Friday, August 14, 2015

Getting Stuck on Peter Pan's Flight // Magical Memories

        Back in January, my best friend Megan and I took a trip to Disneyland on a rainy Friday afternoon. We knew that Peter Pan's Flight would be closing for refurbishment soon and that it would be our last chance to ride it as it was, so we got in line and waited 45 minutes to board our pirate ship and take our trip to Neverland.
        It started off great, of course, because that ride, even before its refurbishment, was one of the most magical attractions in all of Disneyland. As we flew over the streets of London, however, we heard an announcement reminding people to keep their hands inside of the ride vehicle. And then, after entering the Neverland room, just as we were about to circle the island, our ship stopped.
        Now I had never truly been stuck on a ride before, so I figured we would keep going momentarily, as had happened whenever rides like Haunted Mansion and Indiana Jones had paused. Then the lights came on. It was interesting, at first, to look around the room with the lights on. We saw Neverland in better detail than ever before, as the volcano continued to smoke. We could also see what created the stars around the room, fiber optics stretching out like branches from the wall. It was okay, for a while.
        But as the time passed by, panic set in. We hadn't seen or heard from a cast member and we were left dangling in the air. Maybe dangling is a bit dramatic, because having looked up at the track in full lighting I can tell you that it's not lightweight, but I'm afraid of heights, really afraid of heights, so it still felt exceptionally precarious to me. It didn't help that there was a little girl in the ship behind us that kept voicing aloud all of the worries that were running through my head.
        "How are they going to get us down?"
        "How long are we going to be up here for?"
        "What's wrong with the ride?"
        Megan and I were still discussing the details of the room that we could never see before when a cast member finally came in. He asked how everyone was doing and assured us that we would be out soon, but that just set a whole new wave of worry on me, because he never said how we would be getting out. In our ship, Megan and I tried to guess how they could possibly get us down the perhaps 10 ft. difference between us and the floor. The only thing we came up with was a ladder, which made me panic because I did not want to have to face my fears that day by climbing down a tall ladder.
        After about fifteen minutes of being stuck, it occurred to us that we should have eaten before hand because neither of us had eaten in hours and were starting to get hungry. We were already rationing our quickly emptying water bottles. Around the twenty minute mark, another cast member came into the room, but he didn't even say anything to us. He just walked around Neverland and went into the next room. Boredom had set in, because it turns out that there's not much to do inside of a pirate ship and cell phones can't connect to the internet from Neverland, and I was still stewing in worry about how exactly we would get off of the ride.
        Twenty-five minutes after we had stopped, I found out that I had worried for nothing. A cast member approached the boat in front of us, on the other side of the island, and after she did something to it, it started moving. Once they disappeared into the next room, she came and sent our ship on its way. The rest of the ride was odd. We moved along the track with all of the lights on and none of the sounds. The weirdest thing we saw was Tiger Lily, essentially coming out of the ground and missing her lower half.
        After we disembarked and finally left, we saw that, of course, there were still people not so patiently waiting to ride. It was sprinkling and we made our way to the Jolly Holiday Bakery and split a cinnamon roll, celebrating our survival.
        In retrospect, that whole experience is hilarious. We were only so eager to ride it that day because of its impending refurbishment, so essentially the fact that the ride needed work was why we got stuck. And frankly, it was great ride to get stuck on. We got to see behind the scenes and we weren't in uncomfortable restraints. I've seen videos online of other Disneyland rides breaking down and I can say assuredly that I would choose Peter Pan's Flight every time, ten feet off the ground or not.


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