53-Year-Old Disney World Theme Park Permanently Cuts “Walt Disney”

in Walt Disney World

Statue of walt disney holding hands with mickey mouse in front of cinderella castle at disney world, with a clear blue sky background.

Credit: Disney

We have major updates on the status of a beloved offering inside Walt Disney World Resort’s most popular theme park, Magic Kingdom.

Since its inception, Walt Disney World Resort has been synonymous with magic, imagination, and timeless entertainment. Over the years, numerous attractions have been etched into the hearts of millions, becoming an integral part of the Disney experience.

A large, colorful archway sign welcomes visitors to Walt Disney World, featuring its iconic slogan "The Most Magical Place on Earth." The road leading to the entrance is lined with palm trees and includes an image of Mickey Mouse. The sky is partly cloudy.
Credit: Inside the Magic

One such iconic attraction was the Country Bear Jamboree at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort. Since opening in 1971, this delightful show featured a group of animatronic bears singing fun and engaging country tunes, captivating audiences of all ages.

However, as of January 27, 2024, the Country Bear Jamboree as we knew it closed its curtains for the final time, marking the end of an era and the dawn of a new chapter.

Inside the Magic previously covered that Disney has now announced the opening date for the Country Bear Musical Jamboree attraction, highlighting its importance in the Disney theme park landscape.

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 show quickly became a beloved staple in Frontierland, entertaining guests with the charming performances of Henry, Liver Lips McGrowl, Wendell, Teddi Berra, Ernest, Terrence, Trixie, Big Al, and the rest of the animatronic bear ensemble. The popularity of the show was such that it inspired similar attractions at Disneyland Resort and Tokyo Disneyland, further cementing its place in Disney lore.

The closure of the original Country Bear Jamboree back in January left many fans nostalgic and unsure of what was to come. Disney World guests were assured that the new iteration would reopen later in the year, and now, the wait is almost over, as the attraction will open on July 17, 2024.

This announcement has generated considerable excitement among Disney enthusiasts, who are keen to see how the new show will blend the charm of the original with modern musical influences.

The reimagined Country Bear Musical Jamboree promises to bring a fresh energy to Frontierland. Walt Disney was known for his innovative spirit and his ability to blend storytelling with cutting-edge technology. The original Country Bear Jamboree was a prime example of this, combining state-of-the-art animatronics with engaging narratives and memorable music.

While the updated show promises to deliver high-quality performances and modern musical arrangements, some fans feel that it strays from the unique charm and nostalgia of the original. The characters and songs that many grew up with and held dear will now be different, and for some, this change feels like a loss of a piece of Disney history.

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

The new show will feature country stars like Mac McAnally, Emily Ann Roberts, Allison Russell, and Chris Thile, bringing a fresh sound to the bears’ performances. However, these changes also mean that the original songs and their heartfelt simplicity, which were a hallmark of the original attraction, will no longer be part of the experience.

The closure of the Country Bear Jamboree also highlights a broader trend within Disney Parks of updating and reimagining classic attractions. While innovation and modernization are necessary for keeping the parks exciting and relevant, they can sometimes come at the cost of losing the historical and sentimental value of the original creations.

The balance between preserving Walt Disney’s legacy and adapting to contemporary tastes is a delicate one, and the transformation of the Country Bear Jamboree is a poignant example of this challenge.

Big Al Country bear Jamboree
Credit: Disney Parks

For many visitors, the original Country Bear Jamboree was more than just a show; it was a nostalgic journey that connected them to the early days of Walt Disney World and the visionary behind it all. The decision to alter such an iconic attraction brings to light the ongoing debate about how to honor Walt Disney’s legacy while keeping the parks fresh and engaging.

As Disney continues to evolve, it must navigate these changes with respect for its history and a commitment to maintaining the magic that has defined it for decades.

Where do you fall on this Disney World debate? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

View Comments (8)