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  1. #1

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    Disneyland After 9/11/01

    I was not a regular visitor to Disneyland in 2001, generally only going once a year around Christmas for the Rose Parade honor band. I know the park closed on 9/11 itself and I've heard conflicting reports on how long it remained closed. Does anyone recall the attitude and the mood around Disneyland in the moments and days after the attacks in New York and the at the Pentagon? Was anyone at the park on that day? Don't feel you have to contribute if this brings up painful memories, I just want to know in order to further my understanding of that terrible day and the effect it had on our nation.
    The Right Honorable Count Boogie Bonz of Random, at your service.

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  2. #2

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    The attitude and mood around Disneyland in the hours and days after the 9/11 attacks was no different than the attitude and mood in the hours and days after the attacks in the rest of the country. Disneyland is in America, and as such it went through exactly the same thing that the rest of the country went through.

  3. #3

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    It was closed all day on 9/11 and re-opened on 9/12. I was working Big Thunder Mountain on 9/12. The strangest thing for me was not seeing a single airplane in the sky. Large planes can regularly be seen in the air around Disneyland on their way into John Wayne Airport. But on 9/12, the sky was eerily empty. Not even a helicopter was in the air.

    Another thing that sticks out in my mind is a nice conversation I had with a newlywed couple from Australia. They were scheduled to fly home on 9/11. Obviously, they couldn't, so Disney put them up in the hotel an extra night and allowed them to enter the park, no charge.

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  4. #4

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    We went to Disneyland on Sept 13th. It was fantastic. The park was empty. No lines anywhere. We had a great day.

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    My husband and I were staying at the Disneyland Hotel from Sunday, September 9th, scheduled to depart Wednesday, September 12, 2001.

    That morning I got up first and showered. Once I was ready I turned on the TV (CNN) and saw the towers on fire. This was about 7:30am Pacific Time. I tried to wake my husband up and he didn't want to get up. Then when I saw the Pentagon on fire, I told him, "Hey! I think we're at war! The Pentagon has been hit!" - He shot straight out of bed. He got ready quickly and we went downstairs and out to the entrance to Downtown Disney. As we had expected, there were Security guards turning people away from going through Downtown Disney and we knew the park wouldn't be open that day. We had a somber breakfast at Hook's Pointe and waited for the Lost Bar to open (they did open early that day).

    The day was spent watching CNN and drinking and crying at the Lost Bar. The Cast Members were absolutely wonderful. They probably wanted to be home with their families and yet they did their best to reassure their guests. We walked across the street in the afternoon to the Grand Californian (we had to show our Hotel I.D. and drivers licenses) to get a drink in a change of venue. That place was a ghost town so we only did one drink there and went back to the Lost Bar.

    I have to say that the Disneyland Hotel made the best of the day for the kiddies. They ran movies in one of the ballrooms, had the characters come and play with them etc.

    I remember that day like it was yesterday. Clear blue sunny skies and silence. No planes, no sounds from rides. It was like the Twilight Zone.

    We knew we wouldn't be going home on our scheduled day because LAX was a mess (we live in Chicagoland), so we extended our stay and decided to make the most of the trip. The parks were so empty on the 12th, 13th and 14th. I remember going to see Dana Daniels in the Golden Horseshoe Variety Show on Wednesday the 12th. I don't think I've laughed so hard in my life. We all needed it and Dana was awesome. I can't imagine entertaining when there was so much tragedy just 24 hours prior but he did a hell of a job.

    We attended the ceremony in Town Square on Friday, September 14th. What a beautiful and moving moment. I don't think there was a dry eye in the place.

    Disneyland has always been very special to me, but I think being there during that horrible time made me love it even more.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    What sticks out in my mind is the way entertainment handled the days after. My friend's birthday is today, and in 01 she was all set to go to Disneyland for her birthday. She was friendly with a lot of the face characters at the time and a week later when she went to enjoy her postponed trip she mentioned what day her brithday was and from all accounts every face character got a deer in headlights look and began to plead with their eyes for her to change the subject. One of them even shook her head, looked around and whispered something like "I'm sorry, but at least you're here now and I CAN'T say anything else." I imagine that they were prohibitted to discuss it, seeing as they are performers trying to provide the full escapist illusion. Does anyone else know if this extended only to entertainment, or did other departments have instructions on how to handle discussions with the guests?

  7. #7

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    There was another thread here just a few months ago that had pretty comprehensive reports from many about 9/11 and Disneyland...but Search seems to be down, so I can't locate it.

    In the meantime...


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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    There was another thread here just a few months ago that had pretty comprehensive reports from many about 9/11 and Disneyland...but Search seems to be down, so I can't locate it.

    In the meantime...

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  9. #9

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    It still gives me goosebumps......

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    I was at DL on 9-9-01 for the last day of the Country Bear Jamboree.

    The next trip was a month later, and the mood was certainly different,
    with the tableset out for security checks on both sides of the esplanade.

    On one of the days, I went to DCA, and they had blocked off a good
    portion of the Parade Route. (from the Sun court hub, all the way to the
    warf) None of the cast members would say why. From one end of the
    blockade, you could see someone in hazmat gear, going in to the Wine
    Tratoria Building. The Parade didn't run that day. Guests and Disney
    were certainly both skittish.

  11. #11

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    Could you have imagined being stuck at the top of Splash Mountain during a breakdown (this a WHAT IF mind you ) right when the news of the bombing struck all over Disneyland?

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    My partner and I headed in not directly after the attacks--we didn't arrive until two weeks later on a travel package.

    But, even then, the somber feel of the place was palatable; we noticed the lines were profoundly shorter then other recent visits. Sad? A little. But for us, it was a bit of a remedy to be there, we needed a bit of the dreaming again.

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    Thank you all for your memories and stories. I am always looking to expand my understanding of what happened on that fateful day in the hope that maybe I'll someday understand why someone would want to do something like that.
    The Right Honorable Count Boogie Bonz of Random, at your service.

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  14. #14

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    Quote Originally Posted by BassBone View Post
    Thank you all for your memories and stories. I am always looking to expand my understanding of what happened on that fateful day in the hope that maybe I'll someday understand why someone would want to do something like that.
    Your answers lay in the distant past. A study of humanity through the ages will give you a better understanding of mankind's capacity for evil. 9/11 was a tragedy, but in no way unique.

  15. #15

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    Re: Disneyland After 9/11/01

    There is an article posted on Jim Hill Media about this. You should check it out.

    http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/jim_hi...ago-today.aspx




    That would be an odd feeling to be walking down Main Street and no BGM or crowds. No noise whatsoever except for your own footsteps.
    Last edited by TIS17; 09-11-2007 at 03:36 PM. Reason: changed link

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