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8 Facts and Secrets About Country Bear Jamboree at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

The Country Bear Jamboree is a classic attraction at the Magic Kingdom, located in Frontierland.  The loveable bears also make appearances in the area where they take pictures and interact with guests, too.  It often has no wait time today, and many guests don’t know the history to appreciate the attraction to its fullest.  Here are 8 great facts and secrets about this original attraction:





 

8 – This was one the last attractions that Walt actually reviewed and worked on.

Yep, Walt Disney did look at the initial sketches and concepts for the attraction that Marc Davis, an imagineer at the time, had put together.  The idea for the attraction was originally Walt’s, and Marc David was working on bringing it to life.  A couple of weeks after he reviewed the initial sketches, he actually passed away, so he never got to provide additional input, but we knowing it was one of the last things he worked on makes me appreciate the attraction a little bit more.

7 – The attraction used to convert to a Christmas show.

I REALLY wish that they would bring back the Christmas show, being that I am obsessed with all things Christmas!  The Country Bears were once extremely popular, so the imagineers created a Christmas show where all Christmas songs were performed and the bears had Christmas outfits and props for the show. The attraction only ran at the Magic Kingdom from 1984 through 2006. One can only hope that we might see it return one day!

Country Bear Jamboree-2

6 – Country Bears was the first Walt Disney World attraction replicated at Disneyland.

As we know there are many attractions, or at least some portions of many attractions that end up being replicated to other Disney parks around the world.  It is a great way to get attractions faster to market and allow more guests to experience some of the favorites.  Country Bears was the very first Walt Disney World attraction to be replicated at Disneyland, during a time when the only Disney locations were Walt Disney World and Disneyland.  At that time many Disneyland attractions had been replicated, but not the other way around.

5 – The show originally had a sponsor.

For the first 10 years that the show ran, it was sponsored by Pepsi and Frito Lay.  There was a nod to Pepsi in the show audio when Henry would say, “Just refrain from hibernating, and we’ll all enjoy the show.  Because we got a lot to give.”  This was from part of Pepsi’s old slogan, “Pepsi’s got a lot to give.”  This line actually wasn’t removed from the attraction until 2012, even though the sponsorship ended in the 90’s.  The audio was changed when the attraction received a refurbishment.

4 – The attraction was intended to be at a ski resort.

Walt Disney had announced plans to create a ski resort that would house the Country Bears attraction and many other activities and attractions at the ski resort that would be in California’s Sequoia National Park.  He officially announced the plans on September 19, 1966.  Sadly, Walt Disney passed away on December 15, 1966 and the ski resort was never built.  The imagineers kept the Country Bears attraction alive and it was added to the Magic Kingdom.





 

3 – Country Bear Vacation Hoedown

There wasn’t just a Christmas overlay for the attraction, there was also a summer vacation themed overlay where the bears were changed over to wearing bathing suits and other vacation-type attire.  The songs were more summer and fun inspired than the original playlist of songs.  This show is now longer performed at Walt Disney World, but you can still see it at Tokyo Disneyland if you are up for a vacation hoedown!

2 – Magic Kingdom opening day attraction.

Country Bear Jamboree was one of the opening day attractions on October 1, 1971 when the Magic Kingdom first opened its doors to greet and entertain guests.  It was an original attraction for Disney and one of the few transactions in Frontierland for guests to enjoy.  It was also an E-ticket attraction for that time.  It has remained in operation ever since, excluding when it has been down for refurbishments.

1 – The attraction was shortened.

During the major refurbishment in 2012, the attraction was shortened in length.  It used to run around 16 minutes, and went down to 11 minutes.  They were able to decrease the run time for the attraction by removing a couple of songs.  “Pretty Little Devilish Mary” and “Fractured Folk Song” were the songs that were cut from the original lineup.



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About Christy Caby

Hi! I’m Christy, and I am a wife and mother of 2 young boys (ages 5 and 2). I first fell in love with Disney when my mom took me when I was a child. After that I proceeded to go to WDW for my senior trip with my friends, and I completed a year in the Disney College Program (working in merchandise at Mickey’s of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). I shared my love of Disney with my now husband and sucked him in. He proposed at Disney, we honeymooned at Disney, we started bringing our boys before they were born and then as early as 8 weeks old. We then continued to vacation to Walt Disney World 2-3 times per year. We decided that what makes more sense than just moving to Orlando so that we could live the Disney life and be here for all of our favorite events and seasons every year. That is exactly what we did! Now we are at the parks a couple times a week and go for most events and major holidays. We can’t get enough and get to experience Disney in a whole different way. I love to share this love and passion for all things Disney with the world and hope that I can help others appreciate the magic that Walt Disney World has to offer!