An E-View from the happiest place on Earth
I couldn’t believe the E-mail I got from a friend, Wabigbear “The
Wedge” had actually nailed down a job at Disneyland! This grabbed my
attention like an ant grabbing a crumb. What was it that could have
brought this way big bear all the way from tropical Brazil to sunny
California to "The Happiest Place on Earth"?
A press package from Disney arrived at my door and soon all my fevered
questions were being answered. Included inside was some sort of news
release written in crayon, and attached was an 8 X 10 glossy of Wagi
himself, in all his fuzzy glory! I KNOW HIM, I shouted to my echoes in
this empty room, hey, I know that bear!
Reading the strange looking newsletter my eyes opened wide in surprise.
"It seems there had been a 'head-liner' bear in the big anniversary
celebration show at Bear Country that came down with 'problems', and had
to be whisked off to the Imaginers shop for intensive bear care. Here it
was time to start the big 50th anniversary celebration at Disneyland and
their lead bear was down!"
The story continued past a chocolate smudge and juice stains...
"A frantic call went out around the world from the Disney folks
about this "Bear Necessity" casting call that must be filled.
Our dear Mamma Bear was out due to health concerns and apparently ALL
bears in America are environmentally protected and can’t be forced
into sweatshops anymore. That left only the "World Famous Wabigbear".
A call was shot to Brazil and franticly they relayed to the
Bear their sad predicament. “After all”, they said, “this
is for the anniversary blow out, and we gotta have a bear!” Wagi
graciously agreed to do this "for the little people...", and
packing his bags soon was singing and dancing with abandoned glee as the
crowd roared their approval at the Bear Jamboree in Disneyland! " I brushed the crumbs from the newsletter
and made a decision...now was the time to see if what the newsletter
said was true...
I rushed as fast as I could get there and was soon pacing the corridors
of Bear Country in Disneyland, looking for my famous friend. Hearing
music I found an unlocked window and I soon was in a darkened theater.
Peering through a curtain I witnessed a strange sight...there was Wagi
on stage with a full cast of animatronic bear putting on a show!
After the curtain fell I made my way through the back stage door and
soon I had treed the bear right where
you would expect to find him, in front of a mirror! He had a nice
dressing room and was shocked when he answered the door that for some
reason had MICKEY written across a star on the door...
||BOOMER!!! You actually showed
up??? Did you see the show???
|| “Yes Wagi, you were the
BIGGEST bear out there, you made me laugh, you made me cry, (when he
tried to sing) and you were flat wompin on that old guitar”!
Wagi was gleaming after I told him that and when he saw the over-flowing
picnic basket I had brought along he was grinning from one fuzzy ear to
We threw out the red and white checkered table cloth he had been wearing
around his neck and soon we were yakking and growling and spitting
crumbs as we tried to demolish sandwiches and cookies while we sputtered
Why don’t you all pull up a stump and join us as we talk to a 'hugely'
famous Bear, well two big famous bears actually, as Wagi couldn't keep
from setting right in front of the mirror and looking at himself while
Well, I'm sure glad you
showed up Boomer! The mini-fridge has been empty for almost an hour and
I was having a panic attack! (Pass the hot wings would you? Thanks!)
||That's why they can't force
real bears to work in these sweat shops anymore Wedge, to long between
food breaks. The environmentalists really frown on that these days.
Lucky for Disney you were living in Brazil at the time. (Watch those hot
wings... they are extra hot!)
|| Yeah, I wasn't sure about this
gig, but when my agent Bernie, (also known as Bernie "No
Thumbs" from his previous 'employment') called saying they were
looking for someone with my caliber of talent...well, who was I to
disagree? After all the man hadn't called with a job offer in three and
a half years. So I figured 'what the heck?' Carnival was over in Brazil
and my calendar was open for a few weeks so why not? Besides, everyone
knows I'm doing this from the goodness of my heart, and it also makes a
nifty-neat-o charitable tax deduction! Bernie even sent me a
pre-addressed UPS shipping label so all I had to do was to climb into
the box and have my housekeeper duct-tape it shut...although why the
woman went through four rolls of tape and was singing "Happy Days
Are Here Again" is beyond me... (You got any dill pickles in
||Oh come on Wedge, like you
don't remember when you did the same thing to your housekeeper? Not to
mention Bernie... and you wonder why this is the first you've heard from
him in all that time, duct tape ain't easy to get out of my friend!
