Some friends were recently talking about visiting King’s Island and how they now spend their time hanging around the coffee shops and watering holes while their children and grandchildren take on The Beast or Diamondback. One mentioned that his daughter, now the mother of two, has reached that age where a cup of hot chocolate is the preferred activity over tossing up lunch after exiting The Drop.
I can understand all this since I’ve never been much of a fan of even mildly extreme amusement park rides. During the street carnival days of my youth I enjoyed the bench seat on the merry-go-round and questioned slightly whether any good could come from actually climbing onto the back of one of those wooden horses.
A major milestone was gathering up enough manhood to risk life itself on a Ferris Wheel. It wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated until my seat came to a stop at the very top of the wheel while they began to unload the lower seats at ground level. I’m pretty sure I didn’t enjoy the seat rocking back and forth while the wheel started and stopped.
Years later (1983) we took the kids to Florida’s Disney World and my daughters decided they were going to ride Space Mountain. I gave it a little consideration but saw a sign at the entrance stating that people with back problems (and other ailments) should think twice about going any farther. My back is one of those who does occasionally go out and being 1200 miles from home I decided I wouldn’t risk it.
After the girls had their fun we proceeded down the path to Frontier Land and came upon a ride called Big Thunder Mountain Train Ride. The same warning sign was at the entrance but this ride was constructed on a small hill giving the illusion that it couldn’t be too demanding. So, I made the executive decision to experience this one with my daughters.
We were ushered into a “roller coaster” car disguised as an open train car, and eased into a tunnel. Suddenly the earth fell out from under us and we were plunged into a rapidly descending mine shaft. Twisting, turning, being thrown from left to right this train load of tourists, with potential back problems and far from their homes, screamed and pleaded for God’s mercy. Personally, I may have set a new Guinness World Record for the longest uninterrupted voicing of the “F-Bomb” since the Phoenicians helped create our alphabet.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, those clever Mouseketeers at Uncle Walt’s had suckered me in by building a damned roller coaster upside down and buried deep enough in the ground to not be noticed.
Not to be made a fool of I immediately, after tossing up my previously consumed $4 chocolate covered, vanilla flavored, Micky Mouse shaped, ice cream bar, walked to the nearest gift shop and told the clerk in charge that because of this I was not going to buy that floppy eared ball cap with the bill formed to look like Goofy’s muzzle. I’m still waiting for an apology to arrive in the mail along with a couple of free guest tickets.