The world spotlight turned to Orange County on Wednesday as an estimated 1,200 journalists from hundreds of news outlets covered the grand launch of the 50th anniversary of Disneyland - an event that is expected to push Southern California tourism back to pre-2001 levels.
Disneyland, an American icon that has attracted more than 500 million visitors, closed to the public Wednesday for a preview attended by roughly 10,000 special guests, hundreds of promotion winners, and media representatives from Japan, Australia, Latin America and all over the United States.
"Sunrise Australia," that nation's version of the "Today Show," beamed live coverage back for a show that began at 6 a.m. Wednesday Australian time. A crew of 30, including four co-hosts, will broadcast from Disneyland live this week.
"Everyone wants to come here," said Chris Braddock, visiting from Queensland as part of a "Sunrise Australia" promotion. "It's the original Disney park."