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In the Parks

Beautiful Disneyland, DCA Dissection, Knott's Kicks, Muzeo's Gold and More

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 02-03-2011 at 10:06 PM

So many theme parks, so little time. Ahhhhhhhh, yes, the life of a Disney geek is never dull. This week we bring you more news and observations from the parks and other fun places to visit around Southern California. We've got some beautiful Disneyland shots and a unique focus on the details of Disney’s California Adventure's many construction projects. After that, we’ll search for gold at Muzeo and check up on the progress of the new WindSeeker ride at Knott's Berry Farm. There's a lot of fun stuff to uncover today, let's get this show on the road . . .

Other than the repaving project on Main Street, and the closure of the entire Critter Country land, not much is happening inside the original Magic Kingdom. We’re going to look at these projects, but we will also stop and admire a few of the “magical moments” offered inside the berm.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle


The repaving project continues on Main Street, resulting in a mass of walls. The project focuses on the left-hand side of the street. Although the park is being worked over, there is still plenty of magic to be enjoyed. When we took our walk through the park, the characters were out in full force along Main Street. Lines of people, undeterred by the nearby walls, were mesmerized by interaction with their favorites.

The hub, although halfway surrounded by walls, is still a nice place to sit, relax and people watch.

Hi Goofy!

A plucky Pluto plays with park patrons.

Minnie, beautiful as ever, in Town Square.

Mickey greets guests near the Disneyland Showcase shop.

The Disneyland Gallery:
A new exhibit has washed up in the Disney Gallery! It features Disney Magic on the Water. The exhibit coincides with the launch of the Disney Dream on the East Coast. Let's sail on in and see if the new exhibit floats!

The exhibit features art exclusive to the Disney Dream ship.

If you are lucky, you will be able to see an artist working in the studio.

Artwork by the artist adorns the walls.

Each of the Disney Cruise line's ships feature a signature statue. Replicas of these statues are on display.




The gallery has some really nice pieces on display.

The furthest room in the gallery focuses on park attractions.

The Nautilus

Tokyo DisneySea's Aquatopia

Meet the Disney Dream

We are looking forward to riding the Aqua Duck on the deck of the Disney Dream on our October MiceChat cruise! Come join us!!!


The facade of the Castle Heraldry shop is masked in scaffolding and undergoing refurbishment.

King Arthur's Carousel:
Something that is new to us…an interesting change to the horses of the King Arthur Carousel. Now it will be easier for youngsters to climb atop their favorite steed.

Each horse is now equipped with steps.

Steps up to the horse.

There is a minor change in front of the Mansion. The carriage/hearse that is normally out in front has been taken back stage for refurbishment.


A ride on the Disneyland Railroad offers a good look at an empty land. Critter Country’s Splash Mountain and the Hungry Bear Restaurant are undergoing an extensive “refurb”. . . which doesn't leave guests with much else to do. So they've closed the entire land, including Winnie the Pooh.

No critters, just this here new fangled wall

Splash's drop is encased in scaffolding.

If Critter Country is closed, why the refurb walls?

As far as we know, Pooh is not scheduled to have any changes or improvements during this “down time”.

This week, we take advantage of the recently added artwork in the Blue Sky Cellar to compare against what is currently under construction in the park.


As we have previously covered, the entrance to Disney’s California Adventure is now knee-deep in construction. The Pan Pacific turnstiles are coming soon and the walls in front of the park continue to keep progress hidden.

Artwork of the new entrance and Carthay Circle Theater (in the upper left of the image)

The current state of the entrance.

Area where the Carthay will rise again.

The Golden Gate bridge will be replaced by iconic, Los Angeles style architecture.


Hollywood Pictures Backlot is evolving into Hollywoodland. Here we compare phase one and phase two artwork with the current progress.

Disney Junior:

What was once the Playhouse Disney Theatre is being changed to reflect the Golden Age of Hollywood. It’s going to be renamed the Disney Theatre. As seen by the artwork, a new marquee will be added, along with a decorative radio tower.

Animation Building:
The Animation Building reopened after a quick re-carpeting to reveal changes that are coming to the animation courtyard screens.

Purple and blue hues sit stagnant on the large screens, as Tinkerbell flies around the room, igniting a message that promises future changes.

Can't wait to see them.

Hyperion Theatre:
Phase two of the Disney California improvements indicate that the Hyperion Theatre will be enclosed and given a proper entrance and lobby. Let’s hope that these plans do not fall to the wayside, or become the victim of budget cuts.

