How I Faced My Fears At Disney World

FaceFearsBack in May, during the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we heard a lot of great speakers.  Specifically, Lisa Druxman talking about gremlins on your shoulder stuck with me.  Given that I have a fear of falling – not heights, mind you, but falling – I decided to knock that gremlin off by going on four rides that scared me.  Yesterday, I posted photos of me on the rides.  Today, I’d like to share some details.

Expedition Everest

No matter how strapped in I am, I’m always worried that I’ll somehow fall out on a turn.  Yes, it’s a ridiculous fear, but fears are rarely logical.  So I went onto Expedition Everest with NHL feeling very nervous.  For those who don’t know, Expedition Everest is a climb up Mount Everest that gets stopped when the elusive Yeti breaks the tracks ahead of you.  Then you plummet backwards around and down and through some dark tunnels.  In the end, this ride wasn’t too bad.  The backwards part was disconcerting as you couldn’t see where you were going, but at least you could see where you had been.

Verdict: Not too bad. I would go on it again.

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

NHL was nervous about going on this one, but decided to be brave and go on it with me (and B and B’s father).  I told him how proud I was of him.  I didn’t really know what to expect with this one.  This is an entirely indoor rollercoaster that takes place in the dark with Aerosmith music blaring.  I prepared myself for the dark twists and turns, but what I didn’t prepare for was the start of the ride.

After getting in the car, you approach and stop at a red light.  If this were a normal rollercoaster, you would slowly go up a ramp before the ride sped up.  Not this ride.  Once the light turns green, you go from 0 to 57mph in under 3 seconds.  That isn’t a smile on my face.  It’s my face being pushed back by the acceleration.

This ride was much worse than Expedition Everest.  Being in the dark made every turn almost completely unexpected (some neon signs provided clues) and thus triggered my fears with every twist.  This ride also had a few moments where you are upside down – a BIG no-no for my fears.

Verdict: I’m glad I went on it… but I’m not going to ride it again.

Tower of Terror

I’ve actually gone on this one before.  When NHL was five, he was determined to go on the ride.  I couldn’t let him show me up, so I went on it also.  When it was over, the only reason I was able to get off was because I knew, if I didn’t, I’d be riding it again.

For those who don’t know, the Tower of Terror lifts you up 13 stories and then drops you.  This isn’t it, though.  The drop is random.  You might plummet 10 stories, you might only go 5.  You then go back up and down about seven times – with each rise and fall being randomly determined.  This means that the ride is different every time.

This also plays right into my fear of falling.  After all, the whole point of this ride *IS* falling.  So, knowing what I was in for, it took all of my courage to go on it again.  Every time we went up, I could have sworn I left my internal organs below and every time we dropped I felt the terror rising.

Verdict: Not.  Ever.  Again.  I proved that I can go on it (twice) and now I’ll focus my energies on other, tamer rides in Hollywood Studios – like Toy Story Mania.

Space Mountain

This ride is similar to Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster in that it takes place in the dark.  Whereas Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster had some neon signs to look at, Space Mountain had nothing.  You couldn’t tell where you were or where you were going.  You could tell when you went into a turn by being slammed one way or another.  There was no other warning at all.

This was possibly the worst ride.  Even with Tower of Terror, you knew what was happening.  At the bottom of a drop, you were likely going up again.  At the top of a rise, you would soon plummet.  With Space Mountain, there was no such signal.  Plus, I rode Space Mountain after eating a huge dinner at Boma.  Not a good ride to go on when your stomach is overly full.

Verdict: I’ll stick with the People Mover from now on, thank you very much.

In the end, I’m glad that I faced my fears.  Now, I won’t be quite as likely to let my fear get in the way of trying something out.  However, when it comes to these rides, with the possible exception of Expedition Everest, I don’t think I’ll be going on them again anytime soon.

Disclaimer: We paid for our own trip to Disney World to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.  Though we were given an incredible deal from Disney, they never asked us to blog about this event. All opinions expressed above are my own.

Wordless Wednesday: A Face Your Fears Follow-up

Background: Back in May, during the Disney Social Media Moms celebration, Lisa Druxman’s speech led me to try to face my fear of falling.  To do this, I vowed to go on four rides that terrify me: Space Mountain, Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, and Expedition Everest.  Here is photographic evidence that I went on those rides.  (I’ve blurred out all of the faces except for mine and my family’s.)

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Disclaimer: We paid for our own trip to Disney World to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.  Though we were given an incredible deal from Disney, they never asked us to blog about this event. These photos were taken by the ride and given to me as part of Disney’s Photo Pass Plus, which we got as part of the event.  All opinions expressed above are my own.

