That said, you don't expect your 6 year old, "let's ride Splash Mountain in the rain four times" daughter to suddenly become your 7 year old, "I'm going to cry bloody murder because Splash Mountain scares the poo out of me" daughter in the matter of a few months.
This happened to us in May 2012, which suddenly made navigating the thrill rides a bit more difficult for our crew. I was determined to not let this happen again in 2013. And it didn't. Because I broke out a guaranteed winner. As you learned from my last entry here, I am not above making an absolute fool of myself to make my kids laugh. So, when we boarded Space Mountain on our first day at the Magic Kingdom in Jaunary, I gave Munchkin the following advice...
"Scream your head off like a crazy person. The entire ride. You will be so focused on keeping your wild scream going that you won't notice all the dip and turns. You scream like a little girl and I'll scream like a little girl and we'll see who can scream the loudest."
We knew that if she could handle Space Mountain, she could handle anything else we had planned on riding. Off we went, into the tunnel with the red flashing lights, and before we even began to go fast, we started screaming. The rest of our crew started to giggle, which broke the tension. Once you get going in the dark on Space Mountain at WDW, you're basically by yourself (unlike the double seat cars at DisneyLand), so the six of us were all isolated to ourselves once we made the first big corner out of the tunnel. From there, you hold on (and scream, of course) for two minutes, or however long it is, until you see everyone again getting off. Would Munchkin have fun? Would she be shaken? Would she be crying uncontrollably again?
We slow down for landing, and the screaming stops. And we hear a voice from way up front, "That was awesome! Can we do it again?" Success!
The gimmick lasted the entire trip. If the ride was the least bit scary, it was getting the screaming treatment from all of us, not just Munchkin and myself. Expedition Everest? Screamed the whole way. Splash Mountain was closed, but Big Thunder wasn't, and we yelled our heads off probably a half dozen times, swapping up riding partners each time, holding screaming contests each time. Dinosaur? When the big one comes out at the end? Just looked at it and screamed ridiculously. The Hollywood Hotel Tower of Terror? Oh, you KNOW we had scratchy throats after that torture. But, most importantly, we had a ball! Like I told Munchkin, if you concentrate on just making a fool of yourself, the scariest parts of the rides suddenly aren't so scary, and it's fun for everyone.
A bonus of all this silliness? The souvenir picture you can purchase at the end of the rides? They all turn out exactly how the park would want them to turn out! Everyone looks ridiculous. Everyone looks silly. Everyone looks like they're having the times of their lives.
I can't wait to scream with the kids again.