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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Visiting Main Street U.S.A.
Hi! My name is Casey. I am a 13-year-old Disneyland fanatic. I have traveled to the Happiest Place on Earth about 25 times. My first visit was when I was 2, and I have come back regularly every year. Last year, I was able to visit 6 times. Unlike many of the other columnists at Mouse Planet, I donít live in the Los Angeles area. I live 400 miles away from Disneyland in the San Francisco Bay Area. That might tell you how much I love to go to Disneyland!

Disneyland is a place for everyone -- from young to old, from big to tiny -- but it is especially magical for kids like you and me. If you have never gone there, then you are way overdue for a trip. The moment you enter the park, you feel like you are in heaven or some other magical place.

Main Street station
Main Street station

Walt Disney loved trains, so itís not surprising that the first thing you see when you enter the park is the Main Street station, frequently with a train loading passengers for a trip around the Magic Kingdom. Walt even used to dress up in engineer clothes and run the trains around the park. The trains have several stops: New Orleans Square, Mickeyís Toontown, and Tomorrowland. Itís a good way to get around the park quickly. Inside the Main Street station, you can see a scale model engine called the Lilly Belle, which was part of the train that Walt had in his own backyard.

When you get to Main Street, the old-time music lights up your soul. Itís like the feeling you get on Christmas morning or on your birthday. Disneyland is the kind of place that makes you feel like a prince or princess. Itís such a special place for a kid. All the cast members smile at you. You will be in awe as you walk down the street. Everything is very sparkly, fresh, and clean for a new day. Itís picture perfect. Itís the kind of place that people dream about, and thatís what Walt Disney had in mind when he designed it.

Sometimes the barber shop quartet rides by on their bicycle built for four. Thatís a cool sight to see! They also sing old-time songs as they ride by.

A horse drawn trolley
A horse drawn trolley

Besides the train, there are other ways of getting around. On Main Street, thereís a double-decker bus, a horse drawn trolley, and an antique fire truck. These rides arenít thrilling, but they sure are fun. All of these rides take you down the length of Main Street. They stop at the Central Plaza, which is a tiny park that has a big statue of Walt and Mickey in the middle. Also in Central Plaza, there are mini statues of Waltís most famous cartoon creations such as Goofy, the White Rabbit, Dumbo, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, and a few others. From the Central Plaza, you can go to all the Ďlands,í such as Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland.

Big statue of Walt and Mickey
Big statue of Walt and Mickey

Next to the bank on Main Street, thereís a special, quiet attraction. Very few people ever go here, but itís really cool. Itís called The Walt Disney Story, featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. There is a guest book when you first enter the building. You can sign your name and your hometown. Itís interesting to see who else has signed and where theyíre from. I always sign my name when Iím there.

As you walk along inside the building, you can see Walt Disneyís office. I think thatís one of the coolest things at Disneyland. Itís neat to see where Walt would actually sit in his office and where he would come up with all of his ideas. At the end of the hallway, there is a theater where you can find a seat and watch the show. The show is about Mr. Lincoln and his presidency. He is an audio-animatronic figure, which is a computer-run robot that looks like a real person. Audio animatronics move under 400 pounds of pressure, but that pressure is controlled enough so that they can even shake hands. Mr. Lincoln is a great attraction on a hot, crowded day -- or on any day.

As you continue to walk down Main Street, you can see all kinds of shops.

There are many shops that grownups would like. Thereís the Disneyana Shop, which has lots of Disney memorabilia and expensive things like animation cels and other fragile artwork. Kids should definitely be careful or not even go in there! The Crystal Arts store is another grownup favorite. They hand blow crystal objects and those are extremely delicate. Your mom should like the New Century Jewelry Store. It has all kinds of Disney jewelry, even Mickey Mouse shaped earrings that look like diamonds. The New Century Timepieces shop is a store where you can see an artist create a picture of a Disney cartoon character that gets turned into a watch face. The artist can make a watch especially for you!

But what kinds of shops are there for kids? Well, there are a variety of shops that kids will enjoy. The front windows of the Emporium store usually have moving scenes that are taken from the latest Disney movie. These scenes usually have three-dimensional movie characters, like Tarzan or Mulan, taken from different parts of the movie.

Another great shop is the Mad Hatter. You can get any kind of hat, ears, or even insane hats that youíd never wear anywhere else but Disneyland. The hats are really fun to try on, even if you donít buy them. Thereís the classic Mickey and Minnie caps that have plastic ears, even small enough for your little brother or sister. There are Goofy ears, Dumbo ears, Tigger ears, and Pooh ears. They sell huge Mad Hatter hats that have the year 2000 in three-dimensional numbers, all dressed up like Disney characters. They also sell princess hats for girls.

The Candy Palace is a huge candy store. Every day, they make a different kind of candy, usually involving chocolate. From the big windows at the front of the store, you can watch while they make it. Itís amazing to see the candy being made in front of you. I always like to buy whatever candy theyíre making. Yum!

My favorite shop on Main Street is the Magic Shop. There are all sorts of magic tricks that you can purchase. If you ask the cast member to see any trick, they will usually be able to perform it for you. Seeing them perform the trick usually makes me want to buy it so I can do it myself. I love to go in there every time I visit the park, and most times, they have new tricks.

There are a couple of other places just off Main Street that are very important to parents and children: the Baby Care Center and First Aid / Lost Children. Adrienne Krock has talked about these places in her ďParenting in the ParksĒ column, so please visit her wonderful site to find out more information.

Well, so long and good bye, this is Casey signing off. Cíya next time on Mouse Planet!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Casey
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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