Friday, October 17, 2008

When Your Favorite Ride Is The Parking Tram

A couple of weeks ago we went to Disneyland, and as we were boarding the parking tram I made a remark, in all seriousness, that it was my favorite ride in the park. Another mom, who was carrying an infant and sitting with two toddlers turned to me and said, "Me too." As you can imagine, this exchange caused Rigel and the girls to groan in embarrassment - what kind of old grandma conversation was that, talking about how taking transport from the parking lot to the gate was some kind of thrill ride? Maybe me and that other mom should just get out our walkers and shuffle on over to the first-aid station for a nap? They didn't care to hear my explanation, about how nice it was just to sit on a cool bench while the tram putted along at two miles an hour, the wind at my face, and then came to a nice gentle stop in Downtown Disney right in front of...La Brea Bakery. Theme park ride designers take note: You'd have moms everywhere in the palm of your hand if you ended every ride with a nice warm cappuccino and a brioche.

My girls have a hard time believing it, but there was a time when I actually liked roller coasters. The anticipation as you headed up the track, the brief pause as you caught a glimpse of the drop ahead of you, and then a few seconds of sheer terror as you plunged downward, screaming and feeling like your stomach was exiting your body through your throat. You'd stumble as you got off the ride, hold your stomach as it churned the corn dog, Coke and licorice around like a big toxic milkshake, take a quick lunge for the bushes, wipe the vomit from your face and then get right back in line! It was great fun.

But now? I have a hard time going on anything that looks like it might make me the least bit uncomfortable. Even that first, tiny drop on the Pirates of the Caribbean makes me gasp a little, and Kiyomi couldn't stop talking about how much I was screaming when her and Kira talked me into going on the Matterhorn with them. She didn't buy my story that I was over-reacting for her entertainment, and then pointed out the fingernail marks I had made in her arm as I gripped it around that last turn.

There's a ride at California Adventure called Soarin' Over California that is my absolute favorite, but it isn't exactly a white-knuckler and I know Rigel and the girls usually only ride it to appease me so they can get on with seeing the rest of the park. In fact this last time around they seemed to be a little embarrassed at my enthusiasm (I think Kira's exact words were, "Omigod. Calm down" and I think I saw them trying to walk away from me when I jumped up at the end, clapped my hands and yelled, "More, more!"

As we were leaving the park, Kiyomi came up with the idea of making a ride that would be absolutely perfect for me, one where I could not only sit in comfort but also indulge in my favorite beverage. It would be called Soarin' Over Starbucks, and instead of a virtual ride over the majestic mountains of California and through the breathtaking landscape of Yosemite, it would fly over Starbucks locations all over the world, finally ending the ride in a stop at a real coffee counter where a barista would brew a hot cappuccino for me. Is my kid brilliant or what?

(I just read an article in the L.A. times yesterday that details the renovations they'll be making to California Adventure and I don't see Soarin' Over California anywhere on the map. Note to Disney Imagineers: If you take out this ride, I will personally come over there and punch out your lights. After I'm done riding the parking tram a few times, that is.)

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tags: | disneyland | |

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  1. crunchycarpets10/17/2008 5:41 PM

    I would so go on that ride and I totally get what you are talking about.

    Being totally knackered from hoofing small kids all over disney land then being scared on a ride...yeah.

    Soothing and slow...I like that.

  2. Don't worry. It's not going anywhere, old lady.

  3. I got talked into riding some hideous ride at Magic Mountain two years ago and still haven't recovered. I'll ride the parking tram with you any day.


  4. NorCal Sistah10/19/2008 8:31 PM

    I think that I might actually agree with you on this -- especially at the very end when you had such a long fun day -- just sitting in the tram with the wind blowing in your face, everyone still in a good mood but all feeling so glad to be sitting after walking around all day. Kids talking about what fun they had or sleeping because they had so much fun. It's a nice way to end the day. BUT Kiyomi's idea is the bomb -- I would definitely get on that ride -- of course at the end of that ride you would probably be wide awake for days from all the caffeine you consumed.

  5. I love the parking tram at the END of the day because my arches have usually collapsed by then.

    I am a roller coaster JUNKIE! Can't wait to go back sans kid sometime and hit the bigger rides there.


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