As a former Disneyland annual passholder, I found this Buzzfeed article so hysterical that I had to repost it (even at this late date). I will be blogging in the next couple days about my own experience (including my own mistakes) at last year’s event.
The annual Rock Your Disney Side event began in 2012. For Leap Day 2012, Disney Parks offered a one-time event called One More Disney Day. For the first time ever, both Magic Kingdom Park (at Walt Disney World) and Disneyland park were open for 24 hours straight (from 6 AM, February 29 to 6 AM, March 1, 2012). Disneyland has had experience with this type of event with years of offering Grad Nights, but this was the first time the overnight experience would be available to the general public.
It turned out to be too much of a good thing at Disneyland. Disneyland hit capacity at 9:30 PM, cut off ticket sales from 11 PM until 12:30 AM and reopened the park at 2 AM. The Los Angeles Times reported:
The problem arose when too many of Disneyland’s nearly 1 million annual pass-holders descended on the park after work on Wednesday night and overwhelmed the nearby freeways, streets and parking lots. Thousands of frustrated fans waited impatiently outside the Disneyland gates for hours in hopes of getting into the park.
After the park reopened, many irritated fans fumed about booked restaurants overflowing with diners, 40-minute waits for coffee and 2-hour-plus lines for rides. Tired visitors slept on benches, tabletops and floors. As the sun rose at closing time, bleary-eyed fans streamed out of Disneyland, many bragging about spending the full 24 hours in the park.
Because of the event’s popularity, Disney Parks have now established it as an annual event that happens on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend (essentially marking the start of the summer season). Disney has learned its lesson in California by having both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure open for 24 hours. I will be blogging my own experience with this event but in the meantime, this Buzzfeed article presents a pretty accurate chronology of the day.