Ryan Dosier – Hello again you ever fascinated readers. As you all know after witnessing The British Correspondent’s rampant destruction of my blog, I spent last week in Orlando, Florida at the Happiest Place on Earth: Walt Disney World! As you can probably imagine, what with the big hullabaloo caused by the “Give a Day. Get a Disney Day” promotion, there was a bunch of Muppet stuff worthy of my reporting. So… let’s get started, shall we?
Magic Kingdom, Sunday March 7
On the first day of Disney World, my true love gave to me… Wait, wrong… everything. Anyway, on my first day in the Disney Parks, I visited Magic Kingdom. And what to my wandering eyes did appear? (Good grief, what’s with all the Christmas references?) A frog and a bear on a jug full of popcorn! That’s right, throughout each of the Disney Parks, various vendors were selling decent-sized, plastic, collectible tubs full of popcorn. And for the modest price of only $4.50 (two dollars more than a regular popcorn), I bought my first Muppety souvenir of the trip. It’s actually a pretty cool (albeit not practical at all) piece of merchandise. It features Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Rizzo, Swedish Chef, Sweetums, and Robin all volunteering in front of a construction site backdrop.
Also at Magic Kingdom there were many notable set ups of Muppet plush and Kermit and Miss Piggy volunteering t-shirts in a few of the gift shops–most prominently featured at an entrance of the main gift shop on Main Street, U.S.A. at the front of the park. There were plush dolls of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie (which was SO adorable), Gonzo, Animal, Beaker, and Bean Bunny, car antenna toppers shaped like Kermit and Animal, and small plush magnets of Kermit and Beaker. They also had a baseball cap featuring Sam the Eagle that read, in patriotic red, white, and blue, “Bald and Proud.” However, the oddest (and oddly coolest) piece of merchandise they had were Muppet head-shaped sock hats of Animal and Beaker. I can’t really explain, so just look at the picture on the right, please.
I know you’re all wondering what my opinions were of the Honorary VoluntEAR Cavalcade parade featuring Kermit, Piggy, and Sweetums, right? Well… I didn’t see it. Not on this first day, anyway. But, luckily, we went to Magic Kingdom twice, so I’ll get to that next time. I was actually confused about the start time of the parade and thought it began when the park opened, but it didn’t start until 3:00 (on the DOT) and ran just before the regular parade. So… yeah, I missed it that day. But it was worth it to make my brother run through Tomorrowland, across Main Street, and into Fronteirland just to miss the float by about a minute.
And that’s about it for the Muppet stuffs in Magic Kingdom on my first day.
EPCOT, Monday March 8
EPCOT wasn’t nearly as exciting as Magic Kingdom (poor EPCOT…), but it still managed to impress me with a decent amount of Muppety things. The main gift shop in EPCOT is the MouseGear shop full of… everything. (But, oddly enough, no miniature Spaceship Earth [the big golf ball in the sky] souvenirs.) (I know, right?) In this instance, everything included a lovely little display of Muppet stuff, pictured here on the right.
The also had a nice display of Vinylmation. Including, you guessed it, the Muppets series. But, as I soon learned, even though they have a display, it doesn’t mean they sell the Vinylmation. (I know, right?!) Yes, according to a very nice Cast Member, Walt Disney World had completely (completely!) sold out of the Muppet Vinylmation. I was very tempted to buy a Donald Duck mallet to break in and steal the display pieces, but they didn’t sell Donald Duck mallets. (I couldn’t believe it either!)
But thanks to my boundless determination (and my inability to tire of gift shops carrying the exact same stuff), I wandered into a gift shop placed in the entrance area to the World Showcase Pavilion of EPCOT that carried the Muppet Vinylmation series. When I went (exactly a week ago, don’t’cha know) they had two full boxes left hidden in a corner. I bought two and pulled out Sweetums and Rowlf. Trust me, they look much better in person and they’re a lot of fun to have on display and I very much regret not getting more while I found them.
Unfortunately, that’s all the Muppety stuff that was in EPCOT, but it was good enough for me! I wound up with two fun Vinylmation figures and a happy realization that people are eating up the Muppet Vinylmation like $10 a piece candy. A very good sign for future Muppet projects, methinks!
Check back on Thursday for my continued coverage of my trip to Walt Disney World with Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom (again), and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There’s a lot more Muppet stuff to show off, so you won’t want to miss it!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier