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Disney Park's First Guests Will Have to Put Patience on Line

February 06, 2001|KIMI YOSHINO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Die-hard fans will be allowed to line up hours in advance for a chance to be among the first through the gates at Disney's California Adventure when the park officially opens Thursday.

Lines will start to form at 5 p.m. Wednesday--15 hours before the 8 a.m. Thursday opening. How early people start arriving and how long the line stretches is anybody's guess, park spokesman Ray Gomez said.

"I think there's a big group of people who want to be first," said Al Lutz, editor of MousePlanet.com, a Web site devoted to unofficial Disney news and travel advice.

"Disneyland's opening day is kind of legendary. Everybody wanted to be there. . . . I don't think this park is comparable, but I think people will want to be there."

Two weeks ago, Lutz posted this tantalizing tidbit on his Web site: "If you ever wanted to spend a night inside Disneyland, here's your chance. . . ."

He described "insider" plans to keep Disneyland open on a limited basis as a holding tank for the crowds that may start lining up.

As soon as the news hit his Web site, he received hundreds of e-mails from fans wanting more information, Lutz said.

Disneyland officials said they have made no final decision about whether Disneyland will reopen late Wednesday night, but Gomez said there will be designated queue areas around the resort area, including in some parking lots.

Even so, Disneyland officials are discouraging people from camping out. No tents, sleeping bags or lawn chairs will be allowed, Gomez said.

"We do want to make it a positive experience," park spokeswoman Michele Nachum said. "Obviously we want to make guests as comfortable as they can be wherever they decide to wait in line."

Bathrooms will be available, and a limited amount of food and beverages will also be sold, she said.

Tickets for California Adventure are available at most Disney stores for $43. Guests who want to ensure entry for Thursday's opening are advised to stand in line after 5 p.m. Wednesday or arrive at the park before 9 a.m. Thursday. For more information, call (714) 781-4565.

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