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  1. #1

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    Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    Because, basically, the park has a lot of strictly burger selling venues.....and this is a chance to do something a bit more creative with it and offer potentially good food. First off, I advocate remodeling and enclosing the upper deck, encompassing the service area, kitchen part, and seating in one building, with windows framed with woodwork to view the Rivers of America. The lower level would remain open and basically unchanged. A few ideas for the new entrance to the restaurant, to be renamed Wilderness Lodge, seeing as the bears of the title are long gone, and the current ursine resident of the area isn't very backwoodsy....

    http://lakedoniphan.org/facilities/g...e_entrance.jpg

    Something along those lines, but more rustic in feel. The current carved bear "waiter" statue could still reside out front, along with a new sign for the facility. Inside, design wise, would be obviously wood and slightly warped boards, similar to the Splash Mountain first part of the queue, rather rustic and lived in, with carvings of animals done in the style of Song of the South here and there, at ceiling supports, beams, and etc. Also included could be a couple nods to the departed Country Bear Jamboree, in the form of Max, Buff and Melvin getting a new home right out in public view on one of the walls of the dining rooms. They would not speak, but would be animatronic...occasionally looking to one another and winking, for example. Something subtle. Besides the new decor style and enclosing the upper dining area, the menu would be completely overhauled as well.

    Shifting away from the standard burgers, the new main item would be made-from-scratch chili produced at the restaurant, along with a few other side items, including a burger (chili optional) for those who want some kind of beefy sandwich from the place still.

    SAMPLE MENU:

    CHILI:

    Brer Fox's Green Chili: Pork shoulder, tomatillos, jalapeno. Served with fresh made flour tortillas.

    Big Al's Grilled Steak Chili: Barbecue sauce, sauteed onions and bell peppers, grilled and marinated steak tips with traditional beans and tomato. Served with choice of cornbread or country biscuit.

    Brer Rabbit's Vegetarian Southwest Chili: Grilled corn, beans, tomatoes and tomatillos with crispy tortilla strips for garnish. Served with choice of cornbread or country biscuit.

    In addition, there would be a chili toppings bar (self-service), featuring items such as onion, green onions, sour cream, real bacon crumbles, shredded cheese, etc.

    OTHER ITEMS:

    Chicken and Pepperjack Cheese Bites: Shredded chicken and melted cheese alongside sweet onions and bread crumbs, dipped in a light batter and fried.

    Wilderness Lodge Burger: 1/2 lb of premium beef served with natural cut cheddar cheese and homemade barbecue sauce. Also available as a meatless patty.

    Fried pickle chips: Buttermilk battered dill pickle rounds, fried golden brown and served with choice of dipping sauce.

    CHILDREN'S:

    Brer Frog's Chili: Mild spices, fresh tomatoes and beans, and available with or without ground beef. Served with apple fries and cornbread.

    Owl's Grilled Cheese: Grilled cheese sandwich.

    DESSERTS:

    Critter Country Apple Fritters

    Laughin' Place Funnel Cake


    Apart from these, there would be the usual suspects these days for the counter service locations: apples, rice krispy treats, cookies, soft drinks, etc etc.

    I feel the changing of the decor to be a little more distinctive and themed, along with a fresh, interesting new menu with a kind of "rustic" food item such as chili (popular in the American southwest) would be a nice change overall for the park, and offer a interesting dining alternative. Your thoughts?
    Last edited by RegionsBeyond; 06-06-2009 at 02:07 PM.

  2. #2

    • HauntedOne999
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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    being that it is the only think left unchanged from the original Bear Country... I say keep it as the Hungry Bear.

    IMHO the only major change would have to be that the upper queue and eating area needs some kind of covering.
    Known in most other circles as "HauntedOne999"

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  3. #3

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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    Ooops, you lost me on enclose the upper deck. I love the openess of the upper deck. Why take away the enjoyment of fresh air and sunlight, anticipating the approach of the Disneyland Railroad, and observing the kinetic activity of the Rivers of America? I've become quite accustomed to waving at folks on the Mark Twain and Columbia, waiting for the "cannon shots" of the Columbia, and watching folks learn how to row in unison on the canoes.

