Recently, BFF and I did a thing. We went to Florida and Walt Disney World for the first time! Well, technically, it was not my first time as I had been as a small child, but I do not really remember any of it. So, when I got invited to be a part of the Shameless book signing, we decided to make a vacation and spend a week out in Florida playing as only the two of us could play at all the parks. By all, I really do mean all. Go home or go big, right? We really had no idea what to expect having never been there before and had no idea that people plan their fast passes out in advance. We just decided to go with the flow and grab whatever fast passes for rides that we could on the day we were in the parks. BFF and I are pretty laid back and really just wanted to experience the parks. Little did I know, one of the rides would be one of the most terrifying and thrilling rides I have ever been on.
We decided to hit Animal Kingdom as a half day as I had the book signing to get to that night. WOW. We totally underestimated how amazing Animal Kingdom truly is. Next time, we have decided to spend a full day there as it exceeded our expectations. I was in awe over all there was to see and do. Once we were in the park, we were able to grab a fast pass for a ride called Expedition Everest. We had no idea what the ride was or what was going to happen when we rode it. We decided to walk towards it and see what it was. As we approached, we saw what looked to like the Matterhorn and we were excited to see that Expedition Everest was a roller coaster as we both love coasters. I was a little apprehensive as I do not like the unknown but I was also excited.
As we got in line to ride the ride, I convinced myself that this was some sort of take on the Matterhorn at Disneyland so there must be a Yeti. Oh the Yeti. I have a love hate relationship with that Yeti. I love the story and the atmosphere of the Matterhorn, but I truly hate how terrified the Yeti makes me feel. No really terror is how that Yeti makes me feel. It is dumb, I know. But all his growling and the darkness and the fast jerky movements of the Matterhorn makes the little girl in me terrified. I would even close my eyes as we approached where I knew the old school Yeti to be stationed before the ride was refurbished. Now with the new scarier upgraded Yeti, it is even worse. I have no idea why the Yeti terrifies me so much but it really does. And we will not even talk about how much riding the Matterhorn at night makes me panic but I do it anyways. So my panic over the unknown of Expedition Everest was now rising with the thought of the Yeti being in the ride as well. It was a panic mixed with excitement of the coaster and I was anxious to ride it and see what it was like.
We climbed into our train car and I could already tell my anxiety was rising. The story in the ride line definitely told the story of the Yeti so I was hoping he would not be in the ride scaring me. But something told me he would be. Damn. We climbed in and I got ready. As the ride took off into a huge hill, my panic and fear also included not knowing what was going to happen and I started my nervous giggling that BFF finds hilarious. She knew I was nervous and just told me it would be okay, patting my hand like I was a small child. Then the ride took off down the hill and I was left screaming and laughing as I saw the signs of the Yeti flashing by me at high speeds. Oh no. I was right. Then, all of a sudden, the ride stopped. I mean a dead stop. At the top of the mountain, the track in front of us was all mangled. It was obvious the Yeti was to blame for the destruction. Having the ride at a complete stop made my panic rise even higher. I turned to BFF and this conversation happened:
Me (in a panic filled voice which might have been an octave higher): “Is this normal? Is the ride supposed to stop? Why is the track mangled? What is happening? Am I going to die? Is the Yeti going to eat me?”
BFF: “Why are you asking me? I have never ridden this either!”
Stranger in front of us turns around all excited: “OH YEAH! This is totally normal! We are about to plunge backward into total darkness as the Yeti chases us!”
Me (now totally terrified and my eyes popping out of my head): “WHAAAAAAAAT?”
BFF to total stranger: “Um, thanks for absolutely terrifying my best friend. So glad you didn’t say anything before we got on!”
And then I was plunged to my doom backwards in the dark without any warning with the growling Yeti chasing us and I am sure all BFF could hear was my total screams of terror. The ride stopped again in a few seconds. In a cave. A Yeti cave. WTF. This was the worst ride in the history of rides. What is going to happen? Is the Yeti going to come up out of this cave and take me into his lair to be his next snack? Why Disney why? First the almost gassing when I met Thor and now I was to be devoured by the Yeti in some cave in Animal Kingdom? Disney why you got to be like this? Luckily I did not have time to do anything but leave my screams of panic and terror in the cave as the ride quickly continued. Thank goodness I was not to be a Yeti snack. This time.
As the ride came to an end, BFF turned to me with her smile of glee and saw the fear, panic and tears on my face (which in reality were from the speed of the coaster and not my sheer terror of the Yeti) and she immediately was like “OH NO! Are you okay?” Shakily as the adrenaline of the ride surged through my veins, I replied “That was fun! And so scary! I hate the Yeti! I thought I was going to be eaten!” and I meant it. I really did enjoy it, terror and all. The total stranger that had been in front of us was laughing as she climbed out of the car, probably at my screams throughout most of the ride as BFF again thanked her for not telling me about the ride in advance. I walked out of the ride, my limbs feeling like jello from the adrenaline and fear, my heart racing, and I actually was clutching my chest as BFF and I discussed how fun the ride was even though I secretly thought the Yeti might still be behind me waiting to eat me. I might have sneaked a look behind me when BFF wasn’t looking just to be sure. Damn Yeti.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did almost have a panic attack on a ride at Animal Kingdom because of the Yeti but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl who was almost a Yeti snack Running. The experiment continues…