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It Doesn't Matterhorn's 2017 Gumball Rally Trip Report

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  • It Doesn't Matterhorn's 2017 Gumball Rally Trip Report

    Gumball Rally 2017 was another one for the record books! This time, as far as I know, was the most impacted by wet weather of any of our Rallies to date, and (again, AFAIK) the only one where a celebrity spotting nearly derailed some of the participants (both teams and spotters).

    We started the Rally with an early packet pick-up at the Anaheim hotel. Though Team It Doesn’t Matterhorn didn’t stay for dinner, we made sure to stop by to say hello and get registered! Having a Pizza Party this year instead of a Pasta Party sounded like fun, but we had made plans to celebrate at Steakhouse 55 instead.



    The Rally this year was held on Dave and my 4th wedding anniversary, so we opted for an early celebration dinner. Better to have our anniversary dinner the day before so that we could make it to the Awards Party after the Rally! My parents joined us at Steakhouse 55, exactly 4 years after we held our Rehearsal Dinner there. It was a very good meal, but a TON of food. Good thing we run the Rally the way we do – we were still too full the next morning to be contenders for the trophy!



    In the morning, we made our way over the Anaheim hotel for the pre-party. It was interesting getting used to the different set-up (since we've always been at the ESPN Zone before this) but we enjoyed having all the teams in one room instead of being split up among two rooms. We realized as we were arriving at the party, however, that we'd left our park passes in our hotel room safe... all the way across the esplanade. So, after a brief mingling sessions (and checking with Captain Dusty), Larry and Dave hoofed it back to our hotel to get our park tickets. Kathy and I stayed at the Anaheim hotel – both to save her feet (and my asthma) and to listen to the rules. We met back up in the esplanade where the teams were assembling, but our guys had stopped to get coffee (with a touch of Disney Starbucks magic):



    And then, we had our packets (we started with Disneyland West, because we had lunch reservations there) and it was off into the parks!





    We had no plans. We weren't heading anywhere specific except "DISNEYLAND!!!" (Dave hadn't been to Disneyland since Gumball Rally 2016, which was weird.) And our strategy was the winning strategy we've boiled down over the years:
    1. Play in the parks.
    2. Take as many photos of other teams as possible.
    3. Hand out Mardi Gras beads to other teams (or spotters, or random kids) that we see during the Rally.
    4. HAVE FUN!

    And this year, we added a fifth rule: Either everyone rides, or no one does. So while in the past, I have sat off of some of the more thrilling rides (ie: I can do Space Mountain or Star Tours, but not both together), this year we weren't leaving anyone at the exit to an attraction.

    So, in true "It Doesn't Matterhorn" fashion, our first attraction of the day was one that wasn't on any of the question packets: the horseless carriage on Main Street.


    proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

  • #2
    One thing that our un-rushed entry allowed us to do was to plan what we were going to do next. We decided that our first ride should be on Matterhorn mountain. Team name and all.



    The line was quite reasonable, even with the new fast pass line added. As we neared the front of the queue, we began to notice that the ride vehicles were a little damper than normal. "That's okay," we thought. "It has been raining, this is probably residual from showers." And then we focused on memorizing the question, since the Yeti passes by so quickly and we didn't want to miss him.




    And we rode the ride, and we saw the Yeti, and then we noticed that the cars had been given some extra padding. Nice. So we settled back to enjoy the ride. And then we saw it: the splashdown pool. And it was fuller than we had ever seen. Which meant that we got wetter than we had ever had happen on the Matterhorn.



    (And since it was a cool, sometimes rainy day, it took a while to dry out, too.)
    proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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    • #3
      After Matterhorn, we decided to take our soggy selves over to Fantasyland and see what we could do there. (Sadly, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was on DL East, which meant we couldn't take a trip into Hell to help dry off.) We decided to start with Casey Junior, where we saw the first bunch of teams we'd seen since everyone scattered inside the park.





      It wasn't until we were near the from of the Casey Junior queue that we truly realized how clever Matt was with his split of the park: we were in line for Casey Junior. There were teams on the Storybook Boats. And neither of us knew what the others were looking for. Yay! Awesome way to reduce cheating on the attractions which share landscaping!

      proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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      • #4
        Casey was followed by Pinocchio which was followed by Snow White, and then we had done what we could of Fantasyland with this packet. Since Indiana Jones was down, we headed over to the attraction on our list with the traditionally next longest queue: Pirates of the Caribbean. (I'm not counting Splash Mountain here. Remember when I said that either we all go on the ride, or the team skips it? Well, I don't ride Splash, so it was off our list.)



        proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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        • #5


          We saw several other teams in the Pirates queue, and enjoyed a snack while waiting. (Banana or lemon bread from Starbucks! Yummy.) We made our way to the front of the queue, loaded into a boat, and hoped Pirates wouldn't soak us in the same way the Matterhorn had. (It didn't.) We found our answer, and (some of us) took a nap on the way toward the exit. And then stopped. And stayed stopped. (We were all awake again by now.) "Huh," we thought. "We've been stopped a long time. And now the waterfall has stopped too."

