April 2000

Disneyland: how can they call it the “Happiest Place on Earth” when we do nothing but spend hour upon tedious hour standing in a line?  Such was my mindset when two friends and I made the trek through the Magic Kingdom a few weekends ago.  After all, when we live in such a fast-paced society, who has time to wait?

We went in the evening, and after four hours and only three rides, decided to get in line for the “Rocket Rods,” the rapid transit system of the new Tomorrowland.  Being that none of us had ever been on the ride before, we didn’t know what to expect from the ride itself, or the wait preceding it.

As we stood in line, we joked about how our going on this ride was not meant to be: every time we thought we had reached a critical point, we saw the human design making several more loops and turns in front of us.  People passing the line after getting off the ride told us it wasn’t worth the wait, like in those bad horror movies where someone tells the hero, “Get out while you still can.”  At one point I even walked into a pole.

When the platform to board the ride was finally in sight, we heard an announcement crackling over the monotonous drone of the crowd.  The park employee’s sugary voice informed us that, due to a routine procedure, the ride would be stopped and there would be a slight delay.  We sat down on the ground and waited an extra 15 minutes, growing more bitter all the while.

But the technical difficulty passed, we eventually got on the ride, and as we did, the sky greeted us with the most breathtaking display of fireworks I have ever seen.  And because we were above the crowd, away from the hustle, we had a better view than we would have from any other spot in the park.  Luckily, the so-called “Rocket Rods” were not as rocket-like as their name implied, and the ride moved slow enough that we could enjoy the spectacle, which ended moments before we got off the train.

So maybe good things do come to those who wait.  All it takes is faith and trust, and, more often than not, a little bit of pixie dust.

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