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  1. #1

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    Smile Country Bear Jamboree Appreciation Thread

    Well, I've been to that nostalgic part of Disney again. I miss the Bears.

    I fondly remember seeing them at DL so many times before they were evicted by the Bear-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I remember seeing them on their last show, and everyone was cheering, applauding, clapping along, and taking flash photos like nobody's business. I loved the location of this CBJ better than the one in Orlando, and it fits much more than the Pooh ride does.

    People who now stand at the entrance of Pooh say "Welcome to the Hundred Acre Wood!" while I think "You mean Grizzly Hall?" I've been on Pooh too many times just for Melvin, Buff, and Max. Some people say "Pooh is so much better than that bear show." but I know that that place had a better previous life. But then as said in a Wikipedia article of the Pooh ride:

    "Imagineers chose to replace the Country Bear Jamboree with Pooh due to its lack of popularity, which would require major excavation for space and leveling for the ride. When news of the former attraction's demise broke, many fans were once more upset at the loss of another classic attraction and again sought to change the park managers' minds. However, then-managers Paul Pressler and Cynthia Harris, both unpopular with Disneyland enthusiasts, ignored this and continued."

    This excerpt just makes me sick to my stomach. This attraction had a close place to Walt's heart, with Marc Davis regarding the show as being Walt's last good laugh before his untimely death. I miss this attraction greatly, and I hope to see it live a good long life wherever it is.

    But not all hope is lost. What if the CBJ would set up shop in the Grizzly Peak Recreation Area in DCA? What if the Bears COULD return? I just want to experince this great Disneyland/WDW classic again here in California.

    Anyone else have great memories or thoughts on the Bears?

    Last edited by DisneylandMaster; 08-26-2013 at 05:05 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Country Bear Jamboree Appreciation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneylandMaster View Post
    "Imagineers chose to replace the Country Bear Jamboree with Pooh due to its lack of popularity, which would require major excavation for space and leveling for the ride. When news of the former attraction's demise broke, many fans were once more upset at the loss of another classic attraction and again sought to change the park managers' minds. However, then-managers Paul Pressler and Cynthia Harris, both unpopular with Disneyland enthusiasts, ignored this and continued."
    This excerpt is not entirely true. WDI had been toying with a few ideas for the Country Bears, from new shows to an entire attraction, but their first choice was to keep the Bears.

    When Pressler and Harris realized how much money they could make off Winnie the Pooh merchandise, they forced Tony Baxter and WDI to replace the Bears with Pooh. It was purely a decision based on merchandise sales, rather than a creative decision.

  3. #3

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    Re: Country Bear Jamboree Appreciation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by disneylandfan95 View Post
    When Pressler and Harris realized how much money they could make off Winnie the Pooh merchandise, they forced Tony Baxter and WDI to replace the Bears with Pooh. It was purely a decision based on merchandise sales, rather than a creative decision.
    Unfortunately, I do have to agree that quantity over quality got the best in this argument. And Planes.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Country Bear Jamboree Appreciation Thread

    I miss the bears as well....it sure seems to me like they could have reinvented the show some how to maybe peek new interest. I feel so sad when I see Max, Buff and Melvin just hanging out, inanimate in the Pooh Ride. I miss hearing the bear snore as you come into Bear Country as well. Teddi Bara was the bees knees.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Country Bear Jamboree Appreciation Thread

    I do have very fond memories, mostly of the Playhouse and surroundings itself as you entered and left the show. I grew up with Vacation Hoedown playing the most frequently, as opposed to the 'original' Jamboree, so it was the show I knew best.

    What sticks in my mind the most was how the experience blended with environment: walking through that covered bridge over the stream and into the 'lobby', which had portraits everywhere, furniture looked like it had been made from whole logs, the floor scratched up by claws and large bear footprints about, looked very 'lived in'. And exiting, the theme continued, with the waterfalls and dense plant life, and could go into the Mile Long Bar and see Max, Buff and Melvin again (they even occasionally 'came to life' just like in the show to look around and interact silently with each other.) It felt like the whole experience was ingrained in the area, and the performers had a 'life' offstage even if you didn't see it, hinted at by the detailing and thematic depth placed into the waiting area and even after you left the theater after the last song. Pooh doesn't compare and doesn't mesh well with Critter Country at all comparatively.

  6. #6

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    Re: Country Bear Jamboree Appreciation Thread

    I want it back. It was a big part of my early memories of Disneyland.

  7. #7

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    Re: Country Bear Jamboree Appreciation Thread

    Replace EO in Tomorrowland with The Space Bear Cosmic Hoedown.....the Country Bears are back.....from outer-space; and they brought with them a couple of new friends and a half dozen new songs including Space Oddity, Rocket Man and Calling Occupants.

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  8. #8

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    Re: Country Bear Jamboree Appreciation Thread

    Honestly I don't think I had any idea that the attraction had even existed before the County Bears Movie. I starting watching the show after the promo started and I enjoyed it. But I have very vague memories of it because I was probably just a pre-teen when they took it away. I always thought they took it away because the movie flopped. I feel like the problem with maintaining popularity with places like this are that casual Disneyland fans have no idea they exist. I've talked to people who only visit Disney maybe once a year or less. The majority of these people have no idea that The Tiki Room even exists. You can go as far as singing the iconic song and it won't even register on there faces. They have never been in the Tiki Room. They don't even know where its located. If they made more updates or even did something to make it appear on the average visitors radar we wouldn't have this problem. But I'm not really sure what can be done, but I don't want to loose the Tiki Room too.
    /end rant

  9. #9

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    Re: Country Bear Jamboree Appreciation Thread

    Country Bears never earned a spot among my top Disney attractions, that's for sure. Yet, I always make a point to watch it whenever I'm at Magic Kingdom and I always enjoy it, vaguely offensive southern stereotypes in anthropomorphic bear forms and all. Eh who am I kidding, that stuff is hilarious.

    Who are they kidding with that Winnie the Pooh ride? It's awful. It's weak compared to the version at Magic Kingdom, which itself was never that good to begin with. There's never anyone in line for it at Disneyland.

  10. #10

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    Re: Country Bear Jamboree Appreciation Thread

    I have a lot of fond and early Disneyland memories with CBJ. It was almost like it's own land, know what I mean? I agree that the Pooh ride is pretty (can't even believe I'm using this word) bunk, even without having to compare it to it's WDW counterpart.

    Heck, I still can't listen to John Denver without singing "Thank god I'm a country bear"


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  11. #11

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    Re: Country Bear Jamboree Appreciation Thread

    I have fond memories because it was one of my dad's favorite things at Disneyland, and so it was one of the things (besides the trains) that we always had to do every time we went. However, apparently I don't miss it that much because I've been to WDW several times and have yet to make it to the Country Bears over there. I think for me, it's one of those things were I have good memories, and I'm glad that I do, but I wouldn't be going on it today so I don't mind that it's gone.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Country Bear Jamboree Appreciation Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Movie Rider View Post
    Who are they kidding with that Winnie the Pooh ride? It's awful. It's weak compared to the version at Magic Kingdom, which itself was never that good to begin with. There's never anyone in line for it at Disneyland.
    Even at its busiest, I've only see go up to 20 minutes. No more. I heard they just keep the 2 or 3 minute mark up for laughs because of the practically empty line.
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