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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
New Orleans Square

Have you ever been on the Haunted Mansion? What about Pirates of the Caribbean? Maybe you're afraid of these rides; I know I was when I was younger. In fact, my little brother is still scared of them.

Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion

If you don't like these rides, then you probably don't have much of a reason to go over to New Orleans Square. Until I started liking Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, we only ever went to New Orleans Square because Mom needed to buy something, or we were just walking through to get to another land. However, when these rides made their way to my "cool things about Disneyland" list, I discovered how many great things there were in New Orleans Square. It may appear to be more of an "adult" place, but the Square is really a fun place to be.

First of all, I recently developed a liking for jazz, and there is plenty of live jazz at New Orleans Square. Even if you don't particularly care for jazz, there are (panto)mimes, tap dancers, impromptu jazz sessions (always fun to watch) and street-corner musicians in the Square all the time. You never know what entertainment you might stumble upon while you're there.

Some regulars in New Orleans Square include: Bayou Brass Band, Gloryland Brass Band, Orleans Street Band and Side Street Strutters. Sometimes when a band performs on a balcony off of the Disney Gallery (facing the center of New Orleans Square), they throw long strands of beads down into the audience. Don't be disappointed if you don't catch any, though. I got lucky once, when a really nice person who was standing near us gave me his beads.

Also in the Square is Pieces of Eight, a store that sells pirate stuff. (such as plastic swords, little treasure chests of chocolate coins, Mickey & friends pirate playsets, hooks and patches). Pieces of Eight is located right near the exit of Pirates of the Caribbean. I really like to look around in Pieces of Eight because you can buy these little cloth pouches that you fill with as many plastic gems and jewels and coins as you can.

My piece of eight
My piece of eight

They also sell Mouse ears and Goofy ears with an earring. Instead of being a hat, they are a red and white bandana. You can also stamp an imprint onto an "authentic" piece of eight. "Pieces of eight" were gold and silver Spanish coins first used around 1500-1600. They are associated with pirates, because they used these a lot. My mom got one of these stamped coins and it is really cool! It cost two dollars, but it is solid metal and looks just like a piece of eight would have looked way back when. It has a hole in it, so you can put it on a chain or a string. On the back of the coin, my mom stamped "Disneyland 03-12-2001" on it, but you can stamp whatever letters and numbers you want. You can also get a token stamped for a dollar, or a pressed penny with a Pirates of the Caribbean design on it for 51 cents.

There are many other shops in New Orleans Square. Lots of them are shops that your parents would find more interesting than you would, but don't let that get you down. There is a cart where you can get your caricature done. A caricature is a cartoon painting that exaggerates characteristics. You know the picture of me that is in my bio (in the upper right column of this page)? I got that caricature done in the Square. You can also get a portrait (a more realistic painting of you) done. Casey has a portrait in his biography.

You can buy parasol (umbrella) with your name painted on it. These are very nice, and you can buy a small one or a large one. The artists who paint the portraits, caricatures and parasols are professionals, and I love watching them work. Since I am no artist, I really admire them.

Some of the Herb Ryman art on exhibit in the Disney Gallery
Some of the Herb Ryman art on exhibit in the Disney Gallery

You should also ask your parents to take you into the Disney Gallery. They have very expensive artwork in there. They also have a scale model of Space Mountain to look at, an Autopia car, a K-9 spacesuit and all kinds of things that are fun to look at. These displays sometimes get changed around, so it may not be exactly what you see when you go. My uncle goes to Disneyland every Monday, and sits in the back patio of the Gallery. He writes letters, does paperwork or whatever else he needs to get done. There are not usually very many people there and it is pretty because there is a fountain and lots of flowers.

There are also stores to buy crystals, jewelry, ornaments, Cajun condiments (such as Emeril Lagasse's sauces -- "Bam!", spices, and other creations), feather boas, Mardi Gras masks, and anything else you may associate with the Southern lifestyle.

The French Market on a rainy day
The French Market on a rainy day

La Boutique de Nol and L'Ornament Magique sell Christmas ornaments all year long, so no matter when you go to Disneyland, you can purchase an ornament to remember your visit. In the Square, they sell the best fritters in the world. One of the places that sells these is the Royal Street Veranda. There is lots of good food in New Orleans Square, but the restaurants can get a little expensive depending on what you buy. Check them out though. The chocolate cake at the French Market is killer! If you are just looking for a snack, there is usually a churro cart near the Haunted Mansion, and frozen lemonade is not far away.

Another interesting thing about the Square is that if you look over the buildings, it looks like there is a big sailing ship behind them. This makes it look like a port with a ship coming in. After all, New Orleans is a port city. The best place to see this is if you stand over by the Rivers of America.

Pirates of the Caribbean, with the Disney Gallery above it
Pirates of the Caribbean, with the Disney Gallery above it

Don't forget that the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean aren't the only rides in New Orleans Square. There is a Disneyland Railroad station where you can board the train and go to Toontown, Tomorrowland, Main Street, or take a round trip back to the Square.

There is so much to do in beautiful New Orleans Square. I love it! It's both upbeat and peaceful at the same time. The Square is an amazing place. Just look around!

Ciao!

~Jewel


Have any questions, comments or suggestions? Send them to me at coolkids@mouseplanet.com. I'd love to hear from you!


Jewel's FastFact: In the movie Tarzan, when the professor (Jane's father) is held upside down and things are dropping out of his pockets, one of the things is a mini bean bag plush Little Brother. Little Brother is the dog from the 1998 movie Mulan.

New Orleans Square

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jewel
Hi!
My name is Jewel.

I am 13 years old, and a typical junior high student. I live with my mom, dad, and little brother. My family and I have annual passes to Disneyland so we go quite often. I love school, and science has always been a favorite subject of mine. I am in band and hope to be involved in music for the rest of my life.

Right now, my career goal is to become a deejay. In my mind, that is the coolest job in the world! My hobbies include: listening to and playing music, reading, writing, messing around on the computer and hanging out at Disneyland. We have seven cats (four of them found us), a black Labrador, and I have a goldfish.


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