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End of an Era at Disney: What’s Next for Closed Attraction

Country Bear in front of Magic Kingdom Castle
Images Credit: Disney

Disney Parks made a big announcement in September 2023 that left many fans unsure how to feel. If you love and are drawn to the nostalgia of Disney’s classic attractions, this one likely was a sad dose of news. Disney announced the closure of the iconic Country Bear Jamboree attraction… an original opening day experience at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

cinderella castle with brilliant blue sky and clouds and sunlight

Credit: Holiday Inn Vacations/Canva

Related: Brand-New Bob Iger Meet-and-Greet Experience Coming to Disney World in November 2023

2023 Destination D23 News

The Destination D23 Event was held in September 2023 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida. D23 hosted the sold-out event, the Official Disney Fan Club, and was sponsored by Lug Travel Gear.

Disney unveiled a host of exciting new things coming to the parks, such as a new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed lounge coming to the Magic Kingdom, a reimagined Test Track at EPCOT, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom overhaul.

While several announcements were made about additions to the guest experience at Disneyland Resort and Disney World, one announcement about a guest-favorite opening day attraction seemed to silence some of the others for many of Disney’s most nostalgic, long-time fans of the Disney era from days gone by.

remodel coming for popular magic kingdom attraction

Credit: Disney

Goodbye Country Bear Jamboree

Walt Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty took to the stage, and among his announcements was the revealing of closure and replacement plans for Disney’s Country Bear Jamboree.

Per D23, the Country Bear Jamboree attraction at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World opened on October 1, 1971, and was the first major park attraction to open at Disney Florida parks and then to be copied for the other Disney Parks. The original attraction featured 18 audio-animatronic bears of varying ages and sizes singing and playing instruments in a family-friendly, feel-good country-music show.

country bear jamboree magic kingdom

Credit: Becky Burkett

Related: COMBINING Country Bear Jamboree and The Hall of Presidents?

Country Bear Jamboree officially closed its doors on January 26, 2024, with floods of guests trying to squeeze in every last moment of the attraction that they could.

The Country Bear Musical Jamboree

When the former Country Bear Jamboree reopens to guests, the show will feature “reinterpreted” Disney songs across various genres of country music, including pop country, rockabilly, bluegrass, and more.

One of the songs to be included in the new show is “The Bare Necessities” from Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967).

Country Bear Jamboree

Credit: Disney Parks

Related: Could ‘Bear in the Big Blue House’ Replace Country Bears?

The brand-new experience will reportedly pay homage to classical musical revues in Nashville, Tennessee. Imagineers are working with musicians from the Nashville area so they can capture the authentic sound they’re striving for.

A few things are staying the same–Trixie, Big Al, and many other recognizable characters from the attraction will return, but the newly-reimagined experience will have a slight name change: The Country Bear Musical Jamboree.

When Will the New Attraction Open? 

Country Bear Jamboree at Magic Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney, Florida Fish and Wildlife Officials Finally Share How They Caught a Bear at Magic Kingdom

Unfortunately, like much of the new Disney announced in September 2023, a date for the changes has yet to be released, with the exception of Disney saying “Summer 2024.” As always, we will keep you updated as we learn more about this change, especially when Disney reveals an opening date.

More About Country Bear Musical Jamboree

Disney has released a new description for the upcoming attraction and a brief video! Disney’s description shares:

Get ready to knee slap and toe-tap to a little country twang this summer! If you’ve been too busy trottin’ through the wild west and have missed the news, 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. Here’s a look at one of the clips we shared at Destination D23.

Check out the behind the scene video clip below:

Remembering Country Bear Jamboree

Disney’s former description of the classic Magic Kingdom attraction included:

This Hootenanny is a Real Hoot: Step inside the rustic theater known as Grizzly Hall and take your seat before the lights dim. Clap along as 18 Audio-Animatronics hillbilly bears play and sing during this 16-minute, foot-stompin’ cele-bear-tion. You’ll hear a medley of original and classic tunes—all performed by the zaniest critters in the woods.

Overflowing with humor, heart and a few surprises, this crowd-pleasing show features a down-home, southern sensibility you and your cubs will love.

Walt Disney’s Pawprints: Country Bear Jamboree is one of the very last attractions that Walt Disney personally helped develop. Originally planned for a never-built Disney ski resort in Mineral King, California, the show with the singing bears happily moved out to Florida in 1971 and has been performing daily at Magic Kingdom park ever since.

new Country Bear Jamboree Show

Credit: Disney

Are you excited about the changes ahead, or are you going to miss the original attraction? Let us know in the comments! 

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

One comment

  1. While I know everything has to eventually be updated, this one makes me sad. Every time I sat in Grizzly Hall, I felt a sense of nostalgia, of being a kid again, when life was simpler. I will miss it tremendously.

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