Carnival is over you said? It may be down in Brazil but it sure looks
like you have a circus going on here. (Of course I have Dills, does a
|| (interrupting Boomer's train of
thought) I thought that duct-tape gag was a blast! And how else was the
housekeeper going to get to Paraguay for a vacation? Don’t expect ME
to pay for it do you? You know Boomer...the rest of the
Bear cast here are obviously in awe of my talents, they only seem
to come alive when I turn on the power switch and the curtain opens!
Then when the last bow is made they seem to get all shy-like and just
sit there like machines...they are afraid to even come near my dressing
room! Bless their hearts...I just know they are trying to build up
enough courage to ask for my autograph...maybe I'll even give them a
discount on one! Yeah, I know...I'm just an old softy! **sigh** that’s
what comes with being an International Mega-Star you know... (Ohhhhh!
You brought the 'good stuff'...Grape Kool-Aid...2004! Not a bad year!)
|| I also am in yawn of your
talents big ol bear! You really need a lot of them in this gig where the
job qualifications only require you are a bear, not from America, and
can move! I would really like to explain to you Wedge about those
"other" bears you perform with. But I still remember the time
when you were told there was NO Easter Bunny and you were crushed for
years. Ate a lot of honey, if I remember right, to get you through that
whole traumatic era. So yeah, you're a star and all those other bears
are groupies and I am Walt Disney with a cold thermos of Grape Kool-Aid
to stain your tongue purple for the next show. (Wagi pours one glass for
himself and another for the bear setting
next to him in the mirror) Speaking of super stars... Why does that star
on your dressing room door say Mickey on it?
|| That star on my door with the
rat's name on it? Yeah, I've tried sticking my name up there using
masking tape and crayon, but I guess some souvenir hunter is always
removing it. Not sure who the rat was, seems to have been some big shot
around here, they got his picture splashed all over the place. The dust
in this dressing room was pretty thick, so he must a been some hotshot
from years ago...hmmm, shouldn't be hard to replace all them rat heads
with my fine profile pretty soon. And I don't want to discuss that
Easter Bunny thing...the memories are just too painful...my emotions too
raw... (Hmmmm, not bad corned beef there Boomer...this from Murray's
Deli over on 34th?)
|| (That was actually dog food I
brought for Goofy Wedge, not corn beef! There goes that connection!) Do
you realize just how old that old "rat" is my friend? (Boomer
not waiting for an answer and Wagi’s mouth stuffed full of dog food
not intending to answer anyway, continued uninterrupted) He was sitting
here in front of this very mirror on July 17, 1955 when Disneyland
opened for the first time to the public. Long before you were even a
twinkle in your ol Grizzly daddy's eyes! Not really rocket science here
Wedge, but you are right about one thing, he is a hotshot from a long
time ago and news flash here... he still is! In fact I hear there's
going to be a blow out like never seen before here at the 'Happiest
Place on Earth', celebrating the 50th year anniversary of Disneyland and
that old mouse will be leading the parade.
|| Yeah, I heard something about them
throwing some big shindig here for the joint's 50th Birthday. They've
gussied up the whole place for a big party. Now, you KNOW I'm not the
type to gossip, but I heard tell that even a couple of my favorite RCT
sites are going to be doing some celebrating too...did all of you get
your comp Park Passes I sent you?
|| Absolutely! How else am I gonna
afford to get in this place, they've fixed the fence since the last time
I was here.
||Good. They were just laying there
on the table, so I figured I'd mail them out to everyone... (What's
this? Aack!!! Green Salad with Low-Fat Dressing??? Boomer, how could
you??? You KNOW I'm allergic to health food!)
||Yup, I wonder what the members
of both sites, rct2.com (now the RCT Space Network) and RCT*Mart are
going to think when they find out that both sites are teaming up to join
in this huge celebration. I know the staff at both sites have been
working hard on this secret project for quite sometime now.
