Muppet*Vision 3D is a 3D film attraction located at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Directed by Jim Henson, the attraction consists of a pre-show which then leads into 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's entrance at Disney's Hollywood Studios
|Disney's Hollywood Studios|
|Opening date||May 16, 1991|
|Disney California Adventure|
|Opening date||February 8, 2001|
|Closing date||November 1, 2014|
|Replaced by||For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration|
|Attraction type||3D film|
|Designer||Walt Disney Imagineering|
|Theme||The Muppet Show|
|Audience capacity||564 per show|
|Sponsored by||Kodak (1991–2013)|
Closed captioning available
The attraction—which opened as Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3D on May 16, 1991 at Disney's Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios)—incorporates the 3D film in conjunction with in-theater 4D effects, such as Audio-Animatronics, lighting, projections, smoke, soap bubbles, and a live full-bodied performer. Muppet*Vision 3D had a subsequent incarnation open at Disney California Adventure on February 8, 2001 and operated at the park until November 1, 2014.[a]
Muppet*Vision 3D is the main attraction of Grand Avenue of Disney's Hollywood Studios.
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 4D" (which was used in The Walt Disney World Explorer application, displayed as "Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision
3D 4D" with a slanted red strikethrough on "3D"). It was directed by Jim Henson and written by Bill Prady. The show was one of the final Muppets projects with the involvement of Henson, as well as 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.
Throughout the attraction's operation at Disney California Adventure, the theater was used to present sneak peeks of Tron: Legacy, Frankenweenie, and Oz the Great and Powerful. On January 7, 2015, the theater at Disney California Adventure began operating as the Crown Jewel Theatre and presented For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, a musical stage show based on Frozen. The attraction operated until April 17, 2016. The location was renamed to the Sunset Showcase Theater and began showing Walt Disney Studios film previews in May 2016. In April 2019, the Sunset Showcase Theater began showing Mickey's PhilharMagic.
Before guests are seated in the theater where the film is shown, they go through the queue, which 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 the Muppets, including The Bride of Froggen-Schwein, The Pigseidon Adventure, and SuperBeaker II. 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 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 was different in that it featured a cast member at the turnstile handing out the glasses individually and the "hallway" scene from the Disney's Hollywood Studios queue was replaced with a "courtyard" filled with various props. The queue winded around a fake "set", blending in with the rest of the Hollywood Land district. Guests also saw half of a motorbike protruding from the wall above, with a hole in the shape of Gonzo. The pre-show room there included a scrolling LED monitor known as The Official Time Clock which displayed 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 nearby Award Weiners restaurant in order to provide more seating for it. The spoof movie posters were removed, now in their place are real movie posters promoting current and upcoming films from Walt Disney Studios. The original "Disaster Effects" storage area remained until January 2015.
Constantine, the villain from Muppets Most Wanted, was added to the pre-show at beginning of March 2014 to advertise the new film. In Disney's Hollywood Studios, as of December 2016, Constantine no longer appears and the pre-show is reverted to its original 1991 form.
The show begins with Statler and Waldorf in their usual box putting on the glasses, and heckling the audience. A penguin orchestra rises up. They tune and play a fanfare, which leads into the opening. Gonzo appears behind a door and pushes a stick labeled "3D" towards the audience. Kermit the Frog appears and welcomes the audience to Muppet*Vision 3D. He then gives the audience a tour 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. This includes a noisemaker, a can of springs, and a flower that sprays water. Kermit then takes the audience to the Muppet's top secret laboratory where he explains that they hired scientists from all over the world to come and work there. He then says, "Unfortunately, none of them showed up." He then introduces Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant, Beaker.
The show 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 but proves that he is uncontrollable and wreaks havoc in the lab. Dr. Honeydew tells Beaker to use the lab's inflatomatic to deactivate Waldo. He does so, but instead of being deactivated, Waldo explodes into smaller versions of himself and says that he can start his own football team. Dr. Honeydew then tells Beaker to use the lab's vacuum cleaner to suck up all the Waldos, but also accidentally sucks up the entire lab. All but one Waldo is sucked up and realizing he's free, shape shifts into a taxi cab and drives away.
