A brand new show will soon be debuting at Grizzly Hall in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. The “original” Country Bear Jamboree show that debuted in 1971 will be replaced by the “Country Bear Musical Jamboree” in 2024, the company announced at Destination D23 on Saturday.
New Country Bear Jamboree Show Coming
The “Country Bear Musical Jamboree” will be inspired by the musical revues of Nashville and will see the bears reimagine classic Disney songs in “different genres of country music,” according to the Disney Parks Blog. A video showcasing a country-inspired reinterpretation of “The Bare Necessities” from “The Jungle Book” was shown.
Though the content of the show will change, the beloved characters that have become synonymous with the Country Bear Jamboree will not (except for apparently Liver Lips McGrowl). Disney wrote that the “same famous characters” will appear in the new version of the attraction, with the “Country Bear Musical Jamboree” poster featuring Henry, Big Al, and Trixie, amongst others.
A show featuring Disney music was originally developed for Tokyo Disneyland but never implemented. At the same time, a “Toy Story” Woody’s Roundup marionette show was in development to replace Country Bear Jamboree at Magic Kingdom, although Disney still publicly denies this. This idea was scrapped and replaced with the Disney music show, which was in the planning stages when Walt Disney World closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, delaying the project.
Former Walt Disney Imagineer Ethan Reed shared a post about first pitching the “Country Bear Musical Jamboree” almost 20 years ago.
Hear some of the new music in development in the video below.
The Country Bear Jamboree
The Country Bear Jamboree was an opening day attraction at Frontierland in Magic Kingdom, with the doors to Grizzly Hall opening on October 1, 1971. The beloved attraction features a number of audio-animatronic bears singing sometimes heartfelt, sometimes humorous, but always entertaining songs such as “How Long Will My Baby Be Gone,” “Blood on the Saddle,” and “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” (these songs figure to be replaced with the upcoming “Country Bear Musical Jamboree” update).
The Country Bear Jamboree proved to be popular with guests, and a version of the attraction opened alongside Critter Country at Disneyland in 1972. The Disneyland edition of the show ran for 29 years, closing in September 2001. A version of the Country Bear Jamboree was also an opening day attraction at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983; it’s still active today.
An attraction synonymous with Disney Parks and general Walt Disney Imagineering, the Country Bear Jamboree was among the first attractions that Walt Disney Pictures looked to when it made a concerted effort to adapt Disney Parks rides and experiences into films in the early 21st century. “The Country Bears” movie released in 2002, the year before “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and the Eddie Murphy-led “The Haunted Mansion.” “The Country Bears” starred Christopher Walken, Diedrich Bader, and Haley Joel Osment, and was a critical and commercial flop.
Are you excited about the upcoming Disney music-inspired refresh of the Country Bear Jamboree? Let us know in the comments.