||Well, ol' Edna Mae just e-mailed
and said her and Margo were hitching up the Airstream trailer to the
back of Margo's '68 Caddy and heading out now in order to get here on
time for the big get-together. I just hope she doesn't embarrass me
here...the woman has no tact or manners you know... **BURP**...and that
little frumpy friend of her's, Margo, well I think she's been drinking
grape Kool-Aid that been 'aged' a little too long, if you know what I
mean... (Turkey legs! Hmmm, you got any mustard for those?)
|| (Oh you mean THOSE turkey legs;
I thought you were starting in to talking about Edna's dog again. And by
the way you're sitting on the mustard... at least I HOPE that is what
that mess is!) Edna Mae's coming here? (Boomer straightens his two
strands of "comb over" hair, coughs and clears his throat)
Edna Mae is sure a large woman huh Wedge, but a very handsome one too
don't you think? In human standards I mean, little puny for a Bear of
||Well, to each their own I always
say. Margo's afraid to fly you know, so that's why they decided to drive
out. That way they should get here about the same time as everyone else
from both sites do. Hopefully she'll keep that little mutt of her's
muzzled this time, he's quite the yapper, just goes on and on and on and
on and on, on and on... darn near never stops for a breath I tell you!
And she better have him on a short leash too...I still don't have total
feeling back in my left leg after his amorous little greeting at the
ORCA/RCT*Mart Awards Show got out of hand... (These cheese-flavored or
sour-cream and chive?)
||(grabs bag out of Wagi's
paws...) they are not any flavor for you. They are for Mickey Mouse when
I see him. Not you OR Edna Mae, you can have the rice cakes Mrs. Boomer
packed for me. Now about Edna...
||Oh don't get me wrong, ol' Edna
Mae is alright, just a bit full of herself if you ask me. (PAPER napkins
Boomer??? Rough PAPER on THESE lips??? I don't think so! Hand me your
sweater...I'll use that...)
||(Pulling off his sweater to
give to his old friend as requested) Omim onfi ogle myer... (Wagi helps
pull Boomers very small sweater over his very large head)... I said I
hope Edna and company don't have to face the same problem that visitors
had to face clear back on opening day at Disneyland.
|| (Taking a moment’s break in the
eating frenzy as his fuzzy ears went up with interest at what Boomer was
saying). What kind of problem could there ever be at The Happiest Place
on Earth Boomer?
While Boomer sat back rubbing his now full stomach, Wagi spotted a very
interesting looking piece of cookie and vacuumed it up as Boomer closed
his eyes and thought back to what he had been told by his dad so many
||Wagi… It was July 17, 1955...
Day one at Disneyland! The cars stretched bumper-to-bumper for seven
miles on the Santa Ana Freeway, in what police at the time called,
"the worst traffic jam ever seen." It was a Sunday and the
contingent of first-day invitees was on its way to Anaheim where Walt
Disney, known for his creative genius in the motion picture industry,
was about to unveil a whole new concept in outdoor, family
entertainment... his dream of Disneyland!
Six thousand tickets for the occasion had been given to the staff at the
Disney studios, 28,000 people had packed the park by days end, as many
counterfeit tickets had been made and sold to many. Attractions broke
down, there was a gas leak in Tomorrowland, a power outage in
Fantasyland, restaurants had ran out of food and the freshly poured
asphalt on Main Street, USA was so soft that it stole the high-heeled
shoes right off MANY a female guest. Today "Black Sunday"
seems a distant memory of the magical land that Walt Disney built. He
said in his dedication speech nearly 50 years also;
“To all who come to this happy place; welcome! Disneyland is your
land. Here age relives fond memories of the past... and here youth may
savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated
to the ideals, the dreams and hard facts that have created America...
with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the
Boomer opened his eyes to see just how much he had impressed his furry
friend with his recollection of the past. But as Boomer opened his eyes
he noticed Wagi's eyes were closed and fluttering, keeping time with his
snoring, fast asleep, bread crust still hanging out of his mouth.
