Theme Park Ranger
4:07 PM EDT, June 20, 2013
On a steamy day at Magic Kingdom, I noticed the wait time for Mickey's PhilharMagic was a mere 10 minutes. So while others queued up nearby for FastPasses of New Fantasyland attractions, I slipped into line for the 3-D musical, an Old Fantasyland attraction.
I walked directly to the tray of "opera glasses" and down the ramp, where I could see guests already seated through the open doors to the theater. I scurried and was able to sit down right as the sounds of show began.
Although the lack of a line caused me to miss out on quality air-conditioning time, I was happy not to wait in the lobby and be coerced by cast members to stand too close to other guests. I like PhilharMagic, but I dislike that drill.
There's a thrill associated with not having to wait in an attraction line. It's so satisfying — and unlikely — that it deserves a word dedicated to it. I have dubbed it a "miraqueue" (me-RAK-cue). To use it in a sentence: "No one was waiting to meet Mickey Mouse on Dec. 25; it was a Christmas miraqueue."
In the 1980s, comedian Rich Hall made a name for himself creating Sniglets, which he defined as "any word that doesn't appear in the dictionary, but should." We are overdue for a theme-park version of Sniglets, so here are a few I conjured up.
•Titicidium (tee-tee-SEE-dium), the paralysis experienced at Disney World's Ticket & Transportation Center when trying to decide means of transport to Magic Kingdom. Example: "Titicidium set in as our group debated the merits of monorail travel versus the ferryboat experience."
•Mantize (MAN-tyze), causing a fainting spell during the first loop of the Manta roller coaster at SeaWorld Orlando. Example: "The G-forces may mantize a few guests, but folks soon are flying above the theme park with ease."
•Potterbaun (POT-ter-bon), staring at Wizarding World of Harry Potter construction at Universal Studios. Example: "Even a Buzz Cola could not shake Greg from a severe state of potterbaun."
•Shamushamuzeled (sha-moo-sha-MOO-zelled), acting shocked by getting wet while sitting in the splash zone at SeaWorld's Shamu Stadium. Example: "Those kids appeared completely shamushamuzeled after the killer whales took aim at them."
•Fauxghosthosting (fuh-GOES-toast-ing), irritating fellow Magic Kingdom guests by speaking along with the Haunted Mansion narrator ("This room has no windows and no doors!") Example. "Yes, yes, we know you've been in the stretching room before. Stop fauxghosthosting!"
•Goodgreengolly (gud-green-GOL-lee), a family-friendly expletive uttered during the lift hill for the Incredible Hulk coaster at Islands of Adventure. Example: "We were moving slowly, and tension was building, then, goodgreengolly, it took off like a bullet."
•Uuuuuhhhhhs (uuuuuhhhhhz), people rendered speechless when it's their turn to order at counter-service restaurants. Example: "Just our luck. After waiting in line 20 minutes for lunch, it turns out we're stuck between two uuuuuhhhhhs who still don't know what they want to eat."
Random notes from recent park outings: I caught myself enjoying a performance of Universal's Superstar Parade. The dancers and characters were nicely in sync and looked happy to be there. And it was too hot to actually be happy to be there. … Transformers: The Ride — 3D is growing on me at Universal Studios. I'm noticing more things I like each time I ride. At first I was a fan of the not-very-noticeable elevator; now I'm appreciating the slow-motion aspects. Can it pass Islands of Adventure's Spider-Man ride in the rankings of my heart? … Busch Gardens' plans for Falcon's Fury, which features a face-first, 300-foot drop, has gulp-worthy buzz. Or, as one of my co-workers says, "It sounds like an instrument of torture."
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