Is Country Bear Jamboree in Jeopardy?

Is Country Bear Jamboree in Jeopardy?

There is a big discussion driven by WDWNT about whether The Country Bear Jamboree is going away. For purposes of context, the 20th anniversary of Walt Disney World there was a big promotion of 20 things to do during the 20th anniversary. Supposedly the same thing is happening with the 50th, with 50 new things you can do during the 50th. This is a great idea for the upcoming anniversary. But the rumor was that one of those 50 things was to put a new marionette-style string puppet show featuring Woody in place of the bears. That’s a bad idea. Really bad. Here are three reasons why:

  1. This is Not The Right Kind of Space. It’s not what people think that theater is. Technically, there are 5 stages. They probably don’t need that many to do a marionette show. Furthermore, 4 of those stages are not stages, but turn tables. The main stage has no floor in the front of it. And the portion behind the proscenium (needed for doing a string puppet show) is too receded. It’s not a great space.
  2. It’s Too Big a Space. A marionette style show requires a more intimate environment. You want children sitting right up front on the floor. Again, you don’t need 5 stages. It’s simply not conducive.
  3. There Would be Riots in the Street. Maybe not the size of the ones in Hong Kong right now, but there would be a lot of people who would be frustrated. Corporate doesn’t know that. But executive management at Walt Disney World knows that.
Don’t cry yet Trixie. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

My personal impression is that is not going to happen. It just doesn’t make sense.

If you want to do something different to the show (to get to the 50 number), change out the show to a 50th anniversary show. Then place the Marionette show in the Toy Story Restaurant space. That will give you two things to get you to the 50 number.

New Toy Story Land BBQ Restaurant. Rendering by Disney

There are significant reasons why people have come to love The Country Bear Jamboree over the years. One of our first posts on Disney at Play attended to this. Read to know more!

I love the Country Bear Jamboree. Folks at Disneyland will tell you that the removal of that attraction to become a Winnie the Pooh ride did nothing to improve the flow of traffic or to increase capacity. It was one of the big mistakes made in that park. This is the original. It would be a mistake to do the same.

J. Jeff Kober

One thought on “Is Country Bear Jamboree in Jeopardy?

  1. I so agree–so many of these numbers and styles of bluegrass originate with particular musicians and styles of playing. They have a history behind their planning, as well as parody and fun. It is a WDW Grand Ol Opry. I even teach students about vaudeville using this attraction. And why keep those three mu=ounted heads from singing and talking?? Rewrite the jokes, make them puns instead of physical or regional jokes, make references to other Disney films–anything! IF the park promo people “sold” these attractions as “vintage,” they would be more appreciated. Young people do not know the technological history of animatronics–and theater people, costume people, and entertainment people like to know this stuff. Everything old can be new again!!

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