When I last left you, my family was racing from Ft. Wilderness to the Magic Kingdom for a day of rides, shows, and way too much junk food. We were now standing behind the rope waiting ever so impatiently for it to drop. “Stay together,” Mom would order, “and don’t run.” However, she knew the minute that rope showed the least bit of slack we would be off faster than Kirstie Alley to a bag of Doritos, and probably wouldn’t be seen again until the money in our pockets ran out. So there we were, waiting in anticipation.
Then there it was, the famous spiel that instructed the CM’s to “drop the rope”, and before I knew it we were off. Back then the big draw was Space Mountain, and that’s where everyone headed. I, being the youngest, found it hard to keep up and I had to consistently yell to my siblings to wait up. Not wanting to wait in line for more than 30 seconds, my oldest brother would throw me on his back and off we would run.
Upon reaching the megalith known as Space Mountain I was instructed to sit on this bench and not move, as I was much to short to ride, (Mom never knew this ride had a height requirement, or maybe she thought that someone would watch while the others rode, not bloody likely). So off they would all go to have fun zooming and zipping across the cosmos. However, in my best “Screw this” mentality I have adopted through my lifetime I would take off on the WEDWay Peoplemover for my own journey through Space Mountain. The WEDWay, known for its short lines was always a fun ride for me, as it was this elevated taxi through Tomorrowland. I would look at all the rides and mentally make a “Ride it”, or “Don’t ride it” list. I always figured nothing was going to happen to me, after all I was 6 years old and at Disney World. I’d come back to my assigned bench and of course there were my siblings half pissed I took off, and half relieved they weren’t going to have to go back to Mom and Dad sans 1 child. I’d usually get a punch in the arm as brothers do and off we would go about the rest of the park.
After they would ride their big thrill ride, then it would be my turn to hit the fun rides. I generally loved every ride except 1: The Haunted Mansion. It would scare the bejesus outta me, and I wanted no part of it. Funny, because today it’s one my top 3 favorite attractions. Anyways, the rides I had to hit were 20k, Mr. Toad, the Star Jets, the Jungle Cruise, and Pirates.
I really enjoyed Mr. Toad, because it’s a ride the whole family would ride. I usually would ride in the front seat with my Mom. She would always be overly enthused at my ability to a) drive a car b) seem to narrowly miss all the characters. Funny thing about Toad was that in the last scene, you know, when you go to Hell, I never realized you die until I was older.
The other fun ride for the family was 20k. I actually thought you were completely submersed and visited all of the locations portrayed in the ride. My siblings helped with the freakiness of it by asking, “Hey, is that a leak in my glass?” or “Too bad you can’t swim”. I always loved the lost city of Atlantis scene. I don’t know why, just always have.
Around noon we’d all gather on Main St. for what Mom called “Hot dogs on main”, and then in the blink of any eye gone in a flash. I’d usually be tired by then so Mom and I would hop on the train and ride it for an hour or so while I napped. My rejuvination would hit and I’d be ready to go for some more excitement.
Adventureland was always a good place to run around, and for whatever reason it always seemed like it was separated from the rest of the park. I think my whole family loved Pirates of the Caribbean, I especially love the queue. Talk about a well themed queue; it had skeletons, and cannons, and overall just this mystique of a Caribbean themed fort. Has anyone else ever thought that Pirates had a certain smell? Hard to classify what it was, maybe some kind of crisp, damp odor? I dunno, but when go to Pirates I always smell it.
The other fantastic rides in Adventureland were the Tiki Birds and the Jungle Cruise attractions. I hated the Tiki Bird show, but loved the music, and so the rest of the day I’d sing “In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room, in the Tiki…..” much to the annoyance of my brothers and sister. The Jungle Cruise was fun as I loved going into the Vietnamese temple, it had this eerie music that was so spooky. I never really got the jokes, but played along anyways.
We also enjoyed the Dole Pineapple Whip, I mean who hasn’t. That still is one of my favorite stops in Adventureland, although A-Land just doesn’t have the same feeling since they added in that God awful Aladdin attraction.
The day would end with us watching the fireworks. I remember one time my sister jumping into my Disney stroller (remember the light blue ones that were more shopping carts than strollers) and getting stuck because she was too tall. So my brother grabbed her and rolled her all around Main St. with her screaming bloody murder. After the fireworks we would take the boat back to Ft. Wilderness with me usually falling asleep.
(End of Part II – Look for Part III “Epcot” soon)