Sunday, November 10, 2013

Expedition Everest (A closer look at one of the rides at the Animal Kingdom of Disney World)

The smell of fresh salty Florida air blows into my nose. Roller coasters go chugging past me. I am in my neon shorts and my even more neon shirt. If I were to stand against a neon colored wall, I would completely blend in. I hear children screaming in joy. The rattle of metal against wheels go through my head. I shout, “Whoa!” The lines themselves are as long as a mile and the roller coaster ride wait times are three hours. Just a month before my twelfth birthday, my parents took me to an unimaginable place. I am at Walt Disney World, the magic kingdom, the world of wonders.

I wait in line to check into the park. The workers at Disney World scan my room card, which is also my ticket. Then, they tell me to put my finger on a screen. The screen turns as blue as the sky and starts to spin at what seems like warp speed. Of course, fingerprint technology, my eyes spin around aimlessly as I try to follow the spinning. Then it stops and becomes green. A cool escapes my mouth as my jaw is dropped, I see the first roller coaster luring me in, wanting me to sit on its cushioned pads and scream my lungs out. I take the bait. Little did I realize that I would have a new found love of speedy scary roller coasters, and would love them for the rest of my life.

I see the roller coaster close up now. It looks like a minecart that has been carrying a heavy load all day long twenty-four/seven. The gray paint is peeling like a tree's bark. I wonder, “Is it safe?” I ponder a bit more and realize that all roller coasters are dangerous, even the kiddie ones that I used to think were super intense but now look like a merry-go-round. I get butterflies in my stomach. Can I ride this roller coaster? I am afraid of losing my urge to ride this roller coaster after waiting forever. My feet are so sore the pain is unexplainable. I guess this is what Atlas feels when he is carrying the Earth. The cart arrives and I have no more time to make a decision, and I hop in. My dad and I climb in the roller coaster. This trip is a once in a lifetime experience. Do not fail me now confidence. DO NOT let fear conquer me. The hissing of steam is already behind us. We are chugging up “Mount Everest” where Mr. Yeti lives. It terrifies me, yet I am still exhilarated. Finally, we reach the top. We spin in an ark and we reach a part where the tracks are all mangled. The cart is using its last breath to cling to the top of “Mount Everest”. My mind is racing, “Oh, NO! It’s broken!” Then, the roller coaster starts to go backwards. “AHHHHHHHHH!” I am sucked down into the dark abyss of where we came from. Darkness coldly welcomes me, pulling at the minecart and laughing in a manner that only I can hear its hollow metallic laughter, like fingernails scratching against a chalkboard. I can’t see anything, and I fear the ride is broken. Suddenly, we go a different way, so I realize this must be part of the ride. Then, we come to a sudden halt and my stomach slams into the safety bar almost crushing everything in my body. So much for a safety bar. More like a pain bar. We see the shadow of “Mr. Yeti” tearing apart tracks. He screams in rage. He must have anger management issues. Jeez, he rages hard.

Then, the most terrifying moment happens. We zoom forward at an unnatural speed like a rocket blasting off into space. We take a rapid turn and my head slams into the side of the roller coaster, causing me to be a bit nauseous and in pain. I open my eyes and look down. The horror! Eighty feet down are little dots that resemble people. I feel fear crawling up my back like a spider. No. I shouldn't have thought of spiders. I open my mouth and a shout shoves its way out of my mouth and into the air. The fear is like acid, it can’t be stopped, it burns through me and even after I manage to close my mouth, fear is inside of me and the only hope is clenching onto the “pain bar” for dear life! Fear has won, but it is fading away. Excitement is covering up the fear and my eyes grow wide. My hair is blowing back and my eyes are watering. Who cares, I realize how awesome this ride is and forget all about the pain and fear. Oh boy, lets go again.