2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: MuppetVision 3D at Disney's Hollywood Studios

February 10, 2010, 10:49 AM · Theme Park Insider readers have voted MuppetVision 3D at the Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park in Walt Disney World as the sixth seed in the Best Movie or Animated Show bracket of the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament.

MuppetVision 3D at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Set in the "Muppet Show" theater, complete with Statler & Waldorf heckling from the balcony, MuppetVision 3D shows us the inside of Muppet Labs, where Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker have "perfected" 3-D technology. To show off their work, Dr. Honeydew introduces us to the first 3-D, computer generated Muppet, Waldo C. Graphic.

Then, as you could probably guess, something goes terribly wrong, and Waldo runs amok throughout the show, ultimately crashing Sam the Eagle's attempt at a patriotic finale. The Swedish Chef even tries to shoot down Waldo, but just manages to destroy the theater in the process.

In short, it's the mayhem you expect from the Muppets.

MuppetVision 3D debuted at Walt Disney World in May 2001 1991, one year after the sudden death, at age 53, of Muppets creator Jim Henson. Henson in 1989 had agreed to sell his company to Disney, which led to the creation of the MuppetVision 3D show at the then-Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park. Henson's death ultimately scuttled the deal, but in 2004, Henson's heirs agreed to sell the rights to most of the non-Sesame Street Muppets to Disney.

MuppetVision 3D also plays at Disney's California Adventure theme park in Anaheim.

What's your take on MuppetVision 3D?

Replies (13)

February 10, 2010 at 10:58 AM · It couldn't have debuted in 2001, because it was there when I went in December 2000.
February 10, 2010 at 11:03 AM · Many 3D movies at theme parks have become increasingly outdated as more and more movies come out in cinemas around the world in the format.

For the most part the main reason people used to go and see these shows is because of the 3D element, now however 3D is seen as the norm and this has damaged the popularity of some 3D movies at theme parks.

However, Muppet Vision seems to be an exception, in fact Disney have even invested in a small refurb for the attraction recently, a clear sign the the show is still popular.

This has to be put down to the fact it's hilarious and keeps audiences of all ages laughing from the pre-show until they drop their 3D glasses in the bin on the way out.

For me Muppet Vision is the prime example of what a 3D show should be in order to remain popular in the long-term and in my opinion it deserves at least an 8 on the Theme Park Insider ratings.

February 10, 2010 at 12:02 PM · I think it's a typo. Should be May 1991. 2001 is when DCA's version opened.
February 10, 2010 at 12:06 PM · I agree that this show definitely holds up over the years due to the comedy factor. A lot of these shows try to be funny, but this one actually makes you laugh. It also has some innovative, for the time, "4D" effects without being over the top, like some shows can be. I've been to this show close to when it first opened and then again last year. I think I had more fun the second time than the first!
February 10, 2010 at 2:32 PM · Umm this isn't one of my favorites. I am stunned that it is ranked at number 6! I believe it goes up against Shrek 4-D which is Way better. Personally i think its time this show gets replaced as it is nearly 20 years old at DHS, and nobody cares about it at DCA.
February 10, 2010 at 2:41 PM · I love MuppetVision 3D. I remember seeing it in 1990, just a year after Jim Henson died. It was such a perfect project for that creative guy to go out on.

MuppetVision is wonderfully over-the-top, just like Henson's best works from the sixties and seventies. And it has a heart. Maybe it's all the furry things in the movie, or maybe it's just this sense you get that Jim and his Muppeteers genuinely liked their audience...I don't know, but the whole thing feels like a big hug to me.

It's fitting that in this world of Avatar and Up and Coraline--where 3D is treated as just another tool, something the "sophisticated" directors keep nuanced and understated--that the BEST theme park-based 3D movie would be daring enough to turn that concept on its ear and exploit the 3D gag for maximum yuks.

There was a rumor a while back that Disney might redo the Muppetvision preshow. I say NO WAY (especially when you hear the stories about the Muppet guys shooting this thing in a weekend with no script...that blows me away).

RATHER, I suggest the Mouse keep the preshow. INSTEAD create a new 3D feature for the main theater starring the Muppets. Imagine the fun you could have with 10' tall blue alien muppets in 3D.

That's be real fun, as long as the new Muppet guys have the chops to retain this show's heart.

February 10, 2010 at 3:40 PM · Does anyone know who Jim Henson named Ernie and Burt after? He like the movie A Wonderful Life so much, he names Ernie after Ernie the taxi driver and Burt after Burt the cop. Just one of those mysteries of life solved.
February 10, 2010 at 6:58 PM · "Its a Glorius 3 Hour Extravaganza"

"You have a minute an a half"



February 10, 2010 at 7:39 PM · This show is near-perfect, and one of the few examples of self-aware humor. I love their constant bombardment of purposefully cheap 3D tricks (e.g. ironing board - completely unnecessary, wonderfully stupid).

It only gets an 8-Commendable, however, because of the extremely irritating character "Waldo". Every time he's on stage, I just want to punch him. He's very un-Muppet-like.

February 10, 2010 at 7:43 PM · Oh, and, uh... WOrd 2 yO MoThEr!@#$%^&*()
February 10, 2010 at 7:46 PM · Looks like I'm going to have to redesign the site's logo to add a tagline:

Theme Park Insider
Then something goes terribly wrong... WOrd 2 yO MoThEr!@#$%^&*()

February 10, 2010 at 9:37 PM · I know my family & I checked this out when we were at Disney 5 or so years ago, & I remember enjoying the experience. The thing is, I can't for the life of me remember the show itself.
February 11, 2010 at 7:19 AM · Robert, I love the idea.

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