We quickly discovered that in order for the kids to earn these badges on the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, we had to be willing to set quite a chunk of time aside for the elaborate wilderness-themed playground. With rocks to climb, caves to explore, rope bridges to cross, tunnels, slides and even a zip-line, we could easily spend the afternoon. How could we work a little structure into this attraction without zapping the children’s free play?
The chance to become a Senior Wilderness Explorer encourages kids to earn six badges at various activity sites around the camp. Once completed, there’s a graduation ceremony of sorts with the character Russell from Disney/Pixar’s Up that makes a big deal out of their accomplishments. (And is a natural finale to the attraction should we need to move on!)
Depending on the number of kids in your party and how serious those kids are about completing the Explorer Challenge, you might spend an hour and a half roaming among the beautiful trees and trickling streams. I realize it’s not unheard of to devote that kind of time to a Disney attraction, but this one, while lovely for adults to look at, is designed for pint-sized play. Not to mention that it might scatter your family members in all directions. This might work if your kids want time to blow off steam by themselves while you relax in the shadow of a redwood. But it doesn’t jive if many of those kids need your help earning the badges to become a WE – and mine did!
Location: Find the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in the Grizzly Peak themed area of Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort.
Touring Tips: As is the case with many Disney playgrounds, it’s very easy to lose track of kids in the Challenge Trail. (Or maybe it’s just easy for me. I managed to lose three out of four.) I’d recommend establishing a meeting spot for independent, older kids (say, the camp council ring where the ceremony takes place). Younger kids should be supervised as not all will meet height requirements for all challenges. Don’t waste time queuing for the zip line and rock wall if your kids aren’t 42″ tall! All ages and abilities are welcome at the graduation ceremony.