You have lands that have come (New Orleans Square) and lands that have gone (Holiday Land), but lands whose name has changed? Critter Country started as the Indian Village. The attractions were Native Americans performs dances and rituals that were culturally significant to their lives. This tied into Walt’s personal love of how this country has grown over the years. Over time, people grew more interested in attraction that were rides.
Then came Bear Country and the home of the Country Bear Jamboree!
Credit: Disney Tourist Blog
An animatronic celebration of country music in America performed by numerous Ursa species from Liver Lips McGrowl to Teddi Berra (Pronounced Barra with the frontier flare). The Country Bear Jamboree was a mainstay at DLR for many years, moving to WDW and still in operation today in The Magic Kingdom.
The Country Bear Jamboree eventually sunset along with Bear Country due to lack of visitor traffic, and Critter Country was born, and remains at DLR today. Big Al’s cave is still at the entrance and if you listen carefully, you can hear him snoring, but with Critter Country, came Splash Mountain and park guests seeking the thrill of a big drop. The log flume ride themed to Song of the South and with the addition of Winnie the Poohs Honey Pots, resolved the issue of low foot traffic. Many of the animatronic figures for Splash Mountain were recycled from America Sings. Although they had a problem with many of them being leftover. The Solution? A large gala aboard a paddlewheel boat rockin back and forth to the music! Of course, this was not a part of the story from Song of the South, but most people don’t even notice, and the finale is a rockin sing’a’thon where the rest of the creatures from America Sings revel in musical appreciation.
The Splash Mountain drop has also created a unique tradition, a sometimes NSFW tradition, with people posing, holding up signs or even, going topless down the flume for the picture. The photopass has to go through a censoring process before the pics are projected. Most are of people with their arms up screaming, others are just plain creatively funny, hungry are we?
Credit: Daily Mail
Today, Critter Country draws a big crowd. Whether its for the tepid slow but steady ride in a honey pot, or flying down a flume posing for a picture to remember, Critter Country attracts all kinds of critters. This land “bears” the significance that not only will attractions change, lands can change as well. So Ya’ll come down, ya hear!