June 17, 2024

Country Bear Vacation Jamboree is BACK for Summer 2024 at Tokyo Disneyland!!!

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For the first time in 5 years, it's going to be a blockbuster summer at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. Not only are the parks finally getting back to 2019 normalcy, but there's also a bunch




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For the first time in 5 years, it’s going to be a blockbuster summer at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. Not only are the parks finally getting back to 2019 normalcy, but there’s also a bunch of new offerings–including the opening of the biggest expansion in Disney history–that debut in the coming months. This offers a rundown of everything on the horizon, with an emphasis on the titular news–that Country Bear Vacation Jamboree is returning for the first time in 5 years!!!

Let’s quickly start with what’s already happening as of this month. The Space Mountain attraction, which has been a favorite of guests since the Grand Opening of Tokyo Disneyland, will be completely transformed and reopen in 2027. Guests can journey into space one last time with the current version of Space Mountain during the special event “Space Mountain: The Final Ignition!” from now to July 31, 2024. This features photo ops, special menus, merchandise, and more as a send-off to the beloved attraction.

Also ongoing at Tokyo Disneyland is Donald’s Quacky Duck City, the second in a series of limited-time “Disney Pal-Palooza” events from now through June 30, 2024. This features a new parade, decorations, food, merchandise and more, all themed to “Duck City.” This is Donald Duck’s ideal world where he reigns as the ultimate superstar–enter Donald Duck’s imagination as the park undergoes a transformation, tailored to fulfill Donald’s wildest dreams. Donald’s Quacky Duck City sounds bonkers in the best way possible.

Through June 30, the 2024 Tokyo DisneySea Food & Wine Festival features creatively designed special courses, set meals and snacks that can be enjoyed on the go as well as delicious beverages for all ages. The TDS Food & Wine Festival is inspired by the different ports of Tokyo DisneySea, including Fantasy Springs, will be offering specialty food and snacks from around the world. The event will also provide opportunities for guests to discover and learn facts about the cuisine offered, enhancing their culinary journey around the world.

Also currently underway at Tokyo DisneySea is “Dreaming of Fantasy Springs.” This precursor to the expansion opening features a harbor greeting, decorations, merchandise and menus all themed to the special event, “Dreaming of Fantasy Springs” will allow guests to imagine and gain a better grasp of the world of Fantasy Springs.

Then there’s the main event: Fantasy Springs. The biggest project at any Disney theme park in the world is wrapping up after 5+ years. This blockbuster expansion will bring big-budget Frozen, Tangled, and Peter Pan attractions to the new Fantasy Springs port-of-call. In addition to the four rides, it’ll also offer a range of new restaurants and retail. See Everything You Need to Know About Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea for all of the specifics.

In addition to everything already underway, Tokyo Disney Resort has announced a variety of new and returning offerings for Summer 2024. The parks will present a variety of “Get Soaked” programs from July 2 through September 18, 2024 for guests to have a fun-filled summer. Guests will also be able to enjoy a selection of summer-themed merchandise and refreshing chilled menu items to stay cool during the hot summer days.

Splash Mountain “Get Soaked MAX” – The attraction Splash Mountain, where guests ride a log boat that inevitably drops down a 16-meter-high waterfall, will present “Splash Mountain ‘Get Soaked MAX’” again this year. During this limited-period, there will be an additional effect with more water being sprayed to make the drop even more exhilarating, allowing guests to enjoy both the coolness of the water and the thrill of the drop.

Baymax’s Mission: Cool Down – In this 35-minute entertainment program presented along the parade route, Baymax, the personal healthcare companion robot from Disney Animation film Big Hero 6, protects guests from the summer heat again this year. In the program, Baymax is entrusted with the mission of raising the “energy levels” of guests and searches for areas in need of a cool down while spraying guests with mist.

When an area with “low energy levels” is detected, the float stops and guests can enjoy a refreshing spritz of water to up-beat, lively music. This year, trailers equipped with water have been added behind each of the two floats, increasing the amount of water sprayed. Baymax’s Mission: Cool Down is presented 3 times daily.

“Get Soaked” Time – In both parks, “Get Soaked” Time will take place again, following its launch last year. To energize guests during the hot summer months, cast members with barrels of water will be walking around for those who want to be sprayed with cool and refreshing mist.

Aquatopia “Get Soaked” – Over at Tokyo DisneySea, this version will return to Aquatopia, an attraction where guests can enjoy the unpredictable movements of an automated water vehicle. This summer, the cast members are excitedly awaiting the challenge of providing guests with a fun “get soaked” experience.

“Get Soaked” Toontown – Fun spots where guests can get soaked will pop up around Toontown again this year. The Trolley Barn at Jolly Trolley will feature cool mist and spraying water, and Toontown Fire Department and Fireworks Factory will spout more water than ever before. Guests will be able to enjoy the hot summer months with these water-splashing spots.

Country Bear Theater “Vacation Jamboree” – Last but definitely not least, Country Bear Vacation Jamboree returns for the first time since 2019. Country Bear Theater is an attraction at Tokyo Disneyland where eighteen charismatic bears with unique personalities entertain guests with a humorous country and western performance.

From May 17 through November 7, 2024, Country Bear Theater will feature the special summer version, “Vacation Jamboree,” for the first time in five years. Guests can enjoy a cheerful vacation as they join these lively and fun-loving bears in an unforgettable experience.

