Saturday, April 10, 2010
Part 3 can be viewed HERE.
We bolt out the door quickly and realize that we have no idea where we're going. I look up and see the Haunted Mansion looming nearby. The smile starts to grow, and I look down at Aaron who, bless his heart, has the same smile and is looking at the same thing I am (it could have been gas, but I think he wanted to go on it too). I look at Sheri for her take on it.
Sheri looks at Aaron to gauge how much crap would be scared out of him if we were to ride it.
Aaron looks back and forth between Sheri and me for confirmation.
Eric looks at a leaf blowing by.
Aaron pleads with us to let him ride it, we agree to split up. I'll take Aaron into the Haunted Mansion, while Sheri takes Eric on it's a small world. Sounds like a good tradeoff to me! As they start to head towards Fantasyland, I look at Aaron and ask him if he's ready for HM.
He jumps up and down with a YESYESYESYESYES!!!!!!!
I guess he's ready.
This is one of those attractions that I have been looking forward to riding with the boys for a while now. We have a CD in the car that I drive that has the Grim Grinning Ghosts song on it, and I played it quite a bit before we went on vacation. Yes, we never told them that we were going to Disney World, but we gave them every clue imaginable. Aaron knows what to expect…somewhat.
He's really excited until we start to see grave stones, and the luster in his eyes start to fade a little. There's no wait, and we head directly into the holding room and hear the start of what he knows from the CD… "When hinges creak in door-less chambers…" His eyes light up for a moment until he realizes that the picture in front of him is in varying stages of decomposition.
I blame Sheri…she gave the go-ahead for him to ride.
He's a little hesitant to walk into the stretch room, and I point him towards the pic with the three guys standing on top of each other. I warn him that the lights would go out for just a second, and then we'd get to go on the ride.
"Daddy? This is kind of spooky."
Damn you for letting us on this attraction, wifey!!!
Aaron escapes from the stretch room at approximately Mach 3.5 and heads towards the loading dock for the doom buggies. I feel my phone vibrating in my pocket and realize that I have a new voice message. It was Mare, letting us know that they were on a Santa hunt over in Epcot and weren't going to be able to make it over to the Magic Kingdom that night…they'd try to see us there tomorrow morning, however.
I tell the now-traumatized Aaron that Renee won't be able to make it tonight but that we'd try to see them again before we left. He takes the news remarkably well…my guess is that he's more worried about the size of the spider that left all the cobwebs in the hallway than not seeing his friend.
We get in the buggy, and something just kind of snaps in Aaron…he's completely fine now – actually smiling as the ghost host lowers the bar for us. We get going, and I point out one or two of my favorite parts (the shadow playing the organ is one of my favorites). I keep kind of quiet to let him take it all in.
Then things start to get spooky.
Madame Leota develops laryngitis a couple of seconds after we enter her room. Then we get to the ballroom and there's no music. I'm getting a bit concerned about what's going on (are we going to get stuck?), while Aaron starts clapping and laughing at everything.
I should have anticipated this. Remember…this is the kid that was rooting for the dragon over at Fantasmic a few days ago.
Then it happened.
The doom buggy stopped just as it rotates and starts going backwards. We crawl to a complete stop by the caretaker. I look at Aaron, fully expecting a full-blown panic attack.
"Daddy, this isn't so scary!"
Good…he's not scared. Now if he would just let me lay back, close my eyes, and take a short nap. Don't bother me, bud.
"This ride is AWESOME Daddy!!!"
"uh huh" Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
"I LOVE THIS RIDE!!!!!!"
Charlie Brown's teacher gets on the intercom and says something. I think it was either something about remaining inside your doom buggies as it could restart at any moment or something about installing a slide that starts near a Monet. Aaron thinks being stuck inside HM is the coolest thing ever, and we spend the next several minutes looking and pointing out everything in the graveyard scene. The ride starts back up after something like 5-6 minutes, but with no audio the rest of the way, so Aaron couldn't hear Grim Grinning Ghosts.
We exit the ride and see the mass exodus emerging from the front as the ride goes 101 for an extended period of time. We head over to the gate for the Liberty Belle to wait for Sheri and Eric. While there, a CM who was cleaning up the area was doing everything he could to keep from getting run over from the hordes of people heading away from HM. He mentions that almost all of "North" is down, so something major happened (3 attractions in Fantasyland were down too). I could just imagine Sheri and Eric stuck in the middle of IASW, the music droning on endlessly, Sheri leaning over the edge of the boat chumming the water as a result of her motion sickness, and Eric (noticing that Mommy was hurling) escaping to go dancing with the dolls.
A few minutes later we see them heading our way. We meet up and start making our way to Tomorrowland for a ride on the TTA. On our way (and after passing about 6 souvenir carts), we finally cave into the incessant demands and buy the boys the Mickey light up toys. Aaron had been begging for one since Day 1 at Fantasmic…which occurred about 1.5 years ago.
HEY!!!! I'VE BEEN BUSY!!!
Immediately they start doing the Star Wars thing, but we keep it somewhat subdued so they don't slice off the arm of an unsuspecting bystander. We hit the bathroom over by Cosmic Rays and then hop on the TTA. I'm really glad that Debbie, Mark, and Mare dragged me on this attraction back in '05 because this one has quietly become a popular attraction for us. As we head around, the castle comes into view with the shimmering icicle lights blazing away. Sheri and I just look at each other and smile. It is the rare occasion that I am truly content with things, but this is one of those times. The weather is nice, it's quiet, everyone's happy, and I temporarily don't care about the multitude of things constantly running through my mind.
We are heading back home tomorrow, but it's tempered by the fact that, for the first time, we have a somewhat later flight and can go to a park before hopping on, as Sheri calls it, the "bad bus" (the Magical Express bus that takes you back to the airport). We decide to head out now before Spectromagic starts and the bus lines get really ugly. I always take a little longer to leave the Magic Kingdom the last night we're there to absorb the atmosphere. I take in the lights, the smells, the sounds…everything. We head out under the train station, and, as always, I take one last look behind me.
The trek to the Pop bus stop is taken at a leisurely stroll…so what if it's the farthest bus stop?! I always wonder why I'm not like this at the beginning of a vacation…why doesn't it happen until the last day??!!!
There's a line for the Pop…guessing about 10-15 minutes, but it's moving at a decent pace as busses arrive every couple of minutes. The boys are doing their best Skywalker/Vader impersonations with their light-up toys. "Daddy…I love the light saber!!!"
"It's not a light saber, Aaron."
Sheri: "Then what IS it?"
Me:……………………gives up It's a…ummmmmmmmm… toy...with...a...light...that.........looks...like...a...sword……….I…….guess….SCREW IT!!! IT'S A LIGHT SABER, OKAY!??????!!!?!!!!
We pass the time by talking with the folks in the line for the bus. In what seemed like no time, we are on the bus and back at the Pop. We wave at the dog's ass and head up to our room. After baths, books, and brute force, the boys fall asleep around 10 pm.