Edited and updated, September 13, 2011.
This really should have been included with the previous post, but it's special enough to justify its own. Reportedly, there was very little fanfare accompanying the Mansion's opening, even at the "official" one on Tuesday the 12th. It's hard to find any historical relics. This photo has been circulating for years, but as far as I know, I was the first to try to make a systematic case that it's an opening day photo. For what it's worth, here's the argument:
- It's stamped "August 1969" on some copies.
- It's a very professional photo, not a tourist snapshot. Someone hired someone to take this shot.
- It's probably not staged. If it were, why would the photographer have included the Cast Member at the turnstile near the center of the shot? He adds nothing to the photo; in fact, he's a distraction. He is, however, correctly placed, ready to collect tickets.
- It appears to be a special occasion. The Cast Members standing like sentinels out front are unusual.
- The Mansion has not yet opened this day. In even the slowest moving lines, the majority of people face in the direction of movement, but not here. These people are waiting for the Mansion to open, not waiting for their turn on a ride already in operation.
- You can see no children in line, and only one or two teens. That could well be because the ride's contents were still unknown, and no one knew yet if the ride was too scary for children.
I used to think that the occasion that corresponds best with all of the above would be the morning of Tuesday, August 12th, the "official" opening day, but in September 2011, "ww12345" at Micechat posted this clipping from the LA Times, dated 8-12-69: