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The Thrills I’ve Had

Here’s the thrill rides I experienced in Walt Disney World last week:

Animal Kingdom

  • Expedition Everest — with Calfgrit7
  • Kali River Rapids — twice with Cowgrit and both Calvesgrit
  • Dinosaur — with Cowgrit


  • Test Track — twice; once with Cowgrit
  • Mission: Space — once on the “less intense,” once on the “more intense”

Hollywood Stuidos

  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (with Aerosmith) — twice
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Magic Kingdom

  • Space Mountain — twice; once with Cowgrit
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad — three times; twice with Cowgrit
  • Splash Mountain — three times; once with Cowgrit, once with Calfgrit7

There may be another ride or two that didn’t come to mind right now, but this should be a complete list. I/we experienced many other rides, shows, and attractions, but the above are the thrill rides. In Disney World, the rides are more than just rides, they’re experiences. They have and stick to a theme, and the whole experience from the waiting line to the exit stay in the theme. That’s the thing that makes Disney World stand out as a theme park for me — a roller coaster is not just a roller coaster, it’s an experience.

Expedition Everest was Calfgrit7’s first roller coaster experience. It’s a decent ride, but it had too many “loose your stomach” moments for me and him. I like roller coasters, but I don’t like a lot of big drops where I loose my stomach. The “threat” of encountering the yeti during the ride adds to the excitement.

There’s a warning at the beginning of Kali River Rapids: “You will get wet. You may get soaked.” It’s a very fun water ride, and we all did, indeed, get wet; Cowgrit got soaked.

Dinosaur is more violent than fun. I wasn’t impressed.

Test Track is a fun fast ride in a “car.” I thoroughly enjoyed this ride.

Mission: Space has two versions: less intense and more intense. The less intense version is very minor (hardly worth loading in), but the more intense version is far too intense (I wish I hadn’t done it). I’ll write more about this one later.

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is a great thrill. It starts with going from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds — I underestimated how that would feel. After that start, it’s a standard roller coaster through the dark with only neon signs as light along the way.

Tower of Terror is a “drop ride” themed as a Twilight Zone experience. It has the best special effects — seamless and spooky — of all the rides at WDW. I’ll write more about this one later.

The “Three Mountains of the Magic Kingdom” — Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Splash Mountain — are good old standard roller coasters, but each with their own theme. I enjoyed each of these thoroughly, even Splash Mountain’s big drop at the end. I’ll write more about Splash Mountain later.


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I Need a Vacation

Fshew. We’re back. We’re tired. We’ve had about as much fun as we can stand. Our 6-day/7-night vacation at Disney World was a lot of fun. The hurricanes in the Atlantic gave us no problems — had to drive through a couple hours of rain on the way to DW, and had about 4 hours of rain on Thursday at the Magic Kingdom, but that was it.

Every day was packed morning to night with action and adventure, and I have a ton of stuff I’d love to blog about. Although I could probably fill a month’s worth of posts, I’ll try to ration them out instead of flood the site with my thoughts and observations on this one event. But here are a couple little funnies:

We had just, two minutes ago, stepped off a ride that Calfgrit7 exclaimed was was “great” and “cool” and “awesome.” Now he was saying, “This place is boring.” TWO MINUTES between scream-laughing fun and whining boredom. Is that a record?

We were actually still standing in front of the restaurant where we had just eaten a buffet meal, and Calfgrit3 announced, “I’m hungry.” Two minutes between all the food he could possibly eat and hunger. Sadly, that is not a record for him.


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Jet Lag

I’d been told that dealing with jet lag and adjusting to the time differences would be very difficult. Some people told me it was feeling worn out and tired all day. I never felt that. I thought I had was doing just fine, both in Sweden and back home, because I felt fine all day. I never had that strung out feeling so many described.

But back home now, every night this week, after getting the boys in bed, I found myself incredibly tired and sleepy. Monday through Friday this week, I went to bed between 8:00 and 8:30. I was fast asleep within about five minutes of laying down and I stayed asleep all night long.

Only one night did I force myself to stay up, and that was Thursday night, for gaming with my friends. At the game table, after 8:00, I was fighting back sleepiness. I yawned, I blinked, and just had to fight off the urge to lay my head down. Only the fun of playing a game and talking with friends kept me awake.

So it seems that I didn’t actually manage to avoid the jet lag and tiredness of worldly travel. I really hope I’m past this now, because giving up two to four hours each night that could be used for fun and getting things done is aggravating.


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“Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”
— John Howard Payne

I’m home. I’ve had a good adventure abroad — I enjoyed the journey, I enjoyed the destination, and I enjoyed the return (except for the last leg of the trip being delayed). But I am happy to be home again.

Cowgrit and the boys met me at the airport, and it felt really good to be hugged by all three at the same time. It feels good to just be in my own home again.


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