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Muppet

Up to date as of February 02, 2010
(Redirected to Walt Disney World article)

From Muppet Wiki

The Muppets outside the Chinese Theatre in MGM Studios
Swedish Chef at the Brown Derby restaurant
Kermit in MGM Studios
Sweetums in Disney's Stars and Motor Cars Parade.
The Muppet store outside the Muppet*Vision 3D attraction.
Promotional photo.
Printed ad from 1990

Walt Disney World is a theme park resort that opened in Orlando, Florida in 1971. The resort includes four theme parks -- the Magic Kingdom, Epcot (formerly EPCOT Center), Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios), and Disney's Animal Kingdom -- in addition to numerous hotels, water parks, and other entertainment offerings.

Contents

The Muppets at Walt Disney World

After the Walt Disney Company had announced the deal to buy the Muppet characters from the Jim Henson Company in 1989, the Muppets produced The Muppets at Walt Disney World, a primetime special that aired on The Magical World of Disney, in which the Kermit the Frog and his friends explored the resort.

According to the special, Walt Disney World lies "just on the other side" of Kermit's Swamp. The geography of the resort is also compressed and streamlined for purposes of the plot. For example, even though the Muppets begin their trip by breaking into the Disney-MGM Studios, they don't seem to have the same problem entering the Magic Kingdom or EPCOT Center, even though each park has a separate gate.

Attractions featured or mentioned in The Muppets at Walt Disney World include:

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The Magic Kingdom

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Main Street Vehicles
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Space Mountain
  • Country Bear Jamboree

EPCOT Center

  • The Leapfrog Fountains at Journey Into Imagination
  • Wonders of Life and Body Wars
  • The Living Seas (referred to by Gonzo as "The Ocean Thing Over There")
  • World Showcase pavilions: Mexico, Germany, China, France, Morocco, Canada, Italy, and Japan

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Other

  • Grand Floridian Beach Resort
  • The Walt Disney World Pet Care Center
  • Monorail
  • Utilidors (referred to by Gonzo as "Walt Disney's Laundryland")

Theme Park Attractions

Although the Disney/Henson deal fell through in the wake of Jim Henson's death, some of the initial plans for Muppet attractions at Walt Disney World were completed, most of which were located at the Disney-MGM Studios.

The first attraction to feature the Muppets was the Hollywood's Pretty Woman stage show at the Theater of the Stars on Hollywood Boulevard, which included Kermit and Miss Piggy walk-arounds in the surprise finale. The show, which premiered in December of 1989 was the only Walt Disney World attraction that was finished in Jim Henson's lifetime.

In 1990, the Here Come the Muppets stage show, the first full-fledged Muppet attraction at the parks, premiered at the former Walt Disney Theater in the park's Animation Courtyard. The production featured walk-around characters playing to a vocal track recorded by the Muppet performers. A second stage show, Muppets on Location: Days of Swine and Roses, followed in 1991, and played for three years.

Muppet*Vision 3D, an elaborate attraction featuring a 3D film with Audio-Animatronic characters and special in-theater effects, was introduced in 1991, along with the Stage One Company Store, which specializes in Muppet merchandise. Muppet*Vision 3D is still a popular attraction at the park and was recreated for Disneyland in 2001.

Muppet*Vision 3D, which was the last film directed by Jim Henson, was also the last of the originally planned attractions to be built. The attraction was originally slated to anchor a new Muppet Studios section of the park, nestled between Star Tours and New York Street. But when the Disney/Henson merger fell through, plans to build the Muppet Movie Ride and the Great Gonzo's Pandemonium Pizza Parlor were abandoned.

Most recently, walk-around versions of Kermit, Piggy, and Sweetums appeared in the park's Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade. And the first new attraction to feature the Muppets since Disney acquired the characters in 2004 was Muppet Mobile Lab, an interactive "Living Characters Initiative" starring Audio-Animatronic versions of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker.

Other Henson properties that were given attractions at Walt Disney World include:

Connections

  • Matthew Broderick voiced Simba in Circle of Life: An Environmental Tale at Epcot
  • Chevy Chase starred in The Monster Sounds Show, a former attraction at Disney-MGM Studios
  • Walter Cronkite was a host of The Magic of Animation film at Disney-MGM Studios and the narrator of Spaceship Earth at Epcot (1986-1994)
  • Anthony Daniels portrayed C-3PO in the Star Tours film and ride at Disney-MGM Studios
  • Dave Goelz provided the voice of Figment in the Journey Into Imagination with Figment ride in Epcot
  • Charles Grodin played the Left Brain in the Cranium Command show in the Wonders of Life at Epcot (1989-2007)
  • Jeremy Irons narrated Spaceship Earth at Epcot (1994-2007)
  • Nathan Lane voiced Timon in Circle of Life: An Environmental Tale film at Epcot
  • Jon Lovitz played the Right Brain in the Cranium Command show in the Wonders of Life at Epcot (1989-2007)
  • Rick Moranis played Wayne Szalinski in the "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" 3-D film at Epcot
  • Paul Reubens voiced RX-24 in the Star Tours film and ride at Disney-MGM Studios
  • Don Rickles voiced William in The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management) in the Magic Kingdom
  • Martin Short starred in The Monster Sound Show at Disney-MGM Studios and hosted the O Canada! and The Making of Me films at Epcot
  • George Wendt played the Stomach in the Cranium Command show in the Wonders of Life at Epcot (1989-2007)
  • Robin Williams was one of the hosts of The Magic of Animation film at Disney-MGM Studios and the voice of Timekeeper in The Timekeeper at the Magic Kingdom
  • Ellen DeGeneres starred in "Ellen's Energy Adventure" at the Universe of Energy pavilion at Epcot
  • Michael Jackson starred in "Captain EO" at Epcot.

This article uses material from the "Walt Disney World" article on the Muppet wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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