Kermit then reappears and apologizes for the delay since the lab was "sucked up". Fozzie returns and attempts to demonstrate his flying pie but it malfunctions and hits him in the face. Kermit then says, "Fozzie, that's terrible." Fozzie then replies with, "You're right. It needs more sugar." He walks away, and Kermit introduces Miss Piggy's musical rendition of "Dream a Little Dream of Me". Bean Bunny attempts to assist Miss Piggy by using various props to add 3d effects. These include a butterfly on a fishing rod, a bee on a fishing rod, and bubbles blown from a bubble maker. To add the realism, real soap bubbles are blown from the ceiling. Miss Piggy gets annoyed and tells him to knock it off. Bean then gives her a rope, explaining that it's for the water skiing finale. A toy boat pulls Miss Piggy into the pond and gets her wet. Sam Eagle enters the scene and sends Bean away before he ruins the film more. He leaves and meets Waldo and together, they leave the film. Gonzo sees Bean and Waldo leaving and gathers the rest of the Muppets to help him look for Bean. Sweetums (who is a live full-bodied Muppet) comes out into the audience to search for him having already done so on screen. With help from the audience, he finds Bean on the other side balcony, across from Waldorf and Statler. He explains why he ran away and agrees to stay if he can help in the finale. The Muppets decide to let Bean shoot off the fireworks.
The finale begins with a toy soldier marching band playing patriotic music. During their performance, Waldo bounces on their heads and one of the tuba players gets his head stuck inside. To make matters worse, since he cannot see, he runs into people and causes them to fall down. Sam then tells Bean to shoot off the fireworks. To show off, Waldo shape shifts into a rocket and zooms around Miss Piggy, who is dressed like the Statue of Liberty, and accidentally tears her skirt off. Waldo then plummets into the penguin orchestra, causing smoke to rise. Sweetums reappears and puts out the fire with water, which infuriates the penguins and they decide to retaliate with a cannon. After Sweetums tells the audience to duck (in which Waldo briefly transformed into a literal duck), the penguins fire their cannon and hit the projector.
The Swedish Chef, who is operating the projector, then tries to destroy the now out of control Waldo, who he believes destroyed the film and is now all alone on a blank screen, by firing a gun at him. After missing several times (shooting holes in the screen, as well as the theater wall), the Swedish Chef decides to use a cannon. This causes an explosion as the theater blows up, tearing a hole in the screen, as well as "revealing" some bricks and sheetrock throughout the main theater, and revealing what's on the "other side" of the screen: guests at a Disney Park. Kermit then appears on the back of a fire engine through the hole to apologize for the delays. He then bids the audience a final farewell and the curtains close. Waldo appears one last time and shape shifts into Mickey Mouse so that nobody would recognize him. However, he shape shifts back to his true form as a vacuum sucks him up. Bean comments on what a cute ending the show was as the curtains on his balcony close. Waldorf asks Statler what he thought of the show. He asks Waldorf if they have time to go to the bathroom before the next shows starts. He replies with, "We can't you old fool. We're bolted to the seats." Then the curtains on their balcony close and the show ends. A cast member then thanks the audience for coming to see the show and tells them how to exit properly, while reminding them to return their 3D glasses into the bins outside of the theater.
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.
- Jim Henson – Kermit the Frog, Waldorf, The Swedish Chef
- Frank Oz – Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Boss (Construction Worker), Sam Eagle
- Dave Goelz – Gonzo, Rick, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot, Dinah
- Richard Hunt – Scooter, Statler, Beaker, Sweetums, Chuck, Chicken
- Steve Whitmire – Waldo C. Graphic, Bean Bunny, Rizzo the Rat
- John Henson – Sweetums (puppeteering only)
- David Rudman – Roy, Max
- Wayne Allwine – Waldo's impersonation of Mickey Mouse
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Muppet*Vision 3D.|
- Muppet*Vision 3D has officially been on hiatus at Disney's California Adventure since November 2, 2014. However, the attraction building has been remodeled since then, and the attraction has been removed from the Disneyland website. As such, the closing date is unofficial.
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- Slater, Shawn (March 4, 2016). "New Stage Musical 'Frozen – Live at the Hyperion' Opens May 27, 2016, at Disney California Adventure Park". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on April 17, 2016.
- Slater, Shawn (April 19, 2016). "Preview Scenes from Disney's 'Alice Through the Looking Glass' for a Limited Time Starting May 6". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016.
- Ramirez, Michael (April 26, 2019). "'Mickey's PhilharMagic' Now Open at Disney California Adventure Park". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved April 26, 2019.