Queue the Excitement: Fans Line Up for First Dunkin' Donuts

What time did you jump into the Munchkin-scented mania?

Remember way back, lo about 1999, when fans formed a campsite queue outside the Chinese Theatre in anticipation of "The Phantom Menace"? And those "Star Wars" diehards proceeded to live in the line for over a month, solely to buy a ticket to the first screening?

Dunkin' Donuts devotees just gave those lightsaber lovers a run for their fan-style commitment. The "first full expression" of the Massachusetts-based breakfast titan debuted in Santa Monica on Tuesday, Sept. 2, and throngs of people hopped into the queue well before the store's 5 a.m. opening.

We're not horsing around in the "well before" department, either: The first gentleman to line up on the proverbial red carpet arrived a full 37 hours before the Dunkin' Donuts employee slipped the key into the deadbolt and welcomed Munchkin mavens inside the store.

Oh yeah: That guy will be getting free coffee for a year, as was foretold by Dunkin' Donuts HQ.

But the red carpet leading to the door at 1132 Wilshire Boulevard wasn't actually red at all: It was that classic Dunkin' Donuts pink. And were fans jumping, skipping, and high-fiving as they first entered the restaurant?

Seriously. You have to ask?

Transplanted New Englanders and lifelong donut connoisseurs have been pleading for the chain to make a full-scale return to California, in the form of those so-named "full expression" shops (rather than a kiosk or stand, which have made Golden State cameos in the past).

Dreams come true, buffs of breakfast sandwiches and Boston Kremes. And Modesto, Whittier, Long Beach, and Downey? You now know that the first guy in line in Santa Monica capped off at 37 hours.

The gauntlet -- or, rather, a napkin boasting the company's pink-and-orange logo -- has been thrown.

Who is set to break those records as those four still-to-come stores roll out in the coming months?

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