DL Opening Day article from my local paper- quotes Al
A few snippets from:
Maintaining the Magic-
Disney's Happiest Place motto can be tough to live up to
By Jerry Rice
Los Angeles Daily News
-Happiest place on Earth? Not Disneyland on it's opening day- not even close.
People weren't even very happy trying to get to the new park on July 17, 1955, as cars backed up for seven miles on the Santa Ana Freeway. Meanwhile at the park itself, rides broke down, restaurants ran out of food, and thanks to a plumbers strike, there were no drinking fountains on a scorching summer day.
ABC television, on hand to capture the celebration for a national audience, instead caught the Mark Twain Riverboat listing to it's side when it was launched. And while admission was free for the 6,000 invited guests, thousands with counterfeit tickets and others who had simply jumped fences flooded the park.
-Even Disney himself referred to the debacle as "Black Sunday".
-Even the parks 50th-anniversary celebration, running from May 5 through fall 2006, has its detractors. "I don't think it's what it could have been," says Al Lutz, a longtime Walt Disney Co observer and operator of the Miceage.com Web site.
-Yet despite his criticisms, Lutz believes the overall Disneyland experience is being revived just in time for the 18-month anniversary celebration.
"What's really nice to see is the park coming back up to the standards we expected of it. For a time, they had really let the maintenance side of it go...They're freshly painting things on a regular basis now. It makes a big difference."
There is much more- but I did not want to post the whole article.