The street leading to Tower of Terror will receive a complete retheme, and will finally look like a real street instead of an outdoor queue for the Hyperion.

The Carsland details are slowly coming into focus. This week we spotted a bit of track coming from the show building. This piece of banked turn will be the end of the much anticipated "Race” sequence.

As the construction progresses, the rock work will become a berm around most of the land. A new entrance will go from A Bugs Land (in between Tuck and Roll and Heimlich) to the new Cars Land.

You can see the large show building behind the rockwork.


Let's compare the artwork featured in the Blue Sky Cellar to the current state of the construction site.

The elevation drawing on display.

The front of the building.

The show building.

A detail drawing of the marquee.

The entrance right now.

Let's view the evolution of the ride track from the first drawings to the final version. This is #1.

Drawing #2.

Drawing #3.

Drawing #4, almost there.

Drawing #5, they just about had it.

The sixth, and almost final, ride layout.

a model of the Under The Sea show scene.

Drawings of the animatronics

The model of Ursula's Poor Unfortunate Souls scene.

Some work is being done near the main entrance of Paradise Pier. The meet and greet gazebo has been removed and the area is walled off.

We now look at the progress of the Paradise Pier restaurant area. Pipes are being laid and trees are being planted. There is also some significant change in front of Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.

It is just amazing to see so many large trees going in. This area will be lovely when complete.


Almost all the track is painted in sky tones that are meant to evoke flight and some new structures are beginning to go up in the ride's new entry area.

If you have a chance you should really go over and check out the Muzeo's latest exhibit, GOLD. From now until May 29th, Muzeo will feature more than 120 exquisitely crafted pieces of Precolumbian goldwork from Penn Museum's 1940 excavations at the ancient cemetery site of Sitio Conte in what is now central Panama, about 100 miles west of Panama City. The gold objects, created by goldsmiths and artisans 700 to 1100 years after the birth of Christ, will be shown in "River of Gold."

Muzeo is located just minutes from Disneyland and there is free parking for 2 hours as well as a number of places to grab a quick lunch before heading into the exhibit.

Pottery from near the dig site.

The pieces are values at a total of over $4.8 million.

The gold beads are beautiful.

The animal effigies are very interesting.

The exhibit is open 10am-5pm daily and is $13.00 for adults and $9.00 for children 12 and under. Nearby Parking is free for 2 hours and there are plenty of places to grab a bite and enjoy the Muzeo.

You can also visit their website for more info on this and upcoming events.

We take a gander at the recent progress of Knott's latest thrill ride, Windseeker. This 300 ft tall tower ride should be open sometime during the Summer. They've got a lot of work to get done in that short span of time.

GOOD NEWS!!! The Kicking leg at Goldie's is back.

Our good friend, Robb Alvey, over at holds a fantastic coaster enthusiast event at Knott's every year. We highly recommend it.

Sunday - March 20th - Knott's Berry Farm

$32 - Knott's (Cedar Fair) Season Passholder
$45 - Knott's KIDS & SENIORS Non-Pass
$60 - Knott's ADULTS Non-Pass

Event Includes:

Knott's Berry Farm:
- 2 Hours Morning ERT on select coasters
- Backstage tour of Timber Mountain Log Ride
- Backstage tour of Xcelerator
- Construction Tour of Windseeker
- Group Lunch
- TPR Quest Game at Lunch
- Presentation at Good Times Theater
- Q&A Session with park management
- 1 Hour Evening ERT on select coasters
- Free parking until 8:00am
- Many more surprises and extras that will be announced soon!
- ERT is planned for Xcelerator!


A final event schedule with more details will be emailed to you prior to the event.

Get your tickets NOW before the sell out!!!
This is a great way to see Knotts and enjoy extra ride time with minimal waiting. It is a full day event that comes with lunch and free parking. Really, what more could you ask for at that price?
Get your tickets HERE before they sell out.


San Diego Zoo recently welcomed a new addition their animal family. A bouncing baby hippo was born on January 26, 2011 at the San Diego Zoo in front of about a hundred Zoo guests. Two okapis from the adjacent exhibit also strained to watch through a fence. The crowd gathered around during the two-hour labor of mother Funani. At 11:30 a.m., Funani backed into her enclosure’s pool and the baby, known as a calf, popped up in the water beside her.

The birth is something San Diego Zoo keepers have been waiting and hoping for. Two years ago, Otis, a 36 year old male hippo, came from the Los Angeles Zoo to meet Funani, 26, at the San Diego Zoo. There were “fireworks” as the Hollywood hippo and Funani (who had been in the exhibit for more than a decade), struggled for dominance. After a cooling-off period and a re-introduction, they became an affectionate couple. Otis recently garnered national attention when a photo of him "smiling" went viral.

