Muppet Vision 3D: Disney Parks History

 Disney Parks History

Muppet Vision 3D Facade Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

MuppetVision 3D is the most elaborate attraction ever made by Disney, and it has a complicated history in the parks, with multiple canceled attractions, controversies, and changes in its history.

When Disney MGM Studios was planned, multiple expansion plans were already in the works before the park even opened, including lands and attractions based on Star Wars and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. But one of the most elaborate additions would be based on the Muppets.

Disney was working to buy The Muppets from Jim Henson at about the time, and one of the projects Disney was working on with him was an entire land in Disney MGM Studios based on his most popular set of characters. This was set to include multiple attractions, restaurants, and shops based on The Muppets. All were in production and about to be built, when Jim Henson suddenly passed away.

His death put an end to the plans for a full Muppet land and a purchase by Disney of The Muppets as Disney did not get along as well with the new leadership, but they were able to continue the agreement to open one Muppet attraction that had been substantially completed prior to Jim Henson's death, Muppet Vision.

Statler and Waldorf Muppet Vision 3D Walt Disney World

MuppetVision 3D was effectively the last project worked on by Jim Henson, and it opened in 1991 at Disney MGM Studios. It was a 3D film featuring all of the significant Muppets telling an original story following the Muppets testing out new 3D technology, also using animatronics, fiber optics, and other in-theater effects.

The show was also significant for being the first time Mickey Mouse was animated through computer animation.

This show was instantly a success, taking you into the Muppet theater and providing you with fifteen minutes of Muppet fun. The surrounding area also featured Muppet decorations including a fountain themed after Miss Piggy.

Lincoln Animatronic Main Street USA Disneyland

The same attraction was almost immediately planned for Disneyland, initially slated to replace Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln. This plan faced tremendous controversy and was canceled, leaving the classic show in the park through to today.

Eventually, MuppetVision would be cloned to Disney California Adventure in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot land. The outside would look different, but the inside would be identical to the original show.

The show would feature changes over the years, most notably in 2012 when Constantine from Muppets Most Wanted would be worked into the preshow temporarily to promote the new film.

In 2014, the Disney California Adventure version would close and its theater would become a constantly changing theatre with a variety of different temporary shows before becoming the home to the Disneyland version of Mickey's Philharmagic.

As Disney's Hollywood Studios began preparing for Star War's Galaxy's Edge, the attraction would be forced to change to fit its new surroundings. The balloon outside would be removed as it could be seen in the new land, and it would receive a new facade.

Kermit and Miss Piggy Muppet Vision 3D Mural Disney's Hollywood Studios

A few details outside the attraction would also be removed including a mural featuring Kermit and Miss Piggy.

In the meantime though, the surrounding area was given a light Muppets retheme, including PizzeRizzo, a Muppets themed pizza restaurant, and other new details.

Today the attraction remains, but its future remains uncertain. Prior to the COVID19 pandemic, rumors were growing of its replacement, but the lack of theme park budgets may temporarily save the attraction for the time being. The Muppets are not the staples of pop culture they used to be, and Disney, who now owns them, seems unable to properly understand the characters.

Muppet Vision remains as a final work from the man who gave us the Muppets, and it continues to entertain guests to this day at Walt Disney World.