"So, where do we start?" Aunt Cass asks. Everyone looks to Hiro, spotlight's on him. He sees the crossroads and he's heard of all the different lands but he has no real idea what's inside any of them, had he known he was coming here, he would've prepared a VR tour so he could memorize the map but for now all he has is a piece of paper.
He really wants to go to Tomorrowland but it might be bad to start with what you think is going to be the best but also bad to leave it for last. He's not going to be able to ride everything, which in a way he's thankful for. No checklist to worry over, no plans, just unfiltered 'ooh look at that thing, let's go there.'
They reach the Mickey and Walt statue. He wasn't sure that any of them had been here before, he just assumed they had. Fred surely had but the others seem to be taking this in just as much as Hiro.
"So, where do you want to go?" Gogo asks.
To the left was Frontierland, a bit south was Adventureland, to the right was Tomorrowland and north was Fantasyland and Toontown. He takes a moment to consider. "Adventureland."
This map would become his companion, but he also liked doing things blindly. He puts the map in his backpack and takes charge to lead the way. He knows he's on the right path when he sees the big arch with a tiki head on it.
Everything has a wooden aesthetic, from tropical lights and posts to grungy barrels and lanterns. He knew that must've meant Pirates of the Caribbean was nearby. There were people dressed up as pirates with cannonballs and parrots. Palm trees littered the background but blended in with everything else.
Shops were now bazaars and traders filled with trinkets and shirts that said "Wild". He's not particularly interested in shopping but he's fascinated by the level of commitment to style. He sees a prop of the genie lamp from Aladdin. "A wish, huh?" Not that it mattered but he'd have to think one up in case Aunt Cass tried to pull another cupcake. His friends would think it so weird.
He continues his exploration, eventually reaching a sign that says "Tarzan's Treehouse" with stairs leading up to a walkway. He's amused, looking up at the tree but seeing that the way to get there is 'Closed for Refurbishment'. That's okay, that was probably to be expected if they're always trying to improve. The land itself is like a jungle to observe and take pictures. Pictures. Hiro takes his phone out of his pocket, he raises it to take a picture but then lowers it.
Maybe it was more fun to try and recall this day rather than have a logbook of everything he did that he can come back and refer to, sort of like replaying a video game. It's not like he'd forget his experience, he was sure Baymax was recording the whole experience anyway, just maybe not his perspective.
Before he knows it, he reaches the end, there's a new section which according to the map is New Orleans Square. Adventureland was a little more barren than he'd imagined. Where were all the rides? Where was Pirates? Did he miss it? Was it inside one of the shops? He starts retracing his steps when Gogo grabs him by the shoulders, taking him by surprise. She looks down at him before turning him around. Around the bend of where Tarzan's Treehouse was, is a bridge with a sign on the side that reads 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. "Doesn't really stick out, does it?" He laughs with a touch of embarrassment.
Hiro walks up to the line. It's packed! 'I guess that's what you get for going in June, when most kids are just getting out of school.' He mutters. He'd be there for at least an hour just for the one ride.
"How long are you going to stand there?" Gogo smirks.
"Uh?" He looks at her, confused.
Hiro's eyes light up, he didn't even know that was a thing. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I wanted to see how long it'd take you to notice, everyone's already up there, come on."
Figures. He hops over the gate and into the lightning lane. There's still a line but it's much shorter than the other one. The wait time was 37 minutes but at the rate they were moving, Hiro doubted it would even take that long.
'You have to schedule Fast Pass in advance so how did they know that I wanted to go on this ride?' He supposes everyone wants to ride it. It's mystique just draws them to it. Maybe he'll throw them a curveball later to see if they can really guess his taste.
The intercom comes on instructing them to keep theirselves inside the boat. Everyone fits inside the one except for Baymax. Hiro starts seeing the problem: Baymax was too big and took up an entire seat that was meant to fit two. This time he'd follow them in the boat behind but it wasn't always going to be that simple. It bugs him just thinking about it, Baymax was his friend too. But all that goes away once he's distracted by the boat starting to move or rather 'set sail'. The instructor's voice fades away as they plunge into darkness, the only light provided by lanterns, the orange light shimmering on the water, making it look warm in comparison.
