Wednesday 22 February 2012

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10 Rides to a Successful First Date at Disneyland

First dates are hard. You've finally gotten up the nerve to ask the girl of your dreams out, and by some miracle she said yes. So now what do you do? Dinner and a movie is ridiculously cliche and is going to make you look like you don't have a creative bone in your body. A coffee date doesn't exactly scream Captain Excitement, and a bar is where you go to get the date, not where you go on it. What you need is something that will make you look creative, exciting, and fun loving, all while putting your date in a great mood. Someplace like Disneyland.

Can you screw up a first date at Disneyland? It's hard. I mean, if your date ends up in a bad mood after a day in the Happiest Place on Earth, you've gone wrong in ways that I can't even begin to explain to you. That being said, there's definitely some attractions that will help you increase your odds of getting a second date. You can waste your time wandering aimlessly around the park and asking her what she'd like to ride next, or you can have a plan to gradually ramp up the intensity. If you want guaranteed closeness by the end of your day, here's the plan to follow:

Peter Pan: Starting here is perfect because most guidebooks will tell you that this is one of the rides you need to knock off early, so it doesn't look suspicious. The boats only hold two people, and it's a romantic sail through the clouds over old England. Avoid any references to the length of Tinkerbell's dress and this should be the perfect start to your date.

Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters: There's not a whole lot of scenarios where your date grabbing a gun ends well, but here's your chance to be a gentleman. You have two goals on this ride: #1 - Let her win, although getting blown out isn't good either. You want to lose by a couple thousand points, which should be easier to do than it sounds. #2 - Look good for the picture. There's not many first dates where you have a candid picture taken, especially not one that you can e-mail to yourself during the date, so make sure you know where the picture is taken (it's about three car lengths after you get out of the tunnel when the ride automatically turns you to face Zurg) and give it your best pose. If things work out, you'll be able to show your kids how good you looked on your first date with their Mom.

The "Keep it Close" rule doesn't apply with family

Monorail - Doesn't sound all that exciting does it? The trick here is to not just hop on the monorail, but to ask the attendant if you can wait for the private compartment. There's a separate car that requires a numbered code to be punched in, and when you get it to yourselves you feel like quite the VIP. That's not a bad feeling to impart on your date.

VIP? or just better removed from the general population?

Indiana Jones - It's time to start showing some testosterone, so you need to get a thrill ride in here. Warning: If you don't like spiders or snakes, this is probably not your best play. Of course, if your date doesn't like spiders or snakes, that might work to your advantage.

If she leaves mid-ride, your date's not going well.

Haunted Mansion - If your date's been on this ride before, then it's just a fun outing with 999 of your other-worldly friends. If she's never been on the ride, you've hit the jackpot as a slightly nervous date is one who wants to make sure she's not alone. There's nothing at all scary about the Haunted Mansion, but you really don't need to mention that until later.

Tom Sawyer Island - Alone time is hard to come by at Disneyland, but Tom Sawyer Island is the closest you can come. Even though you know there's 50,000 other people in the park with you that day, you'll probably never share this island with many more than 100 of them, and there's plenty of space to spread out.  Be careful though, as Jack Sparrow has been known to make an occasional appearance on the island, and believe me, you can't compete with Captain Jack.

Space Mountain - No, it's definitely not a romantic ride in the traditional sense of the word, but this one is really all about playing the odds. You've got a 50/50 chance that the ride is going to break down, which leaves you stranded in the dark while the attendants try to find the light switch. If it's your date's first time breaking down, this might leave her a little concerned, but you, of course, have read my instructions on How to be Evacuated from Space Mountain, and come off looking poised and in control.

Star Tours - It's time to increase the physical contact. Star Tours isn't really a super high intensity ride, but it does shake you around a bit so you have to hang on. The beauty of this is that the armrests in Star Tours aren't much wider than those in an airplane. There's almost no way to avoid hand contact unless you try to be one of those ultra cool guys who doesn't hang on to anything. Don't be that guy.

Big Thunder - This is all about the Goat Trick. Make sure that you're sitting on the left side of the car, and tell your date that about half way through the ride there's a goat chewing a piece of dynamite. Explain to her that Disneyland tradition is to put your hands in the air and then no matter what you do, don't take your eyes of the goat. Then get ready because momentarily, your date will be in your lap.

Astro Orbitor - Now for the pièce de résistance. If you've ever ridden the Astro Orbitor, you know why I've saved this one for last. The seating on this ride is what makes it the perfect end to an evening. The taller person sits down, and then the other rider has to sit between the first riders legs. This is fine when one of the riders is a child, but for adults it can be a little cozy. It's as if the ride attendant came over and forced you to cuddle. If you're the person in the back, there are some handholds for you, but it's probably just easier to hang on to the person in front of you. Maybe even wrap your arms around them if it gets a little bumpy up there. Safety first you know!

So now you're high up in the air overlooking Disneyland with your arms wrapped around your date. I can't walk you home any further than that. No seriously, I have no idea what you do after that. I've yet to come up with a blueprint for what you do on your second date, and since there's no more second dates in my future, you're on your own. Good luck topping your first date and let me know if that whole dinner and a movie thing works for you.

This post is a part of Wordless Wednesday over at Focused on the Magic. If you didn't get here from there, you should really head on over and check out some of the fantastic people that hang out there on Wednesdays. There's probably people there who have a clue what to do on a second date. I doubt any of us ever got a third date though. You pretty much have to be George Clooney to get that far.

Written by Steve Pratt