If you were to visit Disney California Adventure park this weekend, you would notice that a change has taken place. What had just days before been closed off by construction walls has opened up (at least, slightly) to allow guests entrance to the new Smokejumpers Grill.
Okay, so it’s not entirely new. Smokejumpers Grill is actually a re-themed Taste Pilots Grill. As what was once Condor Flats makes the transition to Grizzly Peak Airfield, the quick service eatery located in the area was gifted with a fresh coat of paint and a whole lot of props.
Heading towards the restaurant, the first thing I noticed was that the trash cans outside resembled the ones near Grizzly River Run.
As you get approach the doors, you are met by two bulletin boards on each side of the doorway. To the left is our first look at the new brand new theme to the grill, the wildfire-fighting Park Rangers also known as Smokejumpers. A bulletin board notifies visitors of the various goings-on in Grizzly Peak, such as a summer camp and a fire and rescue exhibition. Note the nod to Humphrey the Bear (from those old Disney shorts) in the third picture.
Opposite the bulletin board is the Smokejumpers Grill menu. Since the Grill is located in California Adventure, there are also a number of alcoholic beverages available.
If you were to walk past where the menu is posted, you would enter the outside dining patio. Red and white umbrellas are the main difference between it and the previous Taste Pilots’.
Onto the meat of the location, the interior of Smokejumpers Grill. As you enter, you’ll see three flags hanging from the rafters: the flag of the United States of America, the California State flag, as well as one for the Bearpaw Basin Smokejumpers. Bearpaw Basin is the fictional location these particular Smokejumpers protect. You will see the name pop up on some of the props.
The cast members’ costumes are now fittingly woodsy and their hats slightly resemble those worn by rangers back in the day.
On the left side of the restaurant on the back wall is another bulletin board, this one containing letters of thanks from children along with flight memorabilia. If those drawings of jumpsuit-wearing critters with wrenches ring a bell, that’s because they are from a never-published movie, The Gremlins, in which these little beings are the cause of mechanical trouble in aircrafts. Although the film never saw theaters, a picture book still exists.
Another old school Disney reference are the pair of movie posters for the True Life Adventure shorts, “Bear Country” and “Beaver Valley”.
Antique-looking firefighting gear hangs from one of the walls.
A large parachute hangs over the entry. A good luck horseshoe can also be spotted.
Reminding us that rangers are also guardians of the local fauna, the trash cans inside now warn us to “Stash our trash” and “Be bear aware.”
With all these changes, I am sure the real question on everyone’s mind is: what happened to Taste Pilots’ Fixings Bar? Well, I am happy to report that the build-your-own burger bar is still standing and stocked. We can all breathe a sigh of relief now. I know I sure did.
As I left Smokejumpers Grill, I tried to get a peek at the remaining construction taking place for the area. There was much to see yet, really. I did notice that over by the Fly ’n Buy, there now seems to be some sort of wooden beam. And the rock work near Buena Vista Street is being worked on.
I think Disney did an excellent job on Smokejumpers Grill. There were props and details in seemingly every nook and cranny. And personally, I think this theme is a lot more easy on the eyes. Even if you aren’t going to dine there, I would highly recommend just perusing the place.