Walt Disney World has introduced a brand new stage present that’ll substitute Nation Bear Jamboree at Magic Kingdom with a reimagined model of the enduring attraction. This put up shares every part we all know: CBJ’s time limit, opening timeframe, and idea artwork. Plus complete commentary and our conflicted emotions concerning the Bear Band doing a brand new act. (Up to date January 9, 2024.)
This information of a reimagined Nation Bear Musical Jamboree was first introduced through the “A Celebration of Disney Parks, Experiences and Merchandise: Yesterday, Immediately and Tomorrow” presentation at Vacation spot D23. Disney Parks, Experiences and Merchandise Chairman Josh D’Amaro provided a sneak peek at idea artwork for the longer term as well as and teased what was to come back in a number of years.
This was one in all many bulletins and divulges on the Vacation spot D23. Others embrace a brand new scene with Ahsoka in Star Excursions, a primary take a look at the Audio Animatronics in Tiana’s Bayou Journey, and a debut timeframe for Hatbox Ghost in Haunted Mansion. And that’s simply what has been shared thus far for Walt Disney World.
Throughout Vacation spot D23, Imagineer Chris Beatty shared that he and his staff love the Nation Bears, which is why they’re bringing an all-new act to Grizzly Corridor for the Bear Band to carry out. The brand new present is coming in 2024, and shall be referred to as Nation Bear Musical Jamboree.
When Nation Bear Musical Jamboree debuts, the Bear Band shall be reinterpreting favourite Disney songs in numerous genres of nation music. Imagineers are envisioning the brand new expertise as a homage to the basic musical revues in Nashville they usually’re working with Nashville musicians to get the genuine nation sound.
The Nation Bear Jamboree will nonetheless have the enjoyable and pleasant tone followers get pleasure from with the identical well-known characters just like the loveable Trixie, Massive Al and others. Right here’s a take a look at the concert-style poster artwork Imagineering created to advertise the reimagined Nation Bear Musical Jamboree:
January 9, 2024 Replace: Walt Disney World has shared the time limit for the unique Nation Bear Jamboree together with a gap timeframe for the reimagined Nation Bear Musical Jamboree, together with different particulars. Right here’s the newest:
“Get able to knee slap and toe-tap to just a little nation twang this summer season! Should you’ve been too busy trottin’ by way of the wild west and have missed the information, the Nation Bears are on the brink of placed on a brand new present that pays homage to the Opry-style exhibits of Nashville.
Whereas the Nation Bear Musical Jamboree will embrace easter eggs from the start to the tip together with a well-recognized tune followers could keep in mind, the bears will sing new, reinterpreted Disney tunes in numerous genres of nation music – like bluegrass, pop-country, Americana, rockabilly and different kinds.”
Right here’s a take a look at the behind-the-scenes teaser clip Walt Disney World has shared for Nation Bear Musical Jamboree:
To arrange for the brand new present, Nation Bear Jamboree shut starting January 27, 2024.
The attraction will reopen as Nation Bear Musical Jamboree later in Summer season 2024.
Walt Disney World additionally teased this: “However maintain your horses, we’re not accomplished but. We now have lots of progress and funding deliberate for our theme parks within the coming years and look ahead to sharing extra bulletins about Frontierland … so y’all come again now, ya hear?”
Turning to commentary, this can be a powerful one. There’s virtually actually dramatically totally different reactions between the longtime and diehard Walt Disney World followers who had been attending Vacation spot D23 in-person versus extra informal and newer followers.
For lots of you, Nation Bear Jamboree is nothing particular, a relic of one other time that has aged poorly and is lengthy overdue for alternative. That describes lots of people, and to them, this modification will undoubtedly be embraced with enthusiasm and cautious optimism, at minimal. For others, not a lot.
It’s no secret that we’re Nation Bear superfans, continuously encouraging readers to make a bearline to Magic Kingdom’s UNESCO World Heritage Website, Grizzly Corridor. That’s the place they will discover Nation Bear Jamboree, a present that’s finest appreciated by audiences with refined senses of humor, attractiveness, and nice style in sights and animals.
Joking (however probably not) apart, we completely adore Nation Bear Jamboree but additionally, we’ve anticipated it to be eliminated and changed for years. We’ve been saying for over a decade that that is the kind of attraction that may by no means be made at the moment, and never simply because it’s a stage present with lots of Audio Animatronics. Nation Bear Jamboree incorporates a distinctive model of irreverent humor, and among the lyrics elicit audible reactions from the viewers as a result of they’re surprising from a Disney attraction.
It’s going to take some time to collect my ideas about this information, so for now, I’ll share what I wrote earlier this yr in Reimaginings Contained in the Park and ‘Past the Berm’ Growth at Magic Kingdom:
As a lot as I hate to confess this, Nation Bear Jamboree is on borrowed time. There are a quantity of explanation why Walt Disney World would possibly need to do one thing with the beloved bear band. I really like Nation Bear Jamboree and can defend it till the tip (if something, I sincerely imagine it has gained appreciation in the previous couple of years, too!). However I’m additionally a realist.
Nation Bear Jamboree just isn’t going to exist in its present type eternally. A decade from now, I’ll be glad if the Audio Animatronics bears merely nonetheless exist…however are singing totally different songs. That’s in all probability the perfect case and most life like state of affairs, barring a disaster for the corporate, economic system, or tourism tanking in a approach that basically causes the parks to freeze in time. (No harm inflicted, but additionally no improvement accomplished–we name that the “Disneyland Paris Impact.”)
