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Guest Column - Quentin's story
Page 1 of 2

by Quentin (archives)
January 18, 2001
The story of how a young man learned the Magic of Disney in one magical moment.

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Quentin and Minnie

For my writing class, I was assinged to write a personal memior of a past experience. I decided to write a story of my first real experience of Walt Disney World. The preceeding is a memior of that experience from August 3, 1999. Let me say that it has virtually changed my way of thinking forever. When people see me at first, they think I'm a tough guy. With my website and interests, it changes those perpectives. What you are about to witness is a pretty long read so get ready!

Before going to this place, I wondered if it would bore me out of my skull. Most teenage kids think Disney is just a "kiddy" thing. With some research prior to my trip, I found they had some interesting attractions like Space Mountain. So I decided to just do the major thrill rides and avoid all the "kiddy" stuff. Could something "magical" happen to me in the happiest place on earth, making me actually enjoy something such as a character breakfast? On August 1st, 1999, a "magical moment" altered my perception of Disney forever.

It was a warm, sticky morning among the hotels in Lake Buena Vista. Since most of my family wanted to sleep in, my brother, Justin and I decided to catch a shuttle to the Magic Kingdom. We wanted to get in a few rides before the character breakfast at 10:00 a.m. I didn’t anticipate this breakfast, thinking it would be absolutely stupid, but on vacation we do everything as a family.

The time was 8:35 a.m. We both got off the bus at the Transportation and Ticket Center. We wanted to ride Space Mountain first thing, so we both darted out the bus to join a heavy crowd waiting for the monorail. The crowd soon began to move slowly, yet swiftly like syrup, up the ramp while a marching band cheerfully played "The Mickey Mouse Club" theme. The first train left us, but we got on another train with time to spare. We got squashed like cattle as the odor from the icy cold air conditioning engulfed the sun baked passengers. Moments later, a calm male voice announced, "Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor mantenga alejado de las puertas."

The train whizzed by the white sand beaches of the Polynesain Resort, then onward to the Victorian-styled Grand Floridian resort. After the train departed the Grand Floridian, the monorail made a stop midway. The train ahead of it was still unloading guests. A quick glance of my Fossil watch said 8:45 a.m.! Can we be waiting for Space Mountain any longer? The monorail resumed its travel for the Magic Kingdom. " Once the monorail doors automatically opened, we both began walking vigorously towards Main Street U.S.A.

Walking towards Tommorowland, Space Mountain was still shining in my eyes like a gold medal. The ride was not yet operational, so we had to wait behind a rope in the Plaza Terrace, a dining outlet in Tommorowland. Since people were expecting to run for Space Mountain, the Cast Members warned us not to run but to walk swiftly. This rule was something I just couldn’t follow, but Justin absolutely refused to run. At 9 a.m., the rope dropped and we were off like a horse race! Running with the precision and speed of Michael Johnson, I darted towards the white-domed building which housed the ride. Soon, as I got pretty deep in the ride queue, the wait was finally over! The weeks of anticipation were coming to an end!

The car that came for my travel through the stars was striped in red, white and blue, along with a silver foreground. The seat was also leathered in black with the restrainer at the bottom. I put my belongings between my feet, pulled the rubbery restrainer towards my torso, and the car went off! Before the launch, every car was checked by a Cast Member to make sure it was a snug fit. After the safety check, the car began it’s climb towards uncharted territory in a red-illuminated tunnel along with a countdown on a panel. The countdown went, "5, 4, 3, 2, 1: Blast off!" The cars began their descent into pitch darkness, with blurring lights and neon-green stripes glowing on other cars. I screamed as the car’s direction was traveling in an unpredictable way. The ride was bumpy as if the car was on a road with cobblestones. It was a rough, yet thrilling I was very satisfied for being one of the first to ride it.

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