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  1. #1

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    Talking My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    So... as it was mentioned at the Pre-Gumball Pasta Party and on the Gumball Rally results page, I got married two days after this year's Gumball Rally. We decided that we wanted to hold the wedding at Disneyland, and in the spring, so it made sense to combine the two trips!

    The first part of the trip was the Gumball Rally. It was, as always, a ton of fun. Since I used my film camera for the Rally, I don't have those photos back yet. (I know - "what's a film camera?" I had thought that all digital cameras were banned, since they could be used to cheat, and was playing it safe with the old tech.)

    We didn't place in the top 50 this year, but since we had split off from my parents and were running the Rally with two newbies, as well as dealing with Dave's recovery from surgery, I still think our 65 points was quite respectable. Next year's Rally goal: make it to the top 50. I don't know if we'll be team "It Doesn't Matterhorn" as in years previous, or "Poor Unfortunate Soles" as we were this year, or even a brand new team. But we've already discussed our top-50 goal, and some possible ways to get there.


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    a family photo before the Mega-Meet


    We went to the Mega-Meet the day after the Rally, and had fun socializing with the other teams. We also brought along one of my friends (who was coming to the wedding) and Dave's mother and sister to share the fun.

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    many, many MiceChatters!

    Since it was Cinco de Mayo, the Mega-Meet lunch took place at Rancho del Zocalo. After that we headed over to ride Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. When we got off Pirates, Dave received a phone call that our room was ready at the Disneyland Hotel, so we headed over to check in. We were in one of the Signature Suites, so we invited a few of the MiceChatters along to see the room as well.

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    The room we'd rented was the Pirates of the Caribbean signature suite. It is a beautiful room, and was large enough to hold all of our wedding guests, so this is where we'd decided to hold the ceremony.

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    Todd & Teresa by the POTC Suite's fireplace

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    the second bedroom

    The room was so spacious and luxurious, we regretted having made plans to spend time anywhere else, even inside the parks. However, we had plans for a family dinner at Steakhouse 55 that night, so we left the room for that. Dinner was quite good, and it's certainly a restaurant I'd return to. I've heard it compared to the Napa Rose, but I tend to disagree with that comparison - I don't think anything on property compares to Napa Rose quality. Steakhouse 55 was a very good meal, though, and was a nice alternative for a formal dinner (or at least as formal as meals get on the resort).

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    the POTC suite's guest bathroom

    After dinner, we'd made reservations for Fantasmic! VIP seating, but neither Dave nor I wanted to go into the park to see a show we'd seen countless times when we could be exploring our suite instead. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE Fantasmic! However, the suite was a once in a lifetime experience. Plus, it has a Jacuzzi tub.

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    the tub in question

    We spent a nice, relaxing evening in the suite while our families went in to watch Fantasmic! Neither Dave's dad or sister had seen the show before, so I'm glad we were able to arrange for them to see it from the VIP viewing area.

    We made a few final preparations for the wedding before calling it a night, and then turned in to make sure we were well-rested for the big day. I woke myself up a few times during the night when I remembered things I needed to do, but other than that we slept well and woke ready to go the next morning.

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    pirate's treasure!

    (I'll continue in another post with pictures from the ceremony itself.)
    Last edited by bookwyrm; 05-12-2013 at 12:19 AM.
    proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

  2. #2

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    Our wedding ceremony itself was held in the front room of the suite. We (gently!) moved the furniture around a little for better seating and to safeguard some of the more fragile decor items.

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    the front dining room, before we moved things

    We then held the ceremony in front of the fireplace. Before anyone asks, yes, we wore costumes for the wedding. And our processional music was the ride soundtrack. And we played the final track from the POTC movie soundtrack for our recessional. It all seemed very appropriate.

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    Our officiant was a friend of ours who is as big a Disney fan as we are. He made a special button for the occasion - it has the same artwork as the "I'm Celebrating" buttons, but it reads "I'm Officiating".

    About 20 of our friends and family gathered for the ceremony. In hindsight, I think we could have invited more and still had room, but we didn't know how spacious it was when we sent out invitations, and didn't want to overload the suite. (Looking back now, we should have known better. That place is bigger than most apartments and some single-family homes. It has three bathrooms, for goodness' sake.)

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    the wedding party

    My sister was my matron of honor, and Dave's best friend was his best man. My dad walked me up the "aisle," and we said our vows. It was short and sweet, and focused on how we're able to have fun together... which should have been evident by the way we conducted the ceremony and held our reception inside Disneyland.

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    "I do!"

    Once we'd finished with the ceremony part, we headed down the hall with our witnesses and signed the paperwork. We picked up one last important piece of adornment - the "Just Married" buttons - and then rejoined our guests for cake and champagne.

