Since I was in Southern California for the amazing CommuniTOUR, I stayed few extra days to help out with the MiceChat Gumball Rally. The Gumball Rally is a signature event for MiceChat each year and draws over 500 people that spend the day at Disneyland. More than just riding attractions, the Gumball Rally includes a series of questions about each attraction that can usually only be answered by riding.
The MiceChat Gumball Rally is an event that people take very seriously as evidenced by the team names, shirts and costumes. Many teams will spend a lot of time planning strategies for making the most effective use of time. There are a few rules involved and many MiceChat staff are on hand to make sure that teams play by the rules. Teams have to stay together at all times (even remaining near the bathrooms when another team member is using the facilities), cell phones are not permitted and teams cannot discuss the questions or answers with other teams.
Each team (two, three or four people) received a Gumball score card with all of the questions on it, a pen (with a cool little light to make it easier to read the questions from Green Light IT) and their lanyards. Their goal is to ride as many attractions at Disneyland while answering as many questions as possible. Sounds like fun, right?
It’s a little more complicated than that and very competitive. The questions aren’t your typical trivia questions about opening dates but they’re questions that require you to ride the attraction and pay attention. For instance, how many left turns are on Space Mountain? What’s written on the side of the shack after the second lift hill on Big Thunder Mountain? How many bananas were on a crate in the Jungle Cruise?
In all, teams could win 100 points by answering questions and by attending a group photo at the castle. As I mentioned earlier, it’s very competitive.
The Rally started on Friday night at the Anabella Hotel with a pasta party and social hour. It’s a great way for teams to socialize before hand and meet their favorite MiceChatters in person. By the way, the Anabella is a gorgeous hotel right outside of Disneyland. After filling up on pasta and getting a good night’s sleep, the Rally starts very early the next morning.
Most of the us staffers were at the ESPN Zone at 6:00 am to prep and get ready for preregistration. Gumballers started lining up at 6:30 or so with coffee in hand. There was a great breakfast and Dustysage went over the rules before sending over 500 Gumballers into Disneyland Park at 9:00 am. As a staffer, I spent the first few hours with Jeff Heimbuch and Martina (his lovely fiance) riding the attractions in Tomorrowland to make sure the answers were still correct. We had a few advantages, though. As staffers, we could split up to verify answers whereas Gumballers had to ride everything together. Martina and I waited for 30 minutes to verify the answer on Autopia while Jeff was able to confirm the answers for Buzz Lightyear, the Astro-Orbiters and Star Tours.
I can’t imagine how the Gumballers did it! It’s certainly the ultimate Disney fan event.
We spent some time manning the Rally-Central information tables (thank goodness for shade) and cheered on the Gumballers as they passed. We clarified some questions and spent time people watching and hanging out with MiceChat friends.
The Rally ended at 7:00 pm and the Gumballers had to turn in their answers at the La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney between 5:00 and 7:00. Points were deducted for being late. After the Rally, the Awards Party was held at 8:00 pm at the Howard Johnson’s Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground. While the scoring was taking place, everyone was greeted by Dustysage and treated to free soda and bottled water courtesy of Howard Johnson’s. Entertainment was provided by MiceChat’s MonorailMan, Hastin Zylstra. Hastin offered a new spin on classic television game shows and had teams compete for various prizes sponsored by Fairy Godmother Travel. When Hastin had a Gumballer running through the audience to take selfies with as many teams as possible in 30 seconds, the crowd was in hysterics!
The big winners were announced and there was a lot of celebrating and excitement for the 1st place team which won the custom produced Gumball Machine trophy, 1st place medals, and 2 night stays at the HoJo. The Gumball Rally is an amazing event that offers fun for people of all ages and levels of Disney nerdiness. You have to make sure you plan your day, can think on the fly and keep your eyes and ears open. It can be a pretty long day, so make sure you eat well, hydrate yourself and have an amazing time! If you get the chance to do next year’s Rally, then you need to start planning soon!
Official Gumball Rally results and photos will be posted to MiceChat later this week.
MiceChat has announced a Gumball Rally for Walt Disney World that’s going to take place on October 25th of this year (you can get information about the event from [email protected]). I have a feeling that this is going to be an incredible event for Walt Disney World fans. Keep your eyes peeled for more information soon! To add your name to the WDW Gumball Rally Information List, fill out the information below:
ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor
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