Today, those numbers would make Game Of Thrones shit Breaking Bad's pants. Opening day was a television sensation, but for the kids who showed up, it was more like Satan's oven than Walt Disney's wonderland.
"I remember it being hot (It was over 100 degrees that day), and only hearing [the event] next to a big brick wall. There was a huge line with no shade. I wrote in my diary that I could hear the bands play."
Disney executives later admitted that they put too many people on the TV special and not enough on, you know, entertaining guests. John and his family waited for several hours outside (they'd been told to arrive early) before they could even enter the park. And once inside, the issues were even worse than the horrifying costumes.
"WHY MUST WE BE? IT IS UNJUST."
"I don't know how we were allowed in. My father changed the story how he got [the tickets] each time we asked. My mother has said he knew a Disney employee who couldn't make it and got them from him. I know they were genuine, but that's as much as I know." He specified "genuine" because there were only 15,000 invited guests. Thanks to counterfeiters and fare-dodgers, the numbers in the park wound up being twice that. "Three times in my journal, I wrote down something like 'A Disney employee said they were not expecting this many people.'"