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The Country Bear Jamboree Is Back -- New Shorter Version

Deb Wills

The Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom reopened this week after being closed for a rehab/refurbishment.

The previous show has been shortened by about 5 minutes. A few songs are gone, others have been shortened. Some of the dialogue between the bears is also gone.

New costumes and make overs for the bears brighten things back up. Also new are the benches, curtains and backdrops.

Disney Imagineers share their thoughts about the new show.

Here are before and after shots of the performers.

HENRY

Country Bears Jamboree

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GOMER

Country Bears Jamboree

Country_Bears_Jamboree_1.jpg

FIVE BEAR RUGS

Country Bears Jamboree

Country_Bears_Jamboree_3.jpg

BABY OSCAR

Country Bears Jamboree


Country_Bears_Jamboree_4.jpg

WENDELL

Country Bears Jamboree

Country_Bears_Jamboree_5.jpg


LIVER LIPS

Country Bears Jamboree

Country_Bears_Jamboree_6.jpg

TRIXIE

Country Bears Jamboree

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TERRANCE

Country Bears Jamboree

Country_Bears_Jamboree_8.jpg


the Sun Bonnet Trio hail from Florida and consist of Bunny, Bubbles, and Beulah.

Country Bears Jamboree

Country_Bears_Jamboree_9.jpg


TEDDY BARRA

Country Bears Jamboree

Country_Bears_Jamboree_10.jpg

BIG AL

Country Bears Jamboree


Country Bears Jamboree


SAMMY THE RACOON

Country Bears Jamboree

Country_Bears_Jamboree_12.jpg

MAX, BUFF, AND MEL ARE BACK

Country Bears Jamboree
This is the before photo, I didn't get a good one.

VIDEOS

We have both the new short version and the previous version. You tell us which one you like better and why!

NEW SHOW

PREVIOUS SHOW


For a historical look at the Country Bears Jamboree:
Part 1: http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2010/10/country_bear_jamboree_part_one_1.html

Part 2: http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/walt_disney_world/theme_parks/magic_kingdom/frontierland/country_bear_jamboree/


The previous post in this blog was Deb's Annual Epcot IllumiNations Party - Ticket Announcement.

The next post in this blog is Discovery of Chocolate - Epcot Food and Wine Festival Event.

Comments (42)

Cathie:

It's true that the bears needed refreshing. The previous Homer and his piano were more appealing looking. This show is now just singing but no fun and too short. It's not a show I would be recommending as I did the previous show.

Jill Martin:

My son and I just watched the new version. I admit the bears needed a face-lift. They were looking shabby. We're not sure which we like better. We like them both. But, I do miss the Devilish Mary song. We do miss the one we grew up with. Disney changed it before and it didn't work, so we will see with this one!

Jeff:

Cutting 5 minutes from the show is Disney's way of saying "hey thats 5 more minutes you can buy souvineers"!

Mark Nederostek:

We were down the last week my second favorite attraction was still whole and enjoyable. I'm glad that the Bears are still there, but wow... so CHOPPED! I'm ok with most of the costume changes, but the hair looks less real. Please don't burn it down to change it back. At least I'll always have youtube and the soundtrack to remember it by (check iTunes).
ps. My favorite attraction has a mermaid's castle on it now, so I am not hopeful.

gena yates:

It's really sad they cut the banter out between the bears and the " stuffed heads!!" I agree with what most of the posts say about it not actually having personality anymore...it's just songs !! Why would they cut this show ?? If they wanted to change the show they could have ADDED a new act or two and replaced the banter with a new joke or two, this just seems chopped up !! Could you guide me as to where to post comments that maybe some office in DW would read and take into account peoples comments concerning attractions ( I am sure I could start making phone calls or searching the web, just figured you'd know which "relations" place to go and save me the time )?? I think that on these soft openings they should require everyone to fill out some sort of short comment card....or do they already do that ? Thank you for this wonderful web site!! Sometimes it feels a little sad knowing it will be 18 months before my family and I can return to DW, and your web site cheers me up, although, this news about the bears is disheartening.....but, thanks for the update !!
Gena Yates

ALL EARS: Here is the page with Disney addresses to write to: http://allears.net/pl/contact.htm

Stephanie:

The new bears look somewhat scary looking. Not sure what Disney was thinking when they revamped them. Disappointed.

Amy :

I would not miss this show if they took it away completely. My kids sit through all the other Disney even the Hall of Presidents, however they would not sit for this show. We haven't been back since. We even use this attraction for : If you don't behave we will go watch the country bear show. I get it is a classic but even Mickey gets a revamp.

