Disney World closes one of its last opening-days attractions

While Disney World has added three theme parks to the original Magic Kingdom park since it opened in 1971, the company has been slow to change the original park. 

The Mouse House has expanded its original Florida theme park by adding modern attractions like “Tron: Lightcycle/Run” and “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train,” but it has held on to a shocking amount of its opening-day rides and attractions.

Some, like the “Haunted Mansion” and “Dumbo the Flying Elephant,” have a sort of timeless quality. “Haunted Mansion” has always been a hokey but timeless ride while “Dumbo” is a traditional fair ride with Disney theming. 

Related: DeSantis contentious law against Disney World affects iconic ride

Disney World also still offers the “Frontierland Shooting Gallery,” a fairly dated attraction that puts guns (albeit old-timey ones) in kids’ hands. 

Magic Kingdom also still offers the “Hall of Presidents,” “Cinderella’s Golden Carousel,” (a pretty basic merry-go-round), “It’s a Small World,” “Jungle Cruise,” “Mad Tea Party,” and the “Enchanted Tiki Room” (which was opened as “Tropical Serenade”). 

Walt Disney (DIS) – Get Free Report has been very respectful of the fact that its founder had a big hand in launching Disney World and preserving his vision. 

That does not mean the company has not made changes. “Jungle Cruise,” for example, had its story modernized, and Disney has tweaked and changed many of its story-based rides over the years to keep up with the times.

Now, the company has decided to close another opening-day attraction, “The Country Bear Jamboree,” and replace it with a new show that pays tribute to its history in a more modern way.

The carousel was an opening day ride at Magic Kingdom.

Image source: Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images

Disney World closing ‘Country Bear Jamboree’

The Country Bears have been a mainstay at Disney World since the park opened. The show has changed over the years, but the company has decided to replace the original show with a completely new offering.

It will still star the Country Bears and it will have nods to the past, but it will be an all-new production when the show comes back next summer.

“If you’ve been too busy trottin’ through the wild west and have missed the news, the Country Bears are getting ready to put on a new show that pays homage to the Opry-style shows of Nashville,” the company said on the Disney Parks website. 

“While the Country Bear Musical Jamboree will include easter eggs from the beginning to the end including a familiar tune fans may remember, the bears will sing new, reinterpreted Disney tunes in different genres of country music – like bluegrass, pop-country, Americana, rockabilly, and other styles.” 

This change will have the new Country Bears show open around the same time as another Disney update. The company has fully rethemed “Splash Mountain” away from its troubled film “Song of the South,” to “The Princess and the Frog.”

“Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film,” Disney added.

“Picking up where the film left off, guests will join Princess Tiana, jazz-loving alligator Louis, and others on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration during Mardi Gras season where everyone is welcome.” 

Disney makes huge theme-park investments

While Disney has threatened to slow its investments at Disney World due to its feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, it hasn’t actually done that. The company has been steadily investing in its four Florida theme parks as part of a much larger $60 billion capital investment plan. 

“The Walt Disney Company is developing plans to accelerate and expand investment in its Parks, Experiences, and Products segment to nearly double capital expenditures over the course of approximately 10 years to roughly $60 billion, including by investing in expanding and enhancing domestic and international parks and cruise line capacity,” the company said in September.

The company expects any expansion efforts at its theme parks to rely heavily on its intellectual property

“We have a wealth of untapped stories to bring to life across our business,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products.

“’Frozen,’ one of the most successful and popular animated franchises of all time, could have a presence at the Disneyland Resort. Wakanda has yet to be brought to life. The world of Coco is just waiting to be explored. There’s a lot of storytelling opportunity.”

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