Our Week In Disney World – Part VI – Terror, Beast, Mermaids and Mom
When we last left our intrepid Disney World vacationers, they were headed for the Tower of Terror. As you may or may not know, the Tower of Terror is basically a thirteen story elevator shaft that you get dropped down – repeatedly. Now, I have a fear of falling. Not heights, just falling. I’m fine behind the window of a 20th story building, but put me on the edge of a 2nd story balcony and I get nervous. Naturally, then, a ride whose sole purpose is to make you fall multiple stories over and over wouldn’t appeal to me. Indeed, when we went to Disney World in 2001 for our honeymoon, I refused to ride on it with B. Why did I go on it this time, then? Simple, because NHL had declared that he was going on it and I couldn’t let my 5 year old show me up. Macho pride prevailed over plummeting phobia.
Nevertheless, I began to get nervous as we wound our way through the corridors, past the "story room" (where the back-story to the Tower of Terror is revealed) to our elevator. I was quite happy to see the seats, actually. For some reason, I thought that we would be standing when we dropped. In hindsight, it was a stupid thing to think. Imagine the liability of dropping an elevator full of standing (read: not buckled in) people even 2 stories. Disney would be paying out millions in injured back, broken bone, and whiplash claims. So we sat in our seats and I braced myself. At first, we went up slowly and were "treated" to some more setup story. There were ghosts, thousands of stars, and lots of other creepiness which served as a distraction to the fact that you were climbing ridiculously high up. Finally, we were shown that we were, indeed, high in the air. Then, we weren’t. We plummeted down and I tried (unsuccessfully, I think) not to scream. Then we shot back up again. And I mean shot. This was no mere elevator rising, but more along the lines of "falling up." Then we fell back down again. Then back up again. Then back down and up. Then, finally, back down.
Eventually, our elevator car came to rest and the doors opened to let us out. The only reason my legs consented to carry me out was that, had they refused, I’d likely be forced to go up and down a few more times. As I struggled to walk normally, I asked NHL if he thought it was scary. He didn’t think so. He didn’t want to go back on, but he wasn’t scared. That tears it. My son is braver than me when it comes to rides. (This much I’ve known for quite some time.)
After we got off the ride, we met with B, B’s mother, and a now-awake JSL in front of the Beauty and the Beast stage show. We quickly took our seats and while I fed JSL an apple (he missed lunch while sleeping, remember), the show began with a loud *BONG*. A *VERY* loud *BONG*. Everyone jumped and JSL got quite afraid. They soon stopped the show, announced some technical difficulties and had us wait while they fixed them. A few minutes later, we were watching a "tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme." The show itself was quite nice, touching on all of the major points of the movie while cutting it down to stage show length. Some things were cut, of course, such as Belle’s father. She was just said to have wound up at the castle due to "an amazing series of events." The only remnent of Belle’s father in the stage show is a line from the movie where the Beasts’ servents say that Belle has lost her father and freedom in the same day.
After the stage show, B and her father went on the Rockin’ Roller Coaster again. We stayed to see the photo taken during the ride, got our photo taken in front of the guitar, and then headed right for The Little Mermaid show. This show was indoors (always nice to get out of the hot Florida sun) and the boys enjoyed the songs and story. It was over pretty quickly and, after a little shopping, we headed for the 50’s Prime Time Cafe for dinner.
This restaurant was quite appropriate for Mother’s Day dinner as the whole setup is that you’re sitting down for dinner at "mom’s house" circa 1950. The waiting area has a bunch of old black and white TVs for you to watch and old-style furniture. Your server takes the role of "Mom", telling you to keep your elbows off the table, eat all of your vegetables, set the table (take the napkins and silverware from a central backet and place them out) and do your homework (decide what to order). It was quite funny to watch one of the cast members (pretending to be a cousin, I think), doing the "airplane manuver" to get a woman at another table to eat her veggies. (They don’t push it too far, of course. Just enough to be funny.)
After our dinner with "Mom", we headed to Downtown Disney to do some shopping. Here is where NHL finally got to see the long-promised World of Disney. If you have never been there, the World of Disney is the world’s largest Disney store. The shop is so large, that I’ve gotten lost in it. You get turned around and can’t figure out which way you turn to get to Plush Animals from Mensware. After the World of Disney, we stopped by Goofy’s Candy Shop, but didn’t buy anything there. Finally, exhausted, we made our way back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.