Country Bear Jamboree

85 Days: Country Bear Jamboree

Country Bear Jamboree

The Country Bear Jamboree is our choice for Day 85 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown.

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s #DisneyWorldCountdown post!  For today, we are sitting at 85 days until our trip, and we are taking a look at the Country Bear Jamboree!  This is a down-home, good ol’ show full of country goodness!  I’ve written about this show before, and to this day, the story of Walt Disney and Marc Davis is both incredibly sad and eery at the same time.  For more details on that story, click on the link.

As for the Country Bear Jamboree, though, this is one of those shows that we don’t need to see every trip we go, but it is definitely one that I enjoy when we do see it.  There’s just something fun about those singing bears and how they keep the audience entertained.  Since this is a Disney World opening day attraction, it has earned my respect for being here for almost 43 years — that kind of staying power for a show performed by bears singing country and western music speaks for itself.  Here are a couple of shots of the bears that I’ve taken over the years — I hope you enjoy them!

Country Bear Jamboree

Big Al serenades us with his out-of-tune guitar.

Country Bear Jamboree

The Country Bear Jamboree bears perform together in their final song.

As I said, this isn’t an attraction that I need to see every trip — but with our friends from California joining us, and our friends from North Carolina joining us also, I think that this is one that we might check out.  Tell me, what do you think about the Country Bear Jamboree?  Love it, can’t stand it, can take it or leave it?  Let me know in the comments, please, and thanks for stopping by!

#DisneyTrivia: Welcome to Disney, Mr. Davis!

Marc Davis

Hello everyone, and welcome to Tiggerific Tuesday #DisneyTrivia segment, the weekly trivia segment that I host along with my good friends Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Jen from Disney Babies Blog, and Heidi from Heidi’s Head!  Even though today is not Tuesday, it’s Monday evening, we like to get a good start on our trivia for the week, so I hope you’ll forgive the faux paux!

Today is a very important day if you are a Disney History buff like I am!  Today, as you can see from the image, is the 78th anniversary of the hiring of Marc Davis!  Mr. Davis, as you may recall from my Disney Legends post about him, is one of Walt’s Nine Old Men, and was noted for such incredible attractions as Pirates of the Caribbean, among others!  I think it is safe to say that today was a very big day, not only in the life of Marc Davis, but also in the life of all of us that love to visit Disney parks around the world!  Here is the official text, as seen on This Day in Disney History:

December 2, 1935: Marc Davis begins working as an apprentice animator at the Walt Disney Studios. He is immediately thrown into 2 weeks of intense drawing classes – taught by the studio’s resident instructor Donald Graham. Davis will go on to become one of Walt’s “Nine Old Men” and create such memorable Disney characters as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Tinker Bell and Cruella de Vil! He will later become one of Walt’s original Imagineers and ultimately a Disney Legend.

Thank you for taking a trip down Disney history Lane with me, please go check out what Heidi, Jen, and Jodi have for us as well, and please add your own trivia posts into our list!

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Remembering Disney Legends – Marc Davis

Marc Davis

Disney Legend Marc Davis busy at work drawing.

Hello everyone, and welcome to a special series here at My Dreams of Disney.  Over the next few weeks, we are going to spend a little time and take a look back at some of the great Disney Legends that Disney has produced.  It is a special person who becomes a Disney Legend, and in my mind, there is no better person to start with than one of Walt’s Nine Old Men himself, Marc Davis.

Those of you that are truly into the history that Disney has will know his name, and probably know more about him than I know!  However, if you haven’t heard of him before, that’s okay, because we’ll highlight some of his accomplishments during the course of his extraordinary career at Disney.

Marc Davis was hired as an apprentice animator for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  He progressed through the ranks and worked on character design and other duties for Bambi and Victory Through Air Power.  However, his biggest accomplishments in the animation arena came when he was the person behind some of the greatest woman in Disney lore — Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, and Tinker Bell from Peter Pan.

After a while Davis transferred to the department that would become Walt Disney Imagineering, and it was there that his signature work would be found on some of the great classic Disney attractions.  All told, Davis worked on the following attractions at Disneyland:

  • Enchanted Tiki Room
  • It’s a Small World
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Jungle Cruise

Marc Davis was the last of the famed group of Disney employees dubbed the “Nine Old Men” by Walt Disney himself to be hired at Disney, but in my opinion, his accomplishments stand up to any.  The term “Nine Old Men” was a play on words by Walt Disney as a reference to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Supreme Court.  The funny thing about this was that all of the Disney “Nine Old Men” were only in their 20s when they started working with the company!

Marc Davis worked for Disney for 43 years, retiring from active work in 1978 — although he did help with the development of EPCOT and Tokyo Disneyland.  Ironically, yesterday was the 24 anniversary of his induction (along with the rest of the Nine Old Men) as a Disney Legend.

Marc Davis passed away on January 12, 2000, at the age of 86.

Having seen much of his work up close, it is our opinion that some of the great attractions that Marc Davis worked on would not be the same if he hadn’t contributed to them, so My Dreams of Disney salutes him.

Next up on our list of Disney Legends: Ward Kimball, another of Disney’s Nine Old Men.

The Country Goodness of the Country Bear Jamboree

IMG_4045 As we continue our look at what makes the attractions of Disney the most unique of any theme parks, today we are going to look at another of the opening day attractions for the Magic Kingdom — the Country Bear Jamboree.

Country Bear Jamboree Origins

The Country Bear Jamboree was originally slated for installation at Disney’s Mineral King Ski Resort, which was a project Walt Disney was working on in the mid 60s.  The thought behind it was that the ski resort would need a show of some sort, and since it is the mountains, a bear themed show would fit in perfectly with the lodge and the concept.  As a result, Walt Disney assigned the project to Marc Davis, one of Walt’s Nine Old Men.

As the story is told, one day Walt Disney walked into Marc Davis’ office, where Davis was working on drawings for the Country Bear Jamboree.  Walt took a look at the drawings and laughed because he loved how it was working out.  Then, on his way out of the office, he turned and told Marc Davis “Good-bye.” — which was something he never did.  A few days later, on December 15, 1966, Walt Disney passed away, and that meeting with Marc Davis was the last time that Marc Davis would ever see Walt Disney on this planet.

Plans for the ski resort dried up with Walt’s passing, but as you all know, Walt Disney World continued on, and it was decided that the Country Bear Jamboree would be an opening day attraction at the Magic Kingdom when it opened.  When it opened, the reviews were so favorable that it was immediately decided to put a version of it at Disneyland — this is one of the few attractions that I know of that opened at Walt Disney World before it opened at Disneyland.

The Country Bear Jamboree is not an attraction that I need to see every time we are at Walt Disney World, but it is one that I enjoy watching every couple of years or so.  The audio-animatronic characters, coupled with the the atmosphere of the show, and the music, just adds up to an attraction that is full of country goodness!  Additionally, if you are visiting the Magic Kingdom during a hot summer’s day, getting in out of the heat is well worth it!

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IMG_8179 So what do you think about the Country Bear Jamboree?  Do you have any changes in opinion based on the background information I found?  If so, please let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!