I’ll open my laptop to send some emails and quickly lose control. I start googling articles, and look, I like the thrills, but I’m really a sensitive guy. Just reading about someone else’s theme park experience gets me so fucking excited—especially their first time.
I’ll click through Disney tourist blogs written with the most intimate detail. Like, how hot it was when the Fantasmic dragon blew fire, what the inside of the monorail smelled like. Then it’s listicles and quick tips, really harmless stuff—but I still feel bad reading “How to Give Your Family the Best Theme Park Experience Ever.”
Next is the pictures. By this point, I’m full Google Incognito. And I’m just sifting through search results and starting to feel ashamed, admiring a roller coaster’s huge loops, a Ferris wheel’s supports or a log flume’s giant splash. Then it’s concept art which I feel like shit about cause it’s leaked, and I know it’s stuff the Imagineers never intended for me to see.
Once I’m on to videos I know there’s no going back and I’m going to hate myself for the rest of the afternoon. I start with entrance clips, the long walks from the parking lots to the gates. I love the drawn-out tease. There’s nothing like selfie-stick footage from a slow stroll up to Epcot’s gates to let the tension build. By the time the camera gets to the turnstiles, I’m pretty much squirming in my sweatpants.
Then I’m looking at amateur on-ride clips recorded without permission—close-ups of animatronics, the most vivid POVs.
I don’t have just one kind of attraction I’m into, I really like them all—omni-rovers, drop towers, simulators, coasters, flat rides, dark rides, pendulums; I’m hooked on anything 4-D.
Sometimes I watch videos of character meet and greets even though I’m not that into the cosplay.
Sometimes I watch clips of people who get all bumped and bruised from a thrilling, rough ride.
And by then I’ve lost it. I’m just clicking and watching and clicking and watching trains shoot out the Incredible Hulk’s tunnel and the lift going up and down the Tower of Terror’s shaft, till even I feel empty in my stomach and want to scream.
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