Disneyland Brings Back Inappropriate, Highly-Debated Character Despite Controversy

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

Two animatronic characters on stage: a bear in a white vest and bow tie performing in front with country bear jamboree audio, and a monkey in a top hat on a podium behind

Credit: Disney

Disney has unexpectedly brought back a controversial character to its original theme park.

Country Bear Jamboree at the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Brittany DiCologero, Inside the Magic

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Over the years, The Walt Disney Company, along with Walt Disney Imagineering, has created some of the world’s best and most innovative theme park attractions. While classic rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Manion continue to entertain guests, there’s always something new around the corner, with Disney announcing several major projects over the last few months.

These projects include the highly anticipated Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which will replace Disney’s former Splash Mountain log flume experience, and the newly announced Avatar expansion coming to Disneyland in California. However, few projects are as unique or unexpected as what’s happening to Disney’s Country Bears.

In 2023, The Walt Disney Company announced that the Country Bear Jamboree would be closing forever, making way for a brand-new show. The Country Bears aren’t going anywhere, but the original show will be heavily modified and updated to accommodate modern-day audiences.

Country Bear Jamboree
Credit: Steven Miller, Flickr

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This attraction has been the subject of controversy for years, with many fans and guests alike deeming it too inappropriate for Disney. The show itself does feature a few risque moments and songs, which, to many, is all part of the fun. However, Disney eventually agreed with this sentiment, announcing that the show would be retooled to better fit into the modern-day Walt Disney World Resort.

This curious attraction first opened in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom in 1971. Two other attractions were created, with a version being built in Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland. However, the Disneyland version was closed decades ago, meaning only the Florida and Tokyo versions are still open.

However, in a bizarre twist of fate, one of the characters from Disney’s Country Bears has returned to Disneyland, potentially signaling more things to come in the near future. A new statue of Big Al has made its way into Disney California Adventure, sending a shockwave throughout the community.

Omg this is so cute! Is it new??

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“Wow, I am curious if that is a hint of more Country Bears to come,” stated a fan in response to the photo. “Perhaps adding some AAs to the raft ride?”

“One step closer to your dream of Country Bears taking over GGR,” said another fan.

As stated earlier, Disney’s Country Bears is somewhat controversial, with Big Al being infamous for the song he used to sing during the show in Magic Kingdom. Big Al can be seen toward the end of the show singing “Blood on the Saddle,” which sets a sour tone for the experience. Al comes in incredibly off-key, throwing off the momentum of the entire show.

This new statue is certainly perplexing, as Disney has not made any kind of announcement or statement regarding the Country Bears in Disneyland. The resort used to feature its own version of the show, but the original version has been closed since 1986. The Bears were brought back for a new “Vacation Hoedown” version, which lasted until 2001.

It’s possible that now that Disney is retooling the Country Bears in Magic Kingdom, another project is being worked on for the original Disneyland Resort, but only time will tell.

The new iteration of the attraction in Magic Kingdom is called Country Bears Musical Jamboree and will feature new renditions of classic Disney songs. While the Country Bears will return, the version of Country Bear Jamboree, as we know it today, is gone for good, with most fans under the assumption that a lot of the original songs will not be returning.

This new version of the show is expected to open to guests this summer at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

Do you enjoy the Country Bears? What’s your favorite defunct Disney attraction?

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