Attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios
|Attraction type||3D film|
|Designer||Walt Disney Imagineering|
|Theme||The Muppet Show|
|Capacity||564-574 riders per hour|
Closed captioning available
Muppet*Vision 3D is an attraction found at Disney's Hollywood Studios, part of the Walt Disney World Resort, and at Disney California Adventure, part of the Disneyland Resort. The attraction opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios) as Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3D on May 16, 1991 and on February 8, 2001 at Disney California Adventure.
The show is a 3D film featuring Jim Henson's Muppets. Due to the use of Audio-Animatronics, a live full-bodied Muppet and other similar effects, the show is sometimes referred to as "Muppet*Vision 4-D" (which was used in the Walt Disney World Explorer application, displayed as "Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision
3-D 4-D" with a slanted red strikethrough on "3-D"). It was directed by Henson and written by Bill Prady. The show was the final Muppets project with the involvement of Jim Henson and Richard Hunt and the last time they performed their characters. Henson and Hunt died in 1990 and 1992, respectively.
Before being seated in the theater where the film is shown, the queue winds through "Muppet Labs", home of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker. The audience passes several office doors, all featuring outlandish job descriptions. Guests then see half of a motorbike protruding from the wall above, with a hole in the shape of Gonzo. Guests then enter a large room filled with Muppet "props" and boxes with comical and humorous labels. Above guests' heads are sets of three television monitors, in which several short snippets of comical adventures take place with the Muppet characters. This serves as the pre-show.
The audience is repeatedly reminded to take a pair of 3D glasses from several containers around the room before entering the theater, which is modeled after the theater depicted on The Muppet Show. Muppet*Vision 3D along with Captain EO are one of two Disney 3D attractions currently playing which actually calls their glasses "3D Glasses" (It's Tough to Be a Bug utilizes "Bug Eyes", Star Tours: The Adventures Continue refers to them as "Flight Glasses", Toy Story Midway Mania! calls them "Carnival Games Goggles", and Mickey's Philharmagic calls them "Opera Glasses"). However, the glasses are sometimes referred to as "3D Safety Goggles", foreshadowing the "dangerous" experiments guests will be visiting.
At Disney California Adventure, the queue is different only in that it features a cast member at the turnstile handing out the glasses individually and the "hallway" scene from the Disney's Hollywood Studios queue is replaced with a "courtyard" filled with various props. The queue winds around a fake "set", blending in with the rest of the Hollywood Land district. The pre-show room there includes a scrolling LED monitor known as The Official Time Clock which displays various messages and jokes (including references to Elvis and The Mickey Mouse Club) while counting down to showtime.
In the spring of 2008, the queue was replaced with an eating area for the Award Weiners restaurant in order to prepare for the major construction project. The original "Disaster Effects" storage area still remains, but many of the spoof movie posters were removed. Many of the original props from the queue were moved to the post-show area outside the exit doors.
The show begins with a tour, given by Kermit the Frog, of Muppet Studios, where many of the Muppets are preparing for segments in the show to follow the tour. Many 3D effects are performed at this point by various characters, mainly Fozzie Bear.
Muppet*Vision 3D re-introduces Waldo C. Graphic, the world's first computer-generated Muppet, who also appears in The Jim Henson Hour. Waldo is "created" by Dr. Honeydew and Beaker during a demonstration of three-dimensional imagery in the 'Muppet-Labs', but proves uncontrollable and wreaks havoc throughout the remainder of the film, especially when the ending patriotic number by Sam the Eagle is reduced to shambles.
Aside from the Muppets on-screen, there are also a number of in-theater Muppets, mostly audio-animatronic, that interact with the show. Statler and Waldorf heckle from a balcony near the screen, an orchestra of penguins rises into sight to perform, and the Swedish Chef "operates" the film projector from the booth above and behind the audience. Bean Bunny leaves the film at one point after being blamed for ruining several scenes (mainly Miss Piggy's musical number) by Sam the Eagle. Sweetums (who is a live full-bodied Muppet) comes out into the audience to search for him having already done so on screen.
At one point in the show, there appears to be computerized bubbles blown, and real soap bubbles blow from the ceiling. At the end of the show Swedish Chef tries to destroy the now out of control Waldo, who has destroyed the film and is all alone on a blank screen, by firing a gun at him. After missing several times (shooting holes in the screen and even the theater wall), the Swedish Chef resorts to using a large cannon. This "blows-up" the theater, leaving a (projected) hole in the main screen, as well as "revealing" some bricks and sheet rock throughout the main theater, revealing what's on the "other side" of the screen — guests at a Disney Park. At this point, Kermit comes on the back of a fire engine through the hole to apologize and conclude the show.
In the final part of the film, Waldo appears behind red curtains and then shape shifts into Mickey Mouse (voiced by Wayne Allwine, the voice actor for Mickey at that time), so no one would recognize him. However, he turns back into his true form and deflates. Statler and Waldorf make their final comment and the film ends.
- Jim Henson - Kermit the Frog, Waldorf, The Swedish Chef
- Frank Oz - Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle, Construction Worker
- Dave Goelz - The Great Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot
- Richard Hunt - Scooter, Statler, Beaker, Sweetums, Chuck
- Steve Whitmire - Rizzo the Rat, Bean Bunny, Waldo C. Graphic
- John Henson - Sweetums
- David Rudman - Roy and Max
- Muppet*Vision 3D at the Internet Movie Database
- Official Disney's Hollywood Studios website
- Official Disney California Adventure website
- Muppet Wiki: Muppet*Vision 3D
- All Ears Net Muppet*Vision page