It’s time to play the music. It’s time to light the lights… because I’m going to The Muppets tonight! I love going to midnight showings, and I am so excited to see the new Muppets movie. I’m also eager to see what the movie might do for the future of the Muppets franchise. If it’s a hit, maybe we’ll finally see more Muppets in Walt Disney World!
Until that happens, there is still Muppetational fun to be had in the Parks, so here are four things to do in Walt Disney World if you love the Muppets (and who doesn’t?).
1. Muppet*Vision 3-D
While the Muppet Studios section of Disney’s Hollywood Studios never came to fruition, I’m so glad we got Muppet*Vision 3D, the last film directed by Jim Henson. The film is delightful, of course, but what I enjoy even more are all the details in and around the attraction, like a net full of Jell-O (say it aloud a few times to get it) and the key under the mat. Take your time going through the queue, and make sure you get to see the entire preshow… “Will you stop this foolishness?” “What foolishness would you like to see?”
2. Stage 1 Company Store
While Muppet merchandise can now be found in more shops than in the past, the best place to shop is still Stage 1 Company Store, located near Muppet*Video 3-D.
Inside you’ll find references to The Muppet Show and the Muppet movies. You can see photos of some of them over at Walt Disney World for Grown Ups.
3. The American Adventure
I’m not kidding. Toward the end of the show, there’s a video montage of famous Americans, and there’s a wonderful image of Jim Henson with Kermit. (Thanks to the Muppet Wiki for pointing this one out.)
4. See a puppet show
I know, I know, Muppets are no mere puppets, but if you appreciate the art of Muppeteering, you might also enjoy seeing other forms of puppets. My favorite show at WDW involving puppets is Finding Nemo—The Musical (as previously discussed in my posts on musical theater and fish). Other options are Voyage of The Little Mermaid and Disney Junior—Live on Stage!
● ● ●
I have to throw in a couple honorable mentions as well. First, some of you might remember The Magical World of Disney special called “The Muppets at Walt Disney World,” which was shown on NBC on May 6, 1990. I have no memories of this, but I read about it on the Muppet Wiki. It doesn’t seem to be on DVD anywhere, but I hope to see it one day. It sounds awesome!
Second, something more recent some of you might recall is the Muppet Mobile Lab, which featured Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker in a roaming, streetmosphere sort of show. I only saw it once, in 2007, and I got this very brief video of it:
The Muppet Mobile Lab is now in Hong Kong Disneyland. It’s advertised on their website, and if you click on the video button, you can hear Dr. Honeydew speaking Cantonese.
● ● ●
For the most sensational, inspirational, and celebrational fun you can have in a day, you’ll want to spend hours in Disney’s Hollywood Studios exploring the area around Muppet*Vision 3-D. Seriously, start there and spend your whole morning in and around the attraction looking at all the little details. In the afternoon, go see your puppet show of choice. Voyage of The Little Mermaid and Disney Junior—Live on Stage are the most convenient, because they’re both in Hollywood Studios, but I think a trip to Animal Kingdom for Finding Nemo—The Musical is totally worth it. Wrap up your day with a trip to Epcot for The American Adventure, and when you see Jim Henson’s picture, send up a little thank-you for all the joy he brought to so many.
● ● ●
So who’s your favorite Muppet? The winner of the Tournament of Muppets is being announced tomorrow (it will be either Kermit or Gonzo), but my vote is Beaker!