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07/03/06 15:35:45 - Roller Coasters

Aren took another giant step towards becoming an “Adoolt” (his pronounciation) during our trip. Prior to our little vacation, the biggest roller coaster he had ever ridden was the “Puff Puff” ride at the carnival – the one that is maybe seven feet tall at its peak. On June 17th, he had his baptism by fire.
In retrospect, it might not have been a great idea to take him on the Everest Adventure roller coaster, but we were so excited that he was tall enough for it that we had a minor lapse in judgment. I don’t think that it was the motion of the ride that worried him as much – the track itself was relatively mild, though it does go backwards. In the dark. Fast. But I think that what really concerned him the most was seeing a Yeti tear up the track right in front of us. When we got off the ride he wasn’t crying, but he was very somber. He expressed his concern that the monster tore up the track and seemed sincerely relieved that there was another track for us to use. I was afraid that we wouldn’t be able to take him on another roller coaster again, even though he had thoroughly enjoyed himself on the river rapids we had just been on.

The next day we spent at MGM studios, where all of the roller coasters’ height requirements were too tall for Aren to go on them. Fortunately, the volunteers with First Things First took all the little kids to go to the Muppet Show and the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Playground. MaryBeth and I were more than happy to ditch him and go with Kurt and the big kids on the Twilight Zone Hollywood Tower of Terror and the Rockin’ Rollercoaster.

The next day, however, was our day at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and there were no volunteers to take him while we went on all the big rides. I am proud to say, however, that not only did Aren go on all of the rides he was tall enough for, but he loved every one of them. We even went on the Spider-Man adventure twice. Ditto for the Pteranadon glide, which dangles you a good 50 feet above the ground nearly the entire time. He also enjoyed the Jurassic Park river ride, which features about a ten-story drop at the end.

Our last day was also filled with roller coasters, and again, Aren couldn’t get enough. He went on all of the “big kid” rides, including Space Mountain, the Thunder Mountain Railroad (twice) and Splash Mountain. By my count, he went on twelve “big kid” rides, including four log rides and two simulators. Except for the Yeti, he loved all of them.

In fact, MaryBeth and I were the only ones to have any problems with any of the rides. Aren was too short to go on the “design your own roller coaster” simulator at Disney Quest, so Miss Paige (bless her heart) volunteered to help him design one for his parents. You get to name your roller coaster and decide what kinds of twists and turns it will have. Each segment of the roller coaster is coded green, yellow or red for its amount of “danger” or “scariness” or something like that. Aren (with more than a little coaching from Miss Paige) chose nearly all red segments for his monstrosity, though he did give us a few breaks with a total of about ten virtual feet of yellow track.

When you are finished designing the ride, you get to climb into a little pod and “ride” it. A screen shows what the track in front of you looks like while your carriage simulates the motion. In all honesty, had we actually been moving, it really would have been a great ride.

Unfortunately, while it looked like we were moving, the lack of centrifugal force let our inner ears tell us exactly what was really happening – we were sitting perfectly still, except for being spun up, down, sideways and around in circles (on all axes) constantly. It was the first time in my life I had ever wished for Dramamine. Aren, meanwhile, was watching the expressions on our faces, which were being televised on a monitor outside the torture chamber. He thought it was hilarious, even when MaryBeth shouted that she would beat him and Miss Paige suggested that I just might ground him for the rest of his life.

It seems that in addition to his grown-up sense of roller coaster thrills, Aren has developed a rather grown-up (if slightly demented) sense of humor.

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Life Coach wrote:
Roller coasters is really scary for kids. Even grown up ones will have the same feeling. Glad, they are able to manage it. But the feeling riding one is great! Just like to scream! lol
12/05 08:42:40

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