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Muppet Vision 3D[edit]

Muppet Vision 3D is an attraction located in Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Attraction History[edit]

The history of Muppet Vision 3D began in 1989, when Disney and Muppet Creator