It's slow at first, setting the atmosphere with the sounds of wild animals and various cabins on the water. Hiro hears a scream from the boat in front of them, he whips up, too dark to see when suddenly the boat drops down a small incline, taking Hiro by surprise. He looks back, the rest of the team is enthused, taken in by the eerieness. Behind them, Baymax doesn't have much of a reaction. He's probably adjusting his sensors to adjust to the lighting.
A hill of a sandy island appears, filled with bones and chopped up wood. On the other side, flashing lights illuminate the body of a broken ship. Now a proper scene with music playing and skeletons sitting in a map room. He wondered if they'd start dancing.
Next, mounds of treasure, a monologue talking about its dangers, the voice seems to be coming from just ahead. Around the corner is a man being boiled alive and an octopus waving something in his face. Another pirate ship with a drowned out voice, the only words he can make out are 'Captain Jack Sparrow'.
Blasted water shoots up next to the ship. A cannonball? More start appearing, starting to get anxiously close to their boat. They're thrust into a new scene, a whole town it seems like. Some of the animatronics start drowning another in a well, bubbling sound effects follow his cries. A female pirate at an art auction and some pirates above the boat on a bridge. They look down at the boat as if they're talking directly to them. On the other side more pirates, drinking and having a merry time while a woman chases another man. And there's that name again 'Captain Jack Sparrow', he'll never find the map it seems.
The next pirates start singing in a similar town but this one is burned down. They pillaged the village and seem to be celebrating. Ahead is the prison scenario where the pirates try to offer a dog a skeleton bone for the key to unlock their cell. The Pirate's Life theme continues, the pirates aiming at a bunch of barrels, assumingly filled with gunpowder. The boat ascends, finally seeing Jack finishing the song. And from there they float back to the entrance.
"Alright!" That ride only seemed to get Aunt Cass more excited. Normally she's a scaredy-cat when it comes to scary movies, rides must effect her differently. That being said...
"Let's go to the Haunted Mansion." Hiro says with a smile on his face. It would be interesting to see just who's scared. 'It would be a good training session too. That's right, a training session.' He excuses to himself. The mansion is just across the way in New Orleans Square after all.
"So, is this a ride or walk through thing?" Wasabi asks. Hiro can tell he's quaking in his briches but doesn't want to be the only one to back out. Honey also seems to be on edge.
They walk in to see a chandelier on the ceiling, seemingly greeting them with flickering lights, explaining what exactly they're in for. The doors remain open, he supposes for any stragglers who become too afraid. The voice guides them into the next room.
On the wall, a series of paintings. "There's no turning back now." The voice warns them. The doors close. "Here in this area where you see paintings of some of our guests as they appeared in their corruptible mortal state."
Baymax scans the faces. "I do not find a match for such people." He blinks. Cass wards close to Baymax, the biggest thing in the room. Hiro takes note, hoping to see if he can recognize the 'guests' in their ghost forms which he assumes they'll see later on. The 'tour guide' welcomes them reinforcing a lot of what the voice has said.
The paintings seemingly peel back. Rather than portraits, they are full body. The 'guests' in various poses, many of which are silly. But it goes beyond that when the wall start stretching and becoming taller. Hiro feels like he just drank a bottle from Alice in Wonderland.
"This chamber has no window and no doors. Hmhmhmhmhm." The voice continues. "Which offers this chilling challenge. To find a way out. Hahahaha." A challenge worthy of Hiro's intellect. It's like a riddle: A box without hinges, key, or lid, Yet golden treasure inside is hid.
"Of course, there's always my way." Thunder claps, turning the candles on the wall off and the ceiling green, revealing a hanging body. Hiro's eyes widen making him regret he ever came. "Ahhhh." A shriek ensues, signaling the darkness to surround them.
Baymax turns on his flashlight. "Baymax, no." He warns. Luckily a light starts shining on one of the paintings again, pulling attention away from Baymax. Hiro lowers his voice. "We won't need that here." It must be hard being a human-er-robot glowstick.
