The Happiest (Scariest) Place on Earth

With summer rapidly approaching and our annual passes about to enter the dreaded blackout period, I decided yesterday was the perfect day for Wito and I to spend some mother/son time at Disneyland. We did our usual half-day route – Autopia, train, popcorn, Toontown, corndog, Autopia – but decided to step our ol’ routine up a notch. While walking through Tomorrowland, Wito informed me that since he was 4 and THREE-QUARTERS, he was ready to tackle Space Mountain.

This truly caught me off guard because Wito, just like his mother, is not really into new and/or foreign experiences without major planning (and discussion) beforehand. We like to be prepared, you see. This inherited trait coupled with his general abhorrence of loud noises and freaky darkness had me a little worried, but hey! Type B+ mom is in effect! LET’S DO THIS, KID.

While we snaked through the line, Wito seemed to be perfectly fine with the darkness, lights, noises, and was quite enamored with the gigantic rocket hanging from the ceiling. As he boarded our rocket with a huge smile on his face and a death grip on my hand, I said a little prayer that he please not lose his ever-loving mind.

I’m pretty sure this depicts someone internally losing their ever-loving mind. Crouched in near fetal position while gripping my forearm and hand with every ounce of his strength, the kid might have been a little caught off guard. Yep. He’s scarred for life. Space Mountain therapy, here we come.

However, I can’t stop laughing at this photo. For one, please take a gander at the joy in everyone else’s face. WHEEEEEEE! Space Mountain is the GREATEST! And then look at me, fighting a little known force called GRAVITY (do you see those tendons and muscles in my neck? ) in an attempt to convince him that this ride is FUN and WE’RE FLYING THROUGH SPACE and DID I MENTION FUN, WITO? WHEEEEEE! Uh, wheeeeee? I think I may have heard him repeatedly pleading for the ride to end, but who knows with all that whooshing and flying and whiplash going on. (Speaking of whiplash, I can’t move today, thanks to Wito’s not-so-great Autopia steering skills.)

As we pulled to a stop and disembarked, he was uncharacteristically silent. We walked up the exit ramp, and I tentatively asked him what he thought. He paused, looked at me, and said, “THAT WAS THE GREATEST RIDE EVER! LET’S GO AGAIN RIGHT NOW!!! Well, there you have it. My little boy is growing up.

  1. Darcey

    June 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Hah! I have so had this experience. Though Space Mountain actually traumatized me to the point I wouldn’t ride roller coasters for years. In fact, the first time my friends got me to go on a ride that went upside down, I was 17. Yes, seriously.

    And when we got off that ride? I said pretty much the same thing Wito did.
    Yay for excitement! Go Big Boy Wito!

  2. Angella

    June 8, 2011 at 9:47 am

    YAY, WITO! I’m so proud of you, buddy!

    Now, next time we meet you guys at Disneyland, we can spend more time in Tomorrowland and less rime in Toontown.

    I’m up for Autotopia again, too. ;)

  3. martymankins

    June 8, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Awesome for his first Space Mountain experience. May there be many years of “WHEEE!!!” for Wito

  4. Janssen

    June 8, 2011 at 10:05 am

    How CUTE is that? And yes, Space Mountain is pretty intense, mainly because it’s DARK AND YOU CAN’T SEE ANYTHING!

  5. Kristabella

    June 8, 2011 at 10:13 am

    AWESOME! That picture is hilarious and I LOVE that he was all “BEST RIDE EVER!” after that photo!

  6. Jessica

    June 8, 2011 at 10:19 am

    That’s awesome. I love how quickly they forget the fear!

  7. K

    June 8, 2011 at 10:27 am

    So sweet. My brother was like that for as long as I remember. He would always brace himself the whole ride and then declare it the best ever. I imagine he still has to brace himself on rides like that (he’s 32).

  8. Lisa

    June 8, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Awww good job little man! I remember my first time on that ride. I screamed the entire time, but it was the best ride EVER when I was done. He must be so proud of himself!

  9. wishcake

    June 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Hahahaha! Greatest story ever! I was such a chicken when I was a little girl and we’d go to Disneyland on family vacations. When I was about 7 or 8 I went through the entire line for Space Mountain and at the very end begged my mom to find an exit so I wouldn’t have to go on it (or pee my pants in front of everyone).

    I think that little boys (and girls) sometimes have to face their fear head on, embrace that fear and then realize that it’s okay. Wito reminds me of one of my little sisters. She went on the California Screamin’ roller coaster when she was 8 or 9 and was silent the whole time. It wasn’t until we got off the ride that she was able to shake it off and tell everyone that it was actually really fun.

    In any case, that photo makes me totally happy. You should keep it around for when he’s a teenager so you can tell him, “SEE? YOU NEEDED ME ONCE!”

  10. chrissy

    June 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Space Mountain is pretty much the best so I’m glad he chose it.

    Thunder Mountain Railroad was the death roller coaster for me when I was little. I reached a point where I was big enough but still scared of it. Unfortunately that was the year my dad was having a bad week (not expressed to my mother until after the fact) and he therefore FORCED me onto it and wasn’t in the mood to humor children (great time to go to DISNEYLAND!). I hid behind trashcans 10 feet behind my parents and brother for the rest of the day, fearing I’d be forced onto another scary ride. It didn’t have a lasting effect past the day thankfully and it was one of my favorite rides the following year. The only part of the experience I truly remember versus being told about was the histerical screaming afterwards, ie faux-crying, that was more from the trauma of being forced to go on and not so much the ride itself. Moral of this story? Yes, facing fears is important, but the decision to do so might be best when it’s the kid’s decision, like Wito’s brave choice to try something new.

    CONGRATS WITO! and so begins another child’s love affair with Space Mountain.

    …although I’m personally super stoked about Star Tours being back!!!

  11. HollyLynne

    June 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Ah yes, the dreaded blackout period :( I’m so glad Wito liked Space Mountain! Big boy, indeed!

  12. sizzle

    June 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I just love the dude’s face in the back row all by himself. I can’t wait to see how my nephew reacts to the rides at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk this summer when we visit. And then, someday, at Disneyland. Good for Wito for being brave!

  13. gorillabuns

    June 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    i seem to remember a few roller coaster rides where we thought it was the best ever!

    I’m so proud of your 4.75 yr old little man.

  14. Gabrielle - Design Mom

    June 9, 2011 at 4:26 am

    That pictures is fantastic! The whole story made me super happy.

  15. andrea

    June 9, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    The picture is fantastic! We took Lucy on Pirates of the Caribbean when we were there last month and she cried the entire way through. As we were disembarking our ship she turned so everyone riding with us could hear and said ‘Can we go on that again right now?’.