I stayed at the DL Hotel for the opening of DCA. Guests going to DCA on opening morning were required to enter the park through the Paradise Pier entrance. We saw nothing of the opening ceremonies, but did get to watch Mullholland Madness go through its morning paces. When the park opened and we rushed in, stopping at Souvenier 66(?) for opening day merchandise. Then we waited and waited and waited and waited for the thousands of guests who were to descend upon this great park and, as we know now, no one came.
Some friends I was with ended staying in DL the night before. They ended up getting really sick from the cold weather the night before. We even walked over to the Esplanade imagining what it was like inside with all the celebraties partying.
You needed to have a resort hotel key to get through the gate.
The gate is still there. I saw it a week ago. It is on the right as you go in the driveway for the Grand Californian. The only sign by the gate now is the standard California warning about cancer causing substances.
You would go thorough the locked gate and walk few hundred feet down a tree lined path to the entrance gate. The entrace looked similar to the main entrance to the parks, only instead of there being 10 -14 turnstyles, there were only a couple. I think only 1 or 2 people worked the gate. There was a roof covering the area. There is a metal fence which was closed in front of the gate when closed.
From the park side it is hidden behind big wooden doors. I was able to look through the slightlly open gates a week ago and see the structure was still there with the metal gates closed.
It looks like it could be reopened if there was ever a need.
There is still the entrance through the Grand Califorinan. I was able to use it last week as a short cut rather then having to walk all the way to down town disney when we were parked over at the Pinochio lot.