Welcome back as we continue our guide around DCA. Today we will be talking about Grizzly Peak. This area opened with the park on February 8, 2001, but it was much different than it is today. When it opened in 2001, it was part of a larger land called Golden State, which featured areas such as Pacific Wharf and Condor Flats.
In 2012, the Golden State name was dropped and each of the four sub lands were each considered their own lands. In 2015, Condor Flats was cut off of being its own land and instead joined with Grizzly Peak to become Grizzly Peak Airfield. For the sake of this article, the Grizzly Peak Airfield will be considered as a part of Grizzly Peak, and not a separate land. The land is a testament to national parks that are famous in California. It’s a testament to Disney for making the guests feel like they are stepping into a forest. It’s an impressive feat, and because of that it’s one of my favorite lands.
- Soarin’ Around The World: This famous attraction opened with the park on February 8, 2001 as Soarin’ Over California. The attraction took guests on a hang glider tour over some of the best sights of California. It was a huge hit when it opened and was considered one of the best attractions at DCA. On June 17, 2016 the attraction reopened as it’s known today as Soarin’ Around The World. Everything is the same, but instead of flying over California, guest are now flying over famous world landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower. It’s a thrilling but somehow relaxing experience and something you should not miss. Note that you should skip this if you have a fear of heights or have motion sickness. You also have to be 40” to ride.
- Grizzly River Run: Opening with the park on February 8, 2001, it is one of the original rides that have not changed since park opening. One of the things you see when you enter DCA is the Grizzly mountain towering over the park. Surrounding the mountain are rivers that guests can take a river rafting adventure in and around the mountain. This is one of my favorite rides in the park. I love getting into the raft with other people and seeing their reactions as everyone tries to not get soaking wet. This attraction also differentiates itself from other rafting rides by having two drops that are sure to get you wet. It’s a fun ride to do with friends as you drift by spectacular pieces of nature. You can also find air dryers across the way if you need to dry off after braving the rapids. You will get wet (maybe even soaked) and you must be 42” to ride.
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: This hidden gem is located across the way from Grizzly River Run also opened with the park on February 8, 2001. It’s a playground where kids can let off steam while the adults can enjoy the many benches in the shade. There are giant towers where you can climb and cross rope bridges in the air. You can slide down two logs or head inside a cave to find out what your spirit animal is (inspired by the Disney animated film Brother Bear). It’s a big forest area; you feel like you are in a national park,and not in DCA. If the park is becoming way too crowded and you need someplace to relax, head to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Be aware that this attraction closes early.
- Smokejumpers Grill: If you are feeling a little hungry after flying around the world on Soarin’, then head next door to Smokejumpers Grill. Themed to be the inside of a hanger, this is the place in DCA for good burgers and chicken nuggets. It’s a great place to have a quick lunch and enjoy the atmosphere of Grizzly Peak.
- Humphrey’s Service and Supplies: The only place in DCA that has merchandise related to Soarin’ Around The World. T-shirts, mugs, and more just right across the way from the attraction.
- Rushin’ River Outfitters: Right next to the entrance to Grizzly River Run, this is the only place in DCA to find Grizzly River Run merchandise.
Thank you so much for reading! Next week we will leave the wilderness of Grizzly Peak and experience the enjoyment of Paradise Gardens Park.