Early the next day my family and I walk on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom along side with the hundreds of people also crowding the street. It's humid and the sky looks like it's about to pour any minute.
"Good thing we have our Disney ponchos!" My mom says looking up at the sky.
"Yay!" I say unenthusiastically. We take a loop around Tomorrowland and ride Eric's favorite attraction, Space Mountain and then go on Buzz Lightyear's Ranger Spin.
"Let's go on Stitch's Great Escape." I suggest after we get off the attraction. I haven't been on that ride since before Eric was born because mom usually says it's too "scary" for a child of his age. But this time it is different because I practically beg her to let us ride. I've already mentioned how much I hate the Carousel of Progress, and I that if we don't ride Stitch we'll without a doubt ride The Carousel, and I'd do anything to get past riding that thing.
"I just don't want another 'tower' accident again." My mom says biting her lip.
"He'll be okay." My dad assures my mother. "Let's give it a shot."
"Okay," My mom says innocently.
"Yes." I say satisfied.
We make a beeline for the attraction and wait for the preshow to start. The TVs turns on as the Grand Councilwoman from Lilo and Stitch says "Welcome recruits to the Galactic Federation Prison Teleport Center," and goes on and on for what seems like forever about practically nothing. We finally board the ride after being taught the basic procedures of "guard duty" and the classification of "prisoner hazard levels". We walk into a circular room and sit down in one of the seats when restraints lower down over our shoulders. The lights go out and I can hear my brother hyperventilating to the left. He's afraid of the dark, and of course his Mickey Mouse nightlight preserves his fear even longer- thank you very much Mr. Mouse.
So to sum up the ride, Stitch shows up, breaks loose, and goes all evil on us "recruits". He spits at us ~which I find totally disgusting~, burps ~ew~, and jumps on our restraints which hurt my shoulders. As we load off the ride I find my brother crying and holding hand in hand with my mother. As we walk in the gift shop at the end of the ride my mother turns to me.
"I told you that ride was too scary for him." She hisses.
"I blame Mickey." I dismiss.
"So do I." She says eying me.
I gulp and look ahead, ignoring the aisles of Stitch merchandise, and realize it's raining.
"Poncho time!" My mom yells out grabbing four identical clear ponchos out of her purse. Don't worry; it is also branded with a Walt Disney World logo in the middle. It takes my family at least ten minutes to get each poncho on correctly and when we're all good to go we walk outside and I stand with my hands on my hips.
"Where to?" I ask. It's lunchtime, so we should be heading to Chrystal Palace right about now; but you never know since my mom plans everything at certain times and places. I look at my hand and realize it's dry. We took ten minutes to put these stupid ponchos on, only to go out in 30 seconds of rain. I grunt and throw the hot plastic off of me.
My mom looks disapprovingly at me and says "Our reservation isn't until 12:30, and it's only 11:40, so I say we ride The Carousel of Progress and then head over for lunch."
"Nooooooo!" I scream. I grab grabbing my mom's arm and get on my knees. I must look like a fool, but I HATE this ride. "You know how much I dislike that ride mom, please don't make me go on it!"
My dad and mom exchange looks.
"I've gone on this attraction once, maybe even twice, every time I come to this dreadful place, please just let me sit out!" I cry.
With no prevail my mom says, "I'm sorry, honey, but this is a family vacation and you have to go." Ugh against my will I follow them to the attraction that never has any line and walk on; taking a seat far away from the rest of my family
As the show starts it begins with a young man and his family discussing how "It only takes five hours to do the wash" They act like this is some huge accomplishment. Sheesh, I wonder what they'd think now, that we get it done in 45 minutes.
As the ride progressives, we move on from scene to scene, and the cue is always the plugging of my ears with my fingers, to attempt to block out the annoyingly cheerful song that plays. No matter how hard I try I can still hear it ringing "It's a great big beautiful tomorrow." Ahhhh. These people can't even sing, and the worst part is that I have to hear it for what seems like an eternity. "Shining at the end of every day." It continues. The audience watches as the young family from the 1900's grow old with the new inventions of the 20th century. The turning theater makes me nauseous, it also smells of wet carpet, and to top it off the animatronics kind of scare me. Oh gosh I hate this ride. And I can't say I'm complaining when we reach the last scene. The young man, is now a grandpa. Rover has to be the oldest dog to ever live, and I say that that's just wrong. It's leading children to hopeless dreams, because everyone will be expecting their dogs to live as long as Rover did, and when it dies at age 5 they're going to blame Disney for lying. That's what I think.
"It's a great big beautiful tomorrow" They sing. Finally! The scene is almost over, and I'm just about ready to cry tears of joy when I realize we're not moving to the exit. We're remaining still in the theater, but the animatronics continue to sing and finally start over talking about the holiday and turkey again. This is ridiculous! We're trapped in the Carousel of Progress. I'm going to literally cry. How many times must a guy ruin a turkey before he gets it right! Before I start hyperventilating, to remain calm, I picture myself going up on stage and ripping the animatronics' arms off. I would never actually do this on account of my mom grounding me until the end of forever for getting us kicked out of Disney World for life. Not that I would mind that though.
