April fools fallout

This morning, there was significant confusion at Disneyland due to fallout from yesterday’s April Fools prank. The situation is complicated, so we’ll pretend to let official Disneyland Resort Blog Liaison Furby Pencilneck explain.

Says Pencilneck, “As everyone and their parakeet knows, Disneyland Resort has been playing little ‘April Fools’ tricks on its guests since Walt first started the tradition back in ’55 by telling his TV audience that the park’s opening day would be April 1. Originally, our idea was to have a cross promotion with this year’s prank and the new Alice in Wonderland film. We’d have folks in Alice-style costumes standing near the entrance armed with paintball guns, and anyone who came into the park who had the last name ‘Rose’ would be shot with hundreds of rounds of red paint. ‘Painting the Roses red,’ get it? Well, at the last minute there was some concern that guests would get upset because we were asking everyone’s last names or that the red paint might not be environmentally safe, so the plan was scrapped. There wasn’t a lot of time left to think of a replacement, so what one of the executives thought was that since the park was scheduled to open at 8 a.m. and close at midnight, wouldn’t it be funny to swap those and open at noon and close at 8 p.m.? It was simple and it would get some news mention, so we went with that.

“Well, the opening staff got the memo that they were to swap the opening and closing times as a prank, but apparently it was ambiguously worded, because instead of swapping the ‘8’ and ‘12’, the swapped the ‘open’ and ‘closed.’ So that means that when 8 a.m. came around, they announced that the park was closed, and they didn’t open the gates until midnight.

“Guests seemed to take the joke in the spirit of the day, and they didn’t mind waiting a few extra hours to get into the park, particularly since it meant a chance to enjoy attractions in the middle of the night when they would normally be closed. But behind the scenes it was a mess. Many cast members didn’t appreciate hearing that they had effectively arrived 16 hours early for work and had to wait for midnight for their shift to start. Things even got more confusing today, with yesterday’s fireworks being launched at 9:25 this morning, not long after the park opened to Friday’s guests. And before opening, guests outside the gates wanted to know why they couldn’t get in when there were already so many incredibly tired-looking guests wandering around the park.

“All said, it was a bit of fun that might have caused a little confusion and forced Disney to pay millions of dollars in overtime, but it certainly made many magical memories. Hopefully next year’s prank — making guests use old-style ticket books to get on attractions — will go much more smoothly.”

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