October 14, 2012
Grizzly River's Bear With No Name
It's an impressive sculpture, and a puzzling one; considering all the time, effort and talent that went into its creation, it's odd that the bear has no name, no backstory (beyond his gear), no merchandising presence, and -- as a result -- little impact on guests' memories of DCA.
Then again, when DCA first opened, the 2001 powers-that-be aimed for the park to be as unlike Disneyland as possible, and that extended to a lack of Disney characters or traditional storytelling. Our grizzly friend here might have fallen victim to that somewhat pixie-dust-free approach to park design.
Today's DCA bursts with charm, personality and Disney/Pixar characters. I say it's time to give this wonderful statue a name, a backstory, and some more visibility as a character on the ride itself and on the park merchandise. He's a white-water-rafting grizzly bear in a Disney park! Someone in charge needs to let the Imagineers and product designers go wild with the concept.