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Grizzly River Run
Grizzly run
Attraction poster introduced in 2011.
Disney's California Adventure
Land Golden State (Grizzly Peak Recreation Area)
Designer Walt Disney Imagineering
Manufacturer Intamin AG
Attraction type River Rafting Ride
Theme Whitewater Rafting
Opening date February 8, 2001
Vehicle type Raft
Guests per car 8
Ride duration 6:35 minutes
Height requirements 42" (107 cm)
Audio-Animatronics 0 (Audio effects only)
Maximum rafts in flume 31
Highest drop 21 feet (6.4 meters)
Grizzly River Run is a river rapids ride located at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in California. The ride opened with the park on February 8, 2001, and is themed off of California's many state parks.

Summary

Queue

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.

Main Ride

The raft trip around Grizzly Peak begins with the rafts 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 descend 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 with all flume-type rides, there must be a location to store or drain the water in the upper sections of the flumes when the pumps are shut down. The original plan was to create a large, underground basin beneath Grizzly Peak to hold water. This would have required costly excavation and construction. Upon looking at the final layout of California Adventure, it was noticed that the Pacific Wharf area of the park had a water element meant to simulate a tidal basin. The tidal basin is located across a walkway from Grizzly River Run and became the catch basin for water from the raft ride. The rise and fall of water in the tidal basin serves the dual purpose of providing a location to store water and being a scenic element that simulates a rising and falling tide.

History

As for the history of Grizzly Peak Recreation Area, a Disney created backstory tells of how German emigrant Jakob Probst discovered gold at Grizzly Peak in the mid-1800s. But far from being a genius, Probst's discovery was by pure chance. Frustrated at failing to get his mule across Grizzly River, Probst threw his hat into the river and trampled it. Picking it up and putting it back on his head, he discovered a one-pound gold nugget had fallen inside. Probst immediately staked a claim he later sold for millions to the Eureka Gold & Timber Company.

Nicknamed "The Pride of the Sierra", the Company was a successful business throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Gold was extracted from the mountain and shipped to San Francisco. A company office and adjoining store were built right next door as well. But by the early 1950s the mine was tapped and Eureka Gold & Timber closed down. The structures stood empty for years - only the office and company store remained in use - converted to an outdoor supply store.

The land itself was sold to the government to create the Grizzly Peak Recreation Area. Over the next few decades the land was reborn with trees growing back and rivers clearing up. Eventually, California's rafting enthusiasts discovered the whitewater thrills of Grizzly River and the word got out about the crystal-clear waters and Class V rapids there. By the 1980s, that hobby had grown into a business with several companies offering guided raft trips to customers. One of those companies was run by a savvy young group of entrepreneurs. They purchased the old mining structures to use as their base of operations. The Grizzly River Rafting Company was born.

Trivia

  • Like several California Adventure rides, the ride takes the name of a former attraction that was a Tennessee amusement park called Opryland USA. The attraction was known as "Grizzly River Rampage", in which, coincidentally, was also a river rafting ride.
  • The trees that fill the attraction's area are authentic and brought in from orphanages across California.
  • The ride shares a FastPass area with the night time water show, World of Color. Also, the ride shares a waiting area with the attraction as well.
  • The attraction is the tallest, fastest, and the longest river rapids ride in the world.
  • The supposed rapids are made by little blocks the Imagineers placed in the water. 

Photo Gallery

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