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Good morning! This day in Disneyland history, March 24th, 1956: The Astro Jets opened for business in Tomorrowland. In 1972, the Country Bear Jamboree opened in Bear Country.
The Astro Jets opened just eight months after the parks grand opening.
(notice the central rotating axis on top of the rotating base, spring 1962)
The ride replaced the Court of Flags otherwise know as the court of Honor; a formation of 48 flag poles flying the flag of every state of the United States. below is a fabulous Rocket to the Moon shot, including the Court of Honor (and someone's cute grandmother). From opening year, 1955:
There is a bit of mystery surrounding the actual opening date for this attraction. Astro Jets, which opened on April 2, 1956 (although the official Disney Company opening date is listed as March 24, 1956). ::scratches head:: confused yet? LOL Me too, but I'm going with Disneys opening date. ::shrug::
According the the Disney History Institute: For the opening ceremony, the publicity folks at Disneyland came up with the brilliant idea of inviting aviators from three branches of America's armed forces to participate--the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines Corps, and the U.S. Air Force. On hand also was the "Disneyland Air Force." (Pictured below) It was a great promotion that both honored those serving their country and heralded the opening of this new ride to Walt's magic kingdom.
A short clip of a full video available with membership on the Disney History Website:
The Astro-Jets closed in 1966, to be replaced the following year by the Rocket Jets, on July 3rd, (1967-1997).
Do you remember this attraction? What did you think of it?
Also on this day in 1972, The Country Bear Jamboree opened in Bear County. For the sake of time, I'm borrowing info from a post I wrote about it's closing date in September of last year. My appologies to those that have already read it. But history is history, it stays the same. :)
Located where "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" attraction is now, The Country Bear Clubhouse was actually supposed to be part of the never-realized Disney project in the 1960's- a ski-resort in Mineral King Valley. Now part of Sequoia National Park. After Walts passing in 1966, the ski resort (which ran into environmental concerns) and the "bear show" were shelved.
GREAT video from Extinct Attractions: Disneyland Country Bears History Documentary directed by David Oneal with Alice Davis
Marc Davis and Al Bertino created the bear group. The Country Bear Jamboree actually first opened at WDW. It was SO successful that the imagineers immediately planned a Disneyland version. In 1972, the Indian Village was torn down to make way for Bear Country. The attraction was twice the size of the WDW's version featuring two identical theaters.
Below is a Mark Davis painting for The Country Bear Jamboree.
From 1972 to 1986, the attraction was know as The Country Bear Jamboree. In 1986, it was renamed and re-themed as a "vacation-themed show" called The Country Bear Vacation Hoedown, or otherwise known as The Country Bear Clubhouse.
Here are some of the songs you’d enjoy in "The Country Bear Jamboree" show: (Thanks Yesterland.com)
- “The Five Bear Rugs,” performed by Henry, introducing the band
- “My Woman Ain’t Pretty, but She Don’t Swear None,” performed by Liver-Lips McGrowl
- “Mama, Don’t Whip Little Buford,” performed by Henry and Wendell
- “Tears Will Be the Chaser for My Wine,” performed by Trixie
- “Pretty Little Devilish Mary,” performed by the Five Bear Rugs
- “How Long Will My Baby Be Gone?” performed by Terrence
- “All the Guys that Turn Me On Turn Me Down,” performed by the Sun Bonnets—Bunny, Bubbles, and Beulah
- “Heart, We Did All that We Could,” performed by Teddi Barra, descending on a swing from the ceiling
- “Blood on the Saddle,” performed by the unbearable Big Al
- “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” performed by Henry, who is joined by Sammy the hat racoon
- “Blood on the Saddle,” performed again by Big Al
- “Ole Slewfoot” (“He’s big around the middle and he’s broad across the rump”), performed by almost all the other bears, trying to drown out Big Al.
- “Come Again,” performed by Henry, Sammy, Max, Buff, and Melvin.
To watch a promotional video for the attraction filmed in 1972:
When the show was changed over to the Country Bear Vacation Hoedown the songs changed too: (again, thanks Yesterland.com)
- “The Great Outdoors,” performed by Henry and the Five Bear Rugs
- “Life’s No Picnic Without You,” performed by Trixie
- “On the Road Again,” performed by Wendell
- “We Can Make It To the Top,” performed by Liver Lips McGrowl
- “California Bears,” performed by the Sun Bonnets, Gomer, Max, Buff, and Melvin
- “Two Different Worlds,” performed by Terrence with Dolores the octopus
- “Rocky Top,” performed by the Five Bear Rugs
- “Nature,” performed by Ernest
- “Singin’ In the Rain,” performed by Teddi Barra and Henry
- “Ghost Riders In the Sky,” performed by the Five Bear Rugs
- “On My Way To Your Heart,” performed by Big Al
- “Thank God I’m a Country Bear,” performed by the entire cast
During its run, the Country Bear Jamboree had two spin-offs – a Christmas special and the Vacation Hoedown.
The Country bear officially closed it's curtains forever, September 9th, 2001. Where the Jamboree played, riders now can spot three heads of Country Bear animals inside the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride that opened in its place in 2003. Max the deer, Melvin the moose and Buff the buffalo are mounted on the wall past the Woozles. Have you seen them?
Who remembers the Country Bears? Did you have a favorite song they sang? Perhaps a memory from watching the show?
Thanks so much for reading and watching! I know this one was particularly long... hopefully not too boring? Go out and have a magnificent Monday!
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Fantasmic! Jan 10-SUMMER 2017
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