Link to the previous day...
Somehow, wifey and I got some sleep, probably because of exhaustion. I think the wake-up call actually woke us up! We’re up, lightly fed, dressed, on the balcony to wave to the animals, and out the door in pretty good time. Today is Hollywood Studios day, and another surprise is awaiting the boys – Star Wars Weekend! I would put Eric up against most adults when it comes to Star Wars trivia (yeah, the 5-year old is THAT obsessed with it). Sufficed to say, I’m looking forward to the boys’ reactions to all that’s going on. It’s going to be another sweltering day, but we have hopes of getting the boys on TOT for the first time as well as getting Aaron upside down on RNR for the first time.
Yeah, I’m stoked.
The bus takes a bit longer than we are accustomed to; granted, it was still only about 10 minutes, but we’ve been pretty much spoiled with the “walk-up-and-the-bus-arrives” wait we’ve had. There are a few on the bus with us, but not as many as I anticipated. I want to make sure we get there early so we can see the Stormtrooper spiel at the turnstiles.
The bus arrives, and the crowd doesn’t seem too bad where we are; the queuing line for the Fastpasses for actor meetups is huge, though.
Good…they’re over there and not over here.
Sheri eyes a turnstile that appears to be open with (relatively) few people in it, so we head to that line. We’re somewhat under the overhang, but we can still see the patrolling trooper.
We get through the turnstiles in record time, and I take a minute to look around (this is a park that I haven’t taken a ton of time to explore…sorry Matt). As I look towards Sid Cahuenga’s, immediately recognize a face and start walking towards the cast member. Sheri is wondering what the heck’s up. I just turn to her and say “Muchoney”.
I may as well have said “akxcbouarnxgfyeet” to her, because that word means nothing.
I walk up and simply say, “You’re Justin Muchoney!”
I think that, had he had pepper spray, he would have pulled it out at this moment.
I introduce myself and explain that I’ve heard him on several podcasts/vicasts as well as being a Twitter follower/FB friend. He puts the pepper spray away as the CM next to him (currently holding a large video camera that you’d typically see with a local news company use for a live feed) starts recording Aaron and Eric. I introduce him to Sheri, who’s still bewildered and wondering if she should know this guy. I explain Justin’s role as “Chief Magic Official” and his appearances on several of the podcasts that I listen to. The camera-toting CM explained that he was filming the boys for a promotion for the American Idol – The Experience attraction. We talk for a brief minute before saying good-bye and heading up to the rope for the opening. We’re actually fairly close to the rope, which means one thing:
We’re going to get trampled by the runners on our way to Toy Story.
We’ve got about a 15 minute wait near the hat…then the CMs run to the side for their lives as the crowd screams toward Toy Story. We maintain a walk and are in the queue line for the attraction in mere minutes. To ensure a calm and organized flow of traffic, they have the Green Army Men out there directing.
We get inside.
…say hi to Potato Head & get the 3D pic...
...and prepare for battle!
As we spin around in between games, we shout out our scores to each other…well, actually, I shouted my score to Sheri, who replied with some sort of raspberry/growl sound, which I assume meant that her score was lower…much lower than mine. We head out of the attraction and notice that line for the Fastpass machines is longer than our queue was to get in. I look at the watch and notice that it’s 9:20 – and THAT is why you get to the park before rope drop!! We’ve got the most-popular attraction in, and it’s only 9:20. Those coming in to the park now and going straight to TSMM will likely have around an hour wait.
Feeling pretty proud of myself for taking The Unofficial Guide’s advice 5 years ago, we stroll over towards Sunset Boulevard for our first attempt at the Tower of Terror (or the “Tower of Tara”, as Eric calls it). The boys are excited….I’m excited…Sheri’s already green, and we’re not even in the building yet.
Then we enter the building.
The boys are nervous…I’m still excited…Sheri’s different shades of green.
We go through the video spiel and start to make our way down to the boiler room.
The boys are scared…I’m still excited…Sheri’s singing Kermit’s theme song (It’s Not Easy Being Green)
Before the loading area, Eric decides he’s not riding. You should have seen the look of relief on Sheri’s face as she grabbed him and ran to the chicken exit. That leaves me and Aaron. Before Sheri is completely free from the grasps of this attraction, I ask Aaron if he wants to ride it. I get a (quiet) “yes”, so he stays with me as we load. We get put into the middle row on the right, and I quadruple check Aaron’s lap belt to make sure it’s on. I can tell he’s nervous, but I talk him through the build-up to the drop sequence as the elevator makes its stops and its movements around. Finally, we’re in the darkness just before the first drop. Aaron is silent.
The first drop begins.
I hear this blood-curdling scream coming from a girl that is seated where Aaron was at just a moment ago.
Then I realize it’s Aaron.
We pop back up to the top with the daylight allowing me to see Aaron, and the look of absolute terror on his face has me struggling not to bust out laughing. We finish the first drop and ascent, so he knows what the drops feel like…perhaps he’ll be better now.
We drop back down, and almost wondering if I’ll have to catch Aaron when he falls over after passing out from the experience. I keep trying to let him know that it’s all right throughout the random drops, but he’s too freaked out about having his butt leave the seat. I keep reassuring him that he’s safe and that there are probably only a couple of more to go. We get to the top and pause there for a brief second…then do the jolt…jolt…jolt before heading down again. I’m absolutely loving it, but Aaron continues practicing for his eventual role in a slasher film where he gets chased through the house with a guy in a mask holding a chain saw (yes, that’s almost exactly what he looked like!). I think we’re done with the attraction and let Aaron know that he did i….UUUUUUUUPPPPP we go again. Now I’m feeling bad for him.
Finally we’re back down and heading toward the exit. As expected, Aaron is breathing heavy. I ask him how it was. “It was SCAAAAAAARRRYYY!!!!!”.
“Did you like it?”
Moment of truth…
“Wanna ride it again?”
Guess that answers that question.
I wonder if perhaps I should have done RNR first, because I’m a bit worried that he’ll be too freaked now after riding TOT.