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. During this secret history, we'll learn about the start of Country Bear Jamboree and Walt Disney's initial ideas for the attraction. So, put your cowboy boots on and get ready to get hoppin'... err I mean, dancin'!
The Secret History of Country Bear Jamboree
You might not know that back in the 1960s, Walt actually 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 attraction!
Country Bear Jamboree opened in Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971. The singing bears were such a hit in Florida that plans were soon made for the attraction to be replicated in Disneyland Park. In Los Angeles, Disneyland even created a new area of the park inspired by the bears called Bear Country. When it first opened at Disneyland, Country Bear Jamboree required an "E" coupon — the highest category of all Disneyland tickets.
The original show in Disneyland was replaced by Country Bear Vacation Hoedown in 1986. The bears ended their run at Disneyland Park in 2001. The attraction was replaced by another famous bear you might know — Pooh Bear. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride took over Grizzly Hall. But you can still experience Country Bear Jamboree at Magic Kingdom Park and even Tokyo Disneyland!
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 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.
There you have it, the secret history of Country Bear Jamboree! Who's your favorite bear (or other animal) from the show? Let us know in the comments below! And don't forget to check out our Country Bear Jamboree wait times and more.