Nick Smathers:

You would think Disney had learned a few things by now. Experienced WDW guestes prefer the original show. Can anyone say "Enchanted Tiki Room"

We have been visiting the World since 1977 and I agree somethings need alittle change/updating but country Bears was great in the original form, new version is Ok for first timers but for those of us of many returns--DO not fix what is not broken. Love the music and good ole Liver Lips

raspberry ridge:

Going to WDW next week for the first time in 3 years and I am disappointed that Country Bears has been changed in this way.Not only are some of the best elements of the show gone but the bears themselves have been altered.Some of them look grotesque and a little scary!
I also agree with the OP who stated he'd miss the extra 5 minutes to relax.In the months that every minute in the A/C counts they will be especially missed!

Tom:

The new show takes out all of the fun stuff. Now it is not really a show, but rather a music interlude. Disney had it right the first time. The extra time sitting was really great for us old folks who need a break. Everyone laughing during the show at the comments told me they were having fun with the old show. I have heard the old show so many times, I have most of it memorized, fortunately, so I can relive the better show. I say expand the old show, not shorten it.

mike:

I like the new version, However i wish they would bring back the Christmas show as my wife has never seen it and we will going back on Christmas.
I do miss the vacation songs.

Robin Gorrell:

The older I get, the more I hate change. This has always been one of my favorite things in the Magic Kingdom. I'm glad it got a facelift but I can't understand why it was butchered to such a short version. I don't ever remember having to wait very long to get a seat so I can't imagine it was so they could move more people through. There are a whole lot of us who keep returning to Disney because things like the Country Bear Jamboree are a part of our past and happy childhood memories that we look forward to sharing with our children and grandchildren. So Disney PLEASE... If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

BAD Carroll:

Nice to see this refurbished but did they have to shorten the show???? We miss the old show with its foot stomping and audience singing along.
First they did away with the Christmas Show and now they have cut this show. Is there another longer range plan here?

Pam:

I don't like either version. I wish they would bring back the original Country Bears on Vacation. That was such an enjoyable show. I also wish they would bring back the Christmas show because I never got to see it.

Leslie:

Do not like the new butchered version at all! Refurbishment is fine, I realize fabrics fade and things need freshened up but to chop the show up like that was awful! The Country Bears have always been one of my favorites and this is disappointing. I miss the version where they sang "Thank God I'm a Country Bear" and "Rocky Top" Those songs really got the audience involved and clapping and stomping. Seems like they are going "interactive" with almost everything else... what happened here?? I also miss the Christmas show!

Priscilla Sayward:

Will get the chance to see the re-vamped version in December. But what I miss most is the Christmas version. It was wonderful-one of our favorite shows at MK at Christmas. (sigh) Sometimes going to WDW is like going to the market and discovering that one of your favorite products is "new and improved" - only it isn't. So you "make do or do without". I am SUCH an old traditionalist!!

brian:

Ok... I agree Country Bear Jamboree did need a major "cleaning up," but seriously chopping the show to a new abreviated version makes no sense to me. The new animatronics are great and the theater looks good as well, but the bears themselves did not need new hair styles or complete color changes! Walt did always want the parks to change and grow with the times but what makes County Bears so special are the bears themselves. Imagineering should have never changed the looks or the colors. As for the dialogue between the bears, now all it is is a performance by the bears, not the "SHOW" we all have grown to love! Disney please bring back the previous "SHOW"!!

dodgerfan:

I'm not trying to be controversial or disrespectful of anyones opinion, but it wouldn't bother me if the show was removed completely. My family is going in December for our fourth trip and we have never visited this attraction. The kids never showed any interest in taking time for this show. We tried watching the movie from a few years ago, but it was AWFUL! I love the Tiki Room and the 20,000 Leagues ride from my childhood, but I wouldn't miss the Country Bears.

Christy:

I like the old version better. This is one of my favorites, and I understand why they felt a refurbishment was necessary. The bears were looking a bit faded and scraggly. However, the new fur looked more like a rug than fur, sort of like the covering on a cheap teddy bear. Like brown astroturf, even. The show definitely lost some of the magic. But any bears is betters than no bears and I'm glad they didn't get rid of it. I can live with the new look of the bears, but really hope that in time, Disney will realize the error of their ways and put the show back to its original version.

Sherry:

I do not like the new version. Liverlips' hair is unBEARable. I cant believe they took out the heart of the show. No more, if you cant say something nice.... No more, we wrote the lyrics and we also wrote the words. The shortened version of the last song is not good. I dont feel like there is a story anymore...more like a random bunch of songs. The last time they changed the bears they changed it back. I hope they change this back soon.

Chris:

Will be interesting to see if Disney did this to drive attendance up so they can keep it - or drive attendance down so they can get rid of it. I can't imagine anyone who didn't want to see the show before going and seeing it just because it is 5 minutes shorter. On the other hand, I can see a lot of guests not going and seeing it now if they don't like the new edited version...

