In 1985, Disneyland hosted a yearlong 30th birthday bash, and virtually all the county's tourist spots celebrated.
It was a post-Olympic year, and tens of thousands of crowd-shy visitors who stayed away in 1984 visited the area. An estimated 30 million tourists spent more than $10 billion here this year, up considerably from 1984.
The tourism surge proved a boon to Orange County hotels. Even with the opening of 2,000 additional hotels rooms in 1985--bringing the county's total to nearly 22,000--hotel occupancy was still up slightly compared to 1984, according to the Anaheim Area Visitor & Convention Bureau. However, industry executives predict that occupancy could flatten or dip in 1986 when another 750 hotel rooms are scheduled to open.
However, amusement industry analysts expect the upward spiral to continue in 1986.
Most credit Disneyland for igniting the spark to this year's tourism resurgence. Disneyland celebrated its birthday by giving away nearly $12 million in gifts, including a new car every day. As a result, the Magic Kingdom is very close to attracting a record 12 million guests this year.