Monday, September 12, 2011

I Rode My First Roller Coaster . . . NEVER AGAIN!!!

You've been hearing me talk for the past week or so that this past Saturday I was going to the Magic Kingdom with my hubby and BFF to celebrate BFF's bday.

That morning we all got up before the sun so we could make the hour drive to Orlando to be there for when the park opened. We made great time getting to the park, found parking in the very front, and were at the gates as they were starting to let people in. I was so excited to see that the park had already started to celebrate the fall.

We decided to board the train that would bring us to the opposite side of the park. . .why hike it when we could ride a super cool 1920's locomotive? Look how excited my BFF was!

Hubby and I were pretty psyched too!

Our first ride of the day was the Jungle Cruise. Our "captain" was the most energetic person I have ever met! I think she was sniffin' the pixie dust before her shift!

Going to a theme park in a wheelchair has its perks. . .go to the front of the line (check), get the best seats on the ride (check), get to ride "rides" within a ride (Hmm how many times can I say ride in one sentence?) because that is where the wheelchair goes (check). This particular ride I had to get on a lift (Like the Aladan Magic Carpet ride lift you), spin around to be facing the front of the boat (Whoa now we're on the tea cups) and drop down to be even with the floor of the boat (Hello Tower of Terror).

I swear I'm getting to the roller coaster part of our day.

My hubby wanted to explore Tom Sawyers Island, which we were told is not "Jamie friendly." I could ride the raft over to the island, but exploring the island was not accessible. I knew how badly my hubby wanted to explore the attraction, so I had absolutely no problem waiting in a shaded area while he and my BFF played explorer.

While I was waiting, I was faced towards one of the three famous roller coasters at the Magic Kingdom, Big Thunder Mountain.

I watched as train after train roared through the mountain. I knew my BFF wanted to ride the three roller coasters at the park (Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain). I have never been on a roller coaster. Not because I don't want to ride one, but because I don't have the core upper body strength to hang on. I would fall over without someone really holding me. Plus after I had my back surgery at age 15, it wouldn't be smart to go on a ride that is very jarring to your body having a metal rod from my pelvis to the top of my spine.

I made a comment to the boys when they returned from the journey that the ride didn't seem too extreme. The train, although going fast (30 mph), didn't seem to have many sudden drops or anything too severe. What I had meant by my statement was my hubby should ride with my BFF (He's not the biggest coaster fan). What ended up happening was this conversation:

Me: "I've been watching the train on Thunder Mountain. . .it doesn't look too bad."

BFF: "No it's really not."

Hubby: "It looks like you could even go on."

BFF: "You could ride it."

Me: "Let's go"

So we get to where you board the ride and we ask the attendant if there are any high drops and we were told no.

The plan was to have me sandwiched in between the two of them, however the ride vehicle was not large enough for all of us, so it ended up being my BFF and I in one car and my hubby directly behind us.

So here we are, the bar comes down on our laps (Although my BFF's legs are much thicker than mine, so really it is just hitting his legs and not mine.), my BFF has his arm around my shoulders to help stabilize me as we go around the twists and turns, and my hubby has his hands on the back of my neck to make sure my head doesn't bounce around too much (Remember, not great core upper body strength.).

So we're off like lightning. I have my upper body braced, my head braced, should be all good right? WRONG!!!

What none of us banked on was my butt sliding on the seat. So although my upper body and head were OK, with every twist and turn and mini hill we would go down my butt would slide closer and closer to the edge of the seat. Now there really was nowhere for me to go because you are in an enclosed ride vehicle, BUT you have to understand something. From sitting all the time, my hamstrings are tight. I cannot sit on my knees. The last time I was on my knees I tore every muscle, tendon and ligament in my leg and for the next 3 - 4 months my leg was like triple its normal size. So envisioning me sliding down into this tiny space where my legs would be sandwiched, plus the fast speed, bumps, twist and turns. . .I was panicked!

So here I am trying to scream to my BFF over the roar of the ride and the other passengers screaming in delight:

Me: "Hey, I'm falling. You need to grab on to me!!!"

BFF: "I've got you!"

Me: "No my butt is sliding off the seat, you need to pull me up!"

BFF: "I can't pull you up!"

Me: "You've got to hold on to me!!!"

God bless my BFF! My hubby sitting behind us couldn't of course hear this panicked conversation going on, but was equally as freaked as he saw my head moving from side to side as the train banked nearly on its side with each turn.

At one point, probably at the middle of the ride, my BFF reaches across me and held on to both of my legs to brace me from sliding any more. Granted, also at this point, my butt is completely off the seat and I am sitting in a more lounged position rather than straight up.

After a few more twists, dips and turns we come to the end of our ride; out of breath, white faced and oh so anxious to get off the train!

My hubby immediately went into protective hubby mode:

Hubby: "Are you ok?"

Me: "Yes I'm fine."

Hubby: "Are you in pain? Does anything hurt, anything tingling"

Me: "No, I'm good"

Hubby: "Can you feel this (Poking/tickling my legs, arms, back, neck)?"

Me: "Yes, I can feel everything. I'm fine I swear."

Hubby: "You are never, EVER going on a roller coaster again!!!"

Me: "Who are you tellin!?"

So I survived my first roller coaster ride. To most, Big Thunder Mountain is a pretty tame one. To me, it was the longest, scariest 3:26 minutes of my life!!!

The rest of the day was amazing! We had such a fun time in the park riding the rides, watching some shows and eating some really good food!

What about you friends. Do you like roller coasters and thrill rides? As fun as they may look to me, and as much as I might have wanted to ride one, I must say. . .it will NEVER happen again!!!


  1. Jamie, you are never to go on that again!! I couldn't even read ANYMORE of this!! Too terrifying..I'm glad you are okay. That why I don't like rollercoasters to begin with.

    God was watching you that day

  2. As terrifying as it was at the time, it is HILLARIOUS to think about now. What a wild ride!!!

  3. Hello! :)
    I just wanted to let you know that I am in your condition, and have incredible tips to be safe in a roller coaster, trust me you can make it :) if you want to know how, just write me