Last week Hubby and I celebrated our 4th anniversary in Orlando. We had a blast and visited 4 different parks while we were there. Now, theme parks have always been one of my favorite things. Once I got past a certain weight I stopped wanting to go. I had many fears about being obese and how it would affect my time at the parks. In fact because of this I have not been on a vacation that involved rides and such in 8 years. It is just one of the many ways my size has hindered me. I didn’t want my husband to have to suffer, so I agreed to take this anniversary trip thinking I was just going to have to sit on the sidelines and watch him have a ball, luckily this wasn’t completely true.
When we first got to Orlando we met up with our friends Scott and Laura who live up there. Laura’s father has connects with Disney and got us free park hopper passes. They met us at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This was more of a logistical thing than anything else. They wanted to eventually get us to the Magic Kingdom to spend most of the day. We walked around Animal Kingdom for about an hour and then took the safari. The safari ride has huge bench seats and no seat belts. There would be no problem for anyone of any size to fit on this fun animal adventure. This ride was very bumpy and pretty fast at times. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with back problems or motion sickness.
Then it was off to the Magic Kingdom. As we walked through the gates I was filled with memories of my childhood and all the fun I had in the magic kingdom and then filled with dread just knowing I would not be able to enjoy them this time because I had let myself get so huge.
First we went on Pirates of the Caribbean. This ride has bench seats and was no problem to fit into. Anyone could have ridden this ride no problem. They added some actual Johnny Depp AKA Jack Sparrow parts to this ride. Hubby loved it and felt very nostalgic.
Next we walked on to the Haunted Mansion. I was concerned about this ride. I wasn’t sure how wide the seats were and wanted to sit with hubby in case I was scared. Ha! I can’t believe that ride ever scared me. It was silly but we are glad we went. The seat was roomy. My larger hubby and I both fit comfortable. In fact if you were with smaller people you could have fit three in a seat.
Then in was on to the Swiss Family Tree House. Lots of climbing, reminded me I need to keep getting in better and better shape.
After that our group was interested in the big three: Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain. I was certain I would not be able to ride these so I was fully prepared to take a drink break while they had all the excitement. My hubby pushed and pushed me to try it anyway. I was so scared I would try to get on one of these rides and the attendant would scream out “Excuse me miss, you can ride this you are way too fat!!!”
The first one we decided to try was Splash Mountain, which typically puts two riders in each row. When I saw the seats I was sure this was going to be a little too tight a squeeze. However once we got closer to the ride I saw that many people were riding one to a seat. We decided to each ask for our own row to avoid embarrassment. To my delight once I got into the bench seat I found I could have ridden with a small person but certainly not with my husband. Hubby rode behind me and we had a great time on the ride. In fact since the lines were so short we rode it twice! I feel most anyone can ride Splash Mountain no matter your size, as long as you don’t mind riding solo.
For lunch we were trying to go healthy. Even though theme park food is not cheap, Disney did make sure to have some healthy options. I had a salad and grilled chicken. I drank water for most of the day expect for once when I splurged and had a revive vitamin water.
After lunch we did what you would expect: more roller coasters! We were lucky not to lose our lunch!! Thunder Mountain was just steps away from where we ate. I saw that this again had bench sits, so I wasn’t worried about fitting but I was worried about the push down lap bar. I decided to sit with Laura since she is tiny and I knew there would be enough space. It may be a tight squeeze if you have two large people in one bench. The lap bar came down without a hitch and we were off.
Of all the rides I remembered from my childhood space mountain was my fondest memory. After reading some reviews online I was positive I would have to sit this one out. I didn't want to miss out unless I absolutely had to so I decided to confront my fear. I went up to the line attendant and just flat out asked: "Do you think I am too fat for this ride?" She was so sweet about it. She said she thought I would be fine. Then I pressed her and said it was okay to tell me I was too fat but I didn't want to get up there and be kicked off. She laughed and said she knew I would fit. As we got closer and closer to the front of the line I thought I was going to have a panic attack. We learned from the ride attendant that if you are larger or tall you shouldn't ride in the front seat because it was the smallest and had the least amount of room. I finally lowered myself into the seat. I fit but thank God my hips weren't any wider. I pulled the lap bar down and although it didn't go down as far as I would have liked, it fit! we ended up riding it 3 times! I do however think if I was a little larger or hubby was just a little taller (he is 6'5'') we wouldn't have made it on the ride.
All in all the Magic Kingdom was a success and I did a lot of worrying for nothing. The next day I had to confront even more fears, and in a bathing suit no less.
To be continued...