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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Planning a trip to Disneyland
Planning a trip to Disneyland is a lot easier from a kidís point of view than it is if youíre a parent. We only have to worry about things like what rides we want to go on, and what novelty item we are going to pester our parents to buy. Parents have to worry about little details like transportation, lodging, food, packing everything, and how to pay for it all. I think kids have it a lot easier. In this article, I will tell you what I think are musts and what are busts.

Iím pretty lucky because I get to go to Disneyland fairly often. However, in between trips, I start thinking about being back at Disneyland again and what Iíd like to do there.

First, letís talk about rides.

Redd Rockets Pizza Port is next door to Space Mountain
Redd Rockets Pizza Port is next door to Space Mountain

Now, if youíre a hard-core adventure / thrill person (like me), then this part is for you. You will want to go on the ďmountains,Ē as I call them. The mountains are Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and the Matterhorn. Even though itís not a mountain, you will also want to go on the Indiana Jones Adventure because itís such a great, exciting ride. All these rides are very fun if you like fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping thrill rides. Just riding the mountains and Indiana Jones can take up most of a day, even if itís not particularly busy. But just waiting in the lines for these rides still gives you some entertainment because of each rideís theme.

If youíre the kind of person who likes adventure and excitement, but doesn't like to go very fast, then you should check out these rides: You will most definitely want to go on Star Tours, The Jungle Cruise, The Haunted Mansion, and The Pirates of the Caribbean. These rides are very cool to go on, they offer some excitement, they all have great theming, but do not have too much thrill.

Personally, I am in between these two lists. I try to do all of these rides because I love them. It just depends on how much time you have, and also how crowded it is.

Autopia sign

Another ride that I really enjoy but doesnít fit into either of these lists is the new Autopia. It has great theming in the waiting area and on the road. For more information, check out Jewelís review.

I was first allowed to go around Disneyland on my own at the age of nine. I went over to Tom Sawyerís Island while my parents went to the Haunted Mansion; we met up in an hour. Wow, that was a great time. It gave me a great sense of freedom. I have never abused my privileges by doing something stupid. Itís really important to meet up with your parents at the correct time and place, and make sure that you arenít late, even if it means you have to miss doing something.

Some kids get carried away when theyíre not with their parents and do stupid stuff. Whatever you do, donít ever try to shoplift. You will more than likely be caught because Disneyland has very strict security. Never in my life would I try to shoplift there, or anywhere else for that matter.

You should never leave the park without your parents knowing where you are going, so ask permission if youíre going to ride the monorail. Show up on time, and say thanks for letting you have some special time on your own.

Your family, or who ever you are traveling with, should always have a place where you can meet if you get separated. My family chose City Hall on Main Street as our meeting spot. If you donít have a place to meet, you can always ask any cast member to take you to Lost Children, which Adrienne Krock describes in her column, "Lost at Disney."

My family has two-way radios to help us keep in touch; sometimes when thereís a change in plans, we can let each other know and meet up later or at a different place. Itís important to keep that radio safe because it connects you to your family, and theyíre expensive to replace! Click here to read more about using radios at the park.

Plaza Inn off Main Street
Plaza Inn off Main Street

For me, and most other people, the restaurants at Disneyland offer good food. My personal favorite has always been the Bengal Barbeque because I love the sweet meaty skewers and the bacon-wrapped asparagus. I suggest that you check out Redd Rocketís Pizza Port, the Plaza Inn (check out the chicken alfredo; itís the best!), and the French Market. All these restaurants have great food. Some of them like the Pizza Port are sort of expensive. But that's ok because your parents are going to pay for it anyway.

If you are off on your own and you have to spend your own money on lunch, check out buying a kidís meal; it is a lot of food for the money. My friend Sue Kruse taught me that you donít have to be a kid to buy kidís meals; what a great tip!

My brother, sisters, and I are big on snacking at the park too. That way, my parents buy the snacks, and I get to share. Our favorites are popcorn, sodas, ice cream, candy, beef jerky, pickles, frozen pineapple whip (at the Dole stand by the Tiki Room)... Iím getting hungry just writing about it!! The Candy Store on Main Street makes a different fresh treat every day, but thereís plenty of other processed sugar at Disneyland anyhow.

But you canít go to Disneyland unprepared. You should carry a map, some money, your ticket, and a radio. If your parents have a cell phone, make sure you know their cell phone number in case you get separated or lost. Donít forget to wear sunscreen!

So, as you finish this article, you will know what you will want to do the next time you go to Disneyland. Now, all you have to do is pester your parents until they go crazy or they take you. Then at the end of your trip, give your parents a huge hug and kiss and say thank you!

Cíya later on MousePlanet.

If you have any questions, e-mail me at

Planning a trip


Hi there!
My name is Casey.

I have always loved amusement parks, but I especially love Disneyland. It has always been my favorite place. I live in Northern California, about 400 miles away from the Happiest Place on Earth. I like to go to Disneyland all the time.

I have two sisters and one brother. I love them dearly. I also have a great mom and a great dad. I love them a lot too. I am in 8th grade, an honor student, and a complete jock. I have been on more than 25 trips to Disneyland, and I do not plan to stop going there.

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