The Manimal:

Why are we expected to pay more for less? Why do they keep butchering their own shows? The banter between the characters is what gave the show a personal/fun feel; as if the bears were a dysfunctional family or something. But with those cuts...it feels VERY rushed. If you can't sit still for 16 minutes, I feel sorry for you.

MJ Tucker:

To he brutally honest, I hate it. Removing the banter between the bears, also removes characterization. Seriously, what were you all thinking? First you remove the Christmas show and now you butcher the show that plays all year round. Thank you, Disney Imagineering, for continuing to destroy my childhood. Have a magical day!

Joan:

Saw THE very last show in August before the rehab. It needed a facelift, but not sure I like the new shorter version.

Sunni Jackson:

BOO!!! Who are these imagineers that they are allowing to change the classics??? I miss the banter between the bears. They cut out Wendell's first song and "Devilish Mary", my brother's favorite song. This is my 5 year old nephew's favorite thing in the park and he's not going to be happy with the changes. As far as the bear's appearance, I don't know what's worse, Gomer's goatee or Liver Lips' hair. Change it back Disney!!!!!

Gary:

I'm glad it's back so that my 5 yr old grand-daughter can enjoy it for the first time as we have on our many visits.

Donna McPherson:

I like the new show. Last time I went in either this summer or last can't remember which, it was so bad I felt bad for the people who were seeing it for the first time. The sound quality was horrible and all grainy and the characters were all looking really worn and not moving well. Now a new generation of kids can enjoy it. We skipped it our last trip because it was so horrible. Now it will be back on our to do list.

Johnny:

Hi Deb,

We were at the MK on Wed. 10/17, the day it re-opened, but we kind of got sidetracked and didn't get to see it. We'll just have to catch it next week.
Thanks for posting your report with the great videos!
I do wish they would bring back the Christmas version for the holiday season, though.

Hope to see ya' real soon! ~ Johnny.

Melissa:

The new look is great, especially Teddi's hat!

The edits are less great; the new ending is kind of abrupt, and the little bits of dialogue that were cut really helped to establish character and comic timing. But it certainly could have been worse.

I'd say the plus of the facelift and the minus of the edits balance each other out.

Rhona:

What in the world was Disney thinking? Why did they change the show? I really like the older show much, much better. I can only hope that they go back to the older version.

natalie:

i would like to say the new version of the country bear jamboree looks a lot better now i have only see it through the you tube link but i will still miss the old show. i have missed it out a couple of times in magic kingdom while visting that day it looks something colourful of the magic kingdom map that will stand out and people will say lets see what that show is like now.

Mackenzie D.:

Oh, I'm so glad it's back in any form! I'm pretty sure I caught its last show last year, and it was rather tragic. The bears got stuck, the music skipped, and they escorted us out with the music still going, because they couldn't turn it off. The show was closed the next day, and by the time I got home it was on the rehab list! I was so worried I'd never see it again. This is great news! I can't wait to see it this Christmas! Thanks for the update.

Dan:

The wife and I do like the original full version longer but for the most part what they cut out won't be missed too much. The key silly songs are still there. I would be more concerned by the loss of the cartoon-ish bear creatures in favor of trying and failing to make them look human. Liver lips to me looks like he's strung out on crack, terrance looks like he just woke up and lost his comb, and trixie and sammy just look down right psycho scary like they're looking at you as if you're dinner.

Jayme:

I like the longer version much better....its rushed now and the interaction between the bears between songs made it better!

Josh:

I think this is the first time in a long time that i have been disappointed in the change that was made to a classic attraction. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The new fur is almost creepy and the hair on liver lips is un-bear like. The goatee on the piano player needs to go I hope they bring back the original score very soon. I will miss the songs that have been cut as well as the banter between max, buff, and melvin.

Ryan:

I don't like the new version of the show. I wish they would add the old version back. I hope this is only temporary. Some of the bears looks old, or Fatter, or even dumb. I dislike it.

Tommy:

Why on earth would Disney do this? All the changes are really bad and unnecessary.

Seems comparable to when tiki room went under New Management.

Dsnygrl8:

Do you remember what songs were taken out? I LOVE them all, so I'd like to prepare myself for what won't be there next time I visit!

Disketear:

Hi I have to admit the original is more fun and interactive. I remember tapping my feet and really getting involved, the new version is lacking pizzazz.

Rob Crawford:

Please tell me they didn't cut "Blood on the Saddle".

ALL EARS: That song is still in the show.

Ronald:

Glad to hear that it has reopened. We missed seeing it when we were there last week. I do like the longer version better. I sure do wish they would bring back the Christmas version, but I'm sure that is gone for good. Thanks for the update.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 18, 2012 2:38 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Deb's Annual Epcot IllumiNations Party - Ticket Announcement.

The next post in this blog is Discovery of Chocolate - Epcot Food and Wine Festival Event.

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