Grizzly Peak is a themed land at Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. The land’s name is eponymous with its central icon, Grizzly Peak. Grizzly Peak is themed around California’s wilderness and national parks, with particular references to Yosemite and Redwood national parks.
Its main attraction is Grizzly River Run, a Gold Rush-esque river rapids ride around the summit of Grizzly Peak. Nearby is the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail; a playground area that includes elements from Disney’s Brother Bear and Disney•Pixar’s Up. An entrance exclusively accessible to guests of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is located in this area.
The land, originally named Grizzly Peak Recreation Area, opened with the park in 2001 as part of a subsection of a larger land, Golden State, which also included two other neighboring lands, Pacific Wharf and Condor Flats. The “Golden State” name was retired and the three sections were broken off into their own separate lands in 2012, as part of the park’s redesign. The Condor Flats section was subsequently incorporated into the Grizzly Peak area, as Grizzly Peak Airfield, in 2015.
After redesigned, the area look like the typical Californian National Park setting found in the 1950s. Grizzly Peak Airfield (formally known as Condor Flats) is a sub-land within the Grizzly Peak area of California Adventure Park. It is themed to an airfield in California’s High Sierras in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The featured attraction is Soarin’ Around the World, a ride that simulates a hang glider tour of locations, landscapes, and landmarks across six continents of the world. The district also contains the Smokejumpers Grill counter service restaurant, a shop, and a decorative fire lookout tower.
Grizzly River Run
Grizzly River Run is a river rapids ride located at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. It is similar to Kali River Rapids in Disney’s Animal Kingdom but distinctive as the rafts are engineered to spin as they descend chutes. The attraction’s name comes from Grizzly Peak, the bear shaped mountain that the rapids flow around.
The raft trip around Grizzly Peak begins with the raft being lifted up a wooden conveyor that runs under leaking pipes that spray water on the riders. Upon reaching the top of the conveyor, the rafts are dropped into the water to be descended down the peak, passing through a cave and bumping against a log jam. The climax of the ride drops the rafts down into a geyser field. The final drop has a unique element in that the rafts are spun as they begin their descent.
As part of the park’s major 2007–2012 refurbishment, the old queue that had been themed around extreme sports was replaced with an homage to California state parks, specifically after Redwood Creek and the Sacramento River. Elements that evoke the “golden age” of national parks are placed around the entrance, alluding to the wave of turn-of-the-century wildlife conservation.
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is a forest-themed play area at Disney California Adventure. It features a network of trails simulating a trail in a redwood forest, a large network of stairs and rope bridges, a traverse rock climbing wall, a zip line, side-by-side slides, and an amphitheater. Explorers can also visit the “Kenai’s Spirit Cave” to find what spirit animal represents them (bear, wolf, eagle, moose, salmon, and skunk).
The area was one of the park’s original attractions, and opened to the public on February 8, 2001. It was later re-themed after the 2003 Disney animated film Brother Bear and featured character meeting areas for characters from the film as well as an amphitheater show called The Magic of Brother Bear. It is currently themed after the 2009 Disney-Pixar film Up, and centered on the Wilderness Explorers, a fictional scouting organization from the film.
Soarin’ Around the World
Soarin’ Around the World is a flight motion simulator attraction at Disney California Adventure. The ride employs a mechanical lift system, a projected presentation on an 80 ft (24 m) concave 180-degree dome screen, artificial scents and wind to simulate a hang gliding flight over several locations across six continents around the world. Many consider it to have been the first flying theater.
The original iteration of the attraction, known as Soarin’ Over California, was an opening day attraction at Disney California Adventure on February 8, 2001. The initial version took guests over several locations in California and included a pre-show tribute to the history of California’s aviation industry.
Soarin’ was first conceptualized in 1996 as “Ultra Flight,” a name which can still be seen on the tower consoles of the California Adventure attraction. It was to feature an OMNIMAX screen with an inverted track allowing guests to fly over California’s landmarks. The attraction would have three load levels and the system would operate on a horizontal cable, much like a dry cleaner’s rack.
Each ride vehicle consists of three rows of seats under a wing-like canopy, and has a capacity of 87 guests at a time. After guests have been safely restrained in the vehicle using standard lap belts, the canopy descends slightly and a cantilever system lifts the chairs forward and into the air with the guests’ feet dangling freely. The vehicle is lifted forward so that guests look into a large, concave movie screen onto which aerial views are projected.
The scenes for the original film were shot with an IMAX HD frame rate – 48 frames per second, twice the conventional output for regular films. Since the vehicle is moved forward toward the center of the dome, guests can only see the images projected on the screen and experience the sensation of flight. The ride structure contains about one million pounds (454,000 kg) of steel, and 37 tons (33.5 metric tonnes) are lifted during each ride cycle.
To enhance the illusion of flight, subtle vertical movements of the seats are synchronized to the film. Sensations of horizontal motion are created using a combination of vertical carriage movement and turning the image on the screen. In addition, scents complementing the various scenes are injected into the air streams blowing on riders. These scents now include rose blossoms in the Taj Mahal scene, the aroma of grass in the Africa scene, and a sea breeze scent in the South Pacific scene in the updated show.
Disney California Adventure
Disney California Adventure Park is a theme park located at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. The 72-acre (29 ha) park is themed after the history and culture of California, which celebrates the adventure of the state through the use of various Disney, Pixar and Marvel Studios properties. The concept of a theme park dedicated to California arose from a meeting of Disney executives in 1995, construction of the park began in June 1998 and was completed by early 2001.
The park opened on February 8, 2001 as Disney’s California Adventure Park and is the second of two theme parks built at the Disneyland Resort complex, after Disneyland Park. Disney spent the next several years incrementally adding new rides, shows, and attractions, and implementing other promotions aimed at boosting attendance.
In 2007, Disney announced a major overhaul of the park consisting of new expansion as well as re-construction of existing areas of the park. Construction lasted for five years and was completed in stages, culminating with the opening of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land along with the re-dedication of the park in June 2012. According to the Themed Entertainment Association, the park hosted approximately 9.9 million guests in 2018, making it the 12th-most visited theme park in the world that year.