|Feb, 29, 2012. One More Disney Day. A Disney Parks Blog Photo|
So there you have it. Leap Day - February 29. Disneyland celebrated the occasion that rolls around once every 4 years by staying open 24 hours from 6:00 am on the 29th until 6:00 am on March 1st. Brilliant idea as they say. But.... There's always a but with every brilliant idea.
Oh, the day started well park fans hitting the gates right at opening in high spirits and ready for a good time. And then the people came, and came, and came some more. So many people came that the gates had to be closed for a time due to capacity being reached. As the stories go, when night fell, some of SoCal's more unruly crowd started to hit the park. Belligerent party goers meeting up with some very tired Disney fans don't always mix. So there were enough scuffles breaking out to keep security busy.
And what else do all those people create? Lines. Long lines. Very long lines. Oh yeah...I think the 2 hour wait to ride Space Mountain or Indiana Jones was expected but how about a two hour wait to get into the Jolly Holly Bakery to get something to eat? What a about a 40 minute wait to get a cup of coffee from the Market House? MiceAge reported that Disneyland staffed the event for about 44,000 people to attend. The estimates of the number of people who actually showed up was somewhere between 65,000 and 100,000. As Mrs. DisneylandTraveler says - ooops and stuff.
So the park closed at 6:00 am to prepare for the regular opening a 10:00 am. A lot of people left the park at 6:00 am. A lot of people left the park at 6:00 am at the same time as a lot of Anaheim folks were hitting the streets and heading off to their real jobs. Anaheim gridlock. More ooops and stuff.
At the company I work for when we plan for something big and it doesn't go off quite as we planned the head honchos get together and hold a "post-mortem" where they can point fingers and figure out how not to let this mess happen again. They call it "lessons learned". I can see the Disneyland park planners getting together this past week after One More Disney Day commiserating on what worked and a lot of things that didn't work so well. I can can also see that somewhere in the middle of their head-scratching, soul-searching meeting an email gets sent over from the Accounting Dept congratulating them on a job well done. You see... all those people, all those lines, lines for park admission, lines for food, lines for merchandise all lead to a nice deposit for the Disney Day in the old bank account. Disney wins.