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  1. #1

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    Thoughts on the Forest.

    RedWood Creek Challenge Trail

    I was thinking about the Redwood Creek trails. As a parent it was one of the best places to go. Unleash the kids and let them burn off all that energy. At the time there were bridges everywhere, rock climbing, slides, zip line... this place was basically an oversized neighborhood park playground. I'm not sure how much of that is still operational. I hear conflicting stories about the slides, zip lines, and rock climbing being closed. Then I thought about the "theme" of the place... Disney really passed up an amazing opportunity when they designed that place.

    The old growth forests of Northern California have 2 of the largest tree species in the world; Sequoias and Redwoods. Among those giants, stands General Sherman, and General Grant. General Sherman is considered the largest living organism in the world. General Grant is "The Nation's Christmas Tree". For those who have been to Sequoia National Park, it is an experience unlike any other. Thinking about that I realized how Disney skimped on their Redwood Challenge. My thought would be to theme it as one of the old groves. Giant Trees, think something like Swiss at DL but have 5, 6, 7 of them connected by bridges. I realize building a full size Sequoia would be impossible, but well themed scale models... that would be magical. I never understood their choice of entrance. The entrance seemed like a bit of a letdown. Considering the size of the Sequoias, and the multiple examples of fallen ones that were tunneled through. Wouldn't a giant fallen Sequoia, with a tunnel, make more sense and completely enhance the theme. It would act as a barrier making this part it's own little world, a mini berm in a sense.

    This tree has inspired thousands of people including the late Charles E. Lee of Sanger, California. In 1924 he visited what was then General Grant National Park, and found himself standing by the Grant Tree with a little girl. As they admired the huge tree, the girl exclaimed, "what a wonderful Christmas tree it would be!" The idea stayed with Mr. Lee, and in 1925 he organized the first Christmas program, held at the Grant Tree at noon on Christmas Day. Mr. Lee, then secretary of the Sanger Chamber of Commerce, and Mr. R.J. Senior, president of the Chamber, conceived the idea of an annual ceremony. Mr. Lee wrote to President Calvin Coolidge, who designated the General Grant as the Nation's Christmas Tree on April 28, 1926.



    The General Sherman tree is the largest tree (by volume) in the world. It can be found in Sequoia National Park. The General Sherman tree isn't the oldest in the park, however it is the largest. There is no other living thing in the world that is larger in volume then this tree.

    Each year it adds enough wood to itself to make a tree one foot in diameter and more than 100 feet tall.

    General Sherman, considered the world's largest living organism
    Estimated Age: 2150 years
    Height 274.9ft or 83.8m
    Circumference at Ground 102.6ft or 31.1m
    Maximum Diameter at Base 36.5ft or 11.1m
    Diameter of Largest Branch 6.8ft or 2.1m
    Height of First Large Branch above the Base 130.0ft or 39.6m
    Average Crown Spread 106.5ft or 32.5m

    I also think the addition of Tharp's Log would be the perfect compliment. Tharp built a cabin within part of a fallen Sequoia. He was a friend of Muir, arguably one of the most important naturalists in U.S. History, and considered the first European to see King's Canyon and it's giant grove. In an open area I also see the opportunity for bubbling springs and small geysers, just one more thing for the kids to enjoy. I do enjoy the giant cross section, and some of the stuff in the ranger station.


    Tharp's Log... used part of a fallen Sequoia to make his home, John Muir also stayed here!

    The "Wawona Tunnel Tree." Mariposa Grove, 1888.
    Fell over during a snowstorm in 1969, I believe this is the one Disney used for it's tunnel.

    Imagine having something like this as your entrance, with the sign carved into the top of the log!

    Grizzly River Run
    Here is my problem with Grizzly. BTM is not shaped like a Giant Lightning Bolt, Splash isn't shaped like a giant wave, Matterhorn doesn't even resemble the Yeti, so why does Grizzly have to look like a bear? California's state flag has a bear... ok... doesn't mean we need to make a mountain that looks like one. If you use that argument we should have done Mt Rushmore with the Disney 5, because that would have been just as cheesy and just as pointless. So... wish they could somehow fix that, but they won't so moving on. Grizzly is completely void of life. Some mentioned putting AA's on it, I agree. I think they should look at the old postcards of Mine Train... make that... make it a forest full of life. I like the old mining mill equipment but add some life, we know DCA is rotting away we don't need to see rust as the theme for Grizzly! I'm also wondering why they went so rustic with the theme then they toss in these modern kayaks? Hello miners, canoes, rafts... I don't remember seeing any of them with bright yellow paddles and purple padded vests!


    How about bears... do you think we can put some bears on the giant mountain that looks like a bear and is named after a bear, possibly a Grizzly? Hopefully that wouldn't break the theme or anything, it's not Pixar so it might!