|| (shaking the Bear) Hey wake up Wagi! I was talking to you about something!
|| (opening his eyes with a snort
Wagi smiled at the discovery of food still in his mouth, swallowed and
spoke taking up right where he had left off.) Any-ole-ways, I've got a
lot of planning to do yet...check that everyone got their Park passes,
touch bases with RCTNorthwest about the big Convention, plan the big
dinner for all the staff from both sites here at Disneyland when they
arrive... no offence Boomer, but planning a REAL meal is hard work! It's
not like tossing a week's worth of groceries in a picnic basket like you
just did, I mean I want a REAL meal there...you know, a King's
Buffet-type REAL meal! (Tater Salad! Oh! And Deviled Eggs! Pass the
Tabasco Sauce would you?)
|| The last Kings Buffet style
meal you went to it was rumored (although never proven) that you ate the
meal AND the King too! I've tried to tell you, you need to look at what
you're cramming in your mouth; do you think that Kings just grow on
trees? (Wabigbear looks guilty at Boomers stern reprimand, but just for
a moment as he catches site of some treasures in the picnic basket that
had escaped his eye until now) You are right Wedge; there is a lot to
do. The staff at both sites involved in this have been working hard to
get this whole thing ready, make all the plans and get packed and get
here. The planning on this event was started as a joint effort clear
back in February of this year. Before I left to go chasing after Bears I
was in a staff meeting that involved the entire staff from both sites,
the main topic of that meeting, indeed the ONLY topic of that meeting
was the discussion and concerns we ALL had about the fact that YOU were
getting this big dinner together for us here but by the time that WE all
got there you will have eaten all the food! I TOLD them not to worry, I
would be here to keep an eye on things and that is when they really got
worried, as far as I know that meeting still rages on. Looking at how
empty this basket is getting, and this is just a snack for you, I would
say they may have something to worry about. (Hey, easy on the Tabasco
and egg products, you know how that causes you gas, those other bears in
there can't get away from you ya know!) Besides eating and singing, what
else have you been up to Big Bad Bear?
|| I tell you, I've been one busy
bear lately! Day after day I'm on the go...catching a nap at the RCT
Space Network, then over to the 'Mart, then after they kick me out it's
back over to RCT Space...I barely have time to keep to my meal schedule
anymore! And now this gig here at Disneyland...hey, what can I say? I'm
just a giver you know... (Ohhh! Give me another one of them ham
|| You aren't the only one
that‘s busy! I was glad to get out of the office though, my friend and
was assigned to this event. They have a water cooler over at The RCT
Space Network staff room that causes some VERY strange effects. I'm not
upset that its there, I was however more then upset when Scoop up and
kidnapped it and took it to Canada on a business trip with him to help
keep him "warm"... he said. I figured there wasn’t much to
keep me there after that and so... here I am. Enough about me though, I
came here to Interview YOU. If you can even talk with that whole
sandwich stuffed in your mouth.
||(crumbs and ham pieces flying
around the room like mosquitos in a blood bank, wagi replies) What do
you want to know about me Boomer? It's all spelled out in my
"Official Wagi Biography" ($24.99...available at Amazon...).
Well, I guess I could share a few things with the cheap ones who won't
invest in my book. It's the usual story...handsome, talented, learned
bear is born in humble surroundings in the Great Northwest...bear
escapes to find his calling...calling runs away and hides...bear meets
Brazil...Brazil closes it's borders...just another story on that ole big
blue ball we call 'Mudder Earth'. Of course it's just waiting to be made
into a Major Motion Picture. At first I envisioned Kevin Costner playing
me, but the man needed hair extensions for Waterworld.
|| I can't even imagine that.
||Well can you even imagine what
he'd need to portray my furry behind in a thong? Although I do think we
share similar profiles despite the fact that Spunky claims that Mt.