The #DisneySMMoms Report: Poolside In Art of Animation, Part 3

Besides having plenty of food, there was also plenty of entertainment during the Art of Animation party.  The spray grounds and playground were open for kids to explore.  Giant corals walked past and posed for photos.


The thing that captivated my kids, however, was the balloon animals.  A few people were blowing up balloons, shaping them into animals (and other structures) and handing them to kids.  My boys begged to get one and so we waited… and waited… I’ll be honest, more than once I wanted to escape the balloon line to go explore more of Art of Animation.  However, this particular balloon artist, Carl, was being quite entertaining.

He would ask a child what they liked and would then produce a balloon tailored to their exact tastes.  There was a flying saucer (complete with alien inside), Ariel (with green mermaid tail), monkeys climbing trees, and much more.  My boys were extremely patient even when the line got a bit chaotic and other kids wound up getting their balloons first despite not having been on line as long.

Carl, noticed this and, when my boys’ time approached, he asked what they wanted.  JSL asked for a Pluto but wanted blue mixed in.


But NHL’s was truly outstanding.  Carl started blowing up a series of long balloons, snaking them together.  He challenged NHL to guess what it was, but we were all stumped.  Then, he produced two big, ball shaped white balloons.  It all started to come together as he blew up and enormous balloon, put the mass of long balloons below it and used the ball shaped balloons as eyes.


Yes, NHL had a giant, orange octopus.  He was so happy and wanted to show it to everyone he met.  The smiles on both of their faces were well worth the wait.

Sadly, we knew that the balloon animals would not be able to join us in the next leg of our journey.  We didn’t want to upset the kids though, so we came up with a plan.  As we entered the hotel, we positioned the animals on a convenient couch and took photos of them.  The actual balloon animals were left in our hotel room.  When we got home, we printed off these photos and put them in small photo books for the boys along with photos they have from Disney and other memorable events.  Now, Carl’s balloons will last forever for the boys.  They can look at them whenever they want and remember his amazing balloon creations.


Before I left the party, I gave Carl my card and let him know I was going to blog about this.  I’m not sure if he’ll stop by so many months later.  If, by chance you’re reading this Carl, thanks again.  My boys still love the balloons and had a blast watching you work your magic.

Disclaimer: We paid for our own trip to Disney World to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Though we were given an incredible deal from Disney, they never asked us to blog about this event. All opinions expressed above are my own.

Note: To see all of my posts on DisneySMMoms 2012, go here.

The #DisneySMMoms Report: Poolside In Art of Animation, Part 1

The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration might have been coming to a close, but there was still one more party to attend.  This was going to be a very special one, which is saying something given how wonderful Disney parties are.  We were going to the then-still-unopened Art of Animation resort for a poolside party.

For those who don’t know, the Art of Animation resort sits right across from Pop Century, a favorite value resort of ours.  For the longest time, there was a half-built resort there.  It was supposed to become "The Legendary Years", themed for the 1900’s through 1940’s to complement Pop Century’s "Classic Years" area of 1950’s through 1980’s.  Unfortunately, various circumstances side-lined those plans and the area went uncompleted for years.

Having stayed in Pop Century many times, we were used to seeing this uncompleted resort just over the water.  We were excited to see what they had built.

As we approached, the exterior of the building showed off the fun spirit of the resort and the characters who inspired the various sections.


As you walk into the main building, Animation Hall, you are greeted by the various stages of animation.  There are rough sketches, plenty of colors, and finished products.  On one side is a colorful check-in area (vacant at the time, but by now likely quite busy) and the other side had a cafeteria (again, not operational when we visited it).


Our main focus lay beyond another set of doors, though.  As we exited Animation Hall, we walked into the Finding Nemo section of Art of Animation.  Everything was designed to make us feel like we were under water.  The sides of the buildings showcased underwater scenes, the tops were waves, Crush, Dory, Nemo, Marlin and company were all around us.  Even the seagulls ("Mine?") were there above the tops of the buildings.   In the center was a huge pool.  (Sadly, we weren’t going in it that day.)

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As soon as we got our seats (right near the pool), we went to eat.  We had only just entered and the fun was just beginning.

Disclaimer: We paid for our own trip to Disney World to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Though we were given an incredible deal from Disney, they never asked us to blog about this event. All opinions expressed above are my own.

Note: To see all of my posts on DisneySMMoms 2012, go here.

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