Those of us who frequent Hong Kong always look forward to the opening of any expansion to Hong Kong Disneyland. Grizzly Gulch in particular was anticipated for the roller coaster which has probably become the best ride in the park to this point. It has been open for a few months now and we head down there most visits to the park because Bethany loves a couple of runs on the rails.
Unfortunately, the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars roller coaster is the only RIDE in Grizzly Gulch. The other attractions in the new land are more decorative than anything – lots of fake geysers, wild west buildings, a giant nugget, some token food and shopping, and a water squirting game. Occasionally you can see frontier characters – I’ve only ever seen Chip ‘n Dale there and they’ve had such a HUGE queue we haven’t bothered. There is also a small Wild West singing show every now and then next to one of the wagons (near the Mystic Point end) and the infrequent walking minstrel with banjo in hand.
One of the frustration I (and others I talk to) have with Disneyland Hong Kong is that they open a new area to the park and it just doesn’t have much substance to it. Don’t get me wrong – the look and feel of Grizzly Gulch is GREAT but the only part of it my kids like is the Runaway Mine Cars roller coaster. I just wish there were a couple more rides to make the walk to the back of the park more worthwhile. If I knew this was phase I of a 3 phase expansion of Grizzly Gulch perhaps I wouldn’t feel so let down …
Anyways, back to the (only) star attraction of Grizzly Gulch – the coaster …
From a spectator point of view it is great fun to watch as there are generally multiple trains rolling on different parts of the ride all at once flying past and under the Grizzly Gulch area.
The ride starts off slow and cruises around the first part of the track but eventually speeds up and even offers the opportunity to go backwards while rolling through frontier landscape and encountering cute animatronic bears. The bear making out with the track signal near the beginning of the ride always makes me laugh because of it’s bordering on ‘naughty’ actions. No cameras allowed out on the ride so no photo of Mr Bear i’m afraid.
I’m not going to tell you exactly how the ride rolls or the tracks work because that would spoil the fun – you’ll just have to go experience it for yourself but if you like tame to medium roller coasters it is worth a ride. It isn’t the most nail-curling coaster and doesn’t go upside down, but the variety it offers is both enjoyable and satisfying. The other great thing about this ride is they have so many trains on the tracks at one time (I think they can have up to 5 rolling at once) the queues move quickly and the wait time for the ride is generally minimal.
Now we wait for the next new land to open. Bring on Mystic Point!