    Someone else mentioned the Big red touring cars. I know they have them at Glacier National Park, and I believe Yellowstone, Mammoth, and Yosemite probably had something similar but can't confirm it at this time. Either way, having one or two of those parked in front of the entrance to Grizzly would make more sense and add some theme. I'd toss the giant wooden bear and definitely ditch the neon rafting gear.


    Again this is Glacier Park but I also found similar touring cars other parks

    Touring Car for Yellowstone.

    As for Yosemite, check out this link
    http://www.nationalparkreservations....ite_modelt.htm

    Overall I don't think that making a park out of California was necessarily a bad idea. I think it can be done. Everyone is hoping Pixar will save the day, but Pixar IMO just makes it worse. With Pixar they are basically saying "PLEEEEASEEE COME HERE!... we don't care about theme anymore!"

    Also please note these are not my vacation photos, I borrowed a lot from the internet and verified all facts on multiple sites prior to posting.
    Last edited by techskip; 08-17-2007 at 06:38 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post

    Grizzly River Run
    Here is my problem with Grizzly. BTM is not shaped like a Giant Lightning Bolt, Splash isn't shaped like a giant wave, Matterhorn doesn't even resemble the Yeti, so why does Grizzly have to look like a bear? California's state flag has a bear... ok... doesn't mean we need to make a mountain that looks like one. If you use that argument we should have done Mt Rushmore with the Disney 5, because that would have been just as cheesy and just as pointless. So... wish they could somehow fix that, but they won't so moving on. Grizzly is completely void of life. Some mentioned putting AA's on it, I agree. I think they should look at the old postcards of Mine Train... make that... make it a forest full of life. I like the old mining mill equipment but add some life, we know DCA is rotting away we don't need to see rust as the theme for Grizzly! I'm also wondering why they went so rustic with the theme then they toss in these modern kayaks? Hello miners, canoes, rafts... I don't remember seeing any of them with bright yellow paddles and purple padded vests!

    Someone else mentioned the Big red touring cars. I know they have them at Glacier National Park, and I believe Yellowstone, Mammoth, and Yosemite probably had something similar but can't confirm it at this time. Either way, having one or two of those parked in front of the entrance to Grizzly would make more sense and add some theme. I'd toss the giant wooden bear and definitely ditch the neon rafting gear.
    I agree totally with these, both excellent thoughts...they aren't likely to change the shape of the mountain, but really, on the ride you don't see it much...you're close up, so the overall shape doesn't stand out. But they should add wildlife for sure, something to look at.....enclosing, not all of it, but more might do the trick..do some little scenes inside caves, add bears, deer, large animals mostly so you'd see them going by fast for a quick visual read...and some smaller ones. for the detail level....raccoons, foxes, bats, etc, that you can see different trips for the more secondary detail level....that's just my thoughts
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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    The old growth forests of Northern California have 2 of the largest tree species in the world; Sequoias and Redwoods. Among those giants, stands General Sherman, and General Grant. General Sherman is considered the largest living organism in the world. General Grant is "The Nation's Christmas Tree". For those who have been to Sequoia National Park, it is an experience unlike any other.
    A bit of education from a former Humboldt Honey, such as myself.

    Sequoia is the genus. California has two subspecies, the Giant Sequoia or Sequoiadendron, and the Coast Redwood, or Sequoia sempervirens. The trees you're describing are definitely the Giant Sequoias. But the ones in the Challenge Trail are definitely sempervirens, which are common along the northern coasts of California.

    I agree with the idea of using the Giants in the Challenge Trail as an integral part of the experience. I'm guessing that Disney didn't want to spend the $$$. Much cheaper to just use sempervirens for light theming. That, and lots of irrigation and misters and prayer so they don't die.
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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    What bugs me is I can't do anything at the Redwood Challenge! They tell me either "you're too big" or "you're not wearing the proper shoes..."

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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    A bit of education from a former Humboldt Honey, such as myself.

    Sequoia is the genus. California has two subspecies, the Giant Sequoia or Sequoiadendron, and the Coast Redwood, or Sequoia sempervirens. The trees you're describing are definitely the Giant Sequoias. But the ones in the Challenge Trail are definitely sempervirens, which are common along the northern coasts of California.

    I agree with the idea of using the Giants in the Challenge Trail as an integral part of the experience. I'm guessing that Disney didn't want to spend the $$$. Much cheaper to just use sempervirens for light theming. That, and lots of irrigation and misters and prayer so they don't die.
    Thank You... I put species instead of subspecies. In any event they had the opportunity to put up a West Coast Ewok village of sorts!... and they built a schoolyard jungle gym instead.

    As to the geysers, I found this cool link http://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisi...rmal-areas.htm I think some well themed things like mud pots and geysers would be another cool addition, nothing hot we aren't trying to BBQ a kid.
    Last edited by techskip; 08-11-2007 at 09:33 PM.
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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    I like all the trees and information, these trees are just amazing.

