MiceChat’s 10th Anniversary Gumball Rally (May 14, 2016) has come and gone, but the amazing memories will last forever.
The Gumball Rally is a competition to see which team can complete the most attractions at the Disneyland Resort in a single day. To keep the game fun and challenging, elements of the game are changed from year to year to keep all the teams on their toes. The 2016 event was our 10th such competition and the most successful and fun event we’ve ever offered.
This year’s Gumball Rally started out the night before the big race with a carb-loading dinner at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel. One of the perks of the Pasta Party is that teams receive their game packets in advance (but not the actual game books – that would be unfair).
Early registrants also got a look at the Gumball Rally trophy, created by Charlie Arnold. They were also able to pick up logo t-shirts and pins to remember the event. There was great food, drink, conversation and a chance to get to know fellow teams better.
Game day started, once again, at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney. We filled the place with excited, but tired, teams in the wee-hours of the morning. Check-in was a breeze this year, thanks to fantastic organization by Michele King, Tiffany Wilhelm, Matt Jurgens and our amazing team of volunteers.
Then Dusty Sage assembled the teams and reviewed the game-play rules with them:
Things that Gumball Rally Participants Must Not Do in the 2016 competition: Cheat, Split up, Use phones, Break Disneyland rules. The playing field was leveled this year as each attraction was worth just one point. The goal of our very first Gumball Rally was to see who could ride the “Most” attractions in a single day. We returned to that principal for our 10th Rally. We also divided the questions into two separate books. Teams could only hold one book at a time and couldn’t return to a book they had already completed. That meant a tough decision: Start with Fantasyland or start with Tomorrowland (which did you do)?
The good news/bad news this year was that the weather was BEAUTIFUL. Most of the day was slightly overcast (which provides shade for the teams) and the temperature was a very moderate low 70′s. However, with Grad Nights in full swing, the park was very busy. The first couple of hours of the day were easy. Then the crowds started to roll in. That’s when teams really needed to use their strategy.
Our FANTASTIC spotters made sure that everyone played fair and had a great time, while other volunteers stayed in the game book swap area to trade maps and assist the teams. The teams were off and . . . walking (you’ve got to pace yourself if you want to survive an 11 hour race).
Last minute changes to Star Tours (they’ve returned to random adventures) meant we had to change a question the night before the Rally. Our team pasted a new question into EVERY game book! Pirates was closed for a short refurbishment. And we created questions for the Train and Mark Twain even though they are essentially just meet and greets at the moment. The main rule of the game is to only answer questions for attractions you have completed, whether you know the answer or not! So, we deducted one point for wrong answers this year to discourage folks from guessing and entering answers for attractions they didn’t ride.
Teams finished their day at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel this year, where a buffet was set up to nourish the hungry mob.
We pulled out all the stops on this year’s awards party. Since it is an El Nino year in SoCal, we were worried about hosting the party out doors as we’ve done for most of the last decade. Although it was a big expense, we rented a ballroom to wrap up the event!
Guests were greeted by an energetic Rick and Lu, harassed about their Rally experience by Dusty and then entertained by Hastin (our Monorail man) and a panel of celebrities!!! This year’s game show featured two Broadway stars, an Imagineer, a Fairy Godmother, and a very tired Sage.
The prizes were donated by Fairy Godmother Travel, the main sponsor of the event. Teresa Cory, the head fairy godmother, even dressed the part
Next: the moment of truth. Special awards were announced:
- Best Team Name – When Dwarfs Cry
- Best Team Logo – Material Ghouls
- Team Spirit Award – All the Single Riders
- Individual Spirit Award – Andrew Kim
- Gumball Rally Traditions – The Dapper Dolls
It was an emotional moment when we announced the winner of the Gumball Rally Traditions award. The Dapper Dolls, a mother daughter team, have been playing the game for years. They’ve been dealing with a progressive illness which is making it increasingly difficult for Mom to compete. But she found the internal strength to give the 2016 Rally her all. Doing so without the help of a wheel chair, as she might do on a normal day in the parks.
The Show Must Go On
The lady giving the Dolls their award, Michele King, was deserving of an award of her own. Early on the Friday morning of the Rally’s Pasta Party, Michele’s mother passed away. Knowing that her mother would have wanted her to be at the Rally with all of you, Michele held in the pain and attended both the Pasta Party and the Rally itself. Sharing hugs with hundreds of you. Those who know Michele well know that she looks forward to the Rally all year long. She even has a gumball machine tattoo! We love Michele and can’t imagine how she was able to keep that smile on her face for two very full days. But if you saw tears welling up when she hugged you, now you know why.
Michele, your mom is smiling down on you and so very proud of your great accomplishments at the Rally and in your personal life. You are the hero of Gumball 2016!
And the Gumballs go to . . .
Something really awesome happened during the results this year. When the top three teams were called to the stage . . . they were all . . . WOMEN!
1st Place - Lost Delta Archaeologists
2nd Place – Quality Assurance Ride Testers
3rd Place – Dinglehoppers
Here are the rest of our top 10:
Below, we’ve listed the results of teams who scored at least 25 points. If you don’t see your team on this list, you likely scored less than 25 points . . . . or . . . you might have been disqualified. One team was caught splitting up, and another left an attraction early. But overall, there were very few major infractions this year.
Although it was a busy day, the top 21 teams were all able to ride 40 or more attractions. Just think of what an accomplishment that is. While the average guest might struggle to visit 6 or 7 attractions in a single day, our Rally teams rode nearly a week’s worth of attractions in just one day.
