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Robert Niles
Editor

Celebrate halfway-to-Christmas with Disney's Country Bear Jamboree

Published: June 24, 2012 at 7:09 PM

We're coming up on June 25, meaning that we're halfway to Christmas!

Not the first thing on your mind? (I suspect that the first thing on the minds of many of our Florida readers today is... rain.) Let's celebrate anyway with one of theme park fans' favorite Christmas shows - the Country Bear Christmas Special, which I recorded last December.

Oh, did I forget to mention that the show only plays now at Tokyo Disneyland? No matter, I think you can get the gist of the show even in Japanese. :^) Happy Halfway Holidays, everyone!

Replies (5)

Phil B.

Published: June 24, 2012 at 8:47 PM

It would be nice to see the seasonal overlays come to WDW. Nightmare Before Christmas, X-Mas Bear Jamboree' and Ghost Galaxy would be welcomed seasonal additions I'm certain.
Rob P

Published: June 25, 2012 at 2:28 AM

I absolutely love this show. I don't pay any attention to remarks about it looking a bit worn and dated ( Threadbear ? ). I still think it's great and it encapsulates the whole "Xmas at Disney" feeling.
So I'm extremely disappointed to hear that it doesn't play anywhere other than Tokyo.
Why ? What is Disney's thinking on this ? Makes no sense at all.
Skipper Adam

Published: June 25, 2012 at 8:09 AM

From my understanding, the early reasons why it stopped changing was cost and down time wasn't justifiable. I don't remember where, but I'm thinking it was on Jim Hill that I read about a much larger cost to change the show than I ever imagined. Apparently it involves more than just putting santa hats on the bears and flipping a switch from regular show to Christmas show. I imagine the reason Tokyo does this is because they have the funds to do what ever they want, pretty much.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: June 25, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Tokyo runs all three Country Bear shows during the year. It's amazing what Imagineering can do when it gets to send the bills - no questions asked - to Oriental Land, instead of having to justify expenses with its own fellow cast members at Disney.
Don Lancaster

Published: June 25, 2012 at 8:50 AM

I was always of a mixed mind regarding overlays for attractions. On one hand, they can bring a fresh presentation to shows that have been around a long time, and I am sure that those who get to see these shows often appreciate that. On the other hand, if you can only make it out to the parks every few years or less, its kind of disappointing not to be able to see a classic attraction you were looking forward to.

I remember several years ago when I was in Disneyland during October. It had been many years since I had seen Walt's original park and I was looking forward to seeing some of the classic attractions that originated there. High on my list was the Haunted Mansion. Unfortunately, they had put the Nightmare before Christmas overlay on it. It was well done, but I was I was disappointed that much of the original atmosphere of the ride that Rolly Crump, Marc Davis and Yale Gracey worked so hard to create was lost in the NBC theming.

This is less of a factor for the bears. Lets face it, the changes to the music, dialog and costumes don't dramatically alter the feel of the attraction. That said, imagine that you could only make one trip to WDW in your life (I know that's a stretch for most readers of this site, but try). If you could experience only one of the 3 CWBJ shows, which would it be? My answer would be the original, and I feel a bit bad for the folks who only got to see one of the overlays. I admit that The overlays were very good, but the original was slightly better.

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