On July 17, 1955 Walt Disney opened the doors to his original Magic Kingdom known as Disneyland. This month Disneyland will be celebrating its 59th anniversary. In honor of this anniversary I am counting down what I consider to be my favorite attractions, lands or parades that have debuted at Disneyland since 1955. I hope you enjoy my countdown and I’d love to hear what your top 10 Disneyland debuts are.
#9 – Disneyland Debut – Country Bear Jamboree – March 24, 1972
The Country Bear Jamboree first debuted in October of 1971 as an opening day attraction at the Magic Kingdom. A few months later in March 1972 the bears made their debut at Disneyland as an E-Ticket attraction.
The Country Bear show was originally thought of by Walt Disney’s for a night-time entertainment show at a resort in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains called Mineral King. Unfortunately the resort was never built but the idea for the Country Bear Jamboree show lived on. The bear personalities were created by legendary Imagineer Marc Davis.
About the Show
Henry the Bear was the host of “the wildest show in the wilderness” which featured 18 Audio-Animatronic bears singing about a dozen country tunes. The show lasted for about 15 minutes and was full of songs, jokes and laughter by the audience.
My favorite character was Teddi Barra who appeared during the show on a swing descending from the ceiling and sang “Heart, We Did All that We Could.”
They sang beloved songs such as “Ballad of Davy Crockett,” “Tears will be the Chaser for my Wine” and “Ole Slew Foot.”
During the holiday season the bears performed the “Country Bear Christmas Show” and they sang holiday tunes.
Sadly the bears played their last show on September 9, 2001 and has been replaced by another popular bear who likes to eat lots and lots of honey. You can still see the show at the Magic Kingdom and at Tokyo Disneyland.
Video from Disneyland
This video will take you back to the time when the bears were putting on their show at Disneyland.
Why I have ranked it as my #9 Disneyland Debut
I loved sitting in the cool theater on a hot day in Anaheim and watching the bears sing and tell jokes. My parents liked it as well and it was nice to sit with them an enjoy the show too. The Country Bear Jamboree was one of those attractions at Disneyland that was perfect for the whole family. You didn’t get sick from riding on it, you didn’t get splashed on and it wasn’t too loud. Often times some rides aren’t for the whole family, but this was one that everyone in my family loved to sit and watch.
When I think about this attraction I can still hear my parents laughing out loud at the bear jokes. Today as a parent I see how important it is to have fun on vacation too because sometimes vacations can actually turn out to be very stressful. A show like Country Bear Jamboree allows you to relax, let go and have fun. I sure do miss this show at Disneyland.
You can learn more history and see more photos about the Country Bear Jamboree on Yesterland.com.
Come Back Tomorrow
This blog post is one in a series of “Top 10 Disneyland Debuts”. Come back tomorrow to find out what #8 in my list will be. Click here to see what the #10 Disneyland Debut was.