Be­ware th­ese 13 theme-park curses

Orlando Sentinel - - CALENDAR -


Fear not. There are no black cats in our path, un­der-lad­der walk­ways or bro­ken-back moth­ers in­cluded in this col­umn. But in recog­ni­tion of this month’s Fri­day the 13th, here are 13 in­stances of bad luck in or around Cen­tral Flor­ida’s theme parks. With the right in­to­na­tion, “Golden Girls” ma­tri­arch Sophia Petrillo could prob­a­bly turn th­ese into a Si­cil­ian curse. Read at your own risk.

Pic­ture it: Or­lando, 2017. You get in line for a roller coaster un­der threat­en­ing skies. It be­gins to sprin­kle, but the ride keeps load­ing, so you main­tain hope. Then, right be­fore the gate opens for you to get on board, there is an an­nounce­ment that the coaster is go­ing down for weather-re­lated rea­sons.

In the Dis­ney Springs park­ing garage, you make a bee­line for the lit­tle green light at the end of the row that in­di­cates an empty spot. And it’s near the es­ca­la­tor. It’s too good to be true. But once you get down there, you see a parked mo­tor­cy­cle.

At bag check, the per­son in front of you has a back­pack with 40 zip­pers but no clue.

As it turns out, the splash zone is a lit­tle larger than ad­ver­tised, says Mr. Damp­pants.

Your staked-out spot for the af­ter­noon pa­rade is smack on the border of two loud­speaker zones, so you hear the mu­sic too soon or too late or at the same time and you think maybe you’re hav­ing a stroke. (Or maybe the dad who put the kid on his shoul­ders at the last sec­ond put you over the edge.)

You miss a soon-to-be­bright-pink spot on your neck with the SPF50.

When told to fill in “all avail­able space” dur­ing a pre-show, the strangers stand­ing near you ac­tu­ally fol­low in­struc­tions and move (un­com­fort­ably) closer to you.

Your Mag­icBand and the front-gate scan­ner mys­te­ri­ously for­get who you and your in­dex fin­ger are and your deep per­sonal con­nec­tion, then the cast mem­ber on duty says “Are you sure that’s the fin­ger you used?”

You can­not con­vince se­cu­rity that your selfie stick is re­ally a very, very skinny ther­mos.

You wait, oh, let’s say two hours, for lim­ited-edi­tion sou­venir mer­chan­dise. Then the next day on Twit­ter, you see it’s still avail­able in stores.

In the park­ing lot conga line, the car right be­fore you is the last one to fill out the row, so you are the first ve­hi­cle sent to the far reaches of the park­ing lot, which is a healthy hike away from the tram route.

You’re stuck in line with the dreaded theme park know-it-alls who make a big deal about re­fer­ring to Ep­cot as EP­COT Cen­ter. (You can just hear the ALL CAPS in their tone of voice.)

You get stranded in a ride about mid­way through. The ride is, of course, “it’s a small world.”

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