Country Bear Jamboree is a Disney Theme Parks attraction that debuted at the Magic Kingdom in 1971 as an opening day attraction, Disneyland from 1972-2001 and Tokyo Disneyland in 1983. Originally developed by Marc Davis as part of the failed Mineral King ski-resort concept, the Country Bears hold the distinction of being one of the last Imagineering projects Walt Disney would see concept art for before his death.
On stage at Grizzly Hall, emcee Henry leads an eclectic group of singing bear performing acts playing a variety of classic country tunes, occasionally heckled by a group of talking trophy animal heads and culminating in the tone-deaf Big Al not knowing when to quit resulting in a rousing finale to try and smother his dissonant tune out. In addition to the regular show, two seasonal programs were also created: the Country Bear Vacation Hoedown and the Country Bear Christmas Special. However, only the Japanese version of the show still rotates these versions in.
Starting in 2024, a new program will replace the current Florida show outright after running for over 50 years. Titled Country Bear Musical Jamboree, this incarnation will focus on performances that are countrified versions of songs from Disney films.
Since the attraction's debut, it has received assorted tie-in material. A feature film, The Country Bears was released in 2002.
The attraction includes examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The original record album release contained biographies of all the bears.
- There's also "Big Al Moves In", a book that follows the story of how Big Al ended up traveling to Walt Disney World and joining the Country Bear Jamboree.
- Beary Funny: The main point of the entire show, with it featuring bears that can sing.
- Christmas Special: Tokyo Disneyland has the The Country Bear Christmas Special (that also used to be at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland), which has the bears singing various Christmas songs.
- Company Cross References: Ranger Woodlore from the Humphrey the Bear cartoons appears in Wendell's vacation slides in "Vacation Hoedown".
- Dreadful Musician: Big Al, enough so that Henry has to call in almost all the other acts to drown his music out.
- Played with in the Christmas Special and in "Vacation Hoedown", where the other acts don't seem to have a problem with Big Al's singing. They even let him take part in the finale of those versions.
- Elvis Impersonator: Liver Lips McGrowl dresses up as one during both the Vacation and Christmas Special, complete with wig in the Japanese version. Averted in the regular show where he is dressed just like the other bears.
- Interspecies Romance: Terrence's performance of "Two Different Worlds" in Vacation Hoedown features an octopus that has a crush on him. The Japanese equivalent to the number has them sing a duet of "Over My Head for You".
- Lyrical Dissonance: Big Al's song "Blood On The Saddle", about a cowboy who takes a nasty fall from his horse. Despite the gruesome lyrics, he sings it in a slow tone.
- No Guy Wants to Be Chased: The Sun Bonnets sing about this and their frustrations with it.
- Recurring Element: In all three versions of the show, there's at least one act that involves a slideshow.
- Road Trip Plot: Wendell's slides in Vacation Hoedown show a typical hijinks filled trip.
- Shur Fine Guns: Wendell's rifle in the Christmas Special. When he says the gun isn't loaded, it accidentally fires off a round to shatter the spotlight. It once again fires during the Finale which shatters all the building's lights.
- Swing Low, Sweet Harriet: Teddi Barra, who comes down from the theater ceiling on a swing to do her number.
- Tagline: "The wildest show in the wilderness."
- Vacation Episode: Country Bear Vacation Hoedown, which had the bears all dressed up in the proper vacation-themed attire and singing songs related to various vacation-related activities and destinations.
That you'll drop in and see us now and then
We've done our very best to please
With just the "bear" necessities
We hope that you'll be coming back again!