They say that childhood is a time of discovery, exploring and most certainly a time to have loads of exuberating times. All of these things were defiantly factors when me, my Dad and my Sister went to Florida in America. My unrivalled memory from that trip was taking the plunge and trying to go on my first ever rollercoaster ride. I am not normally one to go on rollercoasters, as I am one in many who don’t like the thrills and spills that the beasts hand out to those stupid enough to go on them. This time however was different!
This time was the biggest rollercoaster I could ever remember seeing and I just couldn’t turn down the opportunity! Let me set the scene… The sun was blazing down on our already overheated bodies. The sky was clear blue like the ocean and only the occasional wisp of a cloud could spoil its perfectness. ‘This holiday,’ I was thinking, ‘Is the best holiday of my life so far. ‘ It was the second to last day of our two-week holiday in Florida. Meaning, that like most holidays this one was tragically drawing to a stop like an old great train pulling in at the station.
Disneyland was the precise location. We had spent most of the vacation inside Disneyland itself. That is except for one day when we went to an English pub to watch the eagerly awaited game of England versus Greece. That, of course, was the game that put England into the world cup finals with David Beckhams ninety-third minute free kick. This day we had pre-booked at the Thompson welcoming party. That is where the company that we booked our holiday with get everybody who arrived the day before together and explain what there is to do in the area outside Disneyland.
My sister and me were bored out of our minds. So bored in fact it felt like someone had taken an electric drill and was slowly drilling through the side of my wafer thin skull. We did however, kind of stand to attention like well-dressed soldiers when the lady came to explaining Sea-World and Universal Studies and Islands Of Adventure. We ended up booking a day at Sea-World and a day at either Universal Studies or Islands Of Adventure. Well the first real rollercoaster I ever went on was at Sea-World.
Sea-World is not a theme park but it does have one of the greatest piece of machinery I have ever seen. As you can tell from the name Sea-World has lots of sea creatures to view and all of the restaurants bar one sell seafood. The only problem with this is that I am not keen on seafood nor is my sister. My most memorable moment to do with fish while we were there was my first ever experience with dolphins. The instructors explained that to get the dolphins attention you had to shake your hand in the water like a flipper.
When they show their face to you, then you have to stroke under their chins to get them to open their mouths like infantile birds pecking under their mother’s beaks waiting for the mother to deploy the regurgitated meat. Then you just pop the fish onto their tongues and watch them devour it like tigers chewing on the meaty flesh of an Antelope. The most memorable show we saw while we were at Sea-World was about a killer whale named Shimu. The show did also include two other gigantic whales swimming effortlessly through the deep sea of blue sparkling water with reflections shimmering into my eyes.
They were nowhere near the size of Shimu, though, who was probably about the size of a bus and probably weighed more. During this spectacular show of whales jumping splashing and clapping their humungous bodies against the rippling surface of the water, creating a tidal wave of sparkling blue water towards the edge of the pool. While all of this was happening there were a consignment of men strolling up and down the isles attempting to sell authentic towels with picture of Shimu on the back. My sister persuaded my Dad to buy her one but as I had my own little stash of cash I bought my self one.
Luckily for my sister she chose the towels that was as soft as velvet while I, not wanting to copy, chose the rugged and rough like sand paper towel. My towel however did have a stunning design of Shimu on the front so I decided to purchase it. After the show and lunch we were walking around the park when we all saw the most colossal rollercoaster I had ever seen. I have been to Blackpool and seen ‘The Big One’ when I was six and even though it will have seemed huge this one looked even more humongous. It was like a big green monster, which was primarily the impression they were trying to give to people.
The ride was based on a mythical serpent, which was ruled over by Poseidon (Greek god of the Oceans). My dad was trying to persuade me to go on but I was having none of it and stubbornly said the two magical letters n and o “No! ” My sister is only three years younger than me and yet she is not scared of rollercoasters until it’s to late and she on them. She wasn’t anywhere near as petrified as me though and she went for it while I stood and watched. The more I watched them drop, barrel roll and corkscrew on the big green stalks spanning most of the park, the more I wanted not to get on it.
When they got off it my dad was saying “Its not so bad” but by the exhilarated vibes he was sending out I knew he was lying. I was stood watching through the small, square and rusty holes in the fence when I surprised all three of us when I suddenly said, “Yes! ” As we were walking through the entrance my sister got measured to make sure she was tall enough to go on the ride. You then walk through an archway, which is supposed to fit in with the theme of the ride, and my stomach lurched. I really wanted to do this so I gritted my teeth and entered the building where you climb into the suspended seats slowly rising from its last journey.
As with all modern rollercoasters there is a separate lane for passengers looking to sit on the front row. As my Dad and sister pointed out many a time, that is were they sat on their first go. They did of course enquire into whether I wanted to sit there but I thought for my sake and their clothes sake that I didn’t on my first go. While the harness was being pulled down my dad, trying to calm my nerves and ultimately look clever, said “The harnesses are on a ratchet meaning that once they are locked into place there is no getting them out again until the ride had stopped.
The chairs were a turquoise base with a yellow harnesses and a little seat belt clipping from the seat into the harness and there was also a little part of the chair sticking up in your groin area stopping you slip out of the chair. They were like a baby seat only with a theme to match the track, which was also turquoise and was below you unlike Nemesis and Air (two rides at Alton Towers) where the track is above you. The trains were also turquoise, can you see a pattern, and they were floorless leaving your legs dangling!
As we were being pulled up the steep ramp my sister, as normal, started to panic even though she had already been on it once before. When you get to the top of the ramp you take a long right meaning that you are able to actually peep at the drop you are about to encounter. After seeing the drop a women on the row in front of us obviously shared the same opinion as me and screamed Oh followed by an unprintable word. Here comes the first and second childhood theory of discovery and exploring new speeds never witnessed by me with the wind shooting through my hair.
During the first drop you build up a lot of speed and then loop once. This is defiantly relating the last childhood theory of fun because I certainly was having lots of fun. At the end of this loop is an on-ride photo section, which takes photos of you on the ride, then comes a barrel roll. The rest of the ride is just as smooth, as the saying goes, ‘A baby’s bum’ and packed to the brim with more drops, loops and barrel rolls to fill even the maddest rollercoaster fan’s heart.
After the ride I was actually shocked at how much fun I actually had on the ride and how much I had enjoyed it. After we exited the ride we walked down the pitching path towards the miniature bunker where you were able to purchase your on-ride photo shots. After much debating we decided that we should try to get a photo where all three of us had our eyes open and our hands in the air. This turned out to be a lengthy process, seven trips in-fact, until we all agreed on the right photo.
On the front of the little booklet, which held the photo, was the name of the ride with a picture of two little monsters eyes peering over the top of the writing, which was red. On the inside right there was our photo and on the left was the history of the mythical beast and why it arose from the bottom of the sea. At the rides shop afterwards I decided it would be a good idea to buy a postcard with a photo of the ride on it so I could show people just how awesome it really is. Since that day I have been able to go on any rollercoaster to face me. All down to the day that I conquered ‘Kraken’.