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Keep the robo-celebs out of Disneyland
Posted April 21, 2006

Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a thing for a certain little rodent-infested amusement park. I remember waking up at what seemed like the crack of dawn, grabbing a pillow, maybe a book or two, and hopping into the backseat of my dad’s car. I would wave goodbye to my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandmother knowing they would be in the cars following behind us as we sailed down the freeway toward our fun-filled destination: Disneyland.

My family used to organize at least one trip a year to the Magic Kingdom and other amusement parks such as Knott’s Berry Farm, Santa’s Village and if money was tight, Fiesta Village.

My love for amusement parks has stayed as strong as it was since those days when I would stand in line screaming to ride “Pirates of the carrots and beans.” While many of my friends have grown out of the whole Mickey Mouse/ Fairy Princess thing, I have stayed strong. There’s something about Disneyland that I will never stop loving.

I may not have the Disneyland license plate frame or over-sized Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt to prove my dedication, but I’m a pretty loyal follower. Come on, I spent my honeymoon at the happiest place on Earth for goodness sake.

I try to take advantage of my season pass as much as possible. Some days I will drive all the way to Anaheim after my eight-hour work shifts only to stand in line for an hour or so to climb aboard one or two rides… if I’m lucky.

The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Enchanted Tiki Room. These are some of my favorite rides at the wonderful land of Disney. Sure, they don’t have any loopty-loops or breathtaking drops. These traditional rides have character and that, my friends, counts for something.

A few weeks ago, I received a newsletter informing me of all of the exciting changes taking place at the park.

Renovations are currently underway to “improve” one of my all-time favorite rides: Pirates of the Caribbean. Now, that’s fine and all. I’m sure Audio-Animatronic buccaneers need a good tune-up now and again. But one addition to the attraction has got me ticked.

In case you haven’t heard, an Audio-Animatronic Captain Jack Sparrow (portrayed by Johnny Depp in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films) will be joining the scallywags aboard the famous boat ride, shaking up the ride’s original storyline a bit. Apparently, the first movie — which was influenced by the ride, mind you — was just so stinkin’ good, the Disney bigwigs decided they wanted the movie to influence the ride in return.

Don’t get me wrong; I think Johnny Depp is one righteous dude. “Edward Scissorhands” was an awesome movie and “Crybaby” was even better. But when it comes to this timeless attraction there’s no place for Depp. I don’t care how amazing you thought the movie was or how hot you think Depp is with eyeliner and dreadlocks, the attraction was perfect as it was: Depp-less.

What’s next, Disney? JTT on Tom Sawyer Island?

Of course, I don’t plan on boycotting the improved Pirates once the renovations are finished. But I’m telling you, if an animatronic Eddie Murphy ever makes an appearance at my favorite Haunted Mansion getaway, I will spend my seasons with the Peanuts gang at the Berry Farm.

Valerie Rojas, a senior journalism major, is copy editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at