Anna-the-Anxious Rides Rock 'n Roller Coaster

Anna, who has an anxiety disorder, recounts her experience riding Rock 'n Roller Coaster at Disney World.

Rock’N’Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. For one, it is no ordinary Roller Coaster (but we’ll get back to that in a minute). For two, it was my very first real (by real I mean, you go upside down on it) roller coaster. Finally, my family has a heart for Classic Rock and adores making fun of one line in particular of the pre­-show.

So what is the coaster like? Well, terrifying.

You see, since it was my very first grown­up coaster, I was already super nervous. To make matters worse, my mother made me spit out my gum beforehand because, and I quote, “I really don’t want you choking on your gum from this.” My little sister (who had been on it many times) held my hand and told me I probably wouldn’t die. I had a nice little hyperventilating fit in the pre-­show, managed to calm down, got in the second line, and told myself "there is no turning back now." This of course is not true; you can turn back all the way up to the point that you strap into your seat. As I mentioned before you can turn back up to the moment they strap you in.  I hopped in the seat while forcing myself to take deep calming breaths, yanked the harness down as tight as I could physically make it, and waited... I waited for what felt like an eternity, until I heard Steven Tyler's voice shout, "5" (Oh gosh, my heart!),  "4" (I CAN'T DO THIS!), "3" (I'M STUCK!!!), "2" (I held my breath) and "1!!!" Off like a rocket! 0­-to-60mph in 3-­point­ something seconds, and after that three seconds the worst was over. I laughed hysterically! In retrospect I think I was having a minor breakdown. I laughed and laughed and laughed and tears rolled across my face. Then in an instant, it was over... I was so pumped I rode it twice more, and then I never got back on it again.

 I conquered my fear and decided I didn't like the feeling in my stomach whilst accelerating at an unreasonable rate. I don't like being forced to listen to loud noises while my body is being thrown about. If this sounds terrifying to you, you should probably sit this one out. If you get motion sick, enjoy the super cool Aerosmith themed gift shop, where you can watch all the excited riders look at photos of their scrunched up faces as they exit the ride. There is plenty to do while the others ride, and please don't feel bad, or dumb for not wanting to ride. There are so many reasons not to go! My go-­to reason is "I'm nauseous, and who of you wants to sit next to a nauseous person on a roller coaster?" Your reason can be as simple as "I want to enjoy my visit to Disney World, and look back at it fondly, I don't want you to remember me crying in line."

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I'm going to leave you with quote from my dad. "If you don't ride because you don't want to, that's fine. Just don't let fear stop you from something you truly want to do." I wanted to conquer my fear of Roller Coasters, so I went of the most extreme one at Disney World in a moment of peer pressure, and I'm glad I did. If you really don't want to go, just don't.  That's okay! 

About the author:  Anna was always a cautious child and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in her teens.  She works hard to keep it from running her life.

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Courage quote by Malcolm Gladwell.