This is it. The last tale in the Theme Park Chronicles. Not that I have been calling it that this entire time, I just thought it sounded pretty intense for the last bit. Chronicles is such a meaty word, don’t you think? Pretty epic.
But that is so not the point of anything right now. Moving on…
The Tower of Terror. Yes, this was an interesting ride for many reasons; reasons that made it most entertaining for me, I think. Let me tell you why:
Danny, boyfriend of Lila, who is sister to Rupee, who invited me. Make sense? Cool. Danny and the Tower of Terror have a long and twisted past. But, before we get to that, let me set the scene.
Inside a Disney theme park. Where? Just outside of the Tower of Terror. At dusk. The sun is setting, and the sky is a collage of pinks, purples, and blues. Every now and then a small cloud might pass by, but it is nothing like the permanently drudging overcast that is Michigan’s sky, so we will forgive said cloud.
There is a perfect view of the Tower and the night is still, so the lights from its flickering sign can be seen for quite some distance. The screams from its occupants overpower almost all of the rides in the surrounding acre of the park.
[Sudden change of tense because I took a 45 minute Netflix break]
So, there we were, standing–well, no, Lila was sitting because she hurt her back–and we had a choice to make. To go, or not to go.
I’ve probably told you this before, but I love amusement rides. As far as roller coasters are concerned: the bigger the better. I love stuff like that. Just FYI. This comes up later in the story. Kind of. Basically, this is me telling you that I was the only one super excited to go on the ride. The other two were intent on going, but doing it a bit more… hmm… begrudgingly? Reluctantly? You get the picture.
Back to Danny. You see, when Danny was a little dude, his cousin… or was it uncle… both? Probably both. Anyway, his family decided to take him on the Tower of Terror without actually explaining to him what this ride was. So, there he was, little Danny of exactly 10-ish years of age (clearly my storytelling abilities have just flourished during my break from blogging!) scared out of his mind as he plummeted to his death atop the Tower of Terror. Or so he thought.
Because of this, the Tower of Terror had always haunted his memories.
We (mostly he) decided that we had to put an end to that.
So we went on the ride; Danny, Rupee, and I. Lila stayed behind because she was unsure if the sudden, jerking motions would hurt her back. She waited outside of the gate for us, and she was almost positive she could hear Danny screaming. Or was it Rupee? (I don’t know. I was laughing too hard.)
And so it began, our trek to the top of the tower. We had gotten Fast Passes which meant we could cut in line, since Danny had already planned (for quite some time before we actually got to Disney) to conquer his fear–to battle the tower–face to face for the first time in fifteen years.
It was going to be epic.
But first we had to get there.
Problem: They have this thing that they do at Disney, which is to REALLY get into the theme of whatever ride they are constructing. This, if you ask me, is totally cool… except when the ride is super dark, and the queue line is super dark, and you and your friends have bad vision to begin with. Then you just run into everything and wind up with bruises.
But, I mean, (cough) of course that didn’t happen to us, so it’s fine.
Now, for those of you who have never been to Disney World, or perhaps haven’t had a chance to go on the Tower of Terror ride for any variety of reasons, let me first tell you that the actual dropping portion of the ride doesn’t occur until the very end of everything. First you are shuffled into a dark room where they play a Twilight Zone episode about the Tower of Terror, where people in an elevator get struck by lightning and turn to ghosts. This is in a dark room. Then they move you into a queue to wait for the actual ride. Also in a dark room. Then you get on the ride. Guess what? Dark room.
Now add to this the problem that both Danny and Rupee wear glasses, so these had to be stowed away in my jacket pockets. So I am the only one who can really see.
Now add panic.
Because, at this point, that is exactly what Danny and Rupee are doing. Panicking and regretting their life decisions. As is a random Frenchman down in the first row who keeps cursing in French. I took French in middle school, high school, and college. Frankly, I’m not that great at French, but I know a curse word when I hear one. It was hilarious.
Sorry that I laughed at you when you were clearly regretting your life decisions, strange Frenchman. My bad.
The next part of the ride sends you down a horizontal track (as you near the dropping point), and during this ride they show you a bunch of random, strange, black and white videos that are meant to freak you out even more. Along the same Twilight Zone theme, I think. I didn’t really get it. I love scary things, but this was mostly just weird. Probably because the ride itself has been around for a while, so it was probably really freaky when it first started.
The worst part about all of this is that, unless you’ve ridden before (and recently), which none of us had, you never knew when you are going to drop.
Basically, between Danny stealing all of the armrests as he attempted to conceal his detriment (which he didn’t do very well since he screamed at almost everything; even the parts that weren’t scary) and Rupee’s constant shouting for a play-by-play of what was happening, since she wasn’t wearing her glasses, by the time we reached the “dropping chamber,” neither one of them had any energy left to be afraid, so it was pretty smooth sailing after that. (Do you like how this paragraph is all one sentence? Your welcome.)
In the end, it was decided (by Danny and Rupee) that the ride itself wasn’t that scary; it was all of the thinking-too-hard-about-it beforehand that really did them in. I thought the whole thing was rather amusing, frankly. Especially the French guy down in front, though he clearly didn’t think so.
Honestly, I think we would have gone on it again if the line wasn’t so long.
But, yeah, Danny overcame his fears and redeemed himself. Rupee found out that the Tower of Terror really wasn’t as bad as she thought it was going to be. And I laughed at everyone.
I think it was time well spent.
P.S. A bunch of other stories occurred to me while I was writing this, so there may be more theme park posts in the future. They just won’t be in order, so I guess it will be a surprise! Woot woot!
P.P.S. Sorry that this post tends to shift in and out of past and present tense–even in places it shouldn’t. These are the consequences of procrastination and getting distracted by Netflix. Don’t do it kids! DON’T GO INTO THE LIGHT.
Okay, time for homework. Whoops!