Saturday, November 7, 2015

Terror in the Mountain

     We were able to swing a trip to Disneyland on the cheap in September... where I faced a life-long fear. In the 70's, a commercial aired advertising that something had gotten in to the Matterhorn at Disneyland. The announcer had an eerie voice and the shot was as if you were on a bobsled slowly approaching something that had glowing red eyes. Then, a roar emitted from the TV. It was captivating in a terrifying way (at least to me as a kid). I had never been on the Bobsled ride at Disneyland since the only time I had been to the park up to that point was when I was 4.
     I finally returned to Disneyland when I was 16. I never forgot that commercial. As I faced the mountain, I was reminded that "something had gotten in to the Matterhorn." With a little trepidation, I boarded a bobsled with a girl from my youth group. I warned her I was probably going to scream and I made good on my promise. I was anticipating the Yeti and it had me spooked. We flew past some glowing red eyes that flashed on accompanied by a roar which freaked me out. Then, there he was in all his towering and frightful glory. And right in Jenny's ear, I bellowed like a banshee. She didn't appreciate that.
     Fast forward 30 years and I was facing the mountain again, this time with my 12 year old daughter. I hadn't been on the Matterhorn in several visits, lines too long, kids too young, me without my Depends undergarments... but it was time to face the Yeti again. I had never been on this ride at night, and that added to my anxiety. Plus, I was in the front car with my daughter right behind me. Facing the pitch black cave, I was freaking. And for 2015, they upped the terror factor. Now, as you ascend, behind a wall of ice alongside,  Harold (that's the creatures unofficial name), follows you. So  I'm tripping as we climb and I'm being stalked. We began our descent, and all I could focus on was the heart attack that was awaiting. I started calling out, "He's coming! He's coming!" as if that would prepare me better. We shot past him and I yelped. But, thank you Disneyland Imagineers, because they designed this ride so a guest passes Harold twice. And I knew that, and the second pass was worst than the first. I screamed and jumped, and then all I could hear afterwards was the uproarious laughter of my daughter in back of me. And more thanks to the Imagineers, because now upgraded Harold lunges at you. Julia says he doesn't. He does. The experience is worse than ever.
     I blame the whole thing on that commercial that always stayed with me. And I have to just give one more shout out to those Imagineers. Thank you for allowing me to leave such a rock solid manly impression on my 12 year old daughter. Curse you, Harold. And I'll see you next time (there's something seriously wrong with me).