Uproar at theme park as staff are forced to turn away visitors after new flexible admission scheme backfires The Magic Kingdom lost some of its lustre for hundreds of frustrated ticket holders yesterday after many of them, including tour groups, were told the theme park was sold out and to try again another day. Hong Kong Disneyland said ticket sales for entry yesterday were halted at 11.30am. The gates were locked and disappointed visitors were told to return at 3.30pm. Police had to be called in when some tried to force their way in. Yesterday was the seventh sold-out day since it opened on September 12. Since January 3 the park has replaced tickets valid for specific days with flexible tickets that are valid for six months. But these do not guarantee entry on any day. Refunds were offered but only to those with tickets for admission yesterday or those with special circumstances who could not return. Taiwanese visitor Stephen Lee, a sales director for an electronics company, was furious and said the experience had ruined what had been a positive impression of both Disney and Hong Kong. 'How can something like this happen in Hong Kong? They are idiots,' Mr Lee said. He had bought four tickets online and arrived in Hong Kong yesterday. When he reached the theme park at about 2pm, he could not collect his tickets from the automatic machines. Turned away by staff, he was told to claim his tickets at Hong Kong Station in Central. 'I have been queuing here for more than an hour and my kids are crying. Hong Kong Disneyland has destroyed my children's dreams,' he said. Mr Lee will try again today 'for my children's sake'. Scores of mainland tour groups, many of them from Shunde in Guangdong, also complained that they had to leave as early as 5am and endure two or three hours of waiting at immigration as part of their visit to the theme park. 'Many of us have not eaten all day because we thought we could get in,' Ms Ng said. 'I might as well go to Ocean Park.' When the gates eventually opened at 3.30pm, a Ms Cheng, also on a tour from Shunde, refused to enter, even though she was warned she would forfeit her ticket. 'If the park is so full, people and children will get hurt, so what's the point of going in? And it's already half a day gone,' she said. Londoner Iris Chan Hoi-yun, who flew to Hong Kong for the holiday with her fiance, Waiman Cheuk, was also unlucky. When they arrived at 11.30am the gate was closed and she was stranded with many other customers. 'If they knew they wouldn't be able to let us in, why did they sell us tickets in the first place?' Mr Cheuk said it was unfair for Disney to ask them to go all the way to Lantau Island to take their chances. A Disney spokeswoman said: 'We advise visitors to arrive early, especially on holidays, which can be very busy for us.'