Hong Kong Disneyland: Grizzly Gulch

Welcome to Grizzly Gulch

Founded on 8 August 1888 (the luckiest day of all time) by prospectors hoping to discover gold, Grizzly Gulch brings travelers to a bustling Wild West town filled with adventure and prosperity.

Grizzly Gulch is the Frontierland of Hong Kong Disneyland. Every other Disneyland park has a “19th Century American Old West town”, complete with cowboys, saloons and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. But there wasn’t a Frontierland at Hong Kong Disneyland. Instead of building a copy as part of the park’s major expansion, Grizzly Gulch was designed and built instead. Initially named Grizzly Peak, this immersive wild west experience will be unique to the Hong Kong park.

The centerpiece of this themed land is Big Grizzly Mountain: Runaway Mine Cars, a roller coaster ride which climbs up the picturesque Big Grizzly Mountain and weaves around several parts of this wild west town, with numerous surprises along the way. We’ll take a very detailed look at the Runaway Mine Cars attraction in the next entry.

At the moment, Grizzly Gulch is my favourite place in the park, because its attractions, theming and narrative are closely integrated together. The Big Grizzly Mountain is a fun outdoor roller coaster that has a nice mix of fun, thrills and story. The theming here is quite incredible (although there are some areas where work appears to be rushed, but I won’t nitpick here) and certainly has the magic sparkle that is so exclusive to Tokyo Disney Parks.

This area also introduces a cast of unique new characters, such as the three bears: Rocky, Mother Lode and Nugget as well as Lucky, a Golden Retriever.

The entire area is roughly split into 2 sections: A quiet path overlooking Grizzly Gulch (near Adventureland), and a bustling town (near Mystic Point). Let’s take a look at the town area.

Western Town

Hotels and more

Numerous buildings here disguise the area’s restaurant and restrooms.

Bath House at Grizzly Gulch

Welcome Wagon

There are ample opportunities for character Meet and Greet in this area – Disney characters (Mickey, Minnie, Chip & Dale) and some bears (Kenai and Koda – these are from Brother Bear, not the same as the three bears on the Big Grizzly Mountain ride). For entertainment, there is the Welcome Wagon Street Show, where some of the townspeople sing and dance. There’s also Grizzly Joe, who performs a one man show, but I didn’t managed to catch him at the area.

Grizzly Gulch Welcome Wagon Street Show

Lucky Nugget Saloon

The Lucky Nugget Saloon is this area’s quick-service restaurant. There’s nice and quiet seating behind the saloon, which looks over the extended outdoor queue of Big Grizzly Mountain.

Blacksmith and Toolmaker

Just across the street are a few buildings that form the Geyser Gulch water playzone of Grizzly Gulch.

Water Playzone at Grizzly Gulch

Water Playzone at Grizzly Gulch 2

It’s free to play, and if you wish to spray someone with the water cannons, wait in line. Lots of excited (and rowdy) children here!

Water Playzone at Grizzly Gulch 3

The story here is that pioneers that came to this land were not aware that Grizzly Gulch is filled with natural springs. They were surprised when the town was built here (or as they tried to built). Hence this area is filled with geysers and fountains – they even left some for the runaway mine cars!

Geyser Gulch

Grizzly Gulch Jail
Grizzly Gulch Jail 2

The entire area is beautifully sculpted, and photo spots are aplenty. The Jail is one of the most popular (followed by the “real” Lucky Nugget, you’ll see it later).

Bears!

Warning! Bear country!

Bear Necessities (shop)

Despite being a “town”, there isn’t a store (for park guests) in this area. However, a little cart can be found near the entrance and exit to the Big Grizzly Mountain ride, aptly named Bear Necessities.

Bear Necessities (shop) 2

Lots of cute stuff here, and in my opinion, very nice items based on entirely new characters. I even bought the Nugget (baby bear) plush toy.

Bear Necessities (shop) 3

Big Grizzly Mountain

And here it is: Big Grizzly Mountain.

Geyser Gulch - dramatic

Grizzly Gulch looks amazing in the early evening.

Grizzly Gulch Old West Town

Isn’t it? It’s also nice to see Mystic Manor peeking above the tree line.

Grizzly Gulch - Saloon at night

Grizzly Gulch - street at night

At night, the streets of Grizzly Gulch are pretty dim, especially the road overlooking the mountain. Only the town area is brightly lit.

Lucky Nugget

And here it is, the lucky nugget.

The tour continues: Visit Big Grizzly Mountain now! »


Hong Kong Disneyland - Photo Tour series

Mystic Point (under construction) | Main Street U.S.A. | Toy Story Land (Day)
Toy Story Land (Night) | Adventureland | Fantasyland | Grizzly Gulch
Grizzly Gulch: Big Grizzly Mountain | Tomorrowland | Flights of Fantasy parade
NEW: Mystic Point | Mystic Manor (Pre-show) | Mystic Manor (The Ride)
Disney's Hollywood Hotel
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3 Responses to Hong Kong Disneyland: Grizzly Gulch

  1. Luke January 3, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    I love the land a lot. There is so much detail in everything.
    I wished I spent more time in this land, sitting beside the Lucky Nugget and watching people get wet!
    Not to mention that Mine Train is my favorite kind of roller coaster.

  2. Joe January 4, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    Very nice. I was surprised to see that so much of the theming and signage was in English. Is that common throughout the park or is it unique to this section due to the American nature of the theming? Pardon my ignorance, but are most of the parks guests fluent in English or at least able to read the more detailed English theming?

    • Dejiki January 4, 2013 at 9:37 am #

      Hi Joe,

      Theming and Signage in English is common throughout the park, although it is more prominent in Grizzly Gulch due to its American context. All important signs are available in three languages (Cantonese, English and Mandarin). As for theming, some areas here are bilingual: Jail photo spot and names of “establishments” such as the ride building and quick-service restaurant.

      Most of the park guests are HK locals and Asian tourists. While I believe that all guests could read enough to get around the park, it remains unclear if they could understand the (slightly) subtle messages implied in the theming (e.g: A Dynamite Company called Lytem & Hyde; names like “Tom Cutwell”, “I.M. Shovelman”, “Will Curem” etc)

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