Like other Disney Parks, Disney California Adventure consists of several uniquely themed “lands”—six of them to be exact. We strolled one of them last week when we ventured down Buena Vista Street, and today we’re headed into a more adventurous zone: Grizzly Peak.
According to legend, the iconic grizzly bear-shaped mountain was once a giant bear named Oosoomate. One day Ahale the Coyote transformed him into stone to watch over and protect the land. He has quite a job to do, because of course, the land of grizzlies and coyotes is anything but tame!
Grizzly Peak contains an attraction similar to Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida. Grizzly River Run is a white water raft experience that carries riders along the raging waters of the Grizzly River, past remnants of the California gold rush and through ancient caverns, where it’s rumored the great bear’s spirit can still be heard roaring at intruders (you!) on the sacred mountain.
Also on Grizzly Peak’s rugged terrain is an exploration area just for junior adventurers. Russell and Dug from Disney-Pixar’s Up have left hints throughout the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail to help kids earn their Wilderness Explorer badges. Kids quest for badges in tracking, bravery, rock climbing, wolf howl, animal spirit, and puzzle solving while crossing rope bridges, climbing over boulders, and zipping down suspended slides. Once they’ve collected their badges, they can attend the Senior Wilderness Explorer Ceremony with Russell at Ahwahnee Camp Circle (optional, check guide for show times). Keep your eyes open for a glimpse of Russell’s colorful bird friend Kevin.
*Photos via Disney Parks
Go spelunking! Grizzly Peak, though a faux mountain, has certain features that give it a realistic appearance. Caverns are common in mountains like Grizzly Peak and its real-life counterparts. If you live in a region with accessible caves, spend a day spelunking. If you don’t have the opportunity, cyber visit one of the largest caves in the world, Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, New Mexico. They have wonderful descriptions and a large photo gallery of beautiful cavern features, like the large stalagmites and stalactites that are found throughout the caverns.
Today, make your own stalagmites and stalactites. You will only need a few items, but you will need patience and a lot of time to observe their development.
This project comes from Science Kids:
You will need:
- Two glass jars
- A saucer
- Woolen thread
- Either baking soda, washing soda or Epsom salts
What to do:
- Fill both jars with hot water and dissolve as much soda as you can into each one.
- Place the two jars in a warm place and put the saucer between them.
- Twist several strands of woolen thread together before dipping the ends into the jars and letting the middle of the thread hang down above the saucer. Weigh down the ends with paper clips, small stone, or other various small, heavy objects to keep them in the jars.
- Over the next several days, the two solutions should creep along the thread until they reach the middle and then will drip down onto the saucer, forming stalactites (hanging down from the thread) and stalagmites (building up from the saucer as drippings collect).
- Observe the experiment over the next week and watch it grow.
- Don’t forget to wash your hands when you’ve finished assembling your project.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Geology
SKILL LEVEL: Elementary
Think outside the textbook with this veteran homeschooling author & editor, and learn while you play!