Note: When my husband took these photos, he had no idea what was happening on the Dr. Seuss ride, as the ride was moving and he was too far away to really see our faces. He thought he was just capturing a nice moment between a mom and her two youngest kids at Universal. It wasn’t until we zoomed in after the fact that we realized he’d unwittingly documented the whole torturous incident.
For the record, I enjoy a good theme park ride. Truly. I have proof:
This is Flight of the Hippogriff, a zippy little coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Short, but fun.
See? Nothing but smiles.
Then there’s The Hulk. Awesome mega coaster. It shoots you out of a dark tunnel, accelerating from 0 to 40 mph in TWO SECONDS before plummeting down a big drop and completing seven inversions.
Scary? A little bit.
Fun? Absolutely. That’s me on the far left. White knuckling it, but still smiling.
People say The Hulk is the scariest ride at Universal. It’s not.
The most terrifying ride at Universal turned out to be in the most unlikely of places: SEUSSLAND.
Within its whimsical walls is this little kiddie ride called One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
Yeah. Like Rosemary’s Baby.
The ride started off okay. It’s basically like the Dumbo ride at Disney, with one significant difference: IT SHOOTS WATER IN YOUR FACE.
I cannot convey to you how much I hate having water sprayed in my face.
Like, I HATE HATE it. My husband learned early in our marriage not to playfully flick water in my face. Ha ha, NO. Water splashing in my face evokes a primal, visceral RAGE/FEAR/HATE response in me.
There’s a reason putting water on someone’s face is a form of torture, people.
So here we are at the beginning of the ride. I knew there was a possibility of getting wet, but I didn’t fully understand the nature of the beast. It’s not my fault. The sign said, “You may get wet,” not “WE WILL SQUIRT WATER DIRECTLY INTO YOUR FACE AT RANDOM INTERVALS AND TRICK YOU INTO THINKING YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.”
And at this point I didn’t give it much thought because I was distracted by my two children fighting over the up/down lever.
As the ride started up, a woman’s voice started chanting a sing-songy, Dr. Seuss-ish rhyme. Oh, that’s cute! I thought. “Follow me and you’ll stay dry!” she sang. Oh goodie! Clues! I might not even have to get wet!
Then she chants, “One fish, red fish, up up up! Two fish, blue fish, down down down!”
That seems simple enough. If you’re riding in a one fish or red fish car, you go up. If you’re in a two fish or blue fish car, you go down.
Please note the fish car we are sitting in.
It is both a “red fish” and a “two fish.”
Therefore, “One fish, red fish, up up up! Two fish, blue fish, down down down!” was like some sort of a sick joke.
The water started spraying.
The ride kept singing.
I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO, PEOPLE.
Her sing-songy directions were TOTALLY unclear. AND DID I MENTION THERE WAS WATER SQUIRTING IN MY FACE?
As my two munchkins continued haphazardly fighting over the up/down lever, I desperately tried to decipher the rhyme. Were we a red fish or a two fish? Were we supposed to go up up up or down down down?
OMG, THE WATER. IT’S IN MY FACE.
And look at my daughter’s expression. Sadistic little punk.
I commandeered the up/down lever on my kids’ kiddie ride. “YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO THE SONG!!” I yelled. “UP UP UP!! DOWN DOWN DOWN!!!”
THERE HAS TO BE A WAY TO AVOID THE WATER!
See that face? That’s DESPERATION mixed with DETERMINATION, right there.
I WILL NOT LET THIS RIDE BEAT ME!
Alas, my righteous determination was short-lived. As the water continued to squirt, and the torturous song chanted on LIKE SOME TWISTED CHILDREN’S LULLABY IN A HORROR MOVIE, I plunged into full-fledged panic.
OUTRIGHT DESPERATION, FRIENDS.
OUTRIGHT DESPERATION MIXED WITH SHEER TERROR. And still, my kid laughs.
Do I laugh when she’s terrified? Not usually.
You know those nightmares where you’re screaming, but nobody can hear you?
That was this. Plus water torture. SOMEBODY STOP THIS RIDE. I WANNA GET OFF.
Finally, I gave up on the song, the lever, and my children, and took the “duck and cover” approach.
It was every man for himself. I do not exaggerate, people. LOOK AT THE WATER SQUIRTING IN THE FACES.
I tell you, it’s a miracle I survived. Dr. Seuss traumatized me. It was like being betrayed by my oldest childhood friend. I might need therapy.
There you have it. The most terrifying ride at Universal Orlando.
Save yourselves the water torture and hit the Caro-seuss-el ride instead. All the fun and none of the trauma.