Nuggets of Wisdom

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Top 13 Scariest Nostalgic Moments (#2)

Despite being called the Happiest Place on Earth, Walt Disney World has its fair share of traumatizing moments.

If I were to tell you that the next item on this list was a Disney attraction, you’d probably guess it was the Haunted Mansion.

While that ride did creep me out as a kid, it has since grown on me and it’s now one of my favorite rides.

So what could possibly be the scary ride in question?

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror?

That ride did scare me, but to the point where I haven’t ridden it up until recently.

Snow White’s Scary Adventure?

I can see why other children were scared by it, but it never scared me, partly because by then I had seen the movie and knew the scary moments from it.

So what Disney ride scared me as a kid?

#10: Honey, I Shrunk The Audience!

In the early 90s, Disney released a live-action movie called Honey, I Shrunk The Kids about a mad-scientist father who creates a shrinking ray that, as the title implies, accidently shrinks his children. Hijinks ensue as the kids are forced to scale their backyard and brave giant insects in order to get back to their house and return to their normal size.

This blockbuster was a huge success and ended up spawning two sequels (Honey, I Blew Up The Baby and Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves), a television series, and, as you can guess, a 3D Movie at Walt Disney World. I was around seven when I rode this attraction. I thought it was going to be a whimsical adventure, but for me, it turned out to be a life-scarring nightmare.

The premise of the attraction is that the audience is attending an awards ceremony in honor of the scientist father for his inventions, including his shrinking ray, which, as the title suggests, ends up shrinking the audience, who are nearly eaten by a snake, stepped on by a baby, and sneezed on by a dog.

But before the audience is shrunk, the father demonstrates another invention of his: a cloning machine. He uses his son’s pet rat in order to test it, and before you can say “what can possibly go wrong?”, the machine ends ups malfunctioning and unleashing a plague of rats into the audience—literally!

Around this time, the lights go out. You’re enveloped in complete darkness. The sound of chattering rats surround you. Underneath your chairs are little tubes that blow puffs of air, making it feel as though rats are crawling along your legs.

I kid you not: when this happened, I leapt straight out of my seat screaming into my mother’s lap where I remained until the end of the movie.

This was a moment that came out of nowhere for me. I wasn’t expecting anything like that to happen. What made this worse, other than the puffing air, is that it happens in the dark, and as anyone will tell you, children are terrified of the dark. It’s a vulnerable moment for a little kid, and the crawling rats hardly make it any better.

The good news for me is that this ride has since been replaced by the Captain EO ride, and to my knowledge, that ride doesn’t have a similar moment. Good news for me, and for any other kid who would otherwise be traumatized by that.