Is it Time For Muppet-Vision 3D To Be Updated?

ae198-800px-journalmv3d04Something I encounter on a regular basis when conversing with fellow Disney fans and Muppet fans both in real life and online, is that when it comes to the discussion of updating Muppet-Vision 3D, it tends to be a subject up for much debate.  The Muppet 3D feature that plays in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on a regular daily basis opened for the first time to the public on May 16th 1991, on the one year anniversary of Jim Henson’s passing as a tribute to the late legendary Muppet creator and filmmaking visionary. Since it’s opening, the same feature has been a regular attraction in the park without many changes, save for the film quality being remastered and switched to a higher-quality digital print, and a few minor exterior overlays to the building. This May will mark the 25th anniversary since Muppet-Vision opened to the public, making it one of the longest running attractions in the park. Taking that into account, is it about time that The Muppets’ only theme park attraction should be updated?

Besides being a fantastic way to spend a half hour of your day in the parks, the attraction holds a strong sentimental feeling to many fans as the attraction was the last project directly overseen by Jim Henson for much of the production. Though he passed away before seeing the finished product, he had a strong part in the creation of the entire project. For many fans, the Muppet show that stands today is like a lasting tribute to the life and accomplishments of Jim Henson and the empire he created. With it being the very last project he had a hand in, a lot of fans seem to be opposed to the idea of replacing the classic longstanding film, even if that means replacing it with a brand new Muppet film.


Though I love everything about the show, from its brilliant comedy to the hilarious hidden gags scattered throughout the building, I would happily welcome some new fresh ideas to the twenty-five year old attraction, and there are many reasons for that. Much like any other attractions that stand the test of time,  eventually regular park visitors begin looking for  new creativity can be brought to long-time running experiences, and since Muppet-Vision 3D has had such an impressive lifespan, it isn’t quite the same must-see attraction because, well, most people have already seen it.

Since The Muppets are a franchise that I care about the longevity of, and I want these characters to always find new life and keep moving forward, I think a much-needed update to the attraction is very much in order. By updating the film, not only does it breathe new life into the franchise, making them a “must-see” attraction once again, but it also secures longevity in the franchise for years to come, showing that Disney has an interest in keeping these characters around for as long as possible, but also Disney wouldn’t be so quick to put their money to waste that could help secure the Muppets’ presence in the park for a while longer. Not that they’re going anywhere soon, but sometimes bringing new creativity to a classic franchise can make all the difference in the survival of the characters in the long run.

Over at our sister site, The Mickey Mindset, we often discuss what the future of Disney’s Hollywood Studios looks like, and why that’s a bit disappointing to us, and within the next five years, Disney will slowly remodel the majority of their once-Hollywood themed park, making the Muppets one of the few remnants of a park Disney is (for some reason) trying to move beyond.For that reason, it might be a good idea for the Muppets to catch up an bring some new ideas to their themed land.


Although there are rumors and construction walls that make a strong case that The Muppets are getting their very own expansion at the parks, it would be more reassuring to know that The Muppets too are updating their works at least a bit to get with the times of the park and secure their longevity. As far as indications show, The Muppets seem safe in their own little mini-land at least for the forseeable future, but as always with any franchise, it would be assuring to see them keep moving forward and creating new ideas and experiences, and bringing as much new Muppety fun into Walt Disney World as possible.

What do you think? Is it time that Muppet-Vision 3D is finally updated?





4 thoughts on “Is it Time For Muppet-Vision 3D To Be Updated?

  1. I think it would be cool to actually interact with some of the Muppets.

    They have a nice sweetums costume that actually is used in the show, maybe have a photo op with him.

    They also had Constantine appear in the park for Villians week or something. I saw the video but didn’t see it live. Even if they had lesser known Muppets and/or understudies and sound-alikes, it would be really cool for photo ops and interaction.

    A new ride or show would be awesome. I could see something like the Spider-Man ride at Universal, where you’re in a little car in an immersive theater and they uses 3D and holograms that sync with the motion.

    I’d settle for a nice themed Restaurant and an upgraded store.

  2. I was at DHS just a few months ago & i, of course, stopped in Muppetvison. I had two thoughts, 1) the film still works, but 2) when you look around the theater you notice there aren’t many people in the theater & the physical effects seem dated.

    So how about a compromise, keep the film, but update everything else?

    I mean do they really need a person in a sweetums costume running through every 15 minutes? There might be an inventive new way of doing these things, while still keeping the heart of the original attraction.

  3. I revisited this attraction for the first time since 1991 a couple of weeks ago….
    I have very fond memories of this although I have to say that it didn’t quite live up to my nostalgia for it. However what I love is how much more ‘real’ it is than similar shows like Philharmagic, and Shrek 4D. The presence of Statler and Waldorf, Sweetums, Bean, Chef and the penguin band plus the wonderfully clever destruction of the theatre at the end make this more than just your average 3D movie.
    My solution would be to update it in part. Waldo’s animation certainly needs updating – what was state-of-the-art now looks direct-to-DVD.
    The other solution would be to redo it completely using the existing ‘real’ effects and then the option is there to bring the original back for limited runs a la Captain Eo.
    Also I noticed that Constantine was shoe-horned into the pre-show which I did not like at all.

  4. One thing of note is how differently animatronics can be “cast”. Way back in the ancient history of AA, as seen in the Walt Disney & the Worlds Fair footage, they had somebody in a seat ‘programming’ the animatronic of the lead of Carousel of Progress.

    Today, digital puppetry provides that same capability at a considerably cheaper and more accurate measure, and digital puppetry is at the heart of Brian and Lisa Henson’s current projects including Dinosaur Train and Doozers, both using tech first started on Sid the Science Kid.

    It would be easy to not just have an animatronic Kermit and other muppets in the show, but to actually capture the REAL performances of Steve, Matt, Dave, and the others in their roles so not only would there be a regular physical muppets performance, but it would be THE muppets, not a computer approximation of them, because the nuances the performers use would be captured.

    just a thought. I personally still love the ride but then I don’t live near Disney so I only see it every 4-6 years…and Disneyland’s is gone so I haven’t seen it since 2009. Still looking forward to taking my 5 year old to it this summer.

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