but nothing came out from the sheer fear I was feeling.  I will never forget, looking at Jessie, and telling her at the bottom “Its over hun, it’s over..” and her PLEADING with us to promise that there were no more drops.  Now, we all overcame that Mountain together, but it will take some time before Jessie ever tries it again. Oh, and yes, we bought the picture!

The mother of all rides that I conquered last year was to “Infinity and Beyond!”  No, not Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin or Toy Story Mania but my mission was indeed space.  Every time I headed to Test Track I would pass by Mission: Space and felt bad that I had never tried it. So one humid, hot Florida night, we were having an incredible time, and I decided it was time. I looked my family and said “Tonight is the night!”   I walked onto the ride, lucky me, no waiting, and rode the extreme side. Sorry folks, I don’t remember the color.  I know I was on the right side, and as I stood in line, I struck up a conversation with some men who were from GA.  They were super sweet, asking me if I was ok and was I nervous. I said “Heck yeah, I have never been to space before” which made us all laugh.  I was not ready for the tight and small space you ride in, but I went with it and got in.   The funniest thing I had ever seen on a Disney ride, a barf bag. In all my years of visiting, never a barf bag on “Small World” (ok, but sometimes you really do need one on that ride-all that singing! LoL)  The most extreme part is the lift-off of the ride – I had to tell myself out loud to BREATHE.  After that, it was a piece of cake, and I got off the ride feeling accomplished.  My GA boys kindly came over to make sure I had survived, which I had, but I did feel very sick hours later.   I am very proud that I not only tried it, but I did the most extreme side.

So what are you Disney fears? I would love to hear yours. Thanks for listening to my ramblings for the day, and remember, magic lives in the hearts who let it. Have a great day!

9 Comments »

  1. Coasters, I love. I love that everything about them is mathematical and physics-driven. They make sense.

    What I don’t like is being startled. I still close my eyes in the attic and graveyard of the Haunted Mansion and I never did Alien Encounter – I might do Stitch, not sure. Not fond of the Yeti on the Matterhorn – but I really love that ride anyway. I think they ruined it when they changed the configuration and put in the Yeti, myself. It was fine the way it was.

  2. Hi Ellie! I’m a new follower of your blog- I’m enjoying all of your stories!! My husband and I actually spoke this morning about this very topic. I am extremely sensitive to motion sickness so I’ve had to limit what rides I go on. I’ve survived (and enjoyed!) both Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. But all the others are rides you mentioned are completely off the table (Expedition Everest, Tower of Terror, Rockin Rollercoaster). I even felt sick after being in the less-intense version of Mission Space. =\

    But there’s one that I’m deathly afraid of- but planning to attempt for the first time ever- Space Mountain. I have this philosophy- that it’s only one ride- less than five minutes of my life- and if I hate it, I never have to go on it again. But if I love it, I will never know unless I try. (Granted this can’t apply to the other rides, cause I KNOW I would not like Tower of Terror- like you, I hate riding in regular elevators! and the other rides, I already know would leave me queasy…)

    Now, I was ready to go on it last time we were there two years ago, and waited in line til we got to the queue and then I chickened out and exited. I saw that it was a single rider seating, and I wouldn’t be able to use the death grip on my husband’s hand for security. So I’m hoping to suck it up and just do it this time. And I’ll just pray that I don’t end up getting sick all over somebody. 😉 I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one… Any words of advice?? =)

    • Our trip is early December. You’re right about going first thing- when I did Splash Mountain and Big Thunder- they were my first 2 rides of a trip- so I had no time to talk myself out of it! 🙂 Thanks for the advice!!! And thanks for sharing too. I’m with Nancy- we do have to stick together 😉

    • I realized I posted on the recent post and it may not actually make sense since it wasn’t tagged back to this one…

      I just wanted to share that I finally rode Space Mountain for the very first time on Dec 13! And I hated it. lol I was prepared to be surprised & enjoy it but I was scared to death. I had to remind myself to keep breathing so I didn’t hyperventilate. (Not to scare you or anything haha) Biggest sense of relief when I got off. Yep, never again- but I faced the fear! =)

      Merry Christmas!!

