There's something ironic about taking an adventurous three year old and a timid eight year old to a theme park. The older one is tall enough to try every 'big' ride for the first time, but she's not sure she wants to. The smaller one is sad because she's not big enough yet.
My eight year old is the most timid child I've ever encountered. She's afraid of the dark, she's afraid of heights, and she's afraid of strangers. This doesn't bode well when it comes to taking her to places like Disneyland, where nearly all the rides are in the dark, the rides that aren't dark go up high in the air, and strangers abound... sometimes even dressed in creepy furry costumes, and those ones come up and touch you!
So I decided to take her on Space Mountain. My logic: if I held her hand in the dark, she wouldn't be so scared, and with it being pitch-black, you can't see how high up you're getting, therefore negating her fear of heights. All went well. We got on the ride, we traveled along up to the very tip top of the ride, right before you start flying, we got to the countdown without any real significant fear.... 10...9...8...7...6...5....4...3..2..1.................. And all the lights in the ride came on. And we stopped. And we didn't move again.. An announcement came over our speakers letting us know we should sit tight and not move while we waited for a Cast Member to come rescue us from the very tip top of Space Mountain. Which gave my Small Child plenty of time to gaze down below us, all the way to the bottom. Here eyes were as big as saucers. She was imagining climbing down the scaffolding, Spider-Man style. I pointed out the stairs, which did help a little.
Sitting there for twenty minutes gave me plenty of time to snap several awful pictures with my camera phone, thus running the battery down completely.
Ever wonder what Space Mountain looks like in the light? The most memorable part was the inch-thick layer of dust that covers literally everything. It was really kind of gross. Don't they ever clean the place?
And then we were escorted safely from our space coasters (by a fantastic Cast Member by the name of Anthony, who had a fabulous sense of humor) and trudged down something like twenty five flights of stairs before making it safely back to Earth. In case you were wondering, it's never a good idea to tell an eight year old who is afraid of heights that she needs to walk down twenty five flights of stairs. Happily, though, she did survive, and even went on to enjoy some other coasters. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was her favorite ride. Apparently open-air roller coasters are a better option. I'll have to remember that for next time.
On the up-side, we got a ticket good for our whole family to enter through the exit on any ride we chose. We skipped the longest and slowest moving ride at the park - the Nemo Submarines - and walked right on. Totally worth it. :-)