Ignorance Isn’t Always Bliss
I have one rule in life – no coasting of the roller variety. Regular coasting is perfectly acceptable, of course, but that’s the extent of things. So far, this rule has been fairly easy to follow, which keeps the butterflies from wreaking their unholy havoc in my stomach and also gives me a great sense of accomplishment most days. It would give greater satisfaction if I could manage to work these minor victories into polite conversation, but I lack that gift.
One of the drawbacks to this rule is that I know next to nothing about proper inertial positioning when it comes to these stomach-churning, coastery experiences.
Recently, I posted an article about Disney World’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in which I gave it a very mild rating. It was July when we partook of the little miners’ offering, so I was not able to give it the multiple rides required for proper scientific testing.
Armed with my ignorance and full of confidence—two things that often go hand-in-hand—we once again audibled our touring plan and decided to risk Disney’s Running of the Bills (and the Petes, the Georges, and the rest) in order to work in an additional Mine Train ride before our FastPass+ reservation. Unlike the last time, I entered the queue cheerily and without trepidation. I smiled at everyone I passed; I even almost played with the many little diversions scattered along our way.
Then we loaded our train. Car number 8. It is a number that will be forever burned into my memory, seared there by those accursed and soon-to-be very angry butterflies. I quickly perceived something was wrong on the first drop when my stomach leapt free of its moorings and promptly slapped me across the face, indignant of my foolish, foolish arrogance. By the time we reached the little guys’ cave of gems and we began our ascent, my “Oh no!” in echo to Doc’s “Heigh-ho!” was loud, full-bodied, and lacked any of the humor of my previous trip. I was joined of course, by my chorus of butterflies. It was a nausemagical moment.
I thought perhaps it was my imagination, but my wife experienced more thrills this time, as well, not that I found anything I experienced particularly thrilling.
After we departed, shaken and disturbed, and quite frankly confused by the stark differences in my experiences, I debated whether or not I would have anything else to do with Snow White’s little friends ever again. They were definitely no longer invited to game night at our house. Briefly I even debated whether or not I was going to slug one of them if they crossed my path—except for Dopey, I don’t suppose any of this was his fault. But Doc . . .. That of course, would have depended on whether or not I could keep from curling up in the fetal position at the sight of him, which was also a possibility.
My wife and I returned to our touring plan and found ourselves ahead of schedule. We squeezed in some additional attractions and soon we had reached the time of our Mine Train FastPass+ reservation. My wife assumed that after the last experience, I would prefer to conveniently “forget” about the reservation and move on to other fun, and in truth we almost let the window on the reservation close, but I needed to answer the question of why the two experiences were so disparate. Plus, I had no considerable lack of guilt for recommending this attraction to my fellow chickens. So, we returned for our second encounter.
Third Time’s The Churn?
This time I requested a car at the front, which – despite the line – the cast members readily accommodated. In fact, there appears to be a little waiting area specifically set aside for such requests. Soon we were back on the train, but this time in car number 1. At the first drop, I immediately knew I had made the right choice and learned a valuable lesson about inertial positioning of coaster of the roller kind. The angry butterflies, so riled up and fluttery an hour earlier, were now quiet, and I could at long last sing “Heigh-ho!” when prompted by my old friend Doc. I’m sure glad I didn’t slug him!
Although this comes as no surprise to the experienced thrill rider and probably even to most chickens, if you are like me, ASK TO BE PLACED AT OR NEAR THE FRONT. I cannot stress this enough. The difference between the front and the back on even something as innocuous as the Mine Train is significant and may determine how well you enjoy the rest of your day.