If you’re a fan of Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland, then Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars might just be the boujee version of Thunder Mountain for you. This Vekoma Family Coaster opened as part of the park’s 2012-13 expansion and is located in Grizzly Gulch, a themed area between Adventureland and Mystic Point. With its old frontier town in the American west theme, complete with animatronic grizzly bears, Big Grizzly Mountain is my all-time favorite Disney roller coaster.
One of the unique features of this coaster is its multiple passes underneath the main pathway through Grizzly Gulch. This allows bystanders to feel like they’re part of the thrills as the runaway mine cars zip by. Despite being a family coaster, Big Grizzly Mountain still manages to deliver some exciting thrills. Its track design combines elements from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Expedition Everest, resulting in a fun and thrilling ride from start to finish.
To fully appreciate your visit to Big Grizzly Mountain, it helps to understand Chinese superstition about numbers. In China, the number four is considered unlucky, similar to how the number thirteen is avoided in the United States. On the other hand, the number eight is considered lucky in Chinese superstition. So when your mine car heads toward the Lucky Strike Shaft Eight only to be redirected to Shaft Four by a mischievous grizzly bear, you know that things have taken an unexpected turn.
Throughout the ride, you’ll feel like you’re hugging the terrain, thanks to the tall trees that surround the track, enhancing the sensation of speed. Surprisingly, there are even a few moments of airtime as the cars encounter bumps along the mountain. The second lift hill might remind you of Thunder Mountain, but the sight of “Shaft 44” and a packing crate from the “Never Fail Chain Company” hint at the unexpected twists ahead. Soon enough, you’re falling backward, wondering if there’s a refund for that faulty chain. It’s a wild ride in the wilderness before encountering more grizzlies.
The grand finale of Big Grizzly Mountain is driven by the curious grizzly bears and a lost cache of TNT. The combination of pacing, narrative, and thrilling moments makes this coaster a solid winner. When paired with Mystic Manor, the one-two combination of these neighboring attractions at Hong Kong Disneyland is truly outstanding. They provide a perfect way to start your day at the park.
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