Keepers began to see mating gestures between the two in April of 2010. Typically, a hippo’s gestation period lasts 8 months. Otis was taken off exhibit a few weeks ago due to not having fathered a calf at the San Diego Zoo. Keepers did not know how he would react to a newborn. Funani is an experienced mother who had three babies with Jabba, the previous male hippo on exhibit. Otis came to the Zoo in hopes of diversifying the hippo population.

"Since June 2010, Funani has gained about 300 pounds," said Matt Akel, a San Diego Zoo animal care supervisor. At this point, the calf has not been named, and keepers do not know its sex. There are no plans for whether the calf will stay at the Zoo after it is weaned, or if it will be moved to another zoo for breeding purposes.

The hippopotamus is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, known as the IUCN. The primary threats to hippos are illegal and unregulated hunting for meat and ivory (found in the canine teeth) as well as habitat loss. Hippos can still be found in a number of sub-Saharan African countries.

The 100-acre San Diego Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of endangered species and their habitats. The organization focuses on conservation and research work around the globe, educating millions of individuals a year about wildlife. The zoo maintains accredited horticultural, animal, library and photo collections. It also manages the 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park (historically referred to as the Wild Animal Park), which includes a 900-acre native species reserve, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. The important conservation and scientific work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

Snow Days at the L.A. Zoo Saturday & Sunday, February 5 & 6, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Los Angeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles. Early weather reports predict a snowstorm at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Areas affected will be the habitats for the Zoo’s American black bear, Sumatran tigers, North American river otters, giant otters, Asian elephants, and snow leopards. Mark the date on your calendar because the chilly conditions will only last through the weekend. Don’t miss the rare opportunity to view these critters playing and exploring a snowy winter wonderland. Sponsored by Union Ice

Love wine? Enjoy helping worthy charities? We've got a great "Wine Adventure" fundraiser for you this weekend in Pasadena called, PUSHING PINK PEDALS! The purpose of the Pink Pedals is to show all young girls and women that their beauty begins within. Five wineries and a beer master will be presenting as well as educating all of us on the finer points of wines and beer. Join in on an evening of traveling from Italy, Malibu, Central Coast, Sonoma and rounding out with Napa. It will be an evening of great wine and food pairings to suit any taste level. Wine will also be available to purchase if you are so inclined.
When & Where:

•February 5, 2011
•7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
•Salon Sessions ~112 S. DeLacey Avenue, Pasadena, California 91105

Requested Attendee Donation:

•$25 per person (pre-purchased)
•$45 per couple (pre-purchased)

Purchase Your Ticket Now!

•$35 per person (at door ~ CASH ONLY please)

Please RSVP to:

JanaCari at (626) 450-5594 or [email protected]

Please RSVP as soon as possible to ensure enough food and beverage.
21 and over will be admitted. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
All donations are tax deductible and truely appreciated.
The Golden Dragon Parade and Festival Parade
February 5, 2011, 1:00 pm; Festival: February 5 & 6 Parade Route: Hill Street at Temple toward Bernard. Right on Bernard, right on Broadway back to Broadway & Temple.
In celebrating over one hundred years of tradition, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles presents the 112th Annual Golden Dragon Parade. With over 110,000 individuals lining the parade route and thousands viewing the telecast each year, this colorful celebration along North Broadway in Chinatown has become the premiere cultural event in the Southern California Asian-American Community.

Vintage Paper Fair
February 5, 2011 (10:00 am - 6:00 pm) - February 6, 2011 (10:00 am - 4:00 pm) Glendale Civic Auditorium- 1401 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale
The biggest antique paper show on the West Coast. Postcards, photography, labels, brochures, scrapbooks, greeting cards, and other interesting old paper items. Admission and parking are free.

Mark Twain Celebration with Hal Holbrook
Tuesday, February 8, 7:00 pm Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood
The Hammer Museum celebrates the publication of Mark Twain’s autobiography with Twain scholar and editor of the Mark Twain Project, Robert Hirst will discuss Twain’s life and work, followed by a panel discussion with Hal Holbrook, moderated by David Kipen. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. In addition, there will be a reception with live music and a no-host bar in the courtyard, as well as a book signing. Program & admission are free.

The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles
The Getty Center presents their collection of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present against a backdrop of dramatic architecture, tranquil gardens, and breathtaking views.

