Dr. Dreiz’s Disney Delights


Dr. Dreiz’s Disney Delights #2

A day that will live in the infamy

Well I’m back for another exhilarating weekly edition of Dr. Dreiz’s Disney Delights.  I have so many things that I want to share but one topic keeps dominating my thoughts so I have to go with it.  Warning: this isn’t a story for the weak at heart.  It’s a terrifying tale of one man’s struggle vs. the elements and his worst fears.  Dramatic enough set up?  Good.

Let me preface this by saying I love Walt Disney World.  It’s my favorite place in the world and I’ve been 4 times in the last year and a half.  I have so many wonderful memories of my time there as a child and adult.  When I was a young Dreiz of say 6 years old I rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for the very first time and I LOVED it.  Going up the inside of the cave, then the steep incline to the top of the mountain where you can see the castle and the entire Magic Kingdom, then the thrills of speeding around and seeing all the scenery and coming in to the station with a screeching halt, departing a thrilled rider.  Little did 6 year old Dreiz know what awaited him on a rainy October day in 2011.  I rode BTMRR several times on all of  my Disney trips.  In March 2011 we stayed at the Contemporary and every single night at around 1130 pm Stacey and I would ride BTMRR then walk home.

Saturday October 8, 2011.  Our second day in WDW and it had been raining since Friday night around 7.  Wait let me rephrase, raining isn’t nearly good enough.  It was a monsoon.  I’ve never seen anything like this in Orlando.  One trip in June 2010 it poured for an hour then cleared up.  This was all day for 2 days straight.  Some of the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen.  It took 2 full days for my socks to dry hanging up. Alas, the monsoon is a tale for another day.  This tale begins that evening.

Stacey and I had been getting poured on since standing in line for morning extra magic hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 745am.  (by the way Kelly the Latte outside the gates is really good).  We had to buy umbrellas on top of our ponchos and finally around 5 pm we had enough and went back to the room.  We tried to wring our clothes out and showered and put on some fresh clothes.  Ahhh clean socks and shoes never felt so good.  We actually considered calling it a day.  The rain was actually somehow getting heavier.  Those thoughts went away when we pictured how empty the Magic Kingdom would be and so we went outside of the Animal Kingdom Lodge hotel and waited for our bus.

We arrived at the MK around 7 pm with a plan.  With fresh shoes, socks, and a renewed gusto we put our umbrellas up and went straight to BTMRR.  We were craving this ride and the rain was actually letting up a bit so it wouldn’t be so bad.  By the time we got there we were faced with no line and walked right up to the gate.  Here is where everything started going horribly wrong.

Stacey and I have been lucky enough to ride in the front car  probably ten times.  We have never ridden in the back but always heard how awesome it was so I asked if we could have a back car.  So we head to the very back with naïve excitement.  This was the ride we had been on a thousand times before.  We knew exactly how this was going to go.  Then something strange happens.  If you’ve ever see the Final Destination films then you know what I’m talking about.  The universe was trying to speak to me.  Something was about to go down.  They flagged a family to get in line for the two cars ahead of us.  Two ahead were the mom and little girl.  Then directly in front of us comes the father and the let’s say 6 year old boy…..but he isn’t coming peacefully.  He’s screaming.  Not a “nooo I don’t want to do the coaster” scream.  It was a “for the love of all things Holy I’m not getting on this death trap something is about to go horribly wrong”.  He literally was throwing vicious kicks at the turnstile with his face bright red and gasping for breath as he screamed in horror and tears rolled down his face.  He was flailing his arms at his father who was carrying him and I thought surely they aren’t going to let this kid go on the ride like this.

So we’re on our way up the mountain with a child screaming bloody murder as he is slowly losing his faith in his parents (he will take this out on them 10 years down the road when he’s a teen) and we get to the outside part…….and it’s pouring.  Really, really pouring.  Remember when I described this ride and talked about the steep incline to the top of the mountain where you can see the castle and the entire Magic Kingdom?  Well that used to be my favorite part of the ride.  So here we are at the top of the steepest part of the incline at the highest point of the mountain in the pouring down rain………and we stop.  Dead stop.  Then things went blank.

The rain mercilessly soaked me including my dry shoes, socks and also my bag with my cell phone in it. I started having memories of the few years as a child when I refused to ride roller coasters after seeing people get stuck on one.  This has always been an irrational fear of mine.  Hey some people are afraid of spiders, this is my arachnophobia.  Scared to death about being stuck on a ride with no idea how long you will be stuck.  I’m a big guy.  I workout every day and weigh 216 pounds. I’m very claustrophobic in tight spaces.   It’s a very tight fit for me in things like this and I was stuffed in this seat, at what felt like a 90 degree incline,  in the pouring down rain,   with a frantic child who now could validate to his parents why he was throwing that fit.  Also my wife is talking to me and I’m panicking so badly that I can’t even speak or I won’t be able to keep it together so she thinks I’m ignoring her.  Thankfully my only worse fear than being stuck on a roller coaster is heights.  They’d get this ride going and we’d just keep going right?

After about 20 minutes of hearing the speakers tell us to remain seated and someone was on the way someone actually showed up.  I remember her asking how we were.  I said pretty bad.  She then informed us that we were going to have to climb out of the cart and walk down these tiny little steps in the monsoon that was upon us and walk through the mountain.  Oh and photography was forbidden.  So of course they start at the front and we watch every single person get off the ride.  I stand up and I’m soaked and my shoes are slippery and I’m trembling with anxiety.  I remember thinking as I looked down at the tracks that this is how it was all going to end,  just like I always knew it would.  Miraculously I made it onto the stairs made for the 7 dwarfs and made my way down the mountain, single file line.

I’d love to tell you about how awesome the inside of the mountain is.  Not many people get to see it.  The truth is I don’t remember much.  I had my head down making sure my feet were moving one in front of the other and I was just trying to breathe.  We get to the bottom and a cast member smiling at us asks how we are doing.  I reply “bad”.  Now I’m as positive a person as it gets and a people person if there ever were one.  A college roommate used to call me Ned Flanders.  At this point though it was going to take a minute to regain my composure.  I had just faced certain doom in the eye and lived to tell the tale.  We caught a bus and went home in defeat.  It was still pouring.  My childhood nightmare had come true but I came out a better person for it.  I’m not sure how but I think I’m better.  Not sure in what way but I’m sure It’ll come to me.   They gave us a fast pass and guess what ride I didn’t use it on?  BTMRR.  I couldn’t ride it again and we were at the MK 3 more days.

So a little over a month has passed now and I’m still haunted by the screams of the child.  I should have listened to the universe.  Next time……..

Will I ever ride BTMRR again?  Yes of course I’d ride it this second if I could and pay a lot of money to do so.  What I will always have is this story.  That and the promise that this story will grow.  Grow to epic proportions.  By the time my child hears this story I will have vanquished a dragon from atop Cinderella Castle and saved the entire Magic Kingdom on October 8, 2011.  But for now you guys know the true horror of that day 🙂


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