Turning to commentary, when I saw this in the press release, I literally jumped out of my seat and began frantically texting our fellow bear enthusiasts an expletive-laden, all-caps message. I honestly cannot believe this. I thought the seasonal Country Bears shows were gone forever, and that Imagineering would be able to sell OLC on Country Bear Musical Jamboree in short order. Even if they didn’t, I figured the multi-year absence was enough to finally kill the seasonal shows.

For those who aren’t familiar with them, both Vacation Jamboree and Jingle Bell Jamboree or Country Bear Christmas at Tokyo Disneyland are seasonal versions that also used to run at Walt Disney World and Disneyland for summer and Christmas, respectively. (Those links are worth clicking for photos of the shows–I’ve spent extensive efforts photographing both.)

Both Vacation Jamboree and Jingle Bell Jamboree take the spirit of the original to the next level with added visual gags, while also softening up some of that sharpness (that can be off-putting to modern audiences) with the warmth, schmaltz, and sentimentality of the holiday season. Country Bear Christmas eschews impressive technology and wow-worthy effects for heart and personality, which wins every time with us.

Vacation Jamboree ending on November 7 means it is highly likely that Jingle Bell Jamboree will return for Christmas 2024. That’s the normal cadence for the transition, and unless something goes wrong or Vacation Jamboree is unexpectedly unpopular (yeah right), it seems like an inevitability at this point. I never would’ve expected to be writing those words a week ago–we were literally just talking about this, and reluctantly resolving ourselves to the seasonal overlays never returning.

Words cannot express how excited I am for this. Megatron’s first version of Country Bear Jamboree is going to be Vacation Jamboree! We’re going to be able to see one of our favorites again for the first time since 2019, after assuming it was dead. Now, we just need to find a way to return to Japan for the fall colors and Christmas season to (hopefully) see Jingle Bell Jamboree. That’s our #1 version of CBJ–in fact, it’s on our list of Sarah & Tom’s Top 10 Disney Attractions in the World.

The first time we visited Tokyo Disneyland for Christmas, we looped Jingle Bell Jamboree at least a dozen times (looping it is when you exit one show, and immediately rush around and re-enter the theater for the next show). We’ve done it many times since, and I have thousands of photos of Jingle Bell Jamboree taken from pretty much every perspective and every seat in the house. That’s how much we love the holiday show!

I know many of you don’t care about Tokyo Disneyland, so I’ll end with “The Walt Disney World Connection.” As mentioned above, Imagineering is in the midst of transforming the Florida version of the beloved bears into Country Bear Musical Jamboree, featuring renditions of Disney songs. We have mixed feelings about this, but are ultimately pleased to see the bears getting a new lease on life–it’s pretty much a guarantee they’ll be around for another couple of decades, and that was very much not guaranteed. (To the contrary, it was a hard won fight just to get to this point.)

Similarly, there had been rumors over the years that Country Bear Jamboree was on borrowed time at Tokyo Disneyland. In that case, for totally different reasons–guests there love cute (kawaii) characters and the bears weren’t cutting it. Until they were. 

Country Bear Jamboree has developed a cult following among Japanese Disney fans (and some of these diehards are serious, putting us to shame), with the shows seeing resurgent popularity in recent years.

Country Bear Theater now often plays to a full house, which was not the case when we started visiting Tokyo Disneyland. This occurred pretty much simultaneously with the debut of Country Bear Jamboree merchandise. The plush badges above are themed to the Vacation Jamboree characters–these and others have become incredibly popular, selling really well.

While I cannot say so definitively, I’ve heard credible reports that merchandise saved Country Bear Jamboree at Tokyo Disneyland. It’s equally likely that this is why Vacation Jamboree is now returning and that Jingle Bell Jamboree will (hopefully) be back this holiday season.

There’s no reason it can’t be a similar story at Walt Disney World. It pains me a little to admit this, but Country Bear Musical Jamboree will see renewed interest among casual guests thanks to them performing Disney songs. The cute bears have the potential to become merchandising machines–and hopefully Disney knows this and is preparing accordingly in light of the similar success at Tokyo Disneyland.

Add in the potential for seasonal versions of said merchandise for summer and the holidays, along with it being easier to reprogram the show for seasonal overlays, and it seems like a golden opportunity for Imagineering to create brand-new versions of Country Bear Jamboree for Halloween, Christmas, and who knows when else. Those would be marketable additions for the holiday seasons (or hard ticketed events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party) and would also appeal to old-timers who still have nostalgia for the original CBJ seasonal overlays. Seems like a win-win to me!

Planning a trip to Tokyo Disney Resort? For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea Trip Planning Guide! For more specifics, our TDR Hotel Rankings & Reviews page covers accommodations. Our Restaurant Reviews detail where to dine & snack. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money post. Our What to Pack for Disney post takes a unique look at clever items to take. Venturing elsewhere in Japan? Consult our Ultimate Guide to Kyoto, Japan and City Guide to Tokyo, Japan.

YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think of Country Bear Vacation Jamboree returning to Tokyo Disneyland for the first time in 5 years? Hopeful that Walt Disney World gets seasonal overlays for the Bear Band? Looking forward to Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea debuting in Summer 2024? What about the new and refreshed summer offerings? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!




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