9/11 at Disneyland
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“The happiest place on earth, on the saddest day I can remember being there.” These were the words used to describe Disneyland on September 11, 2001, by a long-time cast member who spent her day there.
Everyone knows that the Walt Disney Company closed their domestic theme parks following the tragic events in New York, Washington D.C., and Shanksville. Guests had already filled the parks at Walt Disney World, but on the West Coast, due to the time difference, the Disneyland Resort simply did not open that day.
Security Hostess Ginger Fleming awoke early, as always, and prepared for her day at the Hollywood Gate, a major backstage access point to the California Adventure theme park, which had just opened the previous spring. She was looking forward to joining others in the cast volunteer organization for a screening of The Lion King that evening.
Turning on her television, she saw the morning news reporter’s faces change as they received the news that a plane had struck the World Trade Center. As she prepared for her early shift, she watched in horror as a plane hit the second tower.
Shortly after, a friend called, begging her not to go to Disneyland. She said she had heard that Disneyland was going to be bombed.
In another part of Southern California, Show Support Lead Timm Miller was also watching the news with his family. He was also aware that a threat had been made toward Disneyland, which was of particular concern since, at that time, his department was in charge of emergency transportation in the event of disaster.