To be abundantly clear, this doesn’t imply that I’m on board with reimagining Nation Bear Jamboree. Once more, this can be a matter of (making an attempt to) come to phrases with actuality, and the small miracle of the Nation Bear Jamboree and people songs nonetheless being sung in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World within the yr 2024.
For me, this announcement mirrors discovering out IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth was being changed. I knew it was an inevitability for years, and greater than the rest, was grateful that we received to see it so many instances earlier than it was retired. Like that, Nation Bear Jamboree has had an important run. Additionally like that, I want it could stick round Walt Disney World eternally, however ‘get’ why that’s unrealistic.
Not like IllumiNations, this attraction will dwell on with the Nation Bears sticking round, which is greater than I actually would’ve anticipated even a number of years in the past. Frankly, that could be a colossal distinction between the 2 adjustments. If facets of IllumiNations had been modernized and reimagined to be included right into a extra crowd-pleasing nighttime spectacular, I in all probability would’ve been personally unhappy however fully understanding. That’s the crossroads, of types, for me with this Nation Bear information.
In some unspecified time in the future, I’ll gather my ideas and provide extra complete commentary about what makes Nation Bear Jamboree so particular. (Or maybe not–I may by no means convey myself to do an IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth tribute put up.) For now, right here’s what I wrote a number of years again in My Prime 10 Walt Disney World Sights:
For therefore many individuals I’ve encountered, enjoyment of Nation Bear Jamboree hinges upon whether or not they get pleasure from folks or nation music. In the event that they don’t, the entire bears on this planet can not save this attraction for them.
Bob Dylan’s forays into them apart, these musical genres usually are not my jam. The factor is, Nation Bear Jamboree just isn’t a easy nation music live performance carried out by robotic bears. As a substitute, it’s concurrently a love-letter to the style, and a send-up of stereotypical Southern life. It borders on social satire, and within the course of accommodates among the finest witty and irreverent humor ever showcased in a Disney theme park.
Most significantly, its irreverent humor is delivered in a playful and enjoyable method. At the same time as Nation Bear Jamboree spoofs hillbilly tradition, it does so in approach that’s unlikely to offend. I grew up in rural Michigan and lived in Indiana for years, and somewhat than discovering this humor offensive as a result of it hits too near residence, I giggle at its astuteness.
Maybe I simply get pleasure from self-deprecating humor, however I believe Nation Bear Jamboree is a hoot, and one which makes me nod silently whereas laughing. When Massive Al first seems, I believe all of us can relate. Who amongst us has not sat on our porch shirtless and shoeless, with jugs of empty moonshine scattered round our sofa whereas watching the automobiles move? (No? Simply me. Okay then.)
Past Nation Bear Jamboree’s catchy music and irreverent humor, the characters are wonderful. Despite the fact that the runtime is pretty brief (and shorter now than it was!), the character improvement is robust. By the tip of the present, you’ve gotten an excellent sense of every bear’s character and their quirks.
Once I consider the perfect theme park characters from Walt Disney World, Figment, Dreamfinder, Sonny Eclipse, and about 8 of the Nation Bears come to thoughts. Discuss a powerful ensemble! Nation Bear Jamboree is just like the Moist Scorching American Summer season of theme park attraction casts.
On the finish of the day, none of this could actually be obligatory to steer you that Nation Bear Jamboree is among the many finest sights at Walt Disney World. Should you’re towards singing, robotic bears, you’re towards America. It’s so simple as that.
In the end, the jury continues to be out on the Nation Bear reimagining information for us. On some private degree, we shall be unhappy to see the present Nation Bear Jamboree go. That a lot is a given, as we love the irreverence and humor of the present collection of songs, and have limitless nostalgia for the present present. It’ll be powerful to say goodbye to Nation Bear Jamboree in its current type.
Nonetheless, how troublesome that’s actually relies upon upon the execution of the alternative. If Imagineering is ready to substitute the present present whereas sustaining the Bear Band’s humorousness, character, and allure will go a great distance for us. If Nation Bear Jamboree’s successor manages to be the identical ‘ole bears however performing totally different tunes, it’ll find yourself being fairly straightforward to just accept this modification.
That’s notably true if the brand new present truly finally ends up being each good and fashionable, drawing bigger crowds. Though we (selfishly) get pleasure from having the ability to simply seize a last-minute seat at Nation Bear Jamboree and have loads of area round us, there’s nothing we’d love greater than the Nation Bears enjoying to packed homes, having to attend in 15 minute lengthy strains to see them, and have the Bear Band stick round for many years to come back. If a brand new era of Nation Bear followers is cast within the strategy of this reimagining, that’s a giant win in our e-book.
In different phrases, that is a type of uncommon issues that’s doubtlessly each a private damaging and greater image optimistic. There’s virtually no world by which a alternative for Nation Bear Jamboree improves upon the unique for us. On the similar time, we notice it’s a present of a special period, and overdue for a modernization to make it extra interesting to fashionable audiences and new generations of Walt Disney World friends. If Imagineering is ready to thread the needle and provide one thing that satisfies each the informal diehard and diehard demos, it’ll be a bittersweet success.
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What do you consider the reimagined of Nation Bear Jamboree introduced for Magic Kingdom? Are you a upset diehard, cautiously optimism, or overtly obsessed with this information? Or, are you in wait and see mode with this? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we may help you reply? Listening to your suggestions—even whenever you disagree with us—is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!