Have you ever heard of the gumball rally? Well, the Micechat Gumball Rally is nothing like that.
This competition is for every Disney geek out there. It all comes down to which team can ride the most rides and answer the most questions (correctly) in the quickest time. So you ask yourself: Is it really possible to ride all of the attractions at the Disneyland AND Disney California Adventure in a single day?
Being the geek I am, I had to find out.
Let me be clear: this is not run by Disneyland. It is organized by MiceChat, a site that keeps the online community up-to-date with everything Disney related.
This was my first year competing in the rally. I actually had never heard of it until a couple months before this year’s event. I joined the team, “The Cinderfellas”, which has always been a team of men. Still, they were nice enough to bring me on anyway, as long as I promised not to slow them down. This was a genuine concern of mine because this competition is not just a walk in the park (get it? “walk in the park”? cause Disneyland is a…oh, Nevermind).
Every team comes in with a strategy. Remembering the rally’s from years before, noting what rides are under construction, factoring in wait times and point values: every second counts in this race. If you want to sit and eat at some point, don’t expect to win or even place in the top 50. Teams pack snack foods and drinks in their backpacks so they can eat while waiting in line (that’s the only down time available). Oh, and another thing: NO RUNNING. So, if you’re a team of professional speed walkers – you might actually do well.
There are also volunteers, known as “spotters”, around both parks. Their job is to make sure you are following rules, such as all team members must be within arm’s length of each other (with the exception of bathroom breaks) and no team members should be using their cell phones (due to phone apps that provide wait times for other rides). These are only two of the obstacles most teams need to work with.
Don’t expect to team up with other teams on sharing answers. For the majority, this isn’t about winning the prize; everyone plays in the spirit that it is intended. Every team that we came across played with an unspoken sense of the honor code.
We met a great team while we were looking for points at the Pirate's Lair. They mentioned they missed one answer on a ride at Disney California Adventure. By then, our team had already covered every point at that park, so we knew we had the answer. We were willing to give it to them if they wanted it, but they wouldn’t even tell us the ride that they had missed. I believe everyone goes into this game to win for themselves, knowing that the team did their best. I really admired that. What’s the point of playing if you are just going to find loop holes to win?
With all that said, would you still enter this competition? No sitting down to eat at the Blue Bayou, super quick bathroom breaks (ladies?), explaining to curious tourists what exactly you are doing, and walking your legs off?
I’d do it again in a heartbeat. After all, you’re at Disneyland.
The Cinderfellas were ONE point away from placing in the top ten teams!
We scored 78 points - the first place team had scored 89 points.