Here’s the honest truth: sometimes, the rides are not entertainment enough for my kids. I know, I know. This sounds terrible. But sometimes, my kids just want to RUN. They want to have the freedom to just explore and run and not have to be surrounded by lines and people everywhere. The perfect solution to this issue is the Redwood Creek Challenge in Disney’s California Adventure.
The RCCT (Redwood Creek Challenge Trail) is that lovely wooded area located across from the Grizzly River Run ride in Grizzly Peak. Diva Tip: This area is perfect for those looking for something to do while the rest of the group goes on the Grizzly River Run. There are several different activities to do in this area: zip lining (on a tire swing!), explore the trails, head down some rock slides, earn Wilderness Explorer Badges with Russell (from the movie Up) and attend a badge ceremony to meet Russell and Doug, explore caves, and rope climb.
Upon entering the RCCT, a cast member park ranger will greet you with a map. This is your chance to complete a badge quest and become a Senior Wilderness Explorer just like Russell in the movie Up. There are several different quests that you must complete to get your badges (you will get a sticker upon completion). The quests include: Puzzles, Animal Spirit, Wolf Howl, Rock Climbing, Tracking and Bravery. The quests are not too challenging, though some of the little ones may need assistance (and note that there is a height restriction for the tire swings).
Your quest can be completed in the Wilderness Explorer Ceremony, which currently takes place just about every hour on the hour or half hour until about 5 pm (you will want to check the entertainment guide which is handed out at the turnstiles for the exact times).
At the beginning of this article I mentioned running, and the RCCT provides plenty of space for that. Upon entrance, the cast member park ranger can also give you a map to explore the trails. There is plenty to explore here, and feel free to do so in whatever order you wish. Here are some of the highlights of the trails:
– The Spirit Cave. This magical cave helps you discover your animal spirit: Skunk (curious and adventurous), Wolf (wise and loyal), Salmon (instinctive and strong willed), Beaver (hard working and industrious), Moose (dependable and honest), Eagle ( intelligent and brave) or Bear ( loving and strong).
-The Cliff Hanger Traverse Rock Climb (note there is a height restriction)
– Boulder Bears (to climb)
– A walk through “Big Sur”
-Sequoia Smokejumpers Training Tower (this is a tire swing on a zip line and my six year old’s favorite ride in BOTH parks, just note the height restriction)
-“Rock” slides (slides for even the littlest of explorers) and “Tree” slides (longer slides for the older kids)
-Look Out Towers (which can be reached via a rope climb or suspension bridges for the more adventurous and via the stairs for us old folks)
Diva Tip: There are often some fun extra things going on in the RCCT so keep your eyes open. We have participated in character interactions (Russell and Doug make for some fun photos), a rubber ducky river race and some musical concerts.
Diva Tip: The best thing about the RCCT? It is almost never crowded. Sure there may be a short wait for the rock climbing or tire swings, but there are many other sections that are practically empty. This is a great place to decompress for awhile!
Diva Tip: And finally, be sure to say “squirrel” in front of Doug. His reaction is comical!