Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Hollywood Tower of Anxiety

When it comes to getting on the one of the "thrill" rides at Disneyland and DCA, I'm a pretty good sport. The way I look at it, a gazillion people walk through the turnstiles and hit these ride - thousands in a day (providing the ride can stay open). Through the years, the safety record has been remarkable. Oh, there has been the occasional fatality but I believe most of these have been attributed to the passenger and not the ride. And there has been the occasional heart attack when getting off but if it wasn't the ride, it probably would have been something else.

So I really do enjoy California Screamin', Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, and the Matterhorn. And certainly Splash Mountain and Grizzly River Run can provide their moment of thrill. Which brings me to the Hollywood Tower of Terror in DCA. I've probably been on the the thing six to eight times since it opened. The ride itself really is a thrill. It also is very, very, short which is what I tell myself every time the castmember closes up those doors with a sinister look on his or her face. It probably last 40 seconds once the assent begins. Hey, what can go wrong in 40 seconds? Yeah, there is that sensation the your seatbelt is going to fail and you are going to fly right out of your seat, but it all comes to a peaceful close.

That's the easy part for me. What's tough is once you go through the study after seeing the mock Rod Serling video and hit the queue line, the anxiety build begins. The line generally moves pretty quickly but still there is that wait staring at the elevator doors knowing you have an appointment with a calculated, programmed free-fall. That is the part that gets me.

Mrs. DisneylandTraveler has called it quits on the Tower of Terror. She did it twice with me but that, I think, is enough. The same is true for my sister, another Disneyland partner in crime. She got off the TOT, patted herself on the back, and said "that's it, I'm done". So I may be done too unless there is a trip ahead with one of my nieces and their families. They'r young and have no ride fear (yet). I could go on the TOT by myself, and maybe after a visit to the Karl Strauss beer wagon, I may but I think my days on the TOT may be over. In my cubicle at work, I got one of those around the neck badges that reads "I survived the Tower of Terror". Yes I did.

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