Disney World announces closing date for an opening-day attraction

January 9, 2024, 4:21 PM · January 26 will be Walt Disney World fans' last chance to see the original Country Bear Jamboree.

Disney is working on a new version for the Frontierland Audio Animatronic show. The new Country Bear Musical Jamboree will open in the Magic Kingdom sometime this summer.

This is not the first time that Disney has written a new version of its Country Bear show. The original version opened with the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971, after having been developed as entertainment for a proposed Disney ski resort in Mineral King, California. In 1986, the show was replaced by the Country Bear Vacation Hoedown, which ran until 1992. Walt Disney World also used to run a Christmas version of the show during the holiday season, from 1984 until 2005.

In the new production, "the bears will sing new, reinterpreted Disney tunes in different genres of country music – like bluegrass, pop-country, Americana, rockabilly and other styles," Disney said today in its press release. Previous versions of the show had avoided Disney's songbook in favor of country standards and other pop tunes. Here's a promo video that Disney has shared about the production of the new show.

The Country Bear Vacation Hoedown show was one of my old attractions at the Magic Kingdom, so I have plenty of stories about it in my "Stories from a Theme Park Insider" book, including the time that Henry, uh, had a little accident on stage. (Link goes to buy the book on Amazon.) I suppose that it was inevitable that Disney would add its musical IP to the show, but if the new production does not include at least some callbacks to favorites such as "Blood on the Saddle," then it should expect fan complaints. Heaven knows that I heard enough complaints from Disney guests when the Vacation Hoedown version omitted that Tex Ritter classic.

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Replies (5)

January 10, 2024 at 11:03 AM

Last few times I was there, the audio was so poorly mixed you couldn't follow the show (a problem that also seems to plague the Tiki Tiki Room). Here's hoping this refurb brings it back to former glory.

January 10, 2024 at 12:56 PM

Just please don’t lose the mounted talking heads!

January 10, 2024 at 9:05 PM

Maybe I’m only saying this because I’m a DLR guy and not a WDW guy, but I feel like the Country Bears is basically a worthless IP at this point. The whole old-fashioned, dixieland style is just too outdated and off-putting for most audiences to resonate with at this point, and I don’t think the attraction has enough charm to elevate it to a “Disney” standard of quality.

I also could just be a hater.

January 11, 2024 at 8:26 AM

I'm with you Juan. Of all the times we've been to WDW, I think I've watched Country Bears once or maybe twice. We tried to watch it on a recent trip, but the show went down just as they were getting ready to load the theater. I have very little attachment to this attraction and doubt anything aside from tapping top shelf musical talent to revamp the soundtrack with modern country hits will do much to impact its popularity. I've always thought of this attraction as nothing more than a plussed Chuck-E-Cheese show, and only worth your time if it's pouring down rain or if you happen to be walking by the entrance just as the show is loading and lines around the rest of the MK are over 60 minutes.

January 15, 2024 at 10:12 AM

Fattyackin, I'm with you! Love them!

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