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

Have you ever been at Disneyland and found yourself just wandering around? All the exploring is done, and now you need something to do. Or maybe you have annual passes and are just there with some friends or family. Recently, my mom took my little brother and me to Disneyland for a surprise lunch. We were only at Disneyland for a few hours, but we did some really neat things.

First, we went to New Orleans Square. We made reservations for a little later that day at the Blue Bayou. I didn't realize until lunchtime that this was the restaurant on the shore of Pirates of the Caribbean (above)! While you eat, you have a peaceful view of the cabin and the old man in his rocking chair on the porch. The lanterns above you and little gas lights on your table are the only lights, so it's a little dark (so our photos didn't turn out) but it sets the mood for being on a southern bayou.

The Blue Bayou serves a lot of seafood, but there are many other choices as well. My mom and I split a Monte Cristo sandwich. A Monte Cristo is a ham, turkey, and cheese sandwich deep-fried in batter and dusted with powdered sugar. Blue Bayou serves a Monte Cristo with blackberry jam and pasta salad. This is only offered at lunch. The sandwich was huge, so if you get one, consider splitting it.

My little brother had a Mousekemeal. Mousekemeals at the Blue Bayou come with a drink and a gelatin dessert shaped like Mickey ears. Pirates-in-training can get Long John's Special - chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and corn, Captain's Treasures - mini corndogs, mashed potatoes and corn, or Buccaneer's Bounty -pasta with sauce and cheese. The Mousekemeal menu is cool because it becomes a pirate hat. My brother wore it all day and got plenty of attention.

This is a nice restaurant, so you have to talk in quieter voices, but it's definitely worth it because it's so cool to be able to see the boats floating by on Pirates.

After lunch, we went on the Mark Twain Riverboat. My little brother co-piloted the boat. In the past, I've piloted it, too, but this time, I rang the bells, while he blew the whistle and steered. This was a lot of fun, because we were up with the captain in the wheelhouse (above). We saw the Rivers of America from way up high, too.

We traveled the Rivers of America, which took us around Tom Sawyer's Island, past New Orleans Square, Critter Country, and through the wilderness. We saw an Indian chief on a horse, and a settler's cabin. When we passed the docks to the canoes and rafts, we waved at all the Guests below us. All the kids down there love to have the captain wave, so we could make their day!

We signed a special guest book and got pilots’ certificates (shown above). Sometimes they run short on certificates so don't be too disappointed if they are out when you visit. And beware! The steps inside the wheelhouse are really steep, so be careful... especially coming down.

Everyone likes seeing the beautiful Mark Twain float by Tom Sawyer Island and New Orleans Square. It looks huge on the Rivers of America. It's really cool to be the one way up in the wheelhouse. Not just anyone can pilot the Mark Twain, though. We had to get permission from the captain. Guests can stand on the dock while waiting to board and indicate to him that they would like to help him out. They can also ask a Cast Member on the dock to get the okay. Some people walk up to the wheelhouse and wave from the deck to attract the captain's attention and ask to join him.

The Mark Twain has been at Disneyland since Opening Day, so it is one of the original attractions. When the Mark Twain was built, it was the first real, paddle-wheeled boat to be built in this country in about half a century. The decks and the hull were both built in different cities, so everyone was quite pleased when they fit together just beautifully on the first try.

Next time you are in New Orleans Square, or just want to go to Disneyland for an afternoon, you should grab a bite to eat and head over to the Mark Twain. Maybe I'll see you waving (that's the view above) from up on top!


~ Jewel

Jewel's FastFact: The four vultures in Jungle Book were rumored to be patterned after The Beatles, the popular rock group.

Do you have any questions, comments, or even suggestions for future columns? E-mail them to me at I'd love to hear from you!

New Orleans Afternoon


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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