This week marks the premiere of Muppets Most Wanted and for Muppet fans everywhere, it's another hopeful link in the puzzle in the Muppets resurgence.
You see, there was a time where all hope seemed a bit lost. For years, the Muppets just sort of existed at Walt Disney World in Disney's Hollywood Studios. They weren't owned by the company yet and had limited use, since Jim Henson's untimely death. There had been plans...glorious plans...but they all had to go by the wayside and the Muppets just hadn't seen the same fervor that they used to.
That was until 2004, when Disney bought the Muppets and they began taking their rightful place back into the social world.
Thankfully, for fans of the Muppets, before this purchase, they were able to still enjoy them on a daily basis thanks to Muppet-Vision 3D! Of course, the attraction still exists today and is a favorite amongst many, myself included.
I didn't really grow up with the Muppets. The show was really before my time, though I briefly remember bits and pieces. I mostly remember Muppet Babies...darn it they should bring that back for the kiddos! How awesome would it be to see that on Disney Junior?! Sweet lord...why haven't I thought of this idea before! Disney...please take this idea and run with it! I fully give permission for the good of all the children! Anyway...back from my distraction....
I do remember seeing the Muppets in Disney's Hollywood Studios. This was mostly in the form of walk around characters. I remember getting their autographs (via stamps) and I am sure that somewhere my mother has photos of me meeting them in a photo album somewhere that I would eventually love to find and scan the photos from.
I also distinctly remember Muppet-Vision 3D. Though I didn't truly fall in love with it until my 2005 trip. From then, it's been a lover affair ever since.
You start by entering a sort of Muppety world, with the giant fountain that sits outside the attraction. It features Rizzo, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, and of course, Miss Piggy, often spinning around in the center.
You are beckoned into the theater, under a giant hot air balloon. Also, be on the look out for my two favorites - Statler and Waldorf.
Once you enter the queue, you are now directed usually through a series of movie posters, but these are based on Muppet versions of said movies. Of course, if there is no line, you are directed right into the lobby area. I love the fun nods that start your journey. Check for the key under the mat, make sure to look above you, as someone didn't quite remember to duck their head, I could go on and one, but the best part about the Muppets queue is exploring and finding these gags on your own.
The same goes for the pre-show area. Here there are a ton of gags that you should be on the lookout for. Miss Piggy's clothing trunks, A Net Full of Jello (say it fast...see what it sounds like), Sam Eagle's fireworks, etc. Again...explore. It's all part of the fun.
But, while exploring, make sure you watch the pre-show too! It is, hands down, my favorite pre-show in all of Walt Disney World. I almost think it's better than the attraction. There are SO many gags and puns that I love...but my favorite is the exchange between Gonzo and Sam Eagle where Sam says "Will you stop all this foolishness" and Gonzo replies "What kind of foolishness would you like to see." I also love when Sam says that "Stopping in the middle (of a row) is distinctly unpatriotic". Really...I just love Sam Eagle!
It is then time to let the penguin orchestra in and then we may begin to enter the theater.
Once you sit down and put on your 3D glasses, it's time to begin the show. Statler and Waldorf are back and I think they are probably my favorite part of the entire thing. They have so many great one liners.
You are then introduced to some fine Muppetry. And then we are introduced to Waldo.
Oh Waldo...he is a character that you either love or hate. (Most I think hate.) He's not a Muppet, but instead the spirit of 3D...a cartoon. He doesn't fit in super well and sort of diminishes the show a bit. It would have been nice if they were able to get rid of that portion without effecting the whole film, but he's not going anywhere.
I don't want to spoil any of the scenes for anyone, but it's safe to say that all your favorites can be found! It is a fun experience watching the whole show! Each segment has incredible gags. Always watch in the background because you never know what you'll see.
The show culminates in a finale brought to us Sam Eagle, who has a three hour long fireworks display that now has to be condensed to a minute and a half. Of course, calamity ensues. Be on the look out for the Swedish Chef who is running the projector. He maybe seems to have anger problems.
Once you exit the theater, you are brought out to a street filled with more Muppet fun. There's the Studio One Company Store, where you can pick up your very own Kermit the Frog or Miss Piggy paraphernalia. It is also well themed, so make sure to check out the walls and ceilings.
The Muppets really can be felt in this whole area. I do wish that we would have gotten the Great Gonzo Pandemonium Pizza Parlor, which would have been found where Mama Melrose sits. For more information about what could have been included that unfortunately had to be abandoned, make sure to read this Jim Hill article that shares the details.
Muppet-Vision 3D is a do not miss attraction. It has something for everyone and is one of the best shows in all of Disney's Hollywood Studios.
I only hope that with a continued success for the Muppets, we can see more love for them in the parks. Maybe they could then build the pizza parlor or something similar. Make a true Muppet land. I just really hope that Disney sees that people still really do love the Muppets.
What do you think? Do you love Muppet-Vision 3D? What's your favorite part of the attraction? Be sure to share in the comments or on the Facebook page.
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