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    the new Mr. & Mrs.!

    We had wanted to toast with Magicale, but since Disney stopped bottling it, we used the next best thing (Rosa Regale) instead. It's still quite a tasty wine, and we ordered way too much of it. Oh well, that just means more for us for later!

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    Nikki and mother-of-the-bride Kathy

    We had two flavors of wedding (cup)cake, red velvet and the more traditional vanilla. I didn't get a good shot of the cupcakes, but the red velvet cupcakes had medallions with a skull & crossbones on top, while the vanilla ones had a Minnie Mouse bow & ears. They were very cute.

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    I didn't even try to smash the cupcake in his face! So polite...

    After we had cake, we changed out of our costumes for the family photos, which seemed never-ending. I don't currently have any copies of those shots, so I won't be posting any today.

    (I'll continue in a moment with photos from inside the parks.)
    proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

  3. #3

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    Once done with pictures, we headed in to Disneyland for lunch at the Hungry Bear restaurant. (We picked that one because the menu has been updated recently, and there's plenty of seating for a large group.) By this time, we'd picked up several friends who wanted to celebrate with us, even though they weren't at the ceremony.

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    the newlyweds at the castle

    After lunch, the first - and most obvious - ride of the day was Pirates. We filled up an entire boat, and then some. It was great. Indy was next, and then we headed into the Tiki Room, where we had the treat of seeing Tiki Maynard.

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    It's Tiki time!

    We gathered most of the group in front of the castle for a group photo, though not quite everyone was able to make it. Still, it was wonderful having so many people come party with us.

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    All these people were here for us! Quite humbling.

    Our group shrunk in size a little after the group photos, as some people wanted to ride other attractions or head back to their hotel to rest.

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    I'm wishing...

    Fantasyland was an obvious setting for more photos, so we headed there by way of the wishing well, then all rode Peter Pan. It was while on Pan that we discovered the veil on my ear hat glowed beautifully under black lights.

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    Next was the Matterhorn and Space Mountain, so that we could get in the faster rides before dinner. Speaking of dinner... we ate at the Plaza Inn specifically because of their fried chicken. So tasty! We try to eat there on every trip because we enjoy it so much. (Is it just me, though, or did they change the green beans? Still yummy, just not what I was expecting.)

    We did a couple more rides after dinner, and then all went our separate ways. Some of the remaining group went into DCA and rode Radiator Springs Racers to finish off the evening. Some of the group went home or back to their hotels. As for me, Dave, and a handful of others, we went to the Napa Rose and had a parade of desserts.

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    two of the many desserts we enjoyed

    There were enough of us that we could order one of everything and share, but not so many that we overwhelmed the Napa Rose's lounge staff. If you ask me, it was the perfect way to finish off the evening of my wedding.

    (Still more photos to come...)
    proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

  4. #4

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    The day after the wedding we devoted to DCA. Since we'd spent most of our time on the trip so far in Disneyland, we wanted to be sure to show the other park to Dave's family as well. (They're from out of state, while my family is made up of Californians.)

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    mandatory photo with Walt

    We hit most of the major attractions without too much trouble. It did seem like a crowded day in DCA, given that it was mid-week during the school year, but we didn't have to wait too long for Soarin' or Screamin', and Midway Mania had a pretty average wait time.

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    Hooray for Hollywood!

    Part-way through the day we had to pick up a wheelchair for Dave - the Gumball Rally had taken its toll on his still-recovering knee, and for comfort's sake he needed the break. It meant that we got to see the GWD loading area for a few attractions (like Racers), so that was a new experience.

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    We didn't catch the Cars Land lighting, but we did spend time enjoying the sights.

    We made sure to get passes to see World of Color, since a couple members of our party hadn't seen it yet.

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    Aaawww...

    Dave and I felt a little like tour guides on this trip, since we were showing around a group that included two people who'd never been to Disneyland before (his dad and sister). It was a very different method of planning our day than what we usually do, which is to say that we actually PLANNED OUR DAY. Very strange, when you're used to approaching Disney trips so much more casually.


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    "Eeeew! I can't look."

    Most of our group had gone home by this point, but our families (and a handful of friends) were able to stay through to Wednesday morning. It was nice to have essentially a family day in the park, since the previous couple of days featured much larger groups.

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    If Duffy's out, my mom wants a picture...

    The weather turned out to be lovely, even if I didn't end up wearing any of the shorts I packed. It rained on us a little on Monday, but other than that was crisp and cool without being too cold. Most days it got plenty warm enough for all of us to feel like it was a proper vacation.

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    Crazy driver!