Fuji's is closer to mine... (Peanut Butter and crackers? This better be
Boomer hands Wagi a jar of peanut butter mumbling under his breath
something about the Wabigbear being the "only thing too chunky
around here". I'm sure they'll quickly come to
the realization that only I can play ME...after all, I was born for the
part! (Root Beer? Well I hope you remembered the ice cream for a float!)
|| Only YOU would want to play
YOU! What, was I supposed to pack Ice Cream in napkins or something? The
Carnation Ice Creame Shoppe that was over on Main Street USA, that was
so famous and popular, is now gone. So drink your warm root beer bear
and pretend like Kevin Costner is now your housekeeper and is sploonking
down a large kachunk of Vanilla Ice Cream in it... You DO have a
housekeeper don't you?
||Well of course I have a
housekeeper! Doesn't everyone? They don't? You don't? Well
then, who cooks for you, irons your under shorts, scrubs your toilet and
sweeps up your toenail trimmings for you?
||Umm, my wife? You must have
forgotten she is REALLY good at using a frying pan!
|| Oh, I forgot...you're married! Hmmmm, I've seen the results of Mrs. Boomer's... 'cooking'... What end
of a frying pan is she the best with; the north end or the south end?
|| (with conviction) Its when she
comes from out of the West that always seems to hit ME the hardest!
Soon a digesting quiet filled the room with only the biological gurgling
sound coming from both man and Bear. Wagi had settled back and assumed
the nap position and was just starting to drift off to sleep when
something Boomer was saying brought him wide awake. Wagi had just
mumbled to Boomer to wake him 15 min before the next show when Boomer
sprung this news on the big bear.
|| The food is gone and I've got
something to tell you! The Bear Jamboree
is over, its long gone! You came to the wrong place! This isn't even
supposed to be your dressing room!
||Boomer, the food CAN"T be
gone, I'm still hungry! And I think you may have shared the company of
Mrs. Boomer’s skillet to many times, what do you mean I went to the
|| Just relax Wedge and let me
explain it all to you. You see its like this. In 1971, the Country Bear
Jamboree opened to an enthusiastic response as one of the original
attractions of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Florida.
In 1972, the Country Bear Jamboree opened in Disneyland as the
centerpiece of the park's newest land, Bear Country.
Wonder Bread replaced Pepsi Cola as the sponsor in 1975. Strangely,
Henry the bear continued to announce,
"Just refrain from hibernating'... and we'll all enjoy the show,
cause we got a lot to give!" -- a reference to Pepsi Cola's
1969-1973 slogan, "You've go a lot to live, Pepsi's got a lot to
A seasonal show, Country Bear Christmas, premiered in 1984, and returned
regularly during the holidays.
In 1986, Disneyland's Country Bear Jamboree "went to Yesterland."
A new vacation-themed show, the Country Bear Vacation Hoedown, replaced
the original show. The attraction's new name was Country Bear Playhouse.
There was no sponsor.
The bears continued to perform the Country Bear Vacation Hoedown at
Disneyland until September 9, 2001. The Country Bear Playhouse went dark
The bears were evicted by a short and stout bear, the highly popular
Winnie the Pooh. Having successfully evicted Mr. Toad from the Magic
Kingdom at Walt Disney World to make room for the "Many Adventures
of Winnie the Pooh" ride, Pooh Bear decided to do the same to his
ursine brethren at Disneyland.
Actually, Disneyland has not yet officially announced that a Winnie the
Pooh ride is replacing Country Bear Playhouse, but this seems to be the
worst kept secret in the theme park business.
You can still see the Country Bears perform at Walt Disney World and
So you see Wagi, you must of came to the wrong place. I think you were
supposed to go to the Disney WORLD in Orlando! There is no more show
||(laughs so hard he almost chokes
on a wayward crumb) Boomer... oh Boomer, you do need some help don't
you? (laughs again and replies much to Boomers chagrin) You just said in
your little Bear Country history lesson that the playhouse bears still
perform on SPECIAL occasions.
||And your point is?
|| Boomer, how much bigger of an
occasion can you get then the 50th Anniversary celebration of Disneyland
|| (turning very red with
||(Speaking more to himself in the
mirror then to Boomer as he started putting on his stage makeup) Here's
some Bear Necessities news about Disneyland that I guess you didn't know
Boomer and no, neither one of us is at the wrong place. (Wagi, thinking
the lip stick had a unique fruity flavor promptly ate it and with a very
red mouth, tongue and teeth continued) Although its true that they shut
this old Bear Jamboree playhouse down for good on September 9th, 2001,
the Disney folks have kept it up and in good working order and open the
doors still to this day on holidays and special events... this would be
one of those events. I would be one of those bears. (tasting the eye
liner, Wagi spits it out in disgust, a rare display indeed.)
|| Ah ha! Now I get it. When
Winnie the Pooh moved in (Wabigbears fuzzy ears go up) and they closed
down the playhouse, THIS became Winnie's dressing and makeup room.