Where total scores are tied, return times were used to break the tie.
Gumball Rally 2016 Score Sheet
|Place||Team Name||Combined Score|
|1||Lost Delta Archaeologists||45|
|2||Quality Assurance Ride Testers (Q.A.R.T.)||43|
|5||Cinnamon Toast and Tacos||42|
|7||Dead Men Lose No Rallies||42|
|8||The Definition of Liberty||41|
|11||Woody’s Ride Wranglers||41|
|13||The Fast Passes Initiative||40|
|14||The lost adults||40|
|15||Tourists Why Did It Have To Be Tourists||40|
|17||Holding Hands OK. No Disco Dancing.||40|
|18||Just A Spoonful of Victory||40|
|19||My Neighbor Vader||40|
|20||It’s my Birthday!||40|
|21||Team Magic Castle||40|
|24||OMG It’s Our Princesses! (Millennial Edition)||39|
|25||Powered by pixie dust||39|
|26||No One Gets Left Behind||39|
|27||Grumpy Sleepy Happy and Dopey||39|
|29||White rabbit bandits||39|
|31||Twain and a Half||38|
|33||No Time for Snack Bar||38|
|35||Let it Goat!||38|
|36||Splash Mountain Mornings||38|
|37||All the Single Riders||38|
|39||We The Peeps||38|
|43||Off With Your Head!||37|
|44||Tsum Tsum Sweeties||37|
|45||Aurora & Stitch||37|
|46||Magical Map Will Never Be Completed #ThanksShanghai||37|
|47||It Doesn’t Matterhorn!||37|
|49||O’Malley’s Alley Cats||36|
|51||Bbibbidi Bobbidi Boo and Grumpy Too!||36|
|52||Jedi Thunder MountainEARS||36|
|56||Honorary Junior Chipmunks||35|
|58||The California Adventurers||35|
|60||Running With Scissors!||35|
|63||Don’t Stop Believin’||34|
|65||When Dwarfs Cry||33|
|67||Tweedle He and Tweedle Mum||33|
|68||The Famed Arts & Crafts Movement||32|
|70||Best. Team Name. Ever.||31|
|71||We Wants the Redheads||31|
|73||The DeVil Queens||30|
|74||Honk if you love Tinkerbell!||30|
|74||Please don’t make me do stuff||30|
|77||Darby O’Gills Little People||29|
|79||The Bloomin’ Cockroaches||29|
|81||Team Yellow Snowcones||26|
|82||Finding 1st Place||25|
In terms of fun and friendship, everyone was a winner! Thanks so much to all of our teams for your spirit and energy. You are truly the ones who make this event so much fun!
We have a gallery of images for you to enjoy from the 2016 Rally. Much thanks to Scott Linder & Ron Rosen for the photos.
It takes a huge team to pull together the Gumball Rally. While this isn’t a complete list, these are the people who were responsible for key tasks this year:
- Event Producer: Dusty Sage
- Rally Coordinator and Keeper of the Gumballs: Michele King
- Staffing/volunteer coordinator: Tiffany Wilhelm
- Rally Game Book writer: Matt Juergens
- Graphic Design and Layout (Game Book, Logos, Marketing Materials, Badges, Info Sheets, etc.) – Anthony Hayes
- Game Show: Hastin Zylstra (Host, Designer, and Producer) – Teresa Cory of Fairy Godmother Travel (Prize Fairy)
- Game Show Celebrities: Micheal Leon Wooley, J. Elaine Marcos, Terry Hardin Jackson, Teresa Cory, Dusty Sage
- Pasta Party: Dusty Sage (Coordinator), Michele King (Registration)
- Gumball Trophy Producer: Charlie Arnold
- Greeters: Lu DeLucy. Rick Wright, RJ Howse, Jeffrey Niederauer
- VIP Hosts: Peter Smith & Jocey Katz
- Registration team: Michele King (lead), Melissa Parsons, Jacqueline LaRiccia, Jeffrey Niederauer, Carol Bischoff, Stephanie Fix, James Freitas, Chris St Clair, Peggy Fairall, James Freitas, Ellen Vargo
- Photographers: Scott Linder & Ron Rosen
- Scoring Team: Michelle Hamand (lead), Matt Hamand, Matt Juergens, James Freitas, Melissa Parsons
- Spotter Crew: Thank you to our amazing team of spotters who spent a long day in the parks keeping an eye on everything!
- And most important of all . . . YOU!!! None of this effort would be worth it without your energy and support. THANK YOU!
And a HUGE thanks to our wonderful sponsors who made this year’s event possible:
Following the Rally, many of us headed to San Diego to catch a celebratory Disney Cruise to Baja! It was a delightful and relaxing way to spend more time with dear friends and make a lot of new ones!
MiceChat Gumball Rally was made possible by Fairy Godmother Travel
When you get ready to plan your next Disney vacation, cruise or adventure, contact very own Fairy Godmother. We have two big upcoming MiceTrip cruises you might also want to speak with her about: New York to Puerto Rico cruise in November 2016 and Alaska in August of 2017.
[email protected] Our magical Fairy Godmother will fill you in on all the details.
Thanks to each and every one of you for a fabulous 10th Anniversary Gumball Rally. Next year’s Rally will be 2 parks (both Disneyland and DCA). Join the mailing list below to be notified when registration begins. The 2017 Rally dates will be announced very soon.