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Splash Mountain Ride Interiors 01 by JUNEAU BISCUITS

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The Country Bear Jamboree at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

Although the Country Bear Jamboree opened with the park on October 1, 1971, the plans for the attraction date back to Walt Disney himself. In 1966, Walt decided that he would need some sort of attraction for his planned Disney’s Mineral King Ski Resort. He tasked Imagineer Marc Davis with creating a show based on Audio Animatronic bears. Davis and fellow Imagineer Al Bertino came up with many ideas including marching band bears, mariachi bears, and Dixieland bears. Walt Disney was said to have like Marc Davis’ drawings of the bears so much that they actually made him laugh (thus the attraction would eventually be known as Walt’s last laugh). The Country Bears would be one of the last attractions that Walt had a direct involvement with.

When the Country Bear Jamboree opened in the Magic Kingdom, it proved to be so popular that a copy of the attraction was built for Disneyland. The Country Bear Jamboree takes place inside Grizzly Hall. While waiting in the buildings front room, guests can see caricatures of the bears including: Henry, Wendell, Trixie, and the Five Bear Rugs. The attraction is a stage show with audio-animatronic figures. Most of the characters are bears who perform Country music. Characters rise up to the stage on platforms, descend from the ceiling, and appear from behind curtains. The audience includes audio-animatronic animal heads mounted on the walls who interact with characters on stage. The Country Bear Jamboree is still in operation at Magic Kingdo, but the Disneyland version has been replaced with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction.