October 24, 2012

Rides That Spark Dreams & Nightmares

Disneyland elephant Jungle Cruise river ride
A family takes their youngest adventurer on Jungle Cruise back in June. Another fan is born!

I remember the fun/scary thrill of visiting Disneyland when I was a small child (a bit older than our friend in the photo) believing in everything the park threw my way. I wondered how Rocket to the Moon blasted skyward without being seen by everyone outside the building. And I was certain the submarines really were diving hundreds of feet into unexplored depths.

And then there was Jungle Cruise...

When I got nervous in line, my parents gently tried to reassure me by revealing the animals were "mechanical."

But, here's the difference between small kids and adults: to a child, the thought of being bitten by a mechanical crocodile is just as scary as being bitten by a live one. Afterward, back home, I had a briefly recurring nightmare about falling overboard on Jungle Cruise and getting my foot caught on underwater wires controlling the animals. I cherish that old nightmare; it launched my fascination with Imagineering.

If you visited a Disney park as a small child, did any particular ride inspire great dreams or nightmares?


  1. What a great story!! It made me bust out laughing.

    1. Thanks! :) My nightmares as a kid were definitely more fun than the ones I have now -- which, sadly, often seem to involve trying to find a parking spot...


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