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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    Well, none of the issues mention bother me. The only thing about the bear
    mountain that apparently I could not see was that it's a bear. I thought it was a wolf for a while.

    As for putting AA's or more detail on the GRR ride...I just don;t see the point. Most of the ride you're going by to quick to take in the details that are there.

    I don't spend a lot of time in the recreation area, but the last time I was there the zip lines were working. I didn't know there was a rock climbing wall.

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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athlonacon View Post
    I like all the trees and information, these trees are just amazing.
    Considering the location of DCA, and the location of Sequoia and Yosemite... they had a chance to really show off and give the public something they might not see on their vacation! DCA, Done Cheap Anaheim!

    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAbe View Post
    Well, none of the issues mention bother me. The only thing about the bear mountain that apparently I could not see was that it's a bear. I thought it was a wolf for a while.
    I had the same impression until they started in with the postcards and the nametags! In any case I don't see the point in making it look so unnatural.

    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAbe View Post
    As for putting AA's or more detail on the GRR ride...I just don;t see the point. Most of the ride you're going by to quick to take in the details that are there.
    The AA's would also be for the guests passing by. Like Thuunder a lot of Grizz is wide open and viewable from a variety of angles.

    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAbe View Post
    I don't spend a lot of time in the recreation area, but the last time I was there the zip lines were working. I didn't know there was a rock climbing wall.
    The main reason I was there was for my toddlers. They were too small for the zip lines and the "rock" wall but perfect size for the slides! They also loved the bridge although the netting forced them to look down and scared them in a few spots. The "rock" wall is more of a ledge wall, where you are moving horizontal only a few inches above the ground.. instead of upwards. Considering how exposed they are to the public, this design makes a lot more sense. I believe Parents were allowed to walk along behind and hold/spot their kids but I could be wrong.

    I also found this thanks to Huell Howser and his various California shows on PBS.

    Bale Grist Mill SHP State Historic Park

    The park is the site of a water-powered grist mill that was built in 1846. It was once the center of social activity as Napa Valley settlers gathered to have their corn and wheat ground into meal or flour. The owner of the mill was Dr. Edward Turner Bale. He received the property in a land grant from the Mexican government and lived near the site until his death in 1849. The mill remained in use until the early 1900s.
    The mill and its 36-foot water wheel are protected as a state historic landmark and have been partially restored. A trail connects the historic park to Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. Additionally, the park includes the site of the first church in the Napa Valley as well as the Pioneer Cemetery.
    http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=482


    Now THAT would be a welcome addition to the area as a whole. I should also note that I love the bridge with the waterfall, it is ne of the few spots in DCA that I feel was actually well done. A small gem.
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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    DCA was missed out on dozens and dozens of chances to improve and plus up the customer experience from the day it opened. All of those wonderful ideas in this thread cost money, and it was money Eisner and Paul Pressler weren't about to spend on a cheesy amusement park built in an old parking lot.

    The ideas are great, but they were never built because it would have cost more money. They built DCA to the bare minimum required to call it a "theme park", and nothing more.

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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    Quote Originally Posted by TP2000 View Post
    DCA was missed out on dozens and dozens of chances to improve and plus up the customer experience from the day it opened. All of those wonderful ideas in this thread cost money, and it was money Eisner and Paul Pressler weren't about to spend on a cheesy amusement park built in an old parking lot.

    The ideas are great, but they were never built because it would have cost more money. They built DCA to the bare minimum required to call it a "theme park", and nothing more.
    The question becomes; what will they do with the new budget... fix it? or just cover it up with Pixar? I'd also like to point out that Pressler and Eisner have been gone a while, and NOTHING has been done. While they do deserve the blame, others have maintained the status quo.
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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    Well with the resurgance of FIX DCA threads I thought I would bring this back to life
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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    It's disappointing that they don't let adults do the zip lines anymore. I was there a million years ago with a friend and we had a blast! Zip lines, tunnels, slides- Oh, yeah.

    Now... not so much. I still like the area to hang out, maybe wander some and look at the animal tracks in the cement and the giant tree ring slice.

    I do agree that it's a wonderful chance to make this interactive again. And big trees- yeah!
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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    I remember when they used to let me ride the tire zip lines. Stupid weight limits. LOL!

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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    I agree with most of what you're saying and I have nothing to add except that I really miss Cascade Peak. Sigh.

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    Re: Thoughts on the Forest.

    I think the area is a waste.
    I went in once and didn't return.
    I think most people feel that way.
    They could really do something great with this area.
    Of all the area's in DCA, I do like this area.
    It feels cooler in the summer (I know it isn't, but it feels like it is)
    It's the only area that makes me think it's Disney because it reminds me (a little) of ROA and the island.

    Country Bears would be great here
    and I think some wildlife around Grizzly would be nice too (as mentioned).
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