The entrance and exterior of the attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios
|Attraction type||3D film|
|Designer||Walt Disney Imagineering|
|Theme||The Muppet Show|
|Audience capacity||564 per show|
Closed captioning available
Muppet*Vision 3D is a 3D film attraction located at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure. Directed by Jim Henson, the attraction features Kermit the Frog guiding park guests on a tour through Muppet Studios, while the Muppets prepare their sketch acts to demonstrate their new breakthrough in 3D film technology. The show, however, completely unravels when Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's experimental 3D sprite, Waldo causes mayhem during the next portion of the show.
The attraction—which opened as Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3D on May 16, 1991 at Disney's Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios)—utilizes the 3D film in conjunction with Audio-Animatronics, special effects, lighting, and a live full-bodied performer. Muppet*Vision 3D had a subsequent incarnation open at Disney California Adventure on February 8, 2001.
The theater at Disney California Adventure has been used to present sneak peeks of Disney's Tron: Legacy, Frankenweenie, and Oz the Great and Powerful. Since January 7, 2015, the theater at Disney California Adventure has been operating as the Crown Jewel Theatre and is presenting a musical stage show based on Disney's Frozen called For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration as part of the park's "Frozen Fun" event. Although the event officially ended on May 15, 2015, the venue is still housing the Frozen sing-along show as of November 2015[update].
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 Jim Henson and written by Bill Prady. The show was among the final Muppets projects with the involvement of Henson, as well veteran Muppet performer Richard Hunt and one of the last times they performed their characters. Henson died in 1990, before production of the film was completed, and Hunt died in 1992.
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 and spoof movie posters featuring Muppets. 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, where the pre-show featuring several Muppets is shown.
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, is one of two Disney 3D attractions currently playing which refer to the 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 "3D Game Glasses", 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 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. Guests also see half of a motorbike protruding from the wall above, with a hole in the shape of Gonzo. 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 provide more seating for it. The original "Disaster Effects" storage area still remains, but many of the spoof movie posters were removed, now in their place are real movie posters promoting current films from Walt Disney Studios. 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 first appeared 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 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 (who first appeared in The Tale of the Bunny Picnic) leaves the film at one point after being blamed for ruining several scenes (mainly Miss Piggy's musical rendition of Dream a Little Dream of Me) 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, tearing a hole in the main screen, as well as "revealing" some bricks and sheetrock 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 appear behind red curtains and then shape shifts into Mickey Mouse, so no one would recognize him. However, he turns back into his true form when he gets sucked up by a vacuum from Muppet Labs. 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 Eagle
- Dave Goelz – Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot
- Richard Hunt – Scooter, Statler, Beaker, Sweetums, Chuck
- Steve Whitmire – Waldo C. Graphic, Bean Bunny, Rizzo the Rat
- Jerry Nelson – Camilla the Chicken
- John Henson – Sweetums (body)
- David Rudman – Roy, Max
- Matt Vogel – Constantine (pre-show addition)
- "Muppet*Vision 3D". The Orange County Register. June 9, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Hust Rivera, Heather (September 1, 2010). "First Look at ElecTRONica". DisneyParks Blog. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
- Tully, Sarah (August 30, 2012). "10 Disney attractions closing for rehab". The Orange County Register. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
- Glover, Erin (February 15, 2013). "Get a Sneak Peek at ‘Oz The Great and Powerful’ at Disney California Adventure Park During ‘Limited Time Magic’". DisneyParks Blog. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
- Slater, Shawn (December 5, 2014). "New ‘Frozen Fun’ Opens at Disneyland Resort January 7". DisneyParks Blog. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
- Disney California Adventure Park: For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration Retrieved August 3, 2015
- Abramson, Ben (November 25, 2011). "Muppets at Disney's Hollywood Studios". USA Today. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
- Muppet*Vision 3D at the Internet Movie Database
- Official Disney's Hollywood Studios website
- Muppet Wiki: Muppet*Vision 3D
- All Ears Net Muppet*Vision page