Disney, both as a film-making company and as the curator of magical amusement parks, is known for giving us mere mortals some life-changing memories. I love Disney — that’s why I write for this blog — but even I have to admit that sometimes, we end up with a swing and a miss. While I love most aspects of Walt Disney World, there are some offerings that simply fall flat for me. In hopes of keeping each of your future Disney trips as magical as possible, I’m going to take you through those I’d skip and what I’d replace them with! First flop in my books? Muppet Vision 3D.
Hollywood Studios is in the middle of a huge overhaul. Toy Story Land opened this past summer, and there are plans for some other land sometime next year. Galaxy something-or-other….. I kid. I love Star Wars and I’m pretty dang excited for Galaxy’s Edge. In my opinion, though, Muppet Vision 3D is something that should have been nixed long before we lost the Great Movie Ride (RIP).
I’ll admit, I didn’t realize the Muppet area existed for a while, and now that I know it’s there, I kind of wish I could go back to those days of blissful ignorance. Last year, I was in Disney during one of the (if not THE) busiest times of year, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Ben, my fiancé, and I knew going in that lines were going to be long for everything, and they did not disappoint. The parks were all PACKED, all day, even during Extra Magic Hours — no exceptions.
We were rolling with the punches and doing our best to keep ourselves busy and happy — and were successful in doing so. (If you really want to visit the parks when they’re slammed, go for it, but make sure your expectations are realistic so you still have a great time). We were in Hollywood Studios on December 27 and had time to kill before an early dinner reservation at Hollywood Brown Derby (10 out of 10 would recommend HBD). We didn’t want to get in a long line and risk missing our reservation, so we wandered over to Muppet Vision 3D — it had no wait at all! (I now know why.)
Muppet Vision 3D is a 15-minute show with some of Disney’s 4D effects (real animatronics, special lighting, bubbles, water splashes, etc.). It is older than I am, having opened in May of 1991, back when Hollywood Studios was still called MGM studios. It was also shown in Disneyland California Adventure starting in 2001, but the clearly more intelligent park cut it in 2014.
This production shows its age with dated effects and jokes that have long since seen their expiration dates. While I wouldn’t say it made me want to scoop my own eyes out with spoons, I have precisely zero desire to be herded back into that theater anytime soon. Maybe if I was feeling really tired, I’d hop inside for a nap. The show is spastic, confusing, and downright bizarre, and not in an amusing kind of way.
Ok, ok. Maybe I’m being harsh. I did laugh during the show, like twice. I just really didn’t buy into anything it had to offer. Miss Piggy was as shrill as ever, and I felt no real connection to any part of the story. It felt like a way to pass the time while sitting down, and little more.
So, what should I do instead?
The underwhelming reaction to Muppet Vision 3D is even more obvious when I think of the other shows that Hollywood Studios has to offer. Specifically, I’m thinking of the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage. I’ve heard great things about the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, but I’ve never experienced that show, so I’ll have to check back in with you after I’ve done so. Both Indiana Jones and Beauty and the Beast offer fantastically produced live shows with real actors bringing to life fan-favorite stories.
In half an hour, Indiana Jones takes you through a behind-the-scenes look at how actors accomplish some death-defying stunts. It’s got guest interaction (our own CJ has been called down more than once to display his alluring…and alarming… cat walk), sword fights, booby traps, and explosions. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody who would call this show “boring.”
Beauty and the Beast, while less intense than a show with the word “Epic” in its title, is a classic. This 25-minute show gives you a truncated look into the story of Beauty and the Beast, in full costume and with all of your favorite songs. It’s an impressive and magical display of something from 1991 that we actually still want to see.
Now, I understand both of these options are longer than Muppet Vision 3D, so they may not fit as nicely into a tight schedule, but their showtimes are displayed each day and are easy to plan for. Their theaters are enormous and, if timed correctly, can also result in no wait at all. Outdoors but covered and well-ventilated, these shows can offer some relief from the heat.
The bottom line is simple: Muppet Vision 3D’s only redeeming quality over both Indiana Jones and Beauty and the Beast is that it’s inside. That’s just not enough for me to sit through that torture.
I want to give a special thanks to @apopkapete and @thezipadeedoocrew for the use of their photography in this post!