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