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April 15, 2011: Bear Country

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  • April 15, 2011: Bear Country

    Link to Bear Country.
    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  • #2
    Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

    I miss Rufus and the Country Bear Jamboree.

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    • #3
      Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

      The ironic thing is that Pressler and his marketing people made a great store paired with a poor ride. I've ridden the ride countless times with my kids but never bought anything in the store. Why? Because the ride damaged the Pooh brand by making it appear cheap so my kids and I were not motivated to buy anything. Then a couple months ago I was at Tokyo Disneyland, went on Hunny Hunt, and was simply blown away by how amazing it was. What did I do next? I went to the Pooh superstore next to the ride and bought a bunch of Pooh merchandise. And that's why you need a great ride to go with a great store to move product. This is something Pressler never understood at Disney (or at the Gap for that matter).

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      • #4
        Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

        Werner, another great article. I loved Bear Country and the Country Bear Jamboree! Would have loved the suits sparing one theater and building a better Pooh ride that covered a couple of elevations. Could have retained a classic and kept increased capacity. Oh, bother! ;0 By the way, your interested readers might appreciate a look at the attraction posters for the area and abit of commentary by looking here.
        Mark

        Disney parks and art, movies, music, more... Over 1, 500 Posts!
        www.InsightsandSounds.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by indianajack View Post
          The ironic thing is that Pressler and his marketing people made a great store paired with a poor ride. I've ridden the ride countless times with my kids. . .
          Would you and your kids really have ridden it countless times if it were poor?
          I like the Pooh ride, though I'm sure my daughter's enthusiasm is part of the reason.

          Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Disney World has just one Country Bear theater, while Disneyland had two. Besides its proximity to more country music fans, this may explain why the show has always been more of a hit at WDW. A packed theater makes for a more lively and fun performance--even if the performers are audio-animatronic. I like lines for rides to move quickly (like on the scenic Pooh queue), but I like shows to be "sell-outs."
          Last edited by jcruise86; 04-15-2011, 09:58 AM.

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          • #6
            Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

            The ride is packed at WDW, and there was very little difference between the two except WDW seated 4 while DL seated 6. While it looks great next to Splash Mountain, its not really a good location for a kids dark ride. Put it in Fantasy Land and it would do better than Pinocchio or Snow White.

            What is also interesting is everyone comments that it has no line so no one rides it, but forget to mention that each car takes 6 people plus they can load 12 people at a time. Compare that to Peter Pan or Mr Toad at 2-4 people at a time and I begin to wonder if more people actually ride Pooh than any of the rides in Fantasy Land.

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            • #7
              Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

              Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
              Would you and your kids really have ridden it countless times if it were poor?
              I like the Pooh ride, though I'm sure my daughter's enthusiasm is part of the reason.
              We've ridden it countless times because we've been to DL countless times (and Pooh almost never has a line, which is a huge plus). I would amend my original comment to say it's not a poor ride (that would be reserved for things like Astro Orbiter or Golden Zephyr, which are pointless and poorly placed). Pooh is poor comparatively speaking to the dark rides of Fantasyland which have coherent narratives, design elements and objects that are praticallly on top of you, much greater element movement and kinetics, and most of all, a ride vehicle that children can see over the brim to the action. The latter is complete failure on the part of the Imagineers to realize that young children not in the first row of the Pooh vehicle can't see what's going on for most of the ride.

              That said, I would say the DL Pooh attraction was well below average for a Disney dark ride, but not outright poor. In the end my point was the DL incarnation never made me want to buy any Pooh merchandise no matter how nice the associated store was designed and outfitted. That's a fail for Disney America, and a success then for Disney Japan.

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              • #8
                Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

                Originally posted by socalkdg View Post
                The ride is packed at WDW, and there was very little difference between the two except WDW seated 4 while DL seated 6. While it looks great next to Splash Mountain, its not really a good location for a kids dark ride. Put it in Fantasy Land and it would do better than Pinocchio or Snow White.
                I don't know about that, DL's Pooh has an almost fatal error in that children not in the first row of the ride vehicle do not have clean sight lines to the action (such that it is) on the Pooh ride. Snow White and Pinocchio do not have that problem. If in FL, Pooh would not get significantly more or less than Snow White and Pinocchio. It would be seen as one of the lesser dark rides in FL like the latter.

                Originally posted by socalkdg View Post
                What is also interesting is everyone comments that it has no line so no one rides it, but forget to mention that each car takes 6 people plus they can load 12 people at a time. Compare that to Peter Pan or Mr Toad at 2-4 people at a time and I begin to wonder if more people actually ride Pooh than any of the rides in Fantasy Land.
                That's a good point that Pooh has a superior loading system, but still there are many, many times there are just empty vehicles being sent on the track over and over again. You rarely or never see that on Pan, Toad or Alice. I'd bet money that Pooh's ridership never surpasses Pan, Toad or Alice on a slow or typical attendance day (on a super-crowded day, Pooh might surpass them due to superior loading capacity).

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                • #9
                  Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

                  I miss that old arcade and its vintage amusements so much! There are few places in the world you can experience those machines. I'm sure Winnie makes a lot more money though.

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                  • #10
                    Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

                    my problem with pooh over the country bears is time use. the country bear show had a duration of 16 minutes. plenty of time to get immersed into an experience. with pooh its 3 minutes long and its over before you know it.

                    the real magic at disney parks is immersion, you get taken to a magical place, i think pooh fails to do that on so many levels.

                    the line que area doesn't do enough for me to really get you excited about being taken on a story the way toad does for instance.

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                    • #11
                      Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

                      With Pooh in Critter Country, it always seems like a small little corner of the park that people are never at. I am shocked when the wait time for that ride goes up to 10 minutes lol, maybe with the new Pooh movie coming out in theaters, the Pooh attraction might have a very busy summer.
                      When stars are born...They possess a gift or two,
                      one of those is, they have the power to make a wish come true!

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                      • #12
                        Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

                        I enjoy reading your Yesterland entries. However, this week's article had a factual error. It's true that Bear Country opened with the Golden Bear Lodge, but its name was quickly changed to the Hungry Bear Restaurant due to, as you mention, the similarity to the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach. Here's a vintage guidebook showing the current name as far back as 1976:

                        Vintage Disneyland Tickets: Spring 1976 Disneyland Guide Book - Complete

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                        • #13
                          Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

                          Originally posted by Club22 View Post
                          It's true that Bear Country opened with the Golden Bear Lodge, but its name was quickly changed to the Hungry Bear Restaurant due to, as you mention, the similarity to the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach.
                          Thank you for making me aware that the name change happened earlier. I moved the sentence about the name change into an earlier paragraph.
                          Werner Weiss
                          Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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                          • #14
                            Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

                            The DL fan's dream would have been to keep one CBJ theater open, and build the Pooh ride next door. It's a real shame to lose CBJ. I'm hoping, but not expecting them to use the figures for GRR. As for Pooh, I agree with Indiana Jack that an awesome ride would encourage merchandise sales more than a mediocre one.

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                            • #15
                              Re: April 15, 2011: Bear Country

                              Wonderful article, I do agree Indiana Jack as well, that to have a great store, you must have a great ride. (and also to have the Country Bears ether back in Critter Country, Frontierland in DL or in the Golden State in DCA.)


                              Timekeeper
                              sigpicNow the Tower of Sauron has fallen
                              Also, this picture and my Avatar was taken with a Nintendo DSi System and Nyko Magnification Lens & Case for DSi.

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