Disney Officially Revives “Problematic” Characters

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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

The Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort is going through a transitional period as it welcomes new rides, overlays, and updates to Disney Park classics. However, one triumphant return set for this summer might turn some heads at the Country Bear Jamboree.

country bear jamboree
Credit: Disney

If you’ve followed reports from the Disney parks in the last few years, a lot has been said about the current social climate forcing classic rides and attractions to change. Some blame the woke movement, others blame cancel culture, but the fact is that once-beloved Disney staples are quickly becoming “problematic” with some audiences.

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One example was The Country Bear Jamboree at Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland, a Disney World mainstay since 1983. While it’s undoubtedly true that the attraction was showing its age, one sequence caused something of a stir simply because it included three characters that sang a mildly suggestive lyric. That all being said, the Disney Parks team is officially bringing them back for the new reimagining.

Bunny, Bubbles, and Beulah Make a Comeback

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We are bear-y excited to share 🤩🐻 #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #MagicKingdom #CountryBears #Costume #Animatronics #BTS #DisneyCastLife

♬ original sound – Disney Parks

Shortly before its official closure, a TikTok post speculated that the Country Bear Jamboree might meet the same fate as Splash Mountain due to the Sunbonnets’ (Bunny, Bubbles, and Beulah) refrain of “All the guys that turn me on turn me down.” However, Disney is officially bringing them back with a new, Grand-Ole-Opry-styled refurb.

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In the official announcement, Disney makes the following statement.

“The bear trio has found a new look that works for them! So clap your hands and stomp your feet, because Bunny, Bubbles, and Beulah — and the rest of the Country Bears —  are getting ready to put on a new show that pays homage to the Opry-style shows of Nashville. While the Country Bear Musical Jamboree will include easter eggs from the beginning to the end including a familiar tune fans may remember, the bears will sing new, reinterpreted Disney tunes in different genres of country music – like bluegrass, pop-country, Americana, rockabilly, and other styles. “

With that description, it seems like Disney is trimming some of the attraction’s original material (including the trio’s original song). However, it does feel like a more inclusive and experimental direction that fits the theming of the original attraction.

What’s Next for the Country Bear Jamboree?

Henry in Nashville attire for Country Bear Jamboree
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Henry, Wendel, Shaker, Big Al, and the Five Bear Rugs are coming back again, but with a new jam session for fans. The Country Bear Musical Jamboree is set to be a fresh take on the original attraction, focusing more on the country music elements seen in the debut incarnation. Given its decades-old lifespan, it truthfully feels like it was the next evolutionary step.

Related: Disney Fans Swarm Magic Kingdom for Final ‘Country Bears’ Show

Still, given Disney’s pattern with some of the recent changes at the park, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that the threat of controversy had a role to play as well. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure might look like a fun time in the Louisiana swamps, but remember why it was built in the first place. The Country Bears might be tame, but their Nashville-themed makeover might have alternative reasonings behind it.

Do you think the lyric was such a big deal? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!

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