Winnie the Pooh had become the new "King Bear" in these here
||Until I got here (snapped the
Bear) Now we "rule" this theater together As soon as I save up
enough old cardboard boxes to cut letters out of I'm putting MY name up
on the Playhouse Marquee too! (Wagi lowers his voice and says to Boomer
in confidence) Just between you and me Boomer, I think that Pooh Bear
has been dipping in a honey pot from the nectar of a different bee, know
what I'm saying here?
|| I can SMELL what you're saying
here... here's a mint, Bear.
|| (swallows mint whole) I mean THAT
bear can't even walk straight, lost his pants years ago and hasn't
bought anymore since, has a little red shirt waaaay to small for him and
then goes out in the public that way! I mean, where's the fashion sense?
Where's the Movie Star look? (Where's the dessert???) Why, I'm surprised
they haven't locked him up. (anymore desert mints Boomer?) Then they go
and stick ME in here and tell ME I have to "share the
facilities" with a drunk Bear with a severe honey problem in a
dressing room so old it still has the name Mickey on the door. They
really aren't paying me enough for this gig Boomer! Now you're trying to
tell me all my supporting cast are 'machines'???
|| (Laughing) He's not drunk
Wedge, that's the way they made Winnie the Pooh. Just be glad you even
HAVE work for the first time in three in a half years!
||It’s not work Boomer...it's
ART... (Now... I just have enough time for a light snack before
rehearsals start again...where'd that ham go?)
Interviewing the big bear had been quite an experience for me. One good
thing was I was leaving the Playhouse with a lot less then I had come
here with. I stayed for the next show and was very surprised at how good
of a job he done. Except for the fact that he stopped to pick his teeth
twice and his nose once and the fact that he stopped during a song to
scratch his back with his twangy guitar, it still went quite well. As
well as you could expect from a non-union bear working with a bunch of
robot bear wannabe's.
The show was over. As I left a still munching bear and the
Bear Jamboree playhouse behind and strolled through the many
wonders that make up a magical place called Disneyland, I marveled at my
luck and good fortune to be a staff member at The RCT Space Network. I
get to travel and do reviews for the site all over the world, but this
is the place I really wanted to be.
I have the privilege of spending many days and nights here at
Disneyland, all paid for by Sambo, doing E-Views and writing reports
about this upcoming Disneyland 50th golden anniversary. I will have more
from Wagi and several other E-Views coming up from various spots
throughout Disneyland during the celebration and from what I’ve heard
in the staff room there are going to be some VERY interesting things
coming up from both sites to join in and be a part of the Disney blow
out, you WON”T want to miss any of this.
Well I got to go send in my E-View and expense report to Sambo so I will
do that, BUT if you are coming to Disneyland this summer, swing by the
Bear Jamboree Playhouse in Critter Country. Bring a very big
picnic basket with you filled with LOTS of food and when the show is
over slip backstage and gently knock on the door with MICKEY MOUSE
written on it in faded letters and when the door opens and the Wabigbear
that is standing there sees what you have for him he will make you feel
welcome, very welcome indeed!
But if you CAN”T make it to Disneyland just follow along and join in
with us as the staff and members from two RCT sites join together to
bring to you all the highlights and pageantry and magic of Disneyland
decked out in the glorious splendor of the 50th golden anniversary of a
dream come to life by a very special man named Walt Disney, 50 golden
years ago. Remember, this is not THE END, this is just the beginning!
From the happiest place in the world, goodbye for now from Boomer and the Bear.
Written by Boomer and Wagi.