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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Don't Be Dopey At Disneyland!
Isn't it fun to go to Disneyland? Isn't it great to go on a ride without Mom or Dad and goof off? Especially with friends, right? Well of course it is. Duh! And the people you are with might think it is, too. But is it smart? C'mon... you know it's not the brightest idea you've ever had. Have you ever been tempted to splash your hand in the Pirates of the Caribbean water, or make creepy noises and scream a whole lot while you're in the Haunted Mansion? Now, it might seem like "nothing" at the time, but you are not the only one enjoying your day at Disneyland, and some of these little nothings could become a big something. Somebody, even you, could get hurt.

Before I continue, I would like to say that I am not trying to lecture anybody. These tips are to help you and everyone around you better enjoy your visit to Disneyland. I would also like to point out that accidents do happen. They are a fact of life and some cannot be stopped. But there are many, many accidents have happened that didn't need to, and there are more that can still be prevented.

Sleeping Beauty Castle
Sleeping Beauty Castle

First off, I would like to bring up the subject of rules. I know, there are a lot of rules at Disneyland. Many of them apply to nearly every attraction in the Park! And after a little while, you get tired of hearing, "please remain seated," or "keep your arms and legs inside," and begin to ignore them completely. But these rules aren't something that Disneyland made up just to make your visit boring. They serve a very important purpose.

For example, when you go on it's a small world and are told to keep your arms inside the boat, do it! Don't stick your hands in the water. This is quite possibly the most tempting rule to break in all of Disneyland. It is very dangerous to put your hand in the water because if you were to let your hand hang in the water as you went along, and the boat were to bump the side of the canal, your fingers would be smashed and you would be in great pain. People have been severely hurt because they didn't follow the rules. I don't want to scare you, but people have even died!

There are also, on some rides, age and / or height requirements. To ride the Matterhorn Bobsleds, you have to be at least three years old. To ride Autopia alone, you have to be at least 52" tall. Rules like these are very important. You should never go on a ride if you don't meet the requirements. Don't let your little brother or sister, either. Many people have been hurt by not following these simple rules.

Next I would like to mention something that I feel deeply about because it has affected me greatly. When people go to Disneyland, they are supposed to have fun. So they say, "Okay, we'll make a lot of noise, run around the Park and while we're at it, my friends and I will stand up on rides, and laugh really loudly at things we don't really find funny." Right... This really bothers me. People become very inconsiderate when it comes to "having fun" at Disneyland. Some of them even start to purposely bug other Guests. I know from experience that people like that have the ability to ruin someone's visit. I don't know how these ideas get into people's minds, but they are just not funny.

One thing that you should know not to do is try to reach for something or touch something that is part of a ride. Don't try to reach out and touch the witch on Snow White, don't try to knock on the Doombuggy in front of you in the Haunted Mansion. Not only are these things and things like them going to take away from the ride as far as other Guests are concerned, but they are against the rules and can be dangerous.

The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion

Don't be rude. Once, I was riding the Haunted Mansion when someone in a nearby Doombuggy decided to turn on their new toy. It had three lights on it that twirled when you pressed a button. They turned this thing on and swirled it around in the air. Playing with it all through the ride. My friend and I thought this was quite rude. It really ruined the effect of the ride. Now, my friend and I are annual passholders, so imagine how rude the people who were from Alabama or even another country, thought that was. They may never get to go on that ride again.

It is also terrible when people who regularly visit Disneyland do things like recite the whole spiel in the "stretching room" of the Haunted Mansion. Or what about when the people in front of you talk the whole way through it's a small world? How annoying! Let me remind you that, even if your parents are with you, you are responsible for your own actions-- even at Disneyland. You know how you don't like your mom embarrassing you? Well don't embarrass her!

Another thing that I would like to bring up is confusion in crowds. Disneyland can get very crowded. Sometimes trying to get through a crowd at Disneyland can be like trying to get through a wall. It is very important to always be with a partner. You should also have a plan in case you and your partner get separated. Meet up somewhere like the Castle or the Hub. You should carry your Disneyland Today with you at all times. It is easy to get disoriented in a crowd at Disneyland.

If you are going to be seeing any parades or the fireworks, you should try to get there about 45 minutes early for a really good view. If you are not going to see these shows, then try to avoid the areas they will be occupying. As it gets closer to show time, it gets harder and harder to make your way down the parade route. Main Street, U.S.A. gets especially crowded at both parade and fireworks time. However, parade time is a great time to go on rides. Usually, the lines are shorter because everyone is waiting to see the parade.

Space Mountain
Space Mountain

Now, just because the lines are shorter, or you are in a hurry to get to Space Mountain before your FastPass expires doesn't mean that it is okay to run through the Park. It is so rude to run though stores or down the street or wherever. It's not a good idea. I get very mad at people who go flying by me, push me aside while doing so, and then don't even turn to apologize. Even if you are confident that you won't run into somebody, it is not a wise idea to run. It makes people angry and you could really hurt somebody or something. And if you do bump into someone (accidentally and while you're walking, I'm sure) please say you're sorry. Be polite. It certainly wouldn't kill those of you who have crashed into me or one of my friends and then blamed it on us!

So remember... just because you are at Disneyland doesn't mean that it's time to break out the stupid pills! Be respectful, polite and SAFE. Trust me, people around you will notice and appreciate it greatly.

I've got to go now, but I'll see you around!


PS -- I love getting e-mail from all you readers out there, so keep it comin'! E-mail me at

Jewel's FastFact: Disney's "The Little Mermaid" (1989) was the last Disney animated feature to be painted by hand.

Don't Be Dopey at Disneyland


My name is Jewel.

I am almost 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.

photos courtesy of Al Lutz

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