Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I was a very cautious child. After a traumatic incident at a very young age involving an old
wooden roller coaster and my gung-ho Father, I would not ride a roller coaster
until I was fourteen. During our yearly
trips to the beach, my five cousins and brother spent the day at the waterslide
having a ball while I sat at the concrete picnic tables, occasionally taking a
splash in the wading-pool, too scared to even attempt a cruise on the
plastic-coated foam mat until I was well into my teens. I am now a roller-coaster junkie and enjoy a
thrilling waterslide when the opportunity presents itself. I guess becoming an adult released my inner
daredevil. Granted, you will never catch
me on a plane strapped to a parachute, or clad in a wetsuit, jumping into shark-infested
waters, but I will happily jump on a roller coaster that simulates
G-force.  I’m not sure when I conquered my fears but I did. I think it must have been the result of
peer-pressure because all of my courage seemed to appear in my teens.

My son is definitely my
child. He is easily frightened by loud
noises and darkness. He does not enjoy
thrill rides at all and absolutely refuses to do anything that might have the
end result of getting him even the slightest bit wet. My husband and I were pretty nervous about taking him to Disney
World. Would he be willing to ride
anything? Would we be forced to ride
the monorail and “It’s a Small World” over and over again? If so, how could we possibly justify the
$750 we spent on park tickets alone?

We braced ourselves for his debilitating fears as we walked
into the park the first morning. We
decided to start with the slow, easy rides and gradually work our way up. This strategy turned out to be a success. My son rode every ride he possibly could at
his limited height. He rode “Pirates of
the Caribbean,” “Snow White’s Scary Adventures” (a surprisingly dark ride) and “The Haunted Mansion” without even
flinching. The only ride that he even
had an issue with was the kiddy roller coaster in the Magic Kingdom. It went too fast for him and he asked that
we not ride it again. This was not a
problem for me as there was a relatively long line for such a short ride and it
gave me whiplash from all of the jerking and bumps.

My son surprised us all with his bravery and willingness to
try just about anything (as long as it did not get him wet). I guess he is not so much like me after all.
If my parents had taken me to Disney World at age four, I'm pretty sure that they would have spent a great deal of time in the line for the Dumbo


  1. I am not sure where Maggie's wild side came from when it comes to daredevil adventure rides. She STILL talks about Dollywood on at least a weekly basis and constantly asks when we will return there so that she can ride the roller coasters again.
    Her nemesis though, is water. As much as she likes the fast-moving part of waterslides, she dreads the end if there will be a splash involved that will result in her face getting wet.

  2. I remeber when my parents took me to Disneyworld. They had a rule that we had to go on every ride at least once. On our way to Mr. Toads Wild ride I was kicking and screaming because it was too scarry. Never mind the fact I was 14 years old!!! I vowed right there and then to never make my daughter do that. If all we do is the Dumbo ride, bring on the barf bags.

  3. Katherine did great with the thrill rides at Disney. Her favorite ride was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. In fact she even rode Tower of Terror. Afterward, she said she was glad she tried it, but would never do it again! But what she did NOT like were the 3D movies. I think it just creeped her out or something. She refused to wear her glasses. How funny that she would ride a rollercoaster over and over, but wimped out when it came to a 3D movie.