    Dinner on Wednesday was at the Pacific Wharf, due to the large variety of options, and then we had just enough time to digest before getting on the Tower of Terror. As soon as our ride was finished, it was time to find a place to watch World of Color (and again, the wheelchair came in very handy).

    World of Color was a big hit, and we made plans to meet up for a last breakfast together at Storytellers Cafe before everyone took off for the airport.

    (One more post should do it to wrap up the photos I have prepared...)
    proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

  5. #5

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    We spent the final few days of our vacation taking it easy compared to the beginning of the trip. Because of the shorter park hours, we did still make an attempt to get the most out of our days, but it wasn't the race that the early part of the trip had been.

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    we took more time for character photos once the group had departed

    Even though our families had left for home, we did have some friends swing by to play in Disneyland with us. Some friends from home came down for their own vacation, and some of our local friends had the time to spend with us as well.

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    I got to see the Fantasy Faire!

    One thing we made the time for was the Pixar Play Parade. I'd never seen it before, so we took a break with wine & beer one afternoon and sat down to watch the parade.


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    we found a really fun photo pass gal by the waterfall - she took a bunch of different shots with all kinds of fun poses

    We also made it in to the Blue Sky cellar, where we had a lovely discussion with the cast member there. The current display features the Fantasy Faire, and it was fun having her point out some of the little details that make the Disney magic so special here in Disneyland.


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    Pixie dust!

    One highlight of the trip was getting to have drinks in Club 1901 with Norm and Todd. They wanted to celebrate our wedding with us, so we met up for drinks & dinner.


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    1901 - an unexpected treat

    After having a cocktail, we headed over to the Blue Bayou for dinner. Our party at this point had grown by one Disney Legend - we ran into Bob Gurr inside 1901, and he ended up joining us for dinner! Wow. That was amazing, having dinner with a Disney Legend and getting to hear him tell some of the stories that he writes for MiceChat articles.


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    Dave and me with Bob Gurr

    As if dinner with Bob wasn't enough of a surprise, there was one more wedding surprise left to come. Certain friends of ours (*cough*Jeff Heimbuck*cough*) knew where we were having dinner. They also knew we'd been wearing our wedding ears the whole week. So they decided to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, and since they saw our ear hats, they got their entire boat to yell "Congratulations Dave and Nikki!" at us. We turned beet red, everyone else at our table started laughing, and the whole restaurant started clapping. It was amazing. This is one trip I will never forget.


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    Goodbye for now, Disneyland! We'll be back soon.
    proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

  6. #6

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    Congratulations!!!

    What an amazing trip. I don't think it gets much better than that!! A perfectly magical way to start your marriage. I'm so happy for you two!

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  7. #7

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    It looks like you two are off to a magical beginning! Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your truly awesome experience.

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally



    YAYYY! I was hoping there would be a Trip Report of your wedding! This has to be the best, most unique wedding I have ever seen! You two looked so awesome! And how cool is it that you got to meet Bob Gurr too!

    I'm so glad you guys found us and came by to say hi at the end of the Gumball Rally! I am now going to share this with the rest of the team! Congratulations once again and thank you for sharing your amazing wedding!!!

    EDIT:
    This is completely unrelated but is it weird that I still feel the adrenaline pumping through me from the Gumball Rally? Like, I feel like I can do another Gumball Rally right now!
    Last edited by KiMcHeEfOrLiFe; 05-12-2013 at 03:50 PM.

  9. #9

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    Congratulations!! The photos are great. Looks like you had a wonderful time. What a good idea to rent the suite and have it in there. Love the idea!!
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  10. #10

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    Wow!!! This is one of the most bestest trip reports!!! Not only a fun time at the rally, but a magical wedding, in a beautiful place and all the other exciting things that followed!!! Lunch with Bob Gurr?? Oh wow!!! So wonderful and I thank you for sharing your weekend and wedding with us!




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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    Wow. Gonna make my cry. what a nice report; thanks!!!

  12. #12

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    How wonderful! Many congratulations! Glad you had a good time. Thanks for sharing.

  13. #13

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    Congratulations on your nuptials! It looks like it was a fun trip and a personalized wedding
    Here You Leave Today and Enter the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy.

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  14. #14

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    Congratulations! Such a great trip report!

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    Re: My Disney Wedding - Pirates Suite & Gumball Rally

    Quote Originally Posted by bookwyrm View Post
    It was amazing. This is one trip I will never forget.
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    Goodbye for now, Disneyland! We'll be back soon.
    Congratulations to a wonderful couple! There was soooo much that the two of you experienced over the five days of celebration that I am certain you will never, ever forget it! I particularly like the way that new friends kept arriving to party with you as others left ... as if your cup of friendship was constantly being refilled.

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