There’s truly nothing more attractive than an on-ride photo, is there? Those are the pictures theme parks snap of you at the minute and a half mark of a two minute ride when your hair is either all up in your face or swept back like you’ve been electrocuted, or maybe you nearly tossed your cookies three loops back and now you’re hanging on for nauseatingly dear life. I have a particular knack for emerging from all rides looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger on Mars in Total Recall. As a society, we should really begin using these photos for our government-issued ID; it would certainly beat the “Hello, I’m a blank psychopath!” pics currently in circulation, would it not?
But back to life on Mars. The other day I discussed the Memory Maker photography package my husband and I purchased during our Christmastime trip to Disney World. This package afforded us unlimited digital access to the hundreds upon hundreds of photos we had taken of us by Disney’s official in-park photographers, as well as the character meet-and-greets and, of course, these laugh-inducing on-ride pics. Next year’s Christmas card is legitimately a toss-up between the one where I’m pretending to Force-lift Mr. Finger Candy into the air (or am I pretending…?) and this one on Space Mountain where he looks like he’s about to hurl into his tri-cornered pirate hat.
To be fair to my husband, who looks to be in far worse shape than I in that picture, Space Mountain, an indoor roller coaster at the Magic Kingdom that takes place in hugely disorienting near-darkness, is a rough, rough ride. “Um, Sandra,” you may be saying to yourself, “didn’t you say at Halloween that Space Mountain kicked your ass so hard, you’d never ride it again?” Hey, you sound just like my mom, who rightfully questioned whether her daughter and son-in-law had terrifically short memories, or were just a couple of idiot masochists. Little from column A, little from column B, I think!
We did it all over again the following day at Hollywood Studios with a first-thing-in-the-morning ride of Aerosmith’s Rock’n’ Roller Coaster, presented by Hanes. Mr. Finger Candy and I have concluded that they are the Rock’n’ Roller Coaster’s sponsor primarily because if you aren’t ready for that 0-60 MPH in 2.8-second launch, you’re probably going to shit yourself and will absolutely need an additional pair of Hanes. And here’s where we get into that Arnold Schwarzenegger thing. Like, where even ARE my eyes?!
I redeemed my cool outside somewhat by paying homage to Steven Tyler’s formerly missing fingers. Bit of an inside Disney joke here – in a little pre-ride show segment, the band addresses you, the audience, noting that they’d like to bring all 50 or so of you along to their upcoming show, but there’s just not enough room in the limo. That’s when Steven Tyler, struck with inspiration, throws up an enthusiastic Sign of the Devil (you know them better as metal devil hands; see above) and declares that they’re gonna need a super-super-super stretch limo, and extra quick. I’ve never paid a bit of attention to the gesture beyond “Oh, that kooky Steven Tyler” and I never really thought anyone else did either, but apparently Disney thought enough about it that after something like 15 years of Steven Tyler rawkin’ out, they digitally added in two new middle fingers three or four years ago. Lame. Unclench just a smidge, Disney, it would do you some good.
As always, Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom was good for a hosing. There are these adorable warnings posted all throughout the line suggesting that you MAY get wet, like it’s not some sort of foregone conclusion when your boat arrives and you sit down straight into the two inches of water the previous occupants left behind. Also when you’ve been condemned to the front row of a flume ride that concludes with a 52-foot nosedive into a brier patch. We got soaked!
Here I am on Expedition Everest at the Animal Kingdom practicing a wise friend’s advice that if you’re screaming, you can’t throw up.
I came perilously close to disproving that theory, however. Turns out this pretty hardcore coaster, a first-time ride for both of us (which concludes with a huge Yeti animatronic swooping down from the cavern ceilings) GOES BACKWARDS for what is probably only 10 seconds, but really feels more like two hours. I don’t backwards bueno AT ALL, and neither does my husband, who later told me that he thought we were going to go upside down whilst still hurtling backwards. Just typing that is making me feel ill. 😦 Here we are beforehand posing by Fauxverest in a cute enhanced photo. Look how confident and oblivious and not vomiting we look! We just have no idea what we’re walking into.
Here we are riding Frozen Ever After at Epcot, which also goes backwards, although I submit it’s far more pleasant toodling backwards along a gentle boat ride based off a beloved animated movie than it is hurtling (or is that hurling?) through the semi-darkness in reverse at 45 MPH. Just one nauseated person’s opinion (I regrettably had a lot of trouble this trip with motion sickness, a surprisingly unwelcome new addition to my aging constitution.) Frozen Ever After was great (the Elsa and Anna projection animatronics were jaw-droppingly next level) but short, short, short! Maybe a minute and 45 seconds from start to finish? That’s perhaps a tad too short to justify this ride’s perpetual two-hour wait times. I’d say outside of Flight of Passage at the Animal Kingdom, Frozen Ever After is Disney’s second most popular attraction. I managed to make 9:40 pm FastPasses for this one, and I was glad to have them.
And now how about a little Terror time? The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is an old favourite, more so now that you receive these cool after-ride videos! We had an awesome elevator full of fellow doomed souls on our way to the Twilight Zone – everybody was having a goofy good time (look at the guy on the left who’s thrown himself up against the back wall!) and nobody’s shrieking or flipping off the camera (that’s the number one way to get kicked out of the parks, by the way. I thought it would have been having sex behind the little Dutch kids on It’s a Small World, although neither seems advisable.)
It’s also one of the most gorgeous buildings on property. On Christmas Eve when we visited, the early morning mist was just beginning to clear around the top of the building; it was breathtakingly gloomy.
I’ve no idea why this picture from Pirates of the Caribbean is surrounded by this ornate frame, but it really adds to my laid back swagger and my husband’s enthusiastic “Yaaaarrrr!” (which yes, is coming across here sort of like he maybe recently ate too much cheese.) The frame also takes away from the fact that that cool skeleton captain in the background is a real animatronic, and a badass one at that. I was sort of afraid of that thing when I was a kid; way more scared of it than anything I encountered on the Haunted Mansion.
Getting cocky on dual rides of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.
And finally, here I am getting flashy with my hands on Dinosaur at the Animal Kingdom. I know exactly where the camera is on this ride, and I wanted to do my very best impression of a terrified movie heroine, but my timing was off by a fraction of a second. Too much windup!
I hope you enjoyed this peek at some of the on-ride fun we had on our Disney vacation. That is if you’ve stopped laughing at the myriad of elongated insanity faces I can apparently make over the course of five-plus days. Thanks for sharing in the magic. 🙂