Halloween is, by far, one of my family’s favorite holidays. Although I nearly wrecked it for good years ago, scaring my kids so badly they were willing to quit one of the greatest roller coasters ever, Disney parks forever, and Halloween forever.
I made the mistake, about four years ago, of taking them on Space Mountain during Halloweentime at Disneyland.
I have children who go back and forth with being adventurous. My little one was all for giving Space Mountain a shot. She was ‘just’ tall enough and feeling rather proud of her ‘big girl’ height.
My son, on the other hand, was skeptical. He wasn’t and isn’t a roller coaster fan and had his doubts his love for space would override his fear of coasters.
But instead of listening to my MOM-gut, I went on to encourage what might have been one of my biggest parenting fails thus far.
I made a major miscalculation as we wound our way through the line, in the dark, getting closer and closer to the iconic ride…it was Hallowen, and the usual Space Mountain had some added punch: one super scary ghost alien thingy that reaches for you, seemingly skin peeled off, as you scream your way around a curve.
I had no idea.
I missed the signs as we walked in. The huge, creepy, signs.
I didn’t notice the ghost creepy dude motif all over the walls once past the front entrance.
I loaded my two, sweet, naive, little, impressionable, loving, and innocent children onto the rocket ship and buckled them in for the SCARIEST MOMENT OF THEIR CHILDHOOD. All while assuring them the ride wasn’t a big deal and they could totally handle it.
…and off we flew into the darkness, joyously screaming at the ups and downs, having no idea all of us were about to be frightened out of our socks.
Around the curve we went, ghost alien peel-off skin creepy dude lunges for us…I pretty much pee my pants. I guarantee the kids peed theirs.
Flash forward to the present. That fateful trip years ago is now family lore. The legend of the idiot Mom and her two elementary school babies, forced to ride the big kid ride and be attacked by the evil alien with no skin. Full on, told at the dinner table, family LEGEND.
But it is possible I didn’t permanently damage their little brains forever. After (another) long stretch of hospital stays, I’m breaking free and with the help of some pixie dust* we’re going to continue the tradition of visiting Disneyland during Halloweentime AND Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.
My son, now 12, tells us he wants to ride Space Mountain for the first time in many years. He’s feeling brave. He’s feeling adventurous. He’s feeling like he can tackle the ghost alien creepy dude.
His 10-year old sister is absolutely onboard and they are pumped to head to the parks tomorrow and go straight over to the ride that nearly ruined all rides for us.
As for the Mom, I’m not so sure. Ok I’ve told them I wasn’t scared and it wasn’t a big deal and I can totally do this again with them…but I’m lying through my teeth.
While they may be ready, after years of Space Mountain abstinence, I might need a few more years. Perhaps a decade.
I can’t even ride Space Mountain when it’s NOT Halloweentime.
So at some point during the car ride tomorrow I plan on telling the kids I am still scared.
Honesty is what I ask of them, I need to be honest and truthful and all of those things I remind them are the mark of a good person. I’m going to let them know just the thought of riding that roller coaster has my stomach flipping and my mind racing and my heart going a million miles per hour.
I’m also going to consider being brave. I SAID CONSIDER.
With any luck the spirt of our blessed Halloweentime will sweep me away and I won’t think twice about maneuvering my scooter around and around the windy line while that horrific ghost alien guy scans me, finds the best curve to hide on, and prepares to make me once again, pee my pants.
SAVE ME MICKEY!!!
*Thank you, Walt Disney World Resort & Parks team for once again giving us tickets to experience the magic.