          That's about when the Cast Member came over the loudspeaker announcing rough seas, and asking us to stay seated in our boats until the ride resumed. We started to get worried. (And also worried about the Argh-riealists, who had been behind us in queue but were probably onboard boats by now without having quite reached the answer in the booklet.)



          (Could they still be stuck on Pirates? We hope not!)
          proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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          • #6
            Eventually, Pirates did restart, and we got to go up the now-restarted waterfall and out the exit. However, we now only had time for Tarzan's Treehouse before our lunch reservations. So, we headed over the bridge and off to the treehouse.

            We nearly got derailed on the way there, though; we were headed to the stairs up when we passed a plaid, and some guy in a black suit, and then some guy in a Hawaiian shirt followed closely by another guy in a black suit.

            We all froze.

            Yup. That was John Lasseter.

            We wheeled around, and tried to take a photo, but were blocked by the last guy in the suit, who held out his hand to ward us off. Based on the direction he was heading and the lack of stopping to take pictures with guests, I guess John was on his way to Club 33 for lunch.

            So. We got a celebrity sighting, but no photos. Up to the top of the treehouse we went!



            Then we headed to our lunch at the River Belle. (Along the way there, we ran into some staffers, and told them we’d just seen John Lasseter. It was good to have fellow Disney nerds squee with us, since none of the other guests around us at the time had noticed.)

            proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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            • #7
              Next was lunch at the River Belle, which we had planned so that we could get photos of (and wave at!) lots of other teams. It worked!





              Lunch was reasonable, but the location was perfect!

              proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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              • #8




                proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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                • #9




                  proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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                  • #10
                    After lunch, we headed over to the Jungle Cruise, where we ran into another staffer:



                    Tiffany stayed with us through the entire queue and rode the Jungle Cruise with us. It was fun! Though she did tease us that she was allowed to use her phone, and we weren’t. Oh well.

                    proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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                    • #11
                      After that, we decided not to make the hike to Winnie the Pooh, we weren’t doing Splash Mountain, and we had seen the line for Haunted Mansion from the treehouse earlier, so we knew that was long. That meant it was time for us to switch booklets!

                      Our first stop on the Disneyland East booklet was to get Star Tours fast passes (which we never ended up using). Then we went through the Star Wars Launch Bay, and on our way out we saw another team in line for Autopia!



                      proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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                      • #12
                        And then it was off to it’s a small world, where there were several other teams:





                        We enjoyed the ride, and were very glad when we exited the ride that it wasn’t pouring rain. (That would be a rude awakening after an enclosed attraction.)

                        proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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                        • #13
                          Our next stop was to see what else we could hit in Fantasyland. The Storybook boats were already closed for the parade, so no go there. And the lines for Alice and Peter Pan were longer than we felt like standing in. (I was feeling a bit Grumpy due to being under caffeinated.) Instead, of the longer lines, we got in the line for Mr. Toad, which – while about a ½ hour – was the shortest in our section of Fantasyland.



                          It was a good choice! There were other teams there for us to play with.



                          After Mr. Toad, we decided to do the Castle walkthrough, where there was an incident with a lollipop and a pirate scarf. But we got our answer, and decided that we needed fortification before standing in any more ride queues.

                          Instead we stood in a coffee (or tea) queue.

                          And then, while waiting for our drinks to be finished, we had a game of checkers.



                          At that point, we looked at our watches, looked at the attractions we had remaining, and decided to hop to DCA.
                          proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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                          • #14
                            While we were swapping packets, we chatted a moment with the staffers at La Brea Bakery.



                            We were careful to stay away from the team grading the packets, but took a moment to finish enjoying our beverages and SITTING DOWN.



                            Other teams stopped by while we were sitting there, and we cheered them on from our seats.

                            And then it was time to hop! But first, we took a moment to enjoy Matt’s name tag:

                            proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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                            • #15
                              Over in DCA, we decided that the attraction we most wanted to do was Radiator Springs Racers, so we went straight there and got in the single rider line. At least two other teams were in line with us, too!





                              It was a fun ride, even if I didn’t win my race. (I didn’t ask the rest of my team, but since I think at least two of them were racing opposite each other, SOMEONE had to win their race.)

                              proud member of Rally team It Doesn't Matterhorn, winners of the 2012 Team Spirit award

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