A Florida Friday

Ever since I was a child I’ve tended to avoid roller coasters because I was a little scared. Now I am addicted.

my photo of epcotIt’s Friday when I am writing this but I am not sure when I am going to get round to publishing these entries from Florida. I am on the verge of applying for a green card so that I can stay here in the sunshine and ride roller coasters all day.

Wednesday was Epcot day. It was the first Florida theme park that I have ever been to and it was amazing. Last Tuesday evening we went to eat in Downtown Disney. As we drove past the large Disney World signs PY was grinning uncontrollably. He has been here several times before and was excited to be back. After twelve years together I have to admit that I have never seen him like that – it was a fantastic experience. Oddly, by the time we drove under the same sign on Wednesday morning on our way to Epcot I was – similarly – grinning. We made our way to Test Track and got our Fastpass before seeing Ellen’s piece on energy (which is a little simplistic and to be seen in the context of being sponsored by an oil company). We then went round several of the other experiences which I won’t list here as there are many good guides to them.

Eventually it was our time for Test Track but it kept breaking down and we waited an hour to ride (the non-Fastpass queue was three hours by this point). This is where I admit I have never been any good at rides, roller coasters and fairgrounds. I get nervous so tend to stay away. Anyway, after all the wait I was very apprehensive about riding Test Track only to be a little disappointed. The screams that you hear as people hurtle around the side of the building do lead you to think you are going on the ultimate thrill but it’s really just an amusing diversion.

Then I went to ride Mission Space (which PY wouldn’t ride because it, apparently, spins you round to generate the weightless experience and he isn’t any good at those kind of rides). The built up to this ride is incredible (all the warnings about motions sickness managed to put two of our crew members off at the very last minute so there were only two of us in the pod). It was great but it wasn’t fantastic and it was over very quickly. And that’s when I realised where the fear comes from. It’s the clever build ups and staging. The rides themselves seem quite tame to me.

Now don’t get me wrong, the Epcot rides were great. World Showcase is fun; a lot of imagination has gone into the park and the fireworks impressive. It’s a great day out and it’s the place I overcame my fear of these rides.

So by yesterday when we went to Busch Gardens I was happier to ride the roller coasters. And I did – even the one where your feet hang down. And I would ride them again and again. I’ve discovered that I am thoroughly enjoying the rush of riding. It’s not something I had expected to get out of this trip but I have now uncovered a whole new world and I fear I’ll become addicted.

Go now and ride them all.