Alright, so I complained last week about the Disney World attractions that were lacking in some way. I’ve decided to counter that by talking about my five favorite attractions in all of Walt Disney World. Get ready for nerdgasms…
5. Peter Pan’s Flight
You know what’s weird? I’m actually not crazy about this movie. Peter Pan is kind of a douche, Tinker Belle’s a ho, and then there’s that whole “What Makes the Red Man Red” issue…
But I love the ideas of the movie! I love the notion of flying off to a land where you stay a kid forever and battle pirates just for funsies. I love that all you need is “faith, trust, and pixie dust.” I love that there’s a sassy fairy who makes you fly!
And this is what Peter Pan’s Flight capitalizes on: the warm squishy parts of the movie that make you giggle like a three-year old. Though it uses primitive technological techniques (at least by Disney’s standards), I feel this ride most effectively captures the feeling of childish wonder and enchantment out of any ride in the parks. Who doesn’t want to fly to Neverland? And off we gooooo!
4. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith
My seventy-something grandfather thinks this ride is wimpy. This is not a criticism of the ride, I just wanted to take a moment and shame anyone who chickened out of going on this ride. Seriously, after the barrel roll it’s mostly just little hills. Man up.
I love Aerosmith. I love roller coasters. Put them together? You got one head bangin’ ride. But actually, when you’re on this ride keep your head back. I also recommend you get there early and ask to wait for the front row at least once. There will be no need for expensive cosmetic surgery, the take off will give you all the face lift you need. Plus the theming is so fun. Nothing gets the adrenaline pumping like a “really fast car” that happens to take you through the O in Hollywood!
3. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
If this ride doesn’t give you the creeps then there is something wrong with you. Like, actually. You are clearly devoid of self preservation and/or imagination and should probably get checked out.
This ride is the antithesis to Peter Pan’s Flight. No warm, bubbly feelings. Just the certainty that you are going to die on this elevator and spend eternity trapped in the Twilight Zone with Rod Serling and the giant eyeball. And instead of charming, old school animatronics, you have some of the most impressive show technology I’ve seen. Ghosts appear out of nowhere and hallways turn into night skies with shattering windows. My brother doesn’t like free fall rides, and even he loves this ride just for the effects alone.
Then comes the drop. Now you’re weightless and your stomach completely drops out of your body and you don’t know half the time if you’re going up or down until the window opens and you get a real quick glimpse of Everest and then you’re dropping again and it’s so fun!!!! (…I warned you there would be nerdgasms.)
Try riding at night sometime, it’s a cool view! Very brief, but cool.
2. Kilimanjaro Safaris
Thank God they dropped the whole “Big Red/Little Red” storyline. That was getting old. I really don’t need to be bummed out on my vacation. I can watch the news for that.
Did you know in the trial runs for this ride they actually showed you dead Big Red? Yeah. They actually made a animatronic dead elephant for the sole purpose of traumatizing children so that they, I don’t know, remembered to recycle or something. I don’t think the average customer of Disney World was really in danger of becoming a poacher. But I digress.
This ride is flippin’ amazing! You get to see actual giraffes and elephants and Thompson gazelles (or ‘Tommies’ as the Warden calls them) and hungry hungry hippos! I’ve always found zoos depressing, but there are no cages or cement floors here. It really feels like a natural environment. Maybe the animals disagree, but my psyche is satisfied by it and that’s all that matters.
What beats a real life version of Jungle Cruise?
1. Splash Mountain
Confession: I actually haven’t been on this ride since 2006. I always go in January when it’s under refurbishment! The price you pay for smaller crowds…
Anyway. This ride, to me, is the perfect balance of warm fuzzy and hyper adrenaline. I love it mostly for the drop at the end (I think it’s an even more satisfying drop than Tower of Terror’s), but every time I ride I completely forget it exists. I get so wrapped up in the songs, the characters, and the detailed storytelling. I’m just giggling and humming along until I get to those “Turn Back” signs. Everything turns cold, the music shifts, and then suddenly these strangely well dressed vultures start taunting me!
Oh yeah…I forgot about that whole “mountain” part of the ride. So you slowly chug up said mountain and the tension builds as you tip slowly over the crest and then weeeeeeeeee!!!!
And we sing zip-a-dee-doo-dah all day long. Amen.
What are your favorite rides?