Article from AP available at - 7/17/05
Writer recalls opening of Disneyland
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP _ When Walt Disney built Disneyland, he supervised every aspect of planning and construction _ right down to the paint color inside the railroad station. But there were a couple of things he couldn't control at the opening 50 years ago: the temperature and the turnout.

The sun rose bright and glowing in a cloudless sky on that Sunday, and the mercury climbed higher and higher. By early morning, all roads leading to the park were clogged. Thousands poured through the turnstiles, more than twice as many as had been invited.

The heat and the crowds, along with a Magic Kingdom full of other problems, contributed to what will forever after be called Black Sunday in the Disney organization.

Long lines formed at the rides, forcing visitors to stand in the sweltering sun. Later it was discovered that counterfeit tickets had been used by the uninvited. Adding to the congestion, crashers scrambled over fences and berms in remote areas of the park.

Several of the rides shut down because of overuse, and by the end of the day all the "Autopia" cars had been sidelined. The deck of the river boat Mark Twain was awash; too many passengers had climbed aboard. And a gas leak was discovered in Tomorrowland, forcing evacuation of the entire area.