This is our review of Grizzly River Run which covers all aspects of the attraction including where it’s located, who can ride, how Genie+ and Lightning Lane works, history of the attraction as well a detailed rider experience and our own personal take on the attraction.
Location: Grizzly River Run is located in Grizzly Peak at Disney California Adventure Park. Its distinct mountainous terrain is easily recognizable and sets the scene for the adventure that awaits.
Average Wait Times: Wait times can vary widely depending on the weather and time of year. On hot days, expect to wait anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes, as guests look to cool off.
Height Requirements: There’s a minimum height requirement of 42 inches, so some younger children may need to sit this one out.
Single Rider: Grizzly River Run offers a Single Rider line, which can be a great way to reduce your wait time if you’re willing to ride with other parties.
Rider Switch: This is available if someone in your group doesn’t meet the height requirement or prefers not to ride.
DAS (Disability Access Service): Guests with disabilities can take advantage of DAS to receive a return time based on the current wait.
History of Grizzly River Run
Grizzly River Run is not just a thrilling whitewater raft ride; it’s a meticulously designed homage to California’s rugged outdoors. Located in Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, this attraction has been delighting guests with its refreshing splashes since its inception. The conception of Disney California Adventure Park aimed to capture the essence of the Golden State, and Grizzly River Run is a testament to that vision. When the park opened its gates in 2001, Grizzly River Run was one of the marquee attractions, representing the wild landscapes of California.
The attraction is centered around Grizzly Peak, the iconic bear-shaped mountain, which is inspired by California’s state emblem, the grizzly bear, and reminiscent of the state’s national parks. The attraction’s story and design are influenced by California’s rich logging history and its many rivers and forests. Disney Imagineers integrated an eco-conscious angle into the design, emphasizing the importance of respecting and preserving nature. This can be seen in the queue area where signs about wildlife conservation and environmental preservation are prominently displayed.
Best Times to Ride
If you prefer warmer weather for a water ride, aim for summer or midday. If you’re looking to avoid a long wait, consider riding during the cooler months or late in the evening. We’ve found that even though you may get wet on the ride it feels really good as you walk around on a hot day drying off. During peak seasons or weekends the wait time can get up to 80 minutes.
Grizzly River Run, nestled within Disney California Adventure Park, takes inspiration from California’s breathtaking wilderness areas and its robust river-running legacy. It’s not just a water ride; it’s a journey through the natural beauty and wildness of the Golden State. The raft ride takes guests on an unpredictable journey through the mountain’s roaring rapids. Along the way, riders encounter various narrative elements like the remains of a sawmill and hear the stories of settlers who tried to conquer the river. The combination of fast-paced water flows, whirlpools, and drops ensure that every ride is unique and that the likelihood of getting wet is high!
The Queue: Before even stepping onto the rafts, the experience begins in the queue. Winding through a picturesque landscape inspired by California’s national parks, the queue serves as an immersive prelude. You’ll find yourself walking through dense pine forests, passing by rustic wooden signs, and crossing over wooden footbridges. Elements like old mining equipment and aged log structures allude to the state’s logging history. Subtle environmental messages are also interwoven, promoting conservation and a deep respect for nature.
Boarding the Attraction: As you approach the loading area, the sound of roaring rapids becomes more pronounced. Guests are ushered into circular rafts that can seat eight, each seat offering a unique perspective and experience of the ride ahead.
The Adventure Begins: The raft sets off gently, providing riders a moment to take in the serene surroundings. Birds chirp, water glistens, and the looming Grizzly Peak mountain range serves as the ride’s backdrop. But tranquility gives way to thrills as riders are swiftly thrust into the mountain’s roaring rapids.
Journey through the Rapids: The unpredictable nature of the waterways means no two rides are exactly the same. Riders encounter whirlpools, fast currents, and sudden drops. The narrative elements play out with remnants of a bygone sawmill, and tales of early settlers echo through the sounds of cascading water.
One of the most exhilarating parts of the journey is the large drop near the end, where rafts plummet down a waterfall, drenching riders with a refreshing splash.
Ending & Exit: The ride concludes with the rafts drifting back to the unloading area, passing under wooden bridges and past more scenic views of Grizzly Peak. Drenched and thrilled, riders disembark, often with smiles and laughter, recounting their unique journey through California’s wilderness.
From the moment I set foot on the pathway leading up to Grizzly River Run, the excitement was palpable. The distant roaring of water and the laughter of soaked riders returning from their journey only intensified the anticipation. Every detail, from the towering pine trees to the chattering of hidden woodland creatures, whisked me away from the bustling theme park and into the heart of California’s wilderness. The journey was an unforgettable one.
The excitement began right from the queue, which beautifully captured the wilderness theme. I was lucky enough to ride on a hot summer day, so the splashes were a welcome relief! The unexpected turns and the big drop were thrilling, and I left soaked but smiling. Overall I thought the ride was one immersive experience. Every time I visit, I make it a point to ride it, embracing the thrill, the splashes, and the shared joy with fellow riders.
Grizzly River Run is an action-packed water ride that delivers both thrills and theming. The sensation of floating down a wild river, complete with breathtaking scenery, makes this attraction a standout. If you’re not afraid of getting wet and love a good adrenaline rush, this ride is a must-do. The ride is more than a way to cool off on a hot day; it’s an ode to California’s natural beauty, intertwined with the thrills of white-water rafting. From the moment you step into the queue to the final splashdown, it’s an adventure that encapsulates the wild spirit of the state. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a nature lover, this ride offers a delightful blend of both worlds. Just remember to bring a change of clothes or a poncho if you don’t like walking around in wet clothes.
Grizzly River Run Review
The Final Word
Grizzly River Run isn't just a ride; it's a journey. It captures the duality of nature – its beauty and its wildness. It's a great ride when you need to cool off on a hot summer day, while also providing thrills.