Do you remember the first time you rode a thrill ride like Rock ‘n Roller Coaster or Tower ofTerror? Do you remember the built up anticipation? Recall the mental anguish of waiting for the inevitable first ride? The first time you saw Coaster launch or walked onto line at Tower and saw the people dropping and heard the screaming? Many of us have been there and others have experienced those fears and opted out of riding but I’m taking the unique opportunity to examine the process for a first timer. Perhaps this will give you some insight into what a first timer goes through or even give you, a never-ridden-before, inspiration to ride yourself or maybe you just want to peer through the looking glass and see what it will be like for our first timer.
I’m sure you’re wondering, just who is our first timer. You may know him. He’s Jonathon Dichter, who co-hosts the All About the Mouse Disney Podcast as well as “the voice” for the now defunct Mousetunes Podcast and the very much lively WDW Radio Show. Dichter is hosting a meet this year at Mousefest where he will invite others to join him for a ride on Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, which is in fact Jonathan’s first ride ever on it. To some, the question is why ride now? And why ride in the public’s eye?
Jonathon has never had a chance to ride Coaster previously. On his last trip in 2006 while on his honeymoon, he and his wife rode Tower of Terror first and then skipped riding Coaster because they felt a little queasy from being dropped a few times on Tower and never got an opportunity to ride Coaster while on their trip. Couple that missed opportunity with Dichter’s co-host of his Podcast, Bryan Ripper, who lists Rock ‘n Roller Coaster as his favorite attraction at the Studios, and you have the recipe for a perfect meet for Mousefest.
Jonathon thought about the prospect for a meet and weighed the idea in his mind. He had ridden coasters that went upside-down previously when he was younger and had ridden dark coasters and had been okay with them so it didn’t sound like too terrible an idea. Dichter doesn’t even want to spoil his first ride by seeing online videos or looking at layouts of the ride. He does know about the launch system and the rough storyline of the attraction but aside from that, wants to keep the ride “in the dark” until he rides for the first time.
In terms of what Jonathan is anticipating, he’s looking forward to the meet and riding for the first time along with others in the Disney Internet community. As an Aerosmith fan, Dichter thinks it will be a lot of fun to ride but “I’m not expecting to revisit my peanut and butter and jelly shake from the 50’s Prime Time Café”. Jonathan also believes riding with other fans of his Podcast will make the first time experience fun. Being that this is the first Mousefest for Dichter, “the prospect that anybody will want to come see anything that I’m doing is so absolutely humbling” and thinks it will make things much easier. Dichter, always looking for a good joke to lift his spirits, also mentioned that his online friends who will be there for the meet can be good support to cry to.
Jonathon’s prediction for after riding, he thinks he’ll want to ride again after riding the first time, although perhaps not immediately after his first ride. If you’d like to join Jonathon on his first ride, it will occur on Friday, December 7th at 6pm at the Disney-MGM Studios. Following his first ride, we’ll have part two of this week’s column where I will once again speak with Jonathan about his first experience and compare his reaction to what his initial thoughts were on riding for the first time and talk about how bad or well things really went for him.