10 Twangy Facts About Disney’s Country Bear Jamboree
Here are some interesting facts that we came across from the website mentalfloss.com.
1. THE ATTRACTION WAS ORIGINALLY SLATED FOR A DISNEY SKI RESORT.
Back in the mid ’60s, Disney had big plans to build a ski resort in California’s Sequoia National Park. In addition to the ski slope, the resort would have included a five-story hotel with 1030 rooms, a movie theater, a general store, ice rinks, tennis courts—and a variety show featuring a band of bears that appeared to have wandered in from the surrounding forest. On September 19, 1966, Disney held a press conference to announce the project. On December 15, 1966, Walt died. Plans for the resort were eventually canceled, but the Imagineers didn’t forget about those animatronic performing bears. Catch a demo for the original idea here.
2. IT WAS ONE OF THE LAST PROJECTS WALT WORKED ON.
Imagineer Marc Davis has said that Disney delighted in the preliminary sketches for the bear band concept. “Walt laughed when he saw [the sketches],” Marc remembered. “He looked awfully bad. He’d been in the hospital, and he’d lost a lung, and so on. Later he came back around … and I stopped in my doorway … and as he walked down the hall about 40 feet, he stopped and turned … he said, ‘Good-bye Marc.’ And that was it. He died a couple of weeks later. And he never said good-bye, usually. He would say, ‘Let’s get together,’ or ‘How about next week?’ or something. I’m positive he had a feeling about it.”
3. IT WAS THE FIRST DISNEY WORLD ATTRACTION TO BE REPLICATED AT DISNEYLAND.
Plenty of attractions from Disneyland ended up in the Sunshine State, but the success of the Country Bears in Disney’s Florida park made it the first attraction to be reproduced on the other coast. In fact, in 1972, Big Al and his pals inspired an $8 million Disneyland expansion called “Bear Country.”
Get the rest of the facts at the article here. (Source: 10 Twangy Facts About Disney’s Country Bear Jamboree)