Critter Country is a haven of quiet, calm, and shade at Disneyland. While it competes with Mickey's Toontown for the title of "smallest land," it is the clear winner of "land with the least to do." This land has only three rides, three stores, two dining locations, and one character meet-and-greet. Despite this, the isolated location and plenty of shade make it a great spot to wind down a bit before heading back to the bustle of New Orleans Square.
The theme of Critter Country has always been somewhat amorphous, generally just being rustic countryness. Perhaps "anthropomorphic animals" could be considered the theme, though Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes would be an exception to this. It is telling that the two main attractions in Critter Country are in Frontierland and Fantasyland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
The area that is now Critter Country used to be much smaller and part of Frontierland. In 1956 the area along the Critter Country riverfront was opened as the Indian Village attraction where you could see representives from many Indian tribes recreate aspects of their cultures. In addition to the replica village you could also ride the Indian War Canoes and shop at the Indian Trading Post.
In 1972 the whole area was rethemed to focus on a new attraction, Country Bear Jamboree. The new land was expanded out to its current dimensions beyond the railroad track and named Bear Country. Also new for this land were the Mile Long Bar, Golden Bear Lodge, and Teddi Barra's Swinging Arcade. The Indian Trading Post still fit the theme and remained while the Indian War Canoes were rethemed and continued as the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes still in service today.
The next big change came in 1989 when Splash Mountain opened and again the entire area was rechristened as Critter Country. In addition to Splash Mountain the following changes were made: Indian Trading Post became The Briar Patch and started selling hand-made items and Splash Mountain souvenirs, the Mile Long Bar was renamed Brer Bar, and Golden Bear Lodge became Hungry Bear Restaurant.
In 2002 Country Bear Jamboree, Teddi Barra's Swinging Arcade, Brer Bar, and the Briar Patch were all closed to allow construction of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, which would reuse the Country Bear Jamboree building. Teddi Barra's Swinging Arcade and Brer Bar were turned into Pooh's Corner, a multi-section store selling Pooh merchandise and candy (all of these opened around April 2003). The Briar Patch eventually reopened under the same name, though it is now a hat store.
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