A door opens and they're led into a hallway. More paintings on the wall as they walk past as well as windows on the opposite side. "Didn't they say no windows?" Hiro remarks. Nobody seems to be paying attention, maybe they just meant the singular chamber they were in. Honey clutches her purse, her regular purse, she was smart enough to not bring her chem kit through security, Hiro still can't get over that one. Thunder rumbles once again, making the figures' skeletons of the paintings visible. At the end of the hall are sculpted busts. Hiro inspects them, curious what they hold in store.
In the next room, paintings age before his eyes. A cat with glowing red eyes. And large capsules?
"So, it's both?" Wasabi says as if 'Could this get any worse?'.
"If it helps, I can ride with you." Hiro offers.
"I mean, if you're scared." Wasabi tries to play it off. They hop in their pods, ready to ride through the rest of the mansion. A smoky blue distilled light shimmers in front of Hiro's eyes. "Ye-aw!" Wasabi puts his hands to his face but Hiro can't decide its to cover it or to bite his nails. Yeah, Wasabi was definitely the right partner for this.
Floating candleholders, hallways and mirrors mixed with organ music. All the ingredients to put Wasabi on edge. The doors with jiggling handles and baby coos were just the icing on the cupcake and Hiro was here for it. He hadn't intended this going in, it was just a popular attraction, but he enjoyed seeing everyone else's reactions, even feeling a slight fright from himself. It got his heart racing, adrenaline pumping, everything a theme park should have.
A lone head sits in the middle of the room "Awaken the spirits with your tambourine." The head begins floating. Wasabi's mouth agapes, making Hiro hold a chuckle.
They're taken above a dining room filled with holo-projections. Hiro can feel Wasabi push back with his feet but he doesn't take his eyes off of the walking phantoms. Dancing, a ballroom, more music, more pictures. Multiple rooms with little items, cobwebs littered throughout. That's when Hiro finally realizes that the pods they're sitting in, are meant to resemble furniture, like black leather chairs. A mannequin with a white dress, a presence embodying it, reaches out. Wasabi really picked to be on the wrong side of the chair as he's the closest to her. He leans back, practically onto Hiro's lap. No words, just teeth chattering.
Hiro gets his coming when his side is met with another spook with a top hat. Wasabi has no where to turn, no where that's safe. He shifts his focus straight forward, surely that's the way to the exit. The sky turns to stars. "I think that's supposed to mean we're outside. We left the mansion." Wasabi says, halfway relieved.
"Yeah and into a graveyard." Hiro points ahead much to Wasabi's dismay.
A keeper waves his lantern, one of the lesser scares, below him is his dog, malnourished with its ribs visible. "Aww." He can hear Honey's voice from one of the other pods.
Headstones with fluorescent figures in front of them, playing a series of instruments. "Instruments, really?" Wasabi remarks, unamused. Through the graveyard, more can be seen doing things just as silly as riding bikes and see-saws. Even revisiting the busts which begin singing and the infamous hitchhiking ghosts.
The end approaches. "They have selected you to to fill our quota and they'll haunt you until you return." Mirrors in front of them show the ghosts inside the pod. Hiro smiles back at the ghost while Wasabi keeps looking away, hoping it's finally over. He couldn't hop out fast enough.
"We each got you a present and I suppose for going with me, I'll go first." Wasabi says. Now Hiro feels kind of bad for laughing.
He unlocks his phone, swiping to a picture to show Hiro. Hiro looks to see a garden sculpture. A hedge trimmed to look like himself. "Wow! Where is this?"
"We got to make our own sculptures in art class so since shrubs can technically qualify as a sculpture. I cut it myself."
"Also...I kind of got this for a grade, so it remains in the SFiT courtyard." He clenches his teeth. "So, I kind of can't hand it to you."
But it's the gesture that counts. Hiro'll have to take a look at it when he heads back.
Back at the Walt statue, the center of the park, it's onto their next adventure, or rather, land. Where should they go next?
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I figured I'd split it between each land, the next will have a lot more. Also screw Genie+ or whatever, Fast Pass will probably return anyway, I'm obviously taking some liberties. In no way is this a promotion (unless Disney wants to pay me to write this).
What rides do you want to see?
Do you want me to describe them in depth?
Should Karmi appear?
Feedback is much appreciated!