October 14, 2012

Grizzly River's Bear With No Name

Grizzly River Run statue bear DCA Disney California Adventure
This gigantic bear, all geared up for white water escapades, silently guards the entry to Grizzly River Run at Disney California Adventure.

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.

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