No More Blood On the Saddle: Country Bear Musical Jamboree Misses An Opportunity

By | February 12, 2024

At the end of January 2024, the Country Bear Jamboree at Walt Disney World closed, to be rethemed into the Country Bear Musical Jamboree. This isn’t the first time, not counting the Vacation Hoedown and the Christmas Special that the act has changed. When the ride was closed in 2012, they cut 5 minutes of the show, including two entire songs, parts of others, and some dialogue. But now, the new version of the ride is being reimagined with country genres of classic Disney songs.

So, at the least, the new version contains all the same characters…if one is renamed to keep with the times. But, it leads me to my one question…why does there need to be only one set? You need one set of costumes, one set of animatronics…but you could have different sets. The costs should be minimal. Disney does this for several things. For example, Star Tours adds new scenes periodically, and the planets you visit during each trip through the ride are random. Cosmic Rewind offers a random choice of songs from its soundtrack. Mission Breakout has a series of 6 music and drop sequences, and its predecessor, Tower of Tower(still in Hollywood Studios but gone from California Adventure) had random drop sequences as well.

Why can’t Trixie have three different songs to choose from? There are three members of Sun Bonnet Trio…but they only get one song. Animatronics in the modern era can be more interactive. They only are closing the ride for a few months, but being able to have a more dynamic act seems achievable in this time. They could have all the old songs and new ones.

The Country Bears was an opening day attraction at Walt Disney World, and was so popular that they built two theaters for it at Disneyland and Tokyo Disney…with Tokyo being the only original program left for now…although admittedly in Japanese(I’ve checked it out on YouTube, Bear Band Serenade doesn’t have quite the same ring to it). And now, it narrowly avoided being replaced by a Toy Story musical ride, so if the choice is between no Bears and Bears with a new set…I guess a new set is the better choice.