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Monday, November 19, 2012

Disneyland Resort A to Z - Grizzly River Run

I guess this area of Disney California Adventure Park is still called Grizzly Peak. With almost every other area of DCA getting constructed, refurbished, and otherwise tweaked, this area of the park has been quietly left alone. The area it occupies is quite large but plays home to only one major attraction and a minor one - The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.

The major attraction is Grizzly River Run, a sudo white water rapids ride that is 100% guaranteed to get you wet. And we're not talking Splash Mountain kind of wet here, this is usually a full on head to toe drenching. So depending on your ability to enjoy getting buckets of cold water dumped on you from just about any possible angle is all you need to know as to whether GRR is a great ride or one that you can pass on.

Now when its 90 degrees in the summer, a good soaking can feel rather welcoming. On the other hand if you get on the ride at 5:00 pm on a November evening because someone in your party says "look, no line" as I did a few years back, then beware. You will get wet, then cold, then miserable, pretty much in that order. When someone says "look, no line" for what usually is a very popular ride the correct question to ask yourself is "Why isn't there a line?". Wise people don't go looking to get wet when the sun is rapidly setting and the temperature dropping like a stone. Luckily the Boy was with us on the night in question so I probably told him I would buy him a churro or something if he would go back to the hotel and get me a change of clothes.

Of course, Disney is always at the ready to help you out - for a price. There is a gift shop right next to the ride filled with sweatshirts and hoods to warm you up should that bone chilling cold go right through you. And they are also more than willing to sell you a cheap plastic drop cloth that they call a poncho to put on before you get on the ride. That little gift shop must make a bundle.

White Water Souvenirs off the right of the ride entrance

Disney also doesn't want to be responsible for expensive cameras and cell phones getting a ruined so they also provide lockers near the ride that are free to use for the duration of your excursion. 

But what about the ride itself? Well, I believe at one time it was the longest water ride every constructed and it still may be. Though there is a rather nice launching area from a thematic stand point and several vistas to shoot pictures of the raft vehicles, assorted waterfalls, and impressive rock work the ride itself is what it is, a water ride. There are a couple of small drops during the ride and one big drop toward the end that provide the thrills. What usually gets people are the pop-up geysers that launch huge plums of water near the very end of the ride. This is what usually causes the most water damage to the passengers.

I enjoy Grizzly River Run a great deal. It is fun and just one of those rides that will just have you talking about your experience the rest of the day (and maybe years later). The caveat is - you have to pick your spots for GRR. Get an afternoon fastpass on a warm day that will allow ample drying opportunity before nightfall and all will be good. When the days are short and the weather is cool or cloudy, just walk on by unless you are one of those who choose to ignore wisdom.

Watch our for these!!!!

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