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History of Disney Rides: Country Bear Jamboree

by Tad on January 27, 2024 5 Orlando   Video

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Ready to get your feet stompin' with a bunch of singing bears? Country Bear Jamboree is a country-western musical that'll have you singing along in no time. The classic Magic Kingdom attraction temporarily closed Jan. 27, 2024, to make way for a new version of the show opening this summer. Learn more about the show's history and what we know about the upcoming version!

Country Bear Jamboree exterior

The History of Country Bear Jamboree

Back in the 1960s, Walt Disney wanted to build a ski resort inside California's Sequoia National Park. He had all sorts of plans for Disney's Mineral King Ski Resort, including a show with musical bears. Imagineer Marc Davis worked on the concepts for the bear show. Unfortunately, Walt died shortly after presenting the plans for the ski resort, and the resort was never built. However, Imagineers wanted to keep the idea of the bear show and use it for a Disney Parks attraction!

The Secret History of Disney Rides: Country Bear Jamboree - Country Bear Jamboree

Country Bear Jamboree debuted in Magic Kingdom on opening day — Oct. 1, 1971 — and has remained in Frontierland for over 50 years. There are more than 20 animatronics featured in the 15-minute show, which runs continuously throughout the day.

The singing bears were such a hit in Florida that the attraction was replicated in Disneyland Park in California in 1972. It even inspired a new area of the park called Bear Country. The original show in Disneyland was replaced by Country Bear Vacation Hoedown in 1986. The bears ended their run at Disneyland Park in 2001 and were replaced by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride.

The Country Bear Jamboree is still available at Tokyo Disneyland (since 1983) and Magic Kingdom Park, where a new version will be premiering this summer!

To take a look at the original version of the Magic Kingdom show, check out our YouTube video:

Refurbishment and New Show

D23 Announcements - New Country Bear Jamboree Dance Number

Country Bear Jamboree closed temporarily Jan. 27, 2024, at Magic Kingdom to make way for a new show coming in summer 2024. The new iteration will feature the bears we love such as Henry, Big Al, Trixie and more. They will be performing some of their classic songs along with brand-new covers of Disney tunes — with a little Western twist! The show will include easter eggs for fans plus a wide variety of country music genres such as bluegrass, pop-country, Americana and rockabilly. One of the confirmed songs? "The Bear Necessities" from "The Jungle Book," of course!

The Country Bear Musical Jamboree will open later this year with an exact date TBD. We can't wait to see what the new show looks like!

Country Bear Jamboree Fun Facts

  • Country Bear Jamboree was the first Magic Kingdom attraction to be replicated at Disneyland Park.
  • A Christmas version of the show ran at Disneyland Park from 1984-2001 and at Magic Kingdom Park from 1984-2006.
  • Next time you're on Disneyland's The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, check out the reference to Country Bear Jamboree; you'll see the heads of Max the Deer, Melvin the Moose and Buff the Buffalo right before you venture inside the Hunny Heaven room!
  • Disney used many famous voices for the show's characters, including Thurl Ravenscroft's voice for Buff the Buffalo, who you might recognize from The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Enchanted Tiki Room.
  • Speaking of voices, the show's host, Henry, is voiced by Peter Renaday. The actor can be heard inside the Hall of Presidents and was featured in former attractions such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Snow White's Scary Adventures!
  • You can buy a Country Bear Jamboree record album! The album was released when the attraction opened at Magic Kingdom Park in 1971.

The Secret History of Disney Rides: Country Bear Jamboree - Musical Bears

There you have it, the secret history of Country Bear Jamboree! Who's your favorite bear (or other animal) from the show? Are you looking forward to the new version? Let us know in the comments below!

Stay cool!

Keep hopping, Tad!
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May 20, 2018 at 2:55 a.m. Rick springer Says...

Who was the original singer of the song all the guys That turn me on turn me down?

Reply
May 21, 2018 at 8:32 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rick!

The song is original to the attraction and sung by Loulie Jean Norman, who also performs the part of Haunted Mansion's opera-singing graveyard ghost.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 4, 2018 at 3 a.m. Josh Says...

Actually, almost all the songs used in Country Bear Jamboree all existed before it did. All the songs had came from outside sources and Disney had bought the rights to all the songs that are heard in the original show. "Bear Band Serenade" and "Come Again (Come On In)" are the only songs that are solely for the Country Bear Jamboree. The song "All The Guys That Turn Me on Turn Me Down" was originally done by The Stonemans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aTTb5s-vSM

Reply
Oct 18, 2017 at 10:36 a.m. Carlos Medina Says...

The country bear jamboree was fantastic and because you could see a lot of singing bears

Reply
Oct 16, 2017 at 2:52 p.m. Julia Says...

The bear who sings "There was ...blo-o-o-d on the saddle, and blo-o-o-d on the ground" and of course the baby bear squeezing his teddy bear which squeaks.

Reply
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