One of those is one of my former homes at Disney, the Country Bear Jamboree, which Disney is featuring this week. I got a 5/5 on Disney's Country Bear Jamboree trivia quiz, but since I spent a day doing nothing but learning "Bear Band" trivia when I started working at the show, then ended up watching the various versions of it more than 1,000 times during my stint with the company, anything less would have been pretty, well, embearassing.
Anyway, here's some more fun stuff about our favorite singing bears that you won't find on the official Disney blog.
The Country Bear Jamboree debuted at Walt Disney World before being copied at Disneyland, flipping the script for most classic Disney theme parks attractions. But the Country Bear show wasn't originally envisioned for Disney World. The show first was designed for a ski resort that Walt Disney wanted to build in Mineral King, California. After Walt's death, the Disney board of directors decided that it couldn't go ahead with both the Mineral King and Florida projects. So it canceled the ski resort and chose to build the Walt Disney World Resort instead. But the Country Bear concept survived and was added to the plans for the Magic Kingdom.
Working an animatronic show might not seem like the most exciting job at Disney World. But it did offer some interesting challenges in learning how to manage a queue filled with people without making anyone mad. And when animatronic shows such as the Country Bear Jamboree break down, they can do so in absolutely hilarious ways. No one's in danger when the Country Bear show breaks down, of course — the biggest danger the show poses might be when the show doesn't stop, and your poor operator is stuck in the theater watching show after show after show.
(These stories and more appear in my book about working at the Walt Disney World Resort, Stories from a Theme Park Insider. If you're looking for a few laughs — and want to keep me off the streets — go ahead and buy a copy!)
Current Disney World visitors might now know this, but there are three versions of the Country Bear show: the original Jamboree, the summer-themed Vacation Hoedown and the holiday-themed Christmas Special. Disney World no longer shows anything but a slightly-truncated version of the original, but you can see the other two show at Tokyo Disneyland. Or if you can't afford that trip, you can watch our video of the Christmas show in Japan.
Happy (early) birthday, Country Bears!Tweet
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