    As soon as you enclose the Hungry Bear, you create competition for the "window seats" and also take away the charm of seeing some of Disneylands cats skulking across the upper deck looking for something to nibble on. By the way, did I mention the fresh air?

    I'm sorry, but the Hungry Bear is one venue at Disneyland that I like just the way it is. It's a relaxing respite from the masses who don't know/appreciate what the Hungry Bear has to offer, and it's one dining option that I'll be very disappointed if they change.

    As far as your food options... whatever. As long as they leave the bacon cheeseburger with onion rings on the menu, then nobody gets hurt.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    YEP, don't enclose for all of the above reasons,
    food....whatever...Park food is Park food and I'm ok with a corn dog and a churro until I can get some real food in the hotels or DTD.
    I reject your reality and substitute my own

  5. #5

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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    Quote Originally Posted by Circarama View Post
    As long as they leave the bacon cheeseburger with onion rings on the menu, then nobody gets hurt.
    I know the OP stated that there are a lot of "burger places". I'd rather they have 1 or 2 burger places that specialized in actually making a GOOD burger!
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


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  6. #6

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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    Quote Originally Posted by circarama View Post
    ooops, you lost me on enclose the upper deck. I love the openess of the upper deck. Why take away the enjoyment of fresh air and sunlight, anticipating the approach of the disneyland railroad, and observing the kinetic activity of the rivers of america? I've become quite accustomed to waving at folks on the mark twain and columbia, waiting for the "cannon shots" of the columbia, and watching folks learn how to row in unison on the canoes.

    As soon as you enclose the hungry bear, you create competition for the "window seats" and also take away the charm of seeing some of disneylands cats skulking across the upper deck looking for something to nibble on. By the way, did i mention the fresh air?

    I'm sorry, but the hungry bear is one venue at disneyland that i like just the way it is. It's a relaxing respite from the masses who don't know/appreciate what the hungry bear has to offer, and it's one dining option that i'll be very disappointed if they change.
    As far as your food options... Whatever. as long as they leave the bacon cheeseburger with onion rings on the menu, then nobody gets hurt.
    amen!


  7. #7

    • Cranky Dragon is Cranky
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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    The idea of chili makes my mouth water, but I say, keep it open air. I love it when ducks wander up on the lower level, looking for hand outs. Plus, the ever awesome Disney cats sometimes show up!
    Current hat total: 100 of 100 - completed!

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  8. #8

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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    I know the OP stated that there are a lot of "burger places". I'd rather they have 1 or 2 burger places that specialized in actually making a GOOD burger!
    Yeah, but not at the expense of ambiance. They can make all the tricked out burgers they want, but if I can't see the Disneyland Railroad, the Mark Twain, the Columbia, and TSI while I'm eating said burger, but rather looking out on a POS Tomorrowland, I won't eat there.

    If I want a specialty burger, I'll go to Red Robin or "Circarama's Backyard Grill"... not Disneyland.
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  9. #9

    • HauntedOne999
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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    I really wish that Hungry Bear was open more often... that why they need some kind of covering on the queue... it doesnt need to be an enclosure but at least an awning. and the menu should be expanded abit... and the meals should fir the name HUNGRY BEAR - meaning the burgers should be big with lots of toppings... think $6 burgers from carls jr.

    I mean for such a large amount of seating it should have amazing food! heck its got more seating the Cafe Orleans... if need be make a waiter service place.
    Known in most other circles as "HauntedOne999"

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  10. #10

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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    Quote Originally Posted by darkfairycthulu View Post
    I feel the changing of the decor to be a little more distinctive and themed, along with a fresh, interesting new menu with a kind of "rustic" food item such as chili (popular in the American southwest) would be a nice change overall for the park, and offer a interesting dining alternative. Your thoughts?
    Speaking as a big fan of Big Thunder, I'd give the OP 5 stars. Excellent theme & menu ideas! As much as I love the open upper deck, I'd vote for enclosing it (keeping the windows ginormous, however). Doing a state of the art job of theming the decor & tables would upscale it to a classy "lodge-restaurant-overlooking-the-river" feel. A bit of the "world away from the rest of the world" feeling that you got at the Tahitian Terrace.




