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Does anyone have anymore information on this?


June of 1975 the park had it's first Graduation Night. The Park closed at 10:00 PM and then reopened for the "Grads" at 11:00 PM till 6:00AM. The tickets had to be purchased at your High School. The cost was about $65 for two.


All the rides and restaurants were open.


I remember watching the sun rise from the top of the Giant Wheel.


In 1976 it was moved to regular park evening hours 6PM to 11PM.


It may have lasted till 77 or 78.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 month later...

I worked that nite and recall that Security had the Jackson PD called in several times to haul off rival H S "groups" ( we weren't allowed to call them gangs). Plenty of drunk kids and pot smoking all over the park kept us running all night long.

Chuck Cone had recently taken over as the Security Director and he came down hard on the offenders that night. A number of students suffered bruises and 'cuff-marks' as a result of their resisting detention We used one of the Maint. trucks normally used to haul trash and manure from Safari on the night shift, as a detention box for the really rowdy people. It smelled of very old Safari refuse and seemed to distract the "evil-doers" from their original disruptive behavior. By about 4am or so the place was pretty calm as the kids wore out, and headed out to the buses to fall asleep there. I don't recall any more overnighters after that one.


Later in my career,1989-2000, I was involved with H S Seniors in SoCal and was a School Chaparone each year at one of the several Disney Grad Nite Activities.. They ran them week nights for the last two weeks in June bringing in a fixed number of high schools each night at 11 PM til 6 AM, Alway some big name entertainment, a very strict dress-code (jacket and ties required) almost Prom-like in atmosphere, No smoking of anything in the Park, very controlled situation, but the kids loved it and the crowds lways seemed to "get along" No team or gang related jackets or colors anywhere.


I often wondered about the difference between the two activities,, like two different worlds to be sure.

Yet the ethnic mix was very close to the same, so the old sterotypes weren't the causes.

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  • 2 years later...

Interesting topic - I first attended GA in June 1979 as part of a senior trip. I lived up in NY State then, and it was a 2+ hour trip there. IIRC, we got there during the day but I remember being at the park until very late. I don't think we got home until after midnight. But I'm not sure it was part of any special Grad promotion though.

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