Disneyland Anticipates Large Crowd for Friday’s 24-Hour 60th Anniversary Celebration

Throngs of visitors travel down Disneyland's Main Street USA in this file photo. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Throngs of visitors travel down Disneyland's Main Street USA in this file photo. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The gripes about Disneyland crowds started on opening day — July 17, 1955 — when so many people showed up that refreshment stands ran out of food and drinks.

Sixty years later, Disneyland is celebrating its diamond anniversary with a new pulsating nighttime parade, an upgraded fireworks show and a sparkling veneer on Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Theme park experts predict that visitors will pack the park to near capacity, based on the 8.5% increase in attendance — to 14.5 million visitors — for the 60th anniversary.

Disneyland managers say they have been testing several crowd management tactics to make sure that the throngs attending the celebration, which begins May 22, don’t bottleneck like the freeway traffic around the Anaheim park.

“We’ve been doing things over the past couple of years to prepare for this,” said Mary Niven, vice president of Disneyland Park.

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