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Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, editor
Shopping the Parks: Rushin' River Outfitters at DCA - 03/23/01

The storefront of Rushin' River Outfitters
The storefront of Rushin' River Outfitters

Rushin' River Outfitters is tucked into the Golden State District of Disney's California Adventure (DCA), amid lush forest landscaping. Themed to look like the general store of a mountain-sports resort, Outfitters is another testament to what Imagineering can do with the right budget.

Message board outside the store
Message board outside the store

Don't walk into the store without reading the message board at the right side of the south entrance door. If you've been to a National Park, you've seen boards like this posted around. They usually have public service announcements, community event calendars and health warnings on them. This one has all of that... plus quite a few additions. Funny stuff -- whoever put this together did a great job.

The Toboggan ceiling
The toboggan ceiling

When you enter the store, look up. Look around. Look behind you. The photo shown above is not upside down or sideways - that's just one wall / ceiling display in the store. The store is divided into zones, each representing a different type of mountain activity. This edge of the store is decorated in a snow sports theme. The kiosk that stands below the toboggan wall looks like a rack of skis for rent. Oh, and beware of the puns. The store is full of them.

The left portion of the mural
The left portion of the mural

The right portion of the mural
The right portion of the mural

On the interior side of the front wall, you'll find a store-width mural of California's great mountains - including Grizzly Peak, of course.

The rope display
The rope display

The side of the store beneath the mural is the mountain climbing section. All of the displays incorporate ropes, pitons and carabineers to convey the theme. I'm just amazed at the detail incorporated into the fixture package in this store. They didn't just go out an buy a standard display group, or repaint an off-the-shelf package, which is what even some Disneyland stores have been given. This is a totally unique set of fixtures and displays, and almost every single piece is one of a kind.

There are very few stores that cater to soaking wet shoppers. Located next to the exit of the Grizzly River Run (GRR) raft ride, Rushin' River Outfitters found itself with a strange customer base. The store receives a steady flow of guests looking to replace the clothes they just inadvertently washed while on GRR. Fortunately, this store is well- stocked with park- and character- logo clothing. There is also a nice collection of non- logo, if expensive, name brand apparel. In years past, it was impossible to find sweat pants or socks in adult sizes at Disneyland. Rushin' River Outfitters carries both, as well as items for children.

If you didn't heed the warnings and lost your sunglasses on the trip down the river, you can replace them here. If you'd rather just dry off than buy a new outfit, you can pick up a Grizzly River Run towel. And if you just don't want to get wet at all, but still want to ride, grab a poncho. You can store your excess clothing and packages in the convenient lockers outside the ride.


The Bear Creek mural

Like Silver Spur Supplies in Disneyland, the back wall of this store has another staircase- to- nowhere. This staircase is a complete facade, though, and currently houses a collection of stuffed bears. Come to think of it, many of the really neat displays in the store house a collection of stuffed bears.

The bicycle display
The bicycle display

The canoe display
The canoe display

In addition to these, there are two display boats full of bears. OK, OK, we know the bear is the DCA mascot, but really! Even Mickey doesn't get that much exposure as a plush. The Canoe Display shown above is another unique fixture. The side holds the "optional" paddles for the Canoe Rentals being advertised. I warned you about puns, right? The sign on this fixture, which you probably can't read from the photo, says:

Uppa Creek Canoe Rentals
With Paddle, $29.95 / day
Without Paddle, $2.95 / day. 

Bear Creek mural
Bear Creek mural

To the left of the loft is a floor- to- ceiling Bear Creek mural, and the white water sports section. Here you find the cute "I Bearly Survived Grizzly River Run" merchandise, as well as the True Grit clothing collection. Almost an entire wall is dedicated to this well-known line of outdoorsy clothing for men and women. The collection seems pricey for a theme park store. It's not that Disney is pricing these items too high - this is a high- end line no matter where you buy it. When you're just trying to find something warm and dry to wear for the evening, the $98 True Grit sweater is going to lose to the $40 DCA sweatshirt every time. On the other hand, if you want something you can wear forever, go for the True Grit merchandise. It's quite well made, and the styles are fairly timeless. Best of all, there is a selection of clothes just for women. You won't have to settle for a unisex pullover - you'll be able to find something cut and styled for ladies.

Nature books
Nature books

Each store at DCA seems to carry at least one collection that is completely unique to that store. Rushin' River Outfitters is no exception: they sell live Giant Sequoia trees. Well, saplings rather, in small plastic tubes that you can even mail like a postcard. If you just don't have room for another tree in your front yard, you can buy postcards that contain seeds for California plants, such as poppies. The store has a nice selection of books about the National Parks in California, videos from the Huell Howser series, and even the National Parks edition of Monopoly board game.

Butterfly backpack
Butterfly backpack

Like all of DCA, the merchandise in each store is just wonderful. While Disneyland tends to carry a few lines of park-logo merchandise sold throughout the park (you see the same Disneyland sweatshirt all the way from Main Street to Critter Country, and across to Tomorrowland), the DCA stores carry lines of merchandise themed specifically for their area. And much of the Golden State District merchandise here has woodcut-looking designs on it. These logos have been worked into shirts, hats -- even a neat butterfly backpack. You won't find this collection in Paradise Pier, no more than you'd find Hollywood merchandise at Rushin' River Outfitters. Keeping the merchandise collections separate helps encourage visitors to enter every new store they come across.

Cash register area
Cash register area

When you pay for your purchase, be sure to look at the wrap desk, as even that is themed. The glass display cases carry a changing selection of accessories. If you collect pins, don't pass up this store. Not only do they have all of the Golden State area pins, but they also have several pin hats. This is a new way of selling pin sets. Rather than a box, you get a hat. Some of the pins on these hats are only available with the hat - you can't buy them separately.

Shopping DCA can be an all-day experience, especially if you stop to take in all of the details. Oh -- as you walk around in the Golden State, watch out for the plants... some of them walk.


Upcoming Merchandise News

A kind reader was nice enough to send me an e-mail with track lists for the two upcoming Disneyland Resort Official Albums. You can read more about these two releases, including comments from Disney music honcho Randy Thornton, at www.magicmusic.net. The CDs are supposed to be available in April, but a firm date has not been released.

Disney's California Adventure Park Official Album

 1. On the Edge
 2. Feels Alright 
 3. Superstar Limo
 4. Steps In Time (Finale)
 5. Lights Camera Chaos (Chase and Finale)
 6. Soarin'
 7. Beauty and the Bees
 8. It's Tough to Be a Bug
 9. Seasons of the Vine
10. Just One Dream
11. The Bakery
12. California Screamin'
13. Disney's Eureka! -- A California Parade

Disneyland Park Official Album

 1. All Aboard!
 2. Flitterin'
 3. The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room
 4. The Indiana Jones Adventure
 5. Swanee River
 6. Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)
 7. Grim Grinning Ghosts
 8. Splash Mountain
 9. The Great Outdoors
10. Fantasmic! (Finale)
11. All Aboard the Mine Train
12. It's a Small World
13. Thru the Mirror
14. Star Tours
15. Space Mountain
16. Believe... There's Magic in the Stars


Shopping the Parks


ABOUT THE EDITOR

Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix is the super-shopper behind MouseShoppe, your personal and unofficial shopping service for the Disneyland Resort, and the owner of CharmingShoppe, a Disney collectibles store located in Anaheim.

In addition to scouring the park to find you the latest and greatest merchandise, she keeps you updated on all of the merchandise events happening in the parks.

If you want to talk to her about this column, merchandise, or events, contact her here.

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