Checked into Disneyland Hotel (and Disneyland of course) for three days and two nights for some much needed therapy this weekend. The hilarious part is this was planned months ago around an anniversary… not after election week.
I went on the Tower of Terror for the first time (amid rumors that it is closing down for good soon) despite having gone to Disneyland at least once every year for the last 7 years. Map? who needs a map? Not me. All the new construction they are doing is going to change that though.
Anyways, the Tower cast member/ride attendant gave his usual in-character spiel before sending us off on our merry (spooky?) way saying, “Please tug on yellow tag, blah blah blah. Just so you know ladies and gentleman we are expiriencing some rolling balckouts tonight so all of you might not make it back. Please enjoy.”
I saw the slightest hint of a half smirk on his face as he slipped behind the wall to close the doors. It registered as a bit odd, that self satisfied smirk, but I didn’t dwell on it. We thought that last bit of speech was just him being in character
A few seconds into the ride though, we realized how very, very wrong we were.
The usual audio narration was running, but the projection movie was not. After the narration finished, nothing happened for what seemed like forever. It was less than 10 seconds, but more than 5. But those handful of seconds seem indefinitely long when you’re left hanging in space and wrapped in the kind of pitch darkness where you can’t even seen your hands in front of your face. Add in the adrenaline from anticipation, ride attendant’s parting words, and you have the perfect recipe for crippling anxiety.
So we just hung in limbo marinating in absolute silence and darkness for a few heartbeats until out of the darkness, one perfect word bloomed from a woman in the back, punctuating the moment and summarizing the collective thought.
The silence was broken by the whole cabin bursting out into hysterical laughter which almost immediately turned into screams of actual terror as the ride decided to resume, finally, and dropped us a couple stories.
At the end of the ride, the cabin immediately bubbled over with laughter and conversation about what we had just been through. This was obviously what the cast member had been expecting because he opened the doors and greeted us with a shit eating grin. Are we allowed to high five the Disney staff? because he deserved one.
The second funny incident was the caused by my boyfriend. He let out a HUGE sneeze; the concussively loud kind that feels like it compresses your chest from the sheer force of the sound wave slamming into you.
I’m used to it by now but from across the gift shop a shell shocked young guy muttered, “Damn.” and was staring wide eyed, deer-in-the-headlights style. Poor guy couldn’t help himself.
I started cracking up which caused him to sheepishly turn away. When asked by bf why I was practically in stitches, I told him and he started laughing too. I’m pretty sure I saw the guy across the store grinned a little, no longer feeling so bad.
Needless to say, this was one of my more memorable Disneyland trips.
Due to a little mix up at the hotel, my party was granted three sets of open ended fast passes. We used a set of them on the Tower of Terror to bypass the 3.5 hour wait which was when the first story happened. WORTH IT. In retrospect, they had probably started dismantling non essential parts of the ride like the video projectors.
We used another set to finally get on the Cars ride (Radiator Spin Racers) since the fast passes ran out within the first hour of the park opening and the line was, and always is, multiple hours long. We used the last one to bypass the always ridiculously long Small World line.