The Business Cycle of Disneyland
Disneyland's opening day, July 17, 1955, was catastrophic to the point where the workers nicknamed it "Black Sunday." Many rides were either still in construction, or broke down during the day. The highly anticipated park was unprepared for the 28,154 people to come through its turnstiles (thanks to counterfeit tickets), which caused a shortage of food and water in the restaurants. Many parents and children abandoned long lines on that 100-degree day, and womens' high heels got stuck in the melted pavement. Needless to say, it was a disaster. Luckily, that did't stop people from coming. By the seventh week, the park had received over 1 million visitors, and Disneyland surpassed The Grande Canyon and Yellowstone National park in popularity.
The peak days are Disneyland last through Christmas week, and the week after (New Years), Spring Break and Easter, Thanksgiving week, MLK Day, Presidents Day, Disneyland's opening day, July 12, and June 12 to August 22. Christmas is particularly packed due to the especially extravagant elements the park adds. The castle is decked out in over 200,000 lights, a Christmas-themed parade travels across the park, and a special night time spectacular is shown over the castle. During these days, the population of the park reaches 100 visitors per day, and the ticket prices jump up to $119.
The lowest point in Disneyland's population occurs in January, when the Christmas and New Years crowds dissipate, and winter break for school is over. During this time, the population per day is roughly 34 visitors. This period of recession ends with the arrival of spring in March, when Spring Break is approaching for schools.