Disneyland was forced to shut its gates during its 24-hour "One More Disney Day" leap day celebration, after huge crowds descended upon the park.

With Disneyland remaining open from 6am on February 29 through to 6am on March 1, it appeared at first that crowds were heavy, but manageable. However, high volumes of guests began to arrive during the evening, eventually forcing the park to pronounce itself "full" at 9.30pm. It eventually reopened its gates at 2am.

The Chicago Tribune attributes the problems to large numbers of annual passholders arriving at Disneyland at the end of their working day. The result was long lines for most of the park's attractions, as well as queues of frustrated guests waiting at its entrance.

Guests were able to queue from 10pm on February 28 to gain entry to Disneyland during "One More Disney Day", with many taking the opportunity to attempt to experience every ride in the park during the 24-hour period. Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom also remained open for 24-hours, although crowds were not quite as heavy as those at its sister park.

In previous years, Disney has run special promotions covering all of its US theme parks, such as the "Give a Day, Get a Day" volunteering programme from 2010, and a 2009 offer that enabled guests to enter the parks for free on their birthday.



I think crowds that were present at Walt Disney World's event were there more by chance. At a large resort like that, a vast majority of people plan vacations months and months ahead of time. If that was indeed the case, then probably a large chunk of visitors at The Magic Kingdom's even just happened to have planned their trips for those dates and decided to come!

But Disneyland has a much, much larger annual pass turnout on any given day (especially with the dirt-cheap Southern California annual passes) and none were blocked out on Leap Day. The result is that many, many locals decided just to stop by after work (something that would obviously be much more uncommon in Florida), which then bottlenecked roads and overwhelmed employees at the small resort. Then, social media sort of broadcasted the mayhem and news of a "Disneyland Rave" spread to local young people who got to the park in the wee hours of the morning, using language and allegedly drugs that were not family friendly... It was not a great evening, I'd say.

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