It was announced on Friday at Disney's "Destination D23" event that the beloved Walt Disney World (Orlando, Florida) attraction "Country Bear Jamboree" will be revamped in 2024.
Since its opening in 1971, the musical revue featured audio-animatronic bears singing humorous country and bluegrass songs that were almost all written for the show. Starting in 2024, the robot bears will be singing songs from Disney movies.
Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty is on stage with Josh and says when the show debuts, the bears will be reinterpreting favorite Disney songs in different genres of country music. Imagineers are envisioning the new experience as a homage to the classic musical revues in Nashville and they're working with Nashville musicians to get the authentic country sound.
The Country Bear Jamboree will still have the fun and friendly tone fans enjoy with the same famous characters like the loveable Trixie, Big Al and others.
This is a small part of an overall philosophical change that is occurring throughout all the Disney theme parks. In the past, some attractions were based on Disney properties, such as Peter Pan's Flight and the Dumbo the Flying Elephant spin ride. But many attractions were original concepts created only for the theme parks, such as the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted Mansion.
The new trend is to only create new attractions based on existing Disney intellectual property (IP), and to overlay existing attractions with IP. So in EPCOT, the Living Seas pavilion became The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The Maelstrom ride in EPCOT's Norway pavilion became Frozen Ever After. And on and on.
This not only creates profitable synergies between Disney's theme parks and its other entertainment divisions, but it's honestly probably a crowd-pleaser too.
And so now instead of singing theme park-original spoofs like "Blood on the Saddle," Country Bears will be singing Disney movie songs like Jungle Book's "Bare Necessities.
Some of the other announcements Disney Theme Parks made at the event:
Dinoland USA at Animal Kingdom will be transformed into a new land "inspired by a region sometimes referred to as 'tropical
Americas'" Once again, this is transforming a land that was based wholly on theme-park original ideas into one based on Disney IP. The land is expected to include attractions based on Encanto and the Indiana Jones franchise. I would think Coco could also be included.
An It's Tough to Be a Bug show at Animal Kingdom, based on A Bug's Life, will become a Zootopia "experience."
And a new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed lounge will be coming to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Images posted with the permission of Disney Parks Public Relations