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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Magical Moments

At Disneyland, there are some really cool things that are just for kids. OK, that might seem obvious, but there are a few special things that can make a day at the Happiest Place on Earth even more magical.

In Fantasyland, you can be like King Arthur and pull the sword up from the stone. Merlin has a ceremony at the sword, which is in front of the carousel, several times a day. He tries to find someone who can pull the sword and become the temporary ruler of the realm. The times vary, so you should check your Disneyland Today brochure (the one you get at the front gate when you enter the park), to see the schedule. In the slow season, these ceremonies only happen on the weekends.

To get a good chance to pull the sword, you should wait at either the left or right side of the stone by the fence where the pretty flowers are. First, Merlin will ask for a volunteer. He will pick an adult who looks big and strong, but no worries, they’re not really that strong. They certainly will not be able to pull it out, and Merlin will need to find someone else. If you are in the right spot (and you are lucky), you might get picked. As you walk up to the sword, Merlin asks you what your name is and where you are from. Then, he will let you try to pull the sword. At first, it seems impossible--after all, the big adult just failed--but then as if you had superhuman strength, it will come halfway out. That is enough for Merlin to name you the temporary ruler of Disneyland. I know this from experience because I was able to pull the sword (and my adult friend Richard failed miserably).

The medal you get

The medal you get (shown above and below) for pulling the sword out of the stone

The medal you get

At the end of the ceremony, Merlin gives you a certificate that states that you successfully pulled the sword from the stone at Disneyland. He also gives you a big gold-looking medal to wear around your neck on a purple ribbon. It looks very cool and for the rest of the day, all the cast members who see you congratulate you for pulling the sword.

In Frontierland, you can be like a river boat captain out on the Mississippi. I’m talking about the Mark Twain river boat. You can pilot the Mark Twain down the Rivers of America. To become the captain, all you have to do is walk up the stairs to the top floor and knock on the pilot house door of the Mark Twain. Knock politely, and ask the cast member who is the boat’s captain if you can come up to pilot the boat. If there’s room, the cast member will say yes. If someone else is already up there, then you can just come back another time. There’s only room for a few people in the pilot house.

The Mark Twain Pilot's Certificate
The Mark Twain Pilot's Certificate

Once you’re up there, you can learn interesting things about the boat and who has been on it. You can sign a guest book, and even take turns steering the boat, ringing the bell, and blowing the whistle. The view is terrific; you can see all around Disneyland. At the end of the voyage, the cast member will give you a certificate that looks like it was signed by Walt Disney himself! Before you leave the boat, always remember to thank the wonderful cast member who shared the pilot house with you.

There are two special things that can happen in Adventureland. The first is Aladdin and Jasmine’s Storytale Adventures at Aladdin's Oasis (for a detailed review of this show, please see Adrienne Krock’s article. There are opportunities for kids to participate in the storytelling. They ask for two volunteers during the show. One of them, usually a little girl, gets to be Jafar, the evil advisor, and the other gets to pick a wish noise that the audience has to make during the show.

Storytelling at Aladdin's Oasis
Storytelling at Aladdin's Oasis

Now you’re probably thinking, “Now what is a wish noise?” Well, in the story, Aladdin gets three wishes from the Genie, and whenever Aladdin makes a wish, you have to have a noise that goes with it like rappity tap splat (or something like that). That is a wish noise. The second volunteer gets to pick whatever sound they want make for the wish noise. I was fortunate enough to be able to give the audience a wish noise, and it sounded like Brra Ting En On Fufff. Kazoo (the storyteller) and Aladdin seemed to think it was funny during the show, and I was laughing about it for days. It was fun.

Our skipper, sister Wendy
Our skipper, sister Wendy

The other thing that can happen in Adventureland doesn’t happen often, so it’s very special. If you are really lucky, you might get the opportunity to skipper a Jungle Cruise boat. My little sister got to do it once, and she loved it. We were the very first people on the boat, and we had an awesome skipper named Maynard. He is the funniest skipper on the rivers and describes the Jungle Cruise more hilariously than I’ve ever heard anybody else do it. Being able to skipper the Jungle Cruise boat is a great experience for a young kid to believe they’re really part of the magic.

Once in a while you might go to Disneyland when it’s your birthday. If you do, make sure to stop in City Hall on Main Street (or at the information booth near the Castle end of Main Street) and ask for a birthday sticker. The cast members will be more than happy to accommodate you with that. It is a pretty cool thing because all day, cast members say happy birthday to you.

The Jr. Fireman Sticker
The Jr. Fireman Sticker

If you ride the antique fire truck on Main Street, the cast member will give all the little kids in your group an official Jr. Fireman sticker. As if the experience of riding the fire truck isn’t enough fun for them, they have a souvenir to take home with them.

Well that's all! C’ya later on MousePlanet.

If you have any questions, e-mail me at

Magical Moments - Medal art © Disney
Medal art © Disney


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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