Black sunday-on sunday, july 17, 1955, invited guests arrived, and 90 million people watched via a live television broadcast. the day is still known in disney lore as black sunday, and for good reason, as a guest list of 15,000 swelled to almost 30,000 attendees. among the many mishaps: local police dubbed the seven-mile freeway backup the worst mess they had ever seen. rides and attractions broke down under the unslaught of guests, opening and closing periodically to make way for television crews. fantasyland closed temporarily due to a gas leak. main streets freshly-poured asphalt softened in the heat. women wearing high heels sometimes left a shoe behind, stuck in black goo. because of a plumbers strike, both restrooms and drinking fountains could not be ready by opening day. walt opted for restrooms, leaving visitors hot and thirsty. most reviewers declared the park overpriced and poorly managed, expecting disneyland history to be over almost as soon as it began.