    CORRECTION: I meant to say "Speaking as a big fan of Hungry Bear"


    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 06-06-2009 at 02:41 PM.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Speaking as a big fan of Big Thunder, I'd give the OP 5 stars. Excellent theme & menu ideas!
    Then retheme Rancho Del Zacola which conveniently happens to be right next door to Big Thunder. Just leave my Hungry Bear alone.

    * Circ runs from conversation with fingers in ears screaming "Lalalalalalalalalalalalala" *
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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    Quote Originally Posted by Circarama View Post
    Yeah, but not at the expense of ambiance. They can make all the tricked out burgers they want, but if I can't see the Disneyland Railroad, the Mark Twain, the Columbia, and TSI while I'm eating said burger, but rather looking out on a POS Tomorrowland, I won't eat there.

    If I want a specialty burger, I'll go to Red Robin or "Circarama's Backyard Grill"... not Disneyland.
    I'm all for keeping the views of the Hungry Bear, I just wish the food itself was a lot better. Specifically I would like to see only 1 or 2 places in the park that serve burgers... and high quality burgers at that. I love a bacon cheddar burger but Hungry Bear is barely a step above McDonald's these days... for a while it was pretty close since I could even get McD's fries right down the way.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


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  13. #13

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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    Quote Originally Posted by Circarama View Post
    Ooops, you lost me on enclose the upper deck. I love the openess of the upper deck. Why take away the enjoyment of fresh air and sunlight, anticipating the approach of the Disneyland Railroad, and observing the kinetic activity of the Rivers of America? I've become quite accustomed to waving at folks on the Mark Twain and Columbia, waiting for the "cannon shots" of the Columbia, and watching folks learn how to row in unison on the canoes.

    As soon as you enclose the Hungry Bear, you create competition for the "window seats" and also take away the charm of seeing some of Disneylands cats skulking across the upper deck looking for something to nibble on. By the way, did I mention the fresh air?

    I'm sorry, but the Hungry Bear is one venue at Disneyland that I like just the way it is. It's a relaxing respite from the masses who don't know/appreciate what the Hungry Bear has to offer, and it's one dining option that I'll be very disappointed if they change.

    As far as your food options... whatever. As long as they leave the bacon cheeseburger with onion rings on the menu, then nobody gets hurt.
    I totally understand your point about missing the fresh air....my idea was basically, how can we maybe get some interesting, quality food into the restaurant? I'd be fine if they left a few burger offerings, but really, the park has two other burger service locations, when one really high quality place would suffice. This could even be folded into the menu along with the chili. But one can always hope they'd implement some new, quality food items Pair a new chef and new attitude of making the food (fresh, large batches of chili made on site) with some actual quality ingredients and update the environment a little bit (with nods to the now extinct country bears, no less) and I think it's at least worth considering. I certainly understand the enjoyment of the current, peaceful, exterior space...hence why my view is, leave the bottom open for enjoying the river and the visits by visitors both avian and feline. Even if they left the top open, they could add at least some decor, maybe a interior food service area and exterior seating. Thank you for your response, and I totally get where you are coming from.

  14. #14

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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    Quote Originally Posted by tomrules1955 View Post
    YEP, don't enclose for all of the above reasons,
    food....whatever...Park food is Park food and I'm ok with a corn dog and a churro until I can get some real food in the hotels or DTD.
    Bold mine...call me a dreamer heh but what's wrong with actually wanting some quality, unique food items in the park? I can understand arguments for keeping the whole thing open air, not just the lower deck, but if they could conceivably up the food quality and offer a unique menu, why not do it? That's my view, anyway.

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    Re: Hungry Bear Restaurant Revamp/Menu Change

    Quote Originally Posted by Circarama View Post
    Then retheme Rancho Del Zacola which conveniently happens to be right next door to Big Thunder. Just leave my Hungry Bear alone.

    * Circ runs from conversation with fingers in ears screaming "Lalalalalalalalalalalalala" *
    Sorry for my brainfart, I was thinking "Hungry Bear" but somehow typed "Big Thunder."

    Believe me, Circ, I feel your pain. I remember the horror of coming face to face with what they did to the Tahitian Terrace.

    But this is different. This would be good pain. Trust me.


    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 06-06-2009 at 02:16 PM.
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