      (Please feel free to delete the comment I actually made on “I Refuse to Apologize…”- I wasn’t able to delete it myself.)

  3. Ahh Ellie we have a thing or two in common when it comes to Disney rides!! 🙂 I’m with ya on pretty much all of these…. I am glad your rode Big Thunder MT. because it is one of my favorites: no drops, no upside down, just speed which I AM ok with. My husband actually took a video of us on it once, he was in the front seat and I was right behind him…..evidently I scream like a girl lol. 🙂

    Good for you for trying MS: have also done the extreme version (twice actually). Been there, done that, it was cool, no need to ever do it again.

    As for EE: well I will admit that I *would* like to try this, but am not too sure about the whole backwards thing….We’ll see, we’ll see….

    Thanks for sharing. We ride-wimps have to stay together!

  4. Hiya!

    Great blog post! Got me thinking and there isn’t any ride in Disney that actually scares me…the thing that scares me the most is the lack of fear my 3 year old son has. On our last trip to Disneyland Paris (only last week) he was finally over 1.02m so finally convinced me to let him ride both Big Thunder Mountain and Star Tours…I had to draw the line at Tower of Terror though lol! Good luck with overcoming your fears, I know where you are coming from as ten years ago I’d never have ridden anything faster than Pirates 🙂

  5. Ride Wimps Unite!!

    Space Mountain? Umm … No. DS and I wisely went through the “chicken exit”. I saw the sign that mentioned “sudden drops” and was out of there. DH stayed on line and took the ride of his life. Based on DH’s description, I won’t be riding Space Mountain anytime soon. I’ll watch the grainy videos of the ride off of YouTube.

    Splash Mountain – Yep, I was terrified but put on a brave face for the sake of DD (then 9). It was that drop. I screamed and closed my eyes the whole way down. Thankfully, the drop lasted only a few seconds. Splash Mountain has wonderful theming, though.

    Big Thunder Mountain – Avoided this ride for a while but then learned it had no drops. That’s my problem … Heights and drops. It’s now one of my favorite rides in MK, though I always fear my head is going to be lobbed off.

    Dumbo – Too high and too spinny. Seriously, never again.

    Astro Orbiter – No way, no day.

    Goofy’s Barnstormer – I didn’t like it.

    The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – I’ll skip it. Looks like Dumbo.

    Soarin’ – Only if I’m in the third/back row. You “feel” the height on this ride more that you “see” it.

    Mission Space – I’ve heard all kinds of awful, stomach-churning things. Maybe someday.

    Test Track – Doesn’t look too bad. No drops that I can see.

    Expedition Everest – This is just one big no. Dropping and going backwards … No.

    Primeval Whirl – Not too bad, but there are a few drops. I’d go on it again … If I really had to.

    RNRC – No. No for now. If there was a Perry Como Coaster I could be persuaded. Easy listening, easy ride.

    ToT – HUGE “Twilight Zone” fan and buff that I am, many are surprised that I don’t live on this ride when I go to HS. You go up and you drop … again and again and again. No. I’ll just YouTube it.

  6. My very first ride ever at a Disney Park was Tower of Terror. Scared the stuffing out of me…but I loved it just the same.

    Actually felt motion sickness in a Mad Tea Party tea cup on our last visit. Got a little carried away on the spinning.

    Ellie– did you ever ride the Star Tours flight simulator? If so, how’d it go for you?

  7. I love roller coasters and usually don’t mind many rides. I’ve ridden most of the ones you mentioned. However, when I did the Tower of Terror, I broke down into a panic attack and started sobbing before we took the plunge. I’m not sure I’ll ever get back on that ride again.