Tuesday, January 03, 2012

When the Queue Fights Back

Some of you know that until June 2011, I had a very real fear of Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion. In fact, it was so bad that even as an adult, I would sit through the ride with my eyes partly covered! The one time I dared to ride it alone, I ended up so freaked out that the only way I made it through was by staring at my lit phone screen! Something about things jumping out at me (in the graveyard scene) or the chance of getting stuck in the Mansion just really got to me. Never mind that my dad thought my 4-year-old terror of it was hilarious back in 1987!  

June 2011 I rode with Kyle, and I my fears diminished as he pointed out neat details on the ride. By December 2011, I was begging him to hurry up, so we could go get in our Doombuggy!  Funny how fears can go away when you're with the right person. (Truthfully it also helped that I read a TON of facts on a Haunted Mansion fansite.)

Rewind to my first adult trip to Walt Disney World. It was January 2009, and my fear of the Haunted Mansion was in hyper-drive. I really wanted to go on the ride despite those fears though.

The grandparents-in-law agreed to watch the kiddos while the other adults went to the Haunted Mansion. This included me, my sister, my brother-in-law, his brother, and his brother's wife. I had already told everyone involved that I was NOT riding alone, and my sister would have to ride with me. Oh, another key point is that earlier in the day, the queue had been extended to start around the entrance to the Liberty Square Riverboat.

Finally plucking up the courage to face my fears, I, in typical Joanna style, decided to laugh it up with everyone while hurrying to the attraction. Laughter always makes me feel better, so I was making everyone laugh, while practically running to the ride and looking behind me to talk to everyone.  I just heard my sister yell, "JOANNA!" and barely registered an odd look on her face when something hit me so hard in the stomach that I doubled over!  Did someone seriously just punch me?!

Nope. Apparently even though the queue was no longer extended, and the ropes were down, the removable, waist height poles they used to extend the queue were still in the sidewalk.  I had slammed right into one and folded over it cartoon style! 

Imagine running into the pole above while jogging!  It knocked the wind out of me, and people around us were looking at me like I was crazy!  It didn't help that I was scared to death of the ride we were about to go on, but now I was out of air and laughing hysterically!  Fear was coming out as fits of laughter!  You know that kind of laughter where you start crying, and you're almost sobbing because you're laughing so hard?  Yeah, that was me!  Until we got in the Doombuggies I was wiping tears of laughter and giggling randomly. People gave me a bit of a wide berth.

Later that night I lifted up my shirt and noticed I had a silver dollar sized bruise right beside my belly button!  Of course I told my sister and that set off another round of laughter!  While I was mortified that I'd done something so silly, so publicly, it's actually a fun memory for me.  Every time I pass those poles, I giggle a bit remembering my most embarrassing Disney moment.


  1. It's funny how moments like that can be so embarrassing when it happens but actually brings back good memories later on. I remember walking into a pole when I was younger because I was talking to my mom or someone. I was embarrassed, but luckily there was only family around and not the ones that would tease me too much. ;)

  2. I l ove the topic idea! And funny story. Glad you got past that fear!

  3. Great topic. I am a clutz and could right a novel of my incidents in public. You do just have to grin and bear it! Glad you overcame your fear.

  4. Being a somewhat uncoordinated myself, these types of things seem to happen to me at least once per trip . . . if not more! Glad you have overcome your fear of the Haunted Mansion! It is in my top 3 favorite attractions!

  5. I was on line 25 yrs ago at of all places, the Haunted Mansion. There were French Canadians in line behind me only speaking French. Both the men and the women had REALLY short shorts on. I made a comment to the people around me that the people from Canada have no sense of decorum. With that they turned to me and in perfect English told me how rude I was. I was embarrassed on put in my place.

  6. Ouch! Glad you weren't hurt more seriously than a bruised tummy... and that you can look back and laugh.

  7. hahaha! Great story, Joanna! Sorry about the bruise, but the whole ordeal did give you a funny story to tell!