First-Time Experiences at Walt Disney World

Tower of Terror ride - Disney's MGM - Orlando

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t enjoyed Splash Mountain and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror yet, don’t read this article! Everyone else, enjoy!

I think we can all agree that the first time we experienced a Disney show, Ride, or Attraction, was the best time! Not knowing what to expect only heightened the fun and made us gasp and giggle at all the right places. We can never get closer to the feelings that the Imagineers wanted to invoke in us than during our first exposure.

I’d like to share with you two such experiences from my Walt Disney World visits.

Example One: The first year my wife and I visited The Magic Kingdom together; one of the first Attractions we wanted to ride was Splash Mountain. I knew quite a bit about the original movie that it was based on, but knew almost nothing about the Ride itself. But I knew the main thing to watch out for – the Drop! But when would it come?

As you probably know, the Imagineers fake you out several times during the Ride with smaller drops. But during our first ride we braced for The Big One each and every time! This added an extra level of suspense to the Ride that is now gone as we ride as experienced Guests. Or is it?

We now enjoy living vicariously through the screams of the many First-timers we ride with. We know what’s coming up, but they don’t!

Example Two: I’m almost embarrassed about this next one! The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is an obvious Screamer of an Attraction. You know going in that you are going to drop many times. But again, as a Newbie, I didn’t know quite when the drop would begin, or how bad it would be. So as I was all caught up in the preamble of the show, we entered the Elevator Shaft. I’m expecting to drop now! Instead, the Ride Vehicle stops, and doors open in front of me (I was sitting in the front row my first time). I now have a nice view of the Hollywood Backlot. I see Herbie the Love Bug, and being a Disney Movie Geek, I turn to my wife to let her know he’s there. My words exactly: “Hey dear, look! It’s Herbie the Lo-aaaaaaaaaaaHHHH!” The Ride chose that moment to plunge me into oblivion. I was not expecting the very thing I came on the Ride for! Those Imagineers faked me out again.

Well, they can’t fool me twice, but they can fool other Newbies. So now I enjoy the Ride almost as much my umpteenth time as I watch and see others sucked in by the Imagineers!

Alert to Spoilers: We all miss our first time experiences. As the years go by, maybe they begin to fade just a little bit. But we can overcome nature’s spoiler alerts (from our memories) by not ruining the experience for others. Let others have those same magic memories by containing your impulse to yell out “Here it comes!” right before a big drop, or “Oh, watch this part!” during a Movie or Disney Show.

That way, we will all have many cherished first-time experiences at Walt Disney World.

P. S. – This goes for those of you who frequent Disneyland too!

Lee Beatens has two sides as a Writer/Artist. His writing side is showcased at the Blog called Disleelandia, and his artistic side is showcased at the Blog called The CANADIAN Kingdom. His improbable third side is showcased here. Follow me on Twitter at @disleelandia or my Disleelandia FB Fan Page.


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