Of all the times I’d been to Disneyland (which is an awful lot) I’d never before been stuck on a ride. That is, until a few weeks ago when I took a day trip to The Happiest Place on Earth with my fiancé. Sure, I have felt the disappointing plunge when you finally go to use your fast past and the ride is broken down. And sure, I have felt the sadness when you are almost to the front on the ride and been turned away because of malfunctions. But, I have only once been fully on a ride when it broke down, and it’s kind of a fun story.
So here it goes. On September 15th, just 3 days after my fiancé Alex and I had gotten engaged; we decided to celebrate at our favorite place! Equipped with our “Happily Ever After” buttons and grinning from ear to ear, we set off to enjoy a lovely day at the parks. September is notoriously the hottest month in Southern California, and this day was no exception. Not only was it hot, but it was also super muggy out as it was raining on and off all day. On muggy Disney days my main goal is usually to ride as many water rides as possible to stay cool while having fun! I also LOVE visiting the parks when it rains, but I’ll eventually write a blog about that, so more on that later. Anyways, we grabbed our Splash Mountain Fast Passes and went about our day until it was time to use them.
After enjoying a lovely lunch at The House of Blues and riding a few smaller rides it was 2:00pm and time for us to use our Fast Passes for one of my very favorite rides, Splash Mountain! We headed straight to the front of the line and got great seats. Alex was in the very front (the seat where you definitely get the most wet) and I was right behind him. The rest of our canoe was filled with giggling 30 something women, who it seemed, had never been on the ride before, or maybe even to Disneyland. They were loud and laughing and having a great time.
We took off as usual and were pretty wet within the first few drops. Everything was going great and the ride was as fun as always! It was nearing the “big drop” part of the ride and my heart started racing as it always does. I don’t care how many times you go on Splash Mountain; the “big drop” is still always a major rush and will make you scream! So, we build, and build, and build, seeing boat after boat drop off the edge ahead of us. There is only one boat in front of us at this point and we are almost to the very top when the ride screeches to a halt…
Now, I’ve had many rides “break down” before and you sit stagnant for several minutes. The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean are notorious for keeping you at a stand still for long periods of time, so I figured that was what was happening here. In my experience in the past, you just sit still and wait and they will start-up again. It became pretty clear to us that this was not one of those times.
After about 8 minutes: we are sitting in our spots at about a 45 degree angle, the music fades off and the ride gets totally silent. The giggling women in the back are, at this point, very concerned and confused, while Alex and I are just chillin’, thinking the ride will start-up again any second.
15 more minutes pass…our rears start to fall asleep. I had never realized that these seats were so uncomfortable before, but it’s basically like sitting on a bicycle seat.
5 more minutes pass…I am starting to go a little stir crazy. Pretty sure Brer Rabbit is taunting me with that smile.
3 million more minutes pass (ok, I might be exaggerating, but it felt like that.)…A cast member peaks her head around a corner at us, doesn’t say anything, and leaves.
5 more minutes pass…The Disneyland cast member is back and here to save us! The women in the back seem much more antsy to get off so we let them go first. It is very difficult to evacuate the ride because of the angle, but we all manage to safely exit the canoe. After all the members of our boat are safely back on solid ground the cast member begins to evacuate the canoe in front of us. As hard as it was for us to get out of our seats, it was twice as hard for those at the very top who were just about to go over the big drop. It took one woman almost 10 minutes to safely exit her seat, as they kept trying to evacuate her from different angles.
Our hero cast member leaves us there for a little while, standing at the shores of Splash Mountain, while she goes and saves some other folks. The giggling women are happy again, and proceed to take about 800 selfies standing inside the ride. The cast member comes back and has us exit in a single file line.
My favorite part of getting stuck on Splash Mountain was getting to exit the ride and seeing all the behind the scenes parts of the ride. We twisted and turned through secret passageways and tunnels, at one point seeing a gushing waterfall where the water is pumped in for the entire ride. There were cast members scurrying around this way and that, making sure everyone got off the ride safely. Eventually, the ride plopped us out at an exit in the back and we were finally free! There was a beautiful rainbow that greeted us back to land over The Rivers of America. Because of our troubles, they gave us front of the line passes to use on any ride in the park at any time of our choosing, which I thought was a nice touch.
Now, that I look back on it, the whole experience was actually pretty fun, and I am glad it happened. I mean it’s not every day you get to see the inner workings of a Disneyland ride! So, if you ever get the chance to get stuck on a ride enjoy it! Realize that you are in safe hands and try to be positive about the experience.