Magic Kingdom

Saturday, April 08, 2006


The Country Bear Jamboree is a former attraction at Disneyland in Anaheim, California and a current attraction in the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida and at the Tokyo Disneyland theme park at Tokyo Disney Resort in Chiba, Japan. All versions of the attraction are similar.

The attraction is a stage show, with audio-animatronic figures. Most of the on-stage characters are bears, who perform Country music. Characters rise up to the stage on platforms, descend from the ceiling, and appear from behind curtains. The audience includes audio-animatronic animal heads mounted on the walls who interact with the characters on stage.

Due to overwhelming popularity, The Country Bear Jamboree was given two "spin-off" shows which appeared during the summer and winter seasons at Disneyland. They were called The Country Bear Christmas Special in 1984 and The Country Bear Vacation Hoedown in 1986.
The Country Bear Jamboree was originally intended by Walt to be placed in a ski resort he was trying to build in the mid 1960s. Walt knew he wanted some sort of show to provide entertainment to the guests at the resort, and he knew he wanted the show to feature some sort of bear band. He assigned the project to imagineer Marc Davis.

Davis, together with Al Bertino came up with many bear groups, including bear marching bands, bear mariachi bands, and Dixieland bears. Walt enjoyed them all, but unfortunately he passed away before he could make any real decisions regarding the show.

After Walt's death, plans for the show still carried on. The bears would be featured in the resort's Bear Band Restaurant Show, and it was decided that they would have a country twang. But while plans for the show progressed, plans for the ski resort did not. Instead, the imagineers working on the project decided to place the show in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in time for its grand opening in 1971. Imagineer X Atencio and musical director George Bruns created songs for the bears to sing. On October 1, 1971, The Country Bear Jamboree opened its doors in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.


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