Free Admission Every Day
The Getty Villa Malibu
17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades
The Getty Villa is an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.

Long Beach Museum of Art
FREE Admission Thursdays
Thursdays, 5 - 8 pm - Long Beach Museum of Art, 2300 E. Ocean Blvd, Long Beach
The Long Beach Museum of Art is FREE every Thursday night. Bring the whole family to see great exhibitions including several new ones that have just opened.

Science in Toyland
Through May 1 - California Science Center, Exposition Park, 39th Street & Figueroa St, Los Angeles
Come play! Spin tops, set up dominoes, build a mini roller coaster and more. Explore what toys teach us about science in this fun, hands-on exhibit. Admission Free.

There's a whole world of Disney and theme park fun to discover on MiceChat, might we suggest:

  • Check out our newest column - SAMLAND - where we look at fabulous Disney history.
  • Weekend Update Offers a world of Disney theme parks as well as other sights and landmarks!
  • Dateline Disneyland which is packed with great news and photos from the Disneyland Resort.
  • And you'll always find something interesting on the forums and on MiceAge.

Today's update was brought to you by our fantastic and talented crew of photographers and news contributors , Sir Clinksalot, Captphoebus, Pratt55, F!an, Fishbulb, and Dustysage.

Tell your friends about MiceChat and In The Parks - sharing is caring!

If you have photos or news to share, please contact [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you!

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Updated 02-04-2011 at 02:35 PM by In the Parks



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  1. Oathkeeper's Avatar
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    just my opinion, those new steps for the carousel horses look kind of ugly =/ (for the lack of a better word). Have nothing against kids now having an easier time getting on them, but they could've at least painted them to look a little less jarring. Silver would've looked much nicer than black IMO.
  2. Emmanuel_4's Avatar
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    Great Update!!!
  3. Seawolf's Avatar
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    I like the concept art for the Hollywoodland street for the Hyperion Theater. It looks a billion times better than what we have now, hopefully it gets implemented without budget issues.
  4. C. Andrew Nelson's Avatar
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    Thank you for another wonderful report. I always look forward to these.

    I gotta agree with Oathkeeper. The steps on the carrousel horses are ugly (no lack of a better word for it). I began visiting the park when I was six years old and I don't recall ever having much trouble getting up onto the horses. In fact, I recall enjoying the challenge of seeing if I could do it all by myself at that age. Completely unneccessary in my opinion.

    Nice work comparing and contrasting the DCA concept art with the current photos of the same locations. Looking at all that got me thinking...once the DCA makeover is finished (Phase 1) and Carsland is opened, which park will have the larger footprint? Disneyland or Disney California Adventure? Which has more acreage?
  5. AzGizmo's Avatar
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    I'm curious as to what will be done with the lobby of the Animation Building. I've always enjoyed sitting there for several "cycles" of the clips from Disney animated films, and while I do think that some updating is needed, I hope they actually don't scuttle it completely.
  6. Rixter's Avatar
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    Muzeo participates in the Bank of America "Museums on Us" program. They offer free admission on the first weekend of each month (including this weekend Feb 5th and 6th). Just show your Bank of America credit or debit card.
    Museums on Us
  7. WheresMickey's Avatar
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    Nice update!
  8. Nancy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oathkeeper
    just my opinion, those new steps for the carousel horses look kind of ugly =/ (for the lack of a better word). Have nothing against kids now having an easier time getting on them, but they could've at least painted them to look a little less jarring. Silver would've looked much nicer than black IMO.
    I so agree!! Those steps are horrible. They could have left some original. Silver would have been better.
  9. k_peek_2000's Avatar
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    Actually ride layout #6 is not the current layout. It's similar, but it's still just an early rendering. The current layout being used is the one layout that was drawn in color.
  10. jcruise86's Avatar
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    Thank you for yet another great update! ! !

    Who oversaw the "Magic on the Water" exhibit at the Disney Gallery? CONGRATULATIONS! Give this person more power and freedom!

    And thanks for the continued attention to Knott's--the other wonderful theme park in west of the Mississippi.

    If you love all the new developments in the Hollywood and entrance sections of DCA, don't read the following two paragraphs. Just don't.

    Some of the new buildings going up in DCA's Hollywood and entrance sections look authentic, but bland. Why are they playing it safe? To appease theme-obesssed nostalgists? (The words "Appeasing nostalgists" stolen from the review of WDW on yesterday.) Why didn't they tour USC's new film school, USD, the Alhambra in Spain, and the Mission Inn in Riverside, and ask how they could take Spanish and Western architecture to a fantastical new level? (OK, maybe some art deco too.) In my opinion, by far the worst Disney park in the world is the studios park in Paris (It's the only truly awful Disney park I've seen, though I haven't been there in about 8 years.) And the least popular park at WDW is the studios there. Why use those as starting points?

