D is for Disney World #AtoZChallenge

Our family went to Disney World in the mid 1970’s. The 20+ hour car ride took two days with us four kids flying around in the back of the station wagon, not a seat belt to be used. Lap belts were there, weren’t they? Just not used…. ? Anyway, our favorite part of that drive was rolling around and playing in the back of the station wagon, far away from our parents (or so it seemed) and free. This is where we would put on shows for each other using small Disney toys that we had brought along. Back then those would be Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy.

Little did we know the magic that awaited us that first time. There was only the Magic Kingdom and that was more than enough for us! if Walt Disney was good at one thing, it was making Disney World a truly magical experience. It was on that first trip that I fell in love with Disney World and I knew that I would be bringing my future children back some day.

While most of my memories of that trip were happy, the one that stands out vividly in my mind is my introduction to Space Mountain- a space roller coaster. However, it is not memorable for the warm fuzzy feeling it gave me at the time. I wrote about that experience a few years ago-

https://katcarpita.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/fear-2/

My parents also “terrorized” us by making us go on the Haunted Mansion ride, which you probably know is NOT scary, and because some traditions must be passed down through the generations, my husband and I shared it with our own children and then CJ, our older grandson, when we went six years ago. The Hall of Presidents was one of my mom’s favorites and my dad was fond of the Carousel of Progress. We were all thoroughly enchanted by It’s a Small World, Winnie the Pooh and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Back then the characters wandered around the park and you never knew who you might find around the next corner. There were no lines waiting to take pictures. We just walked right up to them and said hi. Okay, I should probably re-phrase that. My siblings walked right up to them, well, my middle sister sort of dragged my little sister, and I hung back while my mother urged me to get up there. I’ll admit it was cool to see the characters- but from a distance. A very safe distance!

Since then I have returned to Disney World many times with my own family. Despite my vow to never ride on Space Mountain again, I did indeed ride it the last time we went. I was reminded of why I had sworn off the ride and renewed my “never again” vow again.

On a sad side note, we had originally planned a family Disney trip for June 2020, which did not happen. We had tentatively looked at June 2021, which will also not be happening thank you very much, Covid. We look hopefully toward 2022. On a positive note, 2020 would not have been a good year to go even without Covid so it was a blessing in disguise and little Beej will be an old man of seven when he gets to visit Disney World for the first time. Yay!

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge: D!

Hope your day is magical!

-Kat

Space Mountain

When I was twelve years old, my family went on vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. At that time, Disney World consisted of the Magic Kingdom and the resorts. It was just as magical then as it is now, even though it was much smaller.

I will never forget my first ride on Space Mountain. It is an indoor space-themed roller coaster, lasting two and a half minutes. (It felt like much longer!) It was my first roller coaster and at that time I didn’t even realize that it was a roller coaster. Something tells me I probably wouldn’t have been so eager to ride it if I had known.

My little sister was my companion for the ride. I don’t remember much except for screaming. A lot of screaming. I’m not sure if it was me or my sister or both of us or neither of us. The entire ride took place in darkness and we were unable to see the track and whether it was headed up or down or twisting or turning. At times lights raced toward us out of nowhere. The entire experience was more intense than anything I had ever experienced in my life. I can’t remember ever being that afraid.

By the time we had run the course and taken the ride of our lives, I was breathless and my sister was crying. I couldn’t scramble out of the car fast enough. My sister, on the other hand, refused to leave until the Disney worker said, “You need to get out, little girl, or else you’ll have to go for another ride!” This was all the motivation my sister needed to high tail it out of there.

I swore that if I returned I would never go on that ride again.

I kept my oath for nearly forty years. My kids went on it without me. And then I’m not sure what changed but I decided to give the ride one more try. Within seconds I realized that I had made a mistake. As I was jerked this way and that way, forward and back, I held tight to the car with my eyes squeezed close as tight as I could while I listened to the screams of everyone around me. There was no way this ride was under three minutes long.

By the time I exited the ride on wobbly legs, feeling as if I had just been shaken up and dumped on the sidewalk, I swore I would NEVER EVER EVER go on that ride again NO MATTER WHAT! And this time, nothing is going to change my mind. Not forty years to forget how much it freaked me out or the pleading eyes of an adorable grandchild!!

Day 6 of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge at Live, Love, Simple┬áprompts “what you are afraid of.”

Hope your weekend is sunny and cheery!

-Kat