It was Patrick De Nicola and his wife Annie DiMaria who caused quite a splash for Disney fanatics dreaming of proposal ideas this past Sunday. De Nicola’s perfectly timed photo of his proposal on Splash Mountain in Walt Disney World quickly became viral, gathering over 380,000 views on the photo-sharing site Imgur.
“She knew that I had bought a ring, so the only thing I had left was the element of surprise,” De Nicola wrote on Imgur, later sharing with the Huffington Post that the Chicago couple had gone ring shopping together.
Though both De Nicola and DiMaria were longtime Disney lovers, he told the Huffington Post, “The more I thought about it, the more I realized [Disney] would be the last place she’d expect it to happen.”
De Nicola decided that his proposal needed an extra element of surprise. Dropping to one knee on Main Street U.S.A. with Cinderella Castle in the background? Too easy! A diamond engagement ring placed in a glass slipper souvenir delivered for dessert at Cinderella’s Royal Table? Too Disney cliche for this fan!
No, he had far bigger, better, wetter, plans for his proposal. De Nicola called on the aid of Walt Disney World cast members to help create the perfect proposal moment – on the drop at Splash Mountain – DiMaria’s favorite Disney attraction.
The cast members secured an empty log on the flume ride just for the future bride and groom, and just before they plummeted down into the briar patch with Br’er Rabbit and away from the evil Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear, De Nicola popped the question!
My wife and I have always been huge Disney fans. We both grew up going every year. She knew that I had bought a ring, so the only thing I had left was the element of surprise. I knew what her favorite ride was, and I knew that the last place she would expect me to pop the question was the drop… The Disney Cast Members helped with everything. It was perfect.
“He had timed it perfectly — the photo snapped and got my reaction of laughing, crying, while also getting soaked,” DiMaria wrote in a blog post on Magical Day Weddings. “I said ‘Yes, of course!’”
As De Nicola said in the title of is Imgur photo, “She wanted a picture of her engagement so I made sure to get one,” using the attraction’s built-in photo to capture the hilarious and emotional moment perfectly.
Luckily De Nicola didn’t try to place the ring on her finger until they reached the bottom, or we might be writing another story! DiMaria shared details about her sentimental engagement ring on Magical Day Weddings writing, “The center stone was my grandmother’s, which Patrick had had reset into the exactly setting I wanted. I was so thrilled with how it turned out!”
Though the image was shared on Imgur Sunday, November 29, the proposal actually occurred in March 2013. The two followed up their epic proposal with their wedding a year later in July 2014 in, you guessed it, Walt Disney World.
“With the wedding being at Disney, we kept most of the Disney-thematics to a minimum,” De Nicola told the Huffington Post. “We did have a lot of ‘Hidden Mickeys’ though!”