    They could have have built a majestical, beautiful and original rival to Cinderella's Castle and EPCOT's Spaceship Earth, but instead they were timid, as if a big budget and authenticity were more important than creativity. I really, really hope I'm wrong! For the first time. OK, end rant. I know I'm alone on that.

    I've been to the VINTAGE PAPER FAIR (listed in the events part) a few times and it's pretty cool to look at postcards from all over the world from the last 100+ years. You won't find as many Disney postcards as you would at the Disneyana show in Anaheim, and many of the old Disney cards there are ones I've purchased for much less elsewhere, but it's worth checking out--especially if you like history or traveling. If it's Disney cards you're after, you might meet Nick Farago at the Vintage Paper show. He brings far more of his Disney cards to the Disneyana show in Anaheim, by the way, and he sells them for less than other sellers. He contributed to one of the best Disneyland books: The Nickel Tour, now out of print. It's a history of Disneyland via its many postcards--GREAT, GREAT BOOK! He might have a copy at the Vintage Paper show, along with some of his vast Disneyland card collection for you to look at.
    Updated 02-04-2011 at 10:36 AM by jcruise86
  11. Disneykin Kid's Avatar
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    Covering Hyperion Theater - How are they going to cover the back side so that it blends into the sky mural? That street going to ToT is very narrow, the Animation Bldg sticks out so far, plus with the trolley going down it, but I guess they can make it work.

    Cars Land 'berm' - a berm around the park is just another thing from the perfection of Walt's plans for DL that got tossed out by the planners of DCA. Now if they can only make a berm tall enough to hide Paradise Pier Hotel (or tear it down)
  12. ron's Avatar
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    I have to say that the generic bridge they are replacing the Golden Gate bridge for is not the least bit "iconic." I know the Golden Gate won't fit anymore, but they should find a way to put it somewhere else.
    Also, the Pan Pacific auditorium entrance does not match the theme of the entrance. It was opened in 1935, and Buena Vista Street is supposed to be the 1920s, when Disney first came to California. So I just chalk it up to someone being lazy about the theme and just recycling the Disney Hollywood Studios entrance instead of figuring out something unique.
    My two pet peeves about the entrance area, although I do like the new theme and look it will have otherwise.
  13. DarthBrian's Avatar
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    Really solid update today. Thanks.
  14. Mojave's Avatar
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    In your first photo of Cars Land construction, that bit of track has actually been there for quite a while. Also, that is not the beginning of the race section, but the end, just before you re-enter the show building and the unload zone.
  15. WDWizard's Avatar
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    What happened to the young-Walt-and-Mickey partner's statue and the California state flag that was planned for Buena Vista St. ? :(
  16. Timekeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WDWizard
    What happened to the young-Walt-and-Mickey partner's statue and the California state flag that was planned for Buena Vista St. ?
    I don't know, it looks like it got axe (I hope it didn't too!)

  17. In the Parks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojave
    In your first photo of Cars Land construction, that bit of track has actually been there for quite a while. Also, that is not the beginning of the race section, but the end, just before you re-enter the show building and the unload zone.
    Got it. Thanks.
  18. StevenW's Avatar
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    The new entrance shows the walkway narrowing into a bottle neck. Instead of wide open streets, you walk into a small alley. It looks strange to have the entrance turn into a Pacific Wharf 2.

    The updates to the Playhouse Disney Theatre will make it look like the Animation Building. All the marquees will seem the same. It might not matter, but I'm sensing a sameness creeping up with these renovations.
  19. Wendygirl's Avatar
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    Great update today.

    Love the baby hippo story - very sweet.

    Regarding the "step ups" on the carousel. I agree they are rather ugly but I think silver would show wear and tear and scuff marks after a while. Personally from a person who is getting older, they would be of great value to me. The last time I rode I thought it would be my last as I had a difficult time getting on and when it stopped the horse was in it's highest position. It was really hard to get off. Maybe now I can ride again. It's the pits getting old sometimes.
  20. cadjoe321's Avatar
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    The steps of the carousel are ugly I remember being a kid and when I could finally get on by myself it was cool! Mind you I am older with sometimes a bad knee and when I would climb up it now I feel like I did when I was a kid. Why does Disney always change a good thing?
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