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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: We suspect new Disneyland prices have Walt spinning in his grave

Dave Oliveria (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Dave Oliveria (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Count Evielynne Holbrook, of Spirit Lake and Spokane Valley, among those who aren’t impressed with the higher cost of visiting Mickey, Donald Duck, Goofy et al. in their natural setting, Disneyland. The former Disneyland employee suffered sticker shock at the new admission fees recently announced by the company, including $129 for a regular, one-day pass. Up from $117. She had been planning a trip to Disneyland in May, but is now reconsidering. The line the company is feeding the huddled masses yearning to ride the Matterhorn bobsleds is this: We raised the prices to cut down on the crowds. However, Holbrook isn’t buying what Disney execs are selling. She told Huckleberries that the new prices cater to the rich and will prevent lower-income families from visiting the “Happiest Place on Earth.” In the 1990s, when she was a parade dancer at Disneyland and Disney World, Holbrook continued, the entry price was $25.50 and parking, $4. She suspects old Walt Disney is spinning 360s in his grave as a result of the unhappy New Year that corporate sharks have sprung on fans.

Unspoiled Wonderland?

David Taylor loves the wonderland that surfaces each winter in and around his hometown Coeur d’Alene. Winter mornings will find him hiking Tubbs Hill in Coeur d’Alene, Kiwanis Park in Post Falls, and through the unspoiled wildlife habitat at Cougar Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Alas, Taylor discovered Cougar Bay wasn’t unspoiled during a recent hike. Someone had carefully placed a coffee cup along the trail, right side up. Groused David: “I guess the person who could afford to pay $3 to $5 for the coffee could not expect to have to carry the empty cup back to their vehicle.” Taylor, being the good citizen he is, handled the clean-up duty. But he doesn’t understand how someone could be such a cad.

Poet’s Corner

Poet’s Corner: I wish you good fortune/ and rest from your worries/ wish you laughter and love/ and no snow but flurries – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“A New Year’s Wish”).


You may be from Idaho if – you worry about summer water and fire conditions, in the dead of winter. Take former Shoshone County Commissioner Sherry Krulitz, of Osburn, for example. She Facebooks: “Green grass and 48 degrees at our house Jan. 4. I love it. But I hope we don’t pay for it this summer with water shortages” … Don’t look now, but Huckleberries has been part of The Spokesman-Review for 34 years, beginning it’s run in January 1985. The column has held up better than its writer. All of you readers over the years are appreciated … Hand-printed note found between the second and third CDs of author Lydia Reeder’s “Dust Bowl Girls,” an audio book at the Coeur d’Alene Library about a college women’s basketball team in the 1930s: “You have a beautiful smile!” Dunno what to say. But thanks. Glad you noticed … Eastern Washington didn’t get much respect from the online Seattle Times prior to its big game with the North Dakota State. Oh, the Times did its job by publishing a pregame story about the FCS national championship. But fumbled when it put the story in the hockey section … Yesteryear: Fifty years ago today, in the Coeur d’Alene Press, H&R Block was advertising its tax services for “$5 and up.” Yep, those were the good old days … An article about allowances for American children caught the eye of Katrina Wright Swaim of Coeur d’Alene. It said that American kids receive, on average, $800 per year in allowance. Exclaimed she: “Wow! If my kids get wind of that, they’ll want to unionize!”

Parting Shot

OK, OK, we Idahoans get it. Washingtonians, as the Grinch would say, hate/hate/hate/loath studded snow tires (even when sliding backward on Spokane’s icy South Hill arterials). But here comes Sid Smith of Coeur d’Alene, regional director for Idaho U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, with an argument on behalf of studs. In a Facebook post aimed at the Washington DOT, Smith notes the agency has said that studs are the best choice “1 percent of the time.” The glare-ice conditions that greeted motorists Tuesday night represented that “1 percent of the time,” Smith said. And he thanks his lucky stars he was running studs again in 2019. So there.

You can contact D.F. “Dave” Oliveria at

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