Monday, July 2, 2012

HKDL Grizzly Gulch Part Two: A New kind of Frontierland

In this part two of the HKDL Grizzly Gulch report we will have a look at the whole land, and especially the new little western town. It's really interesting as it is the first new "Frontierland" built by WDI Imagineers since 20 years, the last one was at Disneyland Paris, and this one is a totally different one, a new kind of Frontierland, never built before at any Disney theme parks. The part one of the report was all about the Big Grizzly Mountain ride with dozens of pictures and you can see it HERE.

As you will see the town itself, although the buildings have a western style, is another kind of western town. When i saw the pictures it reminded me the kind of western town that could have been built at Knott's Berry Farm. In terms of storyline this new town was not "in the old west" a big one like Thunder Mesa at DLP Frontierland, it looks more like a small town which was built probably after the mine was discovered. I'm waiting to see it by myself to have a final opinion but so far i think it's an interesting new kind of western town. The only thing which i don't like too much is that it seems they didn't do too much aging on the buildings. All this looks a little bit too much fresh and new. I know that it IS new, and may be HKDL Imagineers did it that way thinking that Hong Kong weather will do the "aging" job, which is partly right, but if i meet them one day i will ask them why they haven't done more "aging" as i'm curious to know the answer.

You can access Grizzly Gulch either from Adventureland or Toy Story Land as a path has been created through Mystic Point which will open only next year. In this report we will access it through Adventureland and below is the entrance to Grizzly Gulch...

...where guests can find welcome signs like the one above and below.

On your way to the town you can watch the HKDL railroad passing by - no Grizzly Gulch train station, though.

Walking toward the town you'll see on the left Big Grizzly Mountain while the town and his geysers will begin to appear.

You'll note this metallic bridge over the tracks of the BGM runaway mine cars ride...

Let's discover the town!

As you will see below there is a new Lucky Nugget Saloon!

Let's have a look at the restaurant food.

Not so far from the restaurant above there is a jail...and guests can take pictures of themselves as outlaws placing their head at the right place on the "wanted" posters.

Right in front of it - and it's done on purpose with humor by the imagineers - is displayed a huge gold nugget. No doubt that the thiefs in jail had enjoyed the view!

Like everyone - in fact even more than everyone - chinese love gold, so this BIG golden nugget will be for sure a popular photo location!

More pictures of others buildings of the town, beginning by the one of the Big Grizzly Mountain mine company which is the entrance to the ride...`

Near the entrance of the BGM ride guests can find a wagon, selling plenty of merchandise - and of course bears plush.

On the walls of the town, some posters related to the mine.

I've posted in big size one of them yesterday, and today here is the other one!

But there is much more to see in Grizzly Gulch! So don't miss the next article in which we will discover the "geological" part of the town, its geysers, the water battle, splash areas, and more!

Pictures: copyright Marco or keith Lee whom i thanks a lot!

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Direct iTunes link HERE!


Ben Churchill said...

This new land looks great. I think WDI has done this theme before though. It reminds me quite a bit of Disneyland's "Bear Country". There are some buildings left, and of course the old Country Bear Playhouse (only the Disneyland version) had this theme. It was American northwest, specifically a north-woods feel. Even some of the buildings in Grizzly Gulch look like some of the ones in Bear Country.

It's a really nice mixture of an homage to Bear Country, and even the Country Bears (with the AA grizzlys, and the GG mascot), and also all other Frontierlands that have come before. It's familiar, but different. I like it a lot.

Also, as for the buildings looking too "new", I'm guessing it's part of the backstory. It's a gold rush town, so these buildings would have been put up very quickly for all of the new miners. Real gold rush downs did spring up very fast, and I think that's what is supposed to happen in Grizzly Gulch. Unlike Big Thunder Mountain, which appears to be an abandoned mine, Grizzly's is a currently working one, with a little...bear problem.

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

To be honest I still prefer DLP Thunder Mesa, the best version of Frontierland in my opinion, but that's not bad (nothing exceptional neither).

Anonymous said...

Although this expansion is a huge improvement for HKDL, I'm personally not a big fan of the GG-area.
First of all, it indeed looks too new. The total lack of aging makes GG look really weird.

GG also misses a (small) lake. Sure, it has a few water elements, but definately not enough. What makes DLP's Frontierland so wonderful? The gigantic lake with BTM right in the middle of it ... a few stunning pictures in Alain's great book illustrate this perfectly.

Yes, GG is a very nice new land for HKDL. But for me, it's nowhere near the oldskool Frontierland.

EdGE said...

I guess there's need to consider what the intent of the WDI is for this land.

If it needs to be new, then by all means, let it be new.

Although it does feel a little weird.

danielz6 said...

Well also remember this land is built for Chinese tastes and culture. An old nostalgic ghost town might not mean anything to them where as us in the west and America the old west is a huge part of our national Psyche. So they definitely went more into the critter country and bear country feel to make it more entertaining as well as played into Chinese ideas of luck. I think they did a great job and I hope its a success.
Great idea to allow the disneyland RR train to be visible as it fits into the theme perfectly.
As to the age Ben's exactly right these towns were boom towns they could be built and then abandoned only 5 years later at times so they wouldn't look too aged anyways although it doesn't appear to be abandoned because the cable lift is still working and they are definitely going for a fantastic version of a western town not a super realistic version. Just like main street USA is a fantastic version if marceline, Missouri.
Also a splash mountain would fit in really well here I wonder if its being considered as hong kong has no water rides yet?

Bob said...

Yes, the buildings need some aging, but it's the perspectives that bother me...they have large, heavy lower 'porches', then above that are too small second floors - in one photo you can see the 2nd story windows end just below the roof, they don't look natural at all. This isn't the classic forced perspective found in the other parks, this just looks badly done. Hopefully as the buildings age and foliage fills in they'll be less noticeable.

Brian said...

This land is strange, small, sparse, and not much content, with a sterile and generic look you can get at any generic frontier section at a multitude of amusement parks around the world. The rockwork is unimpressive and the land feels void of any visual excitement, which has nothing to do with landscape and everything to do with content and sight lines. Everything looks new from the paint to the buildings characterless perfect 90º angles, nothing askew or any given character. When aging is used, it is poorly executed as seen on the BGM Sawmill wall photo in the prior post ‘HKDL Grizzly Gulch Part One: Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars,’ you can see the poorly painted shadow and highlights on each of wall board and the graphic looks like tit was stenciled on in unaged black and white, its awful. Looking at all photos this post and the prior, the whole land looks stiff and formal, not fun and full of character and detail. Nothing to make guest say wow, I’ve never seen anything like. This is a disappointment just as Toy Story Land was. The only thing this land has going for it is the draw of a family coaster, even if it is extremely short. When it comes to Grizzly Gulch, we’ve seen it all before and done better elsewhere.

Olaf said...

Well They got 1 building right.
The Lucky Nugget.
It is almost a direct copy of the DLP version.
Only now it has brand new colors and misses the Gold Nugget in the sign but well it looks pretty much the same(the sign is a direct copy, the building a good knock off)