"Folks please remain seated, we are currently working on a problem" the speakers shout. I'd say! This is a huge problem. I have to sit in this here in this theater and listen to the lunatic animatronics replay a scene SIX times before they finally fix the ride.
"YES!" I scream as we exit the building. "The light of day!"
My mom rolls her eyes and looks at her phone. "It's 12:30 right now." She says. "If we run for it we might still make our reservations."
"What are we doing here?" My brother says. He starts running toward The Chrystal Palace and my family and I have to run to catch up. When we reach the restaurant Winnie the Pooh and Tigger are already greeting the guests and lunch is being served buffet style. My mother and I walk up to the front desk and she tells them about her reservation.
"I'm sorry but you're late." The woman says.
I look at my phone. "It's only 10 minutes after our reservation time." I snap.
"10 minutes too late." She snaps back. "You'll either have to wait like everyone else or eat elsewhere." I gasp. Is she for real?
My mom just sighs and walks to the door. Are you kidding me? I can't believe she's not sticking up for us! I huff and stick out my tongue at the woman at the counter.
"Let's go to the quick service restaurant by it's a small world." She says. After our cruddy lunch my brother manages to convince me to ride Prince Charming Regal Carousel behind the castle. What is it with me and carousels that I hate them so much? After waiting through a long ride of crowded, sweaty people, my brother and I mount onto horses and the carousel starts spinning. I quickly become nauseas as we go around and around and around. Either I'm about to faint or this ride is going faster than usual. It's seems like forever before we get off. Evidently the ride's operator was having some kind of malfunction with the controls and couldn't stop the ride.
"What is it with all the rides today?" I ask more to myself than to my family when we reach them. My mom shrugs and my dad says that even Disney has its problems. Really, dad? I didn't notice.
A few rides later it's a small world has little to no wait time so we get in line. I've had enough with begging my parents today so I slump my shoulders over and follow. We get in a boat with just our family and I bury my head in my hands. The sign above me reads "The happiest cruise that ever sailed", as if.
"It's a world of laughter, a world of fear." The dolls sing. They're so creepy with their plastered grins and moving legs. Has anyone else ever read The Kingdom Keepers? A dolls bites someone.
The ride maintains its insanity all throughout our journey across the world. In the last scene, however, I see something unusual. The ride starts to back up, and we come to a complete stop. The music seems to drown out the peoples' voices from in front and behind me. "it's a small world after all" the doll in front of me sings. But it's outfit is nothing like the rest. Most of the dolls wear white, but this one wears a girls clothes and an outfit with a mickey hat resting on her long brown hair. Written in cursive it says "Aloha" Aloha? We're not in the Hawaiian room, and the hula girls are on the opposite side of the room. This is extremely weird. And since when did the dolls here where outfits that match the parks guests?
"It's a world of laughter, a world of fear" they sing. Then I hear it. " Mickey," they whisper. Repeatedly. "Mickey, Mickey, Mickey,"
Mickey? Do they mean me? No, that's too weird. I must be having another Disney overdose like last year; it's just my imagination.
I maintain my stare on the doll until the ride resumes to its normal speed. When we get off the ride I look bewildered at my parents. "That was strange." I say.
Dad says, "That wasn't strange, that ride always backs up."
That's true, but not what I'm talking about. "Did you guys see that doll with the Mickey Mouse hat on?" I ask.
"Mickey hat?" My mom asks. "No, I must have been looking at the other side, dear." I look at her strangely. My mom never just looks at one side. That doll was in the very front, just by our boat; there is no way she could have missed it.
"You saw it, didn't you Eric?" I ask my brother. He shrugs. He's no help at all.
"You're going crazy." He says.
"I blame Disney!" I yell, but on the inside I'm freaking out. What's up with all of the rides today? First the Carousel of Progress, than Prince Charming's Carousel, and if it weren't for it's a small world I would just assume it's spinning malfunctions. But no, something's going on. And what was with that doll? I'm going insane. That's it.
After dark we watch the Memories show in front of the castle, followed by the firework show, Wishes.
The fireworks seem so different tonight. Bigger, louder, brighter. A blue and gold firework goes off in front of me, bursting with color and popping so loud I plug my ears. They seem so close that I could almost touch them- which is crazy because I'm on the ground and they're in the sky. The fireworks block off any other noise around me. Soon I find myself backing away, tripping over something on the ground. A white firework burst into the sky, or at least I think it's the sky because if I didn't know better I would think it were coming towards me. But then it does; becoming brighter and brighter until I am forced to shut my eyes. The light engulfs me in itself making me feel a burst of wind that knocks me off my feet. When I open my eyes I'm no longer standing in front of the castle. I'm standing inside it.