Saturday, August 23, 2008

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

When I was about five my dad would make my brother and I mac n' cheese with hot dogs for lunch and then we'd all sit down and watch episodes of the Twilight Zone while my mom was at work. I still have nightmares from some of the episodes (I get goose bumps whenever I hear someone say "room for one more, honey") but over all it's a cherished childhood memory of time with my Dad. Years ago the MGM Studios (now the Hollywood Studios) in Walt Disney World, Florida opened an attraction called the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The back story is that a wealthy family was riding the elevator in 1939 when it was struck by lightening, forever sending them to the twilight zone. On the attraction you get to board an elevator that does a few rapid free-falls when it too is struck by lightening. Those clever Disney mice go all out when they want to!

Michael and I rode it on our honeymoon in Florida in 1996 and declared it to be completely worth the hours-long wait. We were completely delighted when Disney decided to put the same attraction in at Disney's California Adventure which opened in 2001. However, we weren't quite as delighted when we actually rode it here... it lacks some of the amazing effects and technology that Florida got totally right. But it certainly does the trick... which is to say that your stomach ends up floating somewhere above your head when you rapidly plummet 150 feet! Nathan, being an exceptionally tall child for his age, was tall enough to ride it when he was three years old. However, considering we were about to move to Hong Kong where we would live in a 26 floor building where the elevator is the only reasonable access to one's apartment, it didn't seem wise to give Nathan an unnecessary phobia! But this time around I figured that the kids were both older and wiser and convinced them it would be loads of fun, similar to when Daddy tosses them up into the air and catches them.

Naughty Mommy! Good thing we have about four months before we move back into a high rise building in Macau... There were lots of tears when the ride was over, but later on in the evening Nathan thanked me for taking him on it and has now begun a new obsession... with the Twilight Zone! Trying to explain black and white television to a child who has never known a world without the Internet and DVDs is not an easy task! But I'm happy to share with him a passion for a program that is well written and still entertains (and scares!) four decades after it went off the air.

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