This might turn in to a long story, but it’s pretty good.
Yesterday, I mentioned seeing WDW through my buddy’s eyes and since I’m going to be talking about him for the next couple of days, let me introduce you to my buddy and partner in crime at work. I’ll just call him Craig (mainly because that’s his name.)
Craig is a “real” Air Traffic Controller. He’s highly dedicated, obviously intelligent (you’ve got to be somewhat intelligent to be an Air Traffic Controller), and all around nice guy. He likes to Jet Ski and fly and enjoys all kinds of thrills. Or so I thought.
OK, let’s get started. It was a dark and stormy night …
Oops, wrong start.
We were sitting in the conference on Day 2. I was bored. It was 9 (the conference started at 8). My ADD had kicked in. I was bored (did I say that already). Going to a conference at WDW is not a good idea for Dad.
I was sitting next to Craig and leaned over and said, I’m going to blow this place after lunch and hit a park. I think he was almost as bored as I was so he said, sounds good.
And we did. Let the fun begin! (For me at least.)
We took the boat over from the Yacht Club where the conference was being held to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I asked my buddy if he liked riding roller coasters. That’s a pretty easy question. Yes or no? He thought for a minute, then gave me a very reserved y-uh-es.
Most Air Traffic Controllers are machines when it comes to answering questions. Right or wrong, you ask we answer with confidence. (Yes, fellow Air Traffic Controllers, contrary to popular belief you are sometimes wrong.) Craig-er (as I call him) to his infinite credit is a rare breed in Air Traffic Control. He will take his time about answering any question. He actually thinks before he talks.
I could tell right away that Craig-er had some reservations about riding a roller coaster. So I started telling him about Rock ‘n Roller Coaster. How it was my favorite ride, how fun it was, how it was the smoothest roller coaster in the world …
We chatted a bit about rough roller coasters and wooden roller coasters. I told him about Disney building the first metal roller coaster and on and on. Finally he said something about going upside down to which I promptly replied, “you won’t be upside down long enough to notice”.
What did you just say? Craig-er shouted. Yeah, it goes upside down, but you’ll hardly notice. Trust me.
I literally dragged Craig over to RnR. Come on. It will be fun. Trust me. I must have said that about 10 times. I was like a kid at Disney World. Come on Daddy, let’s go Daddy, come on. Craig was like a reluctant Dad being dragged to the Tea Cups. He could hear the funeral dirge playing in the background. Just because I kept saying “we who are about to die salute you” is no reason to be scared buddy.
We did get there pretty quickly, but my arm was pretty tired of pulling. The posted wait was 40 minutes so we jumped in the Single Rider Line. You don’t have to ride with me do you? I asked. (I really didn’t want to be sitting next to him while he was screaming like a little …) He said “no, I’ll be all right”. Not a lot of conviction there buddy.
We zipped right through the line. Walked right into the sound stage room. We came out first in line and started walking up to the loading dock when a car launched. This car must have been filled with a bunch of squealy little girls because there was a bunch of high-pitched screaming when the car launched.
I looked over at Craig and his eyes were the size of extra large pizza platters. I just smiled.
We walked right up to the podium. They put us right in line. I was in the back of a car with a little bitty girl and Craig was in the next vehicle riding with a nice lady.
The car came and I jumped in. I was ready. Off we went. I sang my way through the loop and the corkscrew and right into the unloading dock. I love Rock ‘n Roller Coaster.
I waited for Craig. In a couple of minutes here he came. His first words were something like; I’m going to get you. He wasn’t really mad, but he wasn’t really sure about what he just experienced.
As we walked out of the gift shop Craig commented, “that would be a lot better if they did a countdown before you launched.” “Hey Craig, didn’t you hear Steven Tyler screaming in your ear right before you took off? He said Five, Four, Three, Two, One.”
“Oh”, Craig responded. “How about the music?” I asked. “Which song was playing?”
“Music? What music?
“Maybe we need to ride that again.” I said. Craig was game to ride again and we should have, but we had run out of time. Off to the next adventure.
This was truly and experience of a lifetime for Craig. It was a ride he will never forget.
You’re welcome buddy!
PS. Craig did give me permission to write about our adventures. In fact he’s sitting right next to me reading this as I write it.