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How I Lost $1,000 at Disney World

November 19, 2010

I have the equilibrium of a cat without whiskers. Go ahead—find a cat and cut off his whiskers to see what happens.* Actually, it’s not that bad, but I do get motion sickness, and therefore avoid activities that involve lots of whipping around curves, plunging great depths, spinning in circles, and turning me upside down. Which means I don’t do roller coasters. This avoidance of roller coasters is also because I don’t like the feeling of almost dying.

For the most part, this behavior does not affect my everyday life. It’s not often that you’re encountered with the choice of going on a roller coaster. But the problem would arise each time my family went to Disney World on vacation. You see, we are a Disney World family. Some families bond over their love of a sports team, or through stories of the crazy shenanigans of family members—but we bond over a shared love for the Happiest Place on Earth. We went five (maybe six?) times growing up for a several days at a time.

The first time we went I was in elementary school, and I successfully avoided going on any terrifying roller coasters. But my father had other ideas and informed me that the next time we visited Disney World, I would be forced to go on Splash Mountain. That’s the deal: If I want to come back, I have to go on Splash Mountain. Apparently roller coasters are character builders for pansy middle school girls.

Roller coaster aficionados in the audience are probably laughing at the idea of Splash Mountain being anything close to scary. But for a kid who does not want her obituary to read death-by-vomiting, or death-by-flying-out-of-a-log-ride, it can be scary.

Two summers later we’re back at Disney World and in Magic Kingdom, home of Splash Mountain. We move through the different sections of the park, getting ever-closer to my doom. Even the happy music and friendly fictional characters can’t squelch the feeling of doom rising in my stomach. The mountain comes into view and the nervous jitters begin. I could meet my maker today. Or at least get really wet from the splashing water. We wait in line, board the log ride, and we’re off.

And that’s when I realize something. This is the most mild-mannered roller coaster in the world of roller coasters. It’s basically like watching a movie and going up and down hills every once in a while. It’s pretty! There are fall leaves everywhere and animatronic rabbits and happy music! And just as I’ve been lulled into a false sense of security–the waterfall comes. Here’s photographic evidence of my terror. I’m the one in the top right, in case it’s not obvious:


Here’s another version with a helpful guide to show you the level of terror in each family member:


After this foray into roller coasters, my dad never made me go on another one. I had earned the right to avoid them. However, he didn’t stop trying. The next year he offered me $1,000 to go on Space Mountain. You know what’s worse than getting motion sickness and vomiting? Getting motion sickness and vomiting in the dark. No thanks. Despite his continued offers of monetary compensation, I never went on Space Mountain. According to him, he only offered because he knew I’d refuse. I interpret that to mean he knew I’m the kind of person who stands up for what I believe in and never backs down, even when money is involved.

Although some people may call this stubborness.

*Don’t actually do this—the cat will be unable to walk without falling if you cut their whiskers. Stop trying to torture innocent animals, you Philistine.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Your Mama permalink
    November 19, 2010 11:52 pm

    I think you should go on the Tower of Terror. NOT!

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