If you could travel through time and space, surely you’d take a stop by Disneyland every now and then. That’s just what happened last Sunday, when Whovians and cosplayers took a trip to the happiest place on Earth (and perhaps other planets, we haven’t really compared) for Galliday.
Galliday is a fan-made event, similar to other unofficial Disneyland events like Dapper Day and Gay Day. This one, naturally, is Doctor Who-themed, with the name itself being a play on “Gallifrey,” and was organized in January of this year by Amy McCain, with a second Galliday, subtitled “The Next Regeneration” occurring recently. Although completely unofficial and not endorsed by Disneyland, it was still large enough for hundreds of Whovians to take to the park.
The Whovians met at noon in front of the castle for a large group photo, making sure to leave room for all other park attendees to walk by as best they could. Due to the size of the group, there was little time for mingling, but those there still met and introduced themselves as best they could in the time they had.
There were a few “takeovers” planned throughout the day, with Whovians meeting at certain rides en masse. At 2:00 they took to the carousel, and at 5:00 was the Tom Sawyer Island. However, due to line and ride times, travel distances, and other schedules, not everyone could make every takeover.
Near the middle of the day, the Galliday attendees met near the Small World ride to shoot the individual characters. (Unfortunately, I arrived right after my character’s shot ended, so I couldn’t get in on any myself.) However, due to the large crowd, it ended up blocking the pathway regardless, and the group had to disperse before security arrived. There was no complaining or arguing, though, just people trying to move and clear a way as best they could.
Additionally, the organizers hosted a trivia contest, using Doctor Who Trivial Pursuit cards for the questions. Though it required working knowledge of classic and new Doctor Who, as well as the expanded universe, the organizers understood that not everyone had the same depth of knowledge or exposure to Doctor Who, so they made sure to ask people questions relating to what they have seen. The prize for the winner was a framed and autographed picture by Karen Hallion, featuring Little Red Riding Hood and the TARDIS.
Alongside the trivia contest was a photo scavenger hunt, for people to get photos of cosplayers at certain rides, doing certain scenes, or in certain combinations. The winner would choose the name for the next Galliday, aside from the already used “The Oncoming Storm” and “The Next Regeneration.”
Those wanting a little souvenir could also purchase commemorative Galliday patches. All funds from the patches go towards the next Galliday, so as to make the next one even better.
For those who went in small groups, however, it was trickier to keep up with the large crowds, and socializing proved more difficult with a group always splitting up and meeting again briefly. It was not like a cosplay gathering, where people would meet and spend the day together; it was a Disneyland trip, with people who enjoy Doctor Who occasionally meeting up.
And yes, the costumes were incredibly hot in the Anaheim sun. Yet the attendees still wore heavy suits, and coats, and long scarves, bearing with it throughout the day. Most seemed to agree it was worth it.
Where Galliday goes from here is for the organizers to decide and determine, but for a new, unofficial event, it’s rather large and going quite well so far. There is still some ironing out to do for next time, but if they play their cards right, I can see this event reaching the same status as the more well-known Disneyland events. After all, who’s more dapper than the Doctor?
All photos used were taken by Alex Halcyon, and used with his permission and our thanks.