Disney has announced the closing date for the original Country Bear Jamboree at Magic Kingdom, as well as the reopening window for its new iteration, the Country Bear Musical Jamboree
Country Bear Jamboree Closing Date Announced
The Country Bear Jamboree will be closing the doors to Grizzly Hall on Saturday, January 27, 2024, to prepare for its transformation into the Country Bear Musical Jamboree. The attraction will reopen with its new show later this summer. The final day that guests can experience the original show will be Friday, January 26, 2024.
First announced back in September 2023 during Destination D23, the new show will pull inspiration from the musical revues of Nashville, as the bears reinterpret Disney songs “in different genres of country music, including bluegrass, pop-country, Americana, rockabilly,” and more.
Disney has teased that the new show will be full of references to the original show, but also that there may be a beloved song returning when Grizzly Hall reopens in the summer of 2024:
“While the Country Bear Musical Jamboree will include easter eggs from the beginning to the end including a familiar tune fans may remember”Disney Parks Blog
A behind-the-scenes video first shown at Destination D23 was also shared in the update:
While the content of the show will be different when the attraction reopens this summer, only one bear will be getting a major makeover: Liver Lips McGrowl will be given a brand new look and name, Romeo McGrowl. Other characters in the show will still be present, including Henry, Big Al, Trixie, and others.
A show featuring Disney music was originally developed for Tokyo Disneyland’s version of the Country Bears but was never implemented. At the same time, a “Toy Story” show featuring Woody’s Roundup marionettes was in development to replace the attraction at Magic Kingdom; 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.
The Country Bear Jamboree
The Country Bear Jamboree is an opening day attraction in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom, and opened the doors to Grizzly Hall on October 1, 1971. The attraction features many audio-animatronic bears singing a variety of songs, including “How Long Will My Baby Be Gone,” “Blood on the Saddle,” and “The Ballad of Davy Crockett.”
The show proved to be popular with guests, and a version of the attraction opened with Critter Country at Disneyland Park in 1972. The Disneyland edition ran for 29 years, before closing in September 2001. A version of the Country Bear Jamboree was also an opening day attraction at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983 and is still open today.
This attraction was also among the first Disney Parks offerings that Walt Disney Pictures adapted into feature films in the early 21st century. “The Country Bears” was released in 2002, just one year before “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “The Haunted Mansion” starring Eddie Murphy. Unfortunately, “The Country Bears” film, starring Christopher Walken, Diedrich Bader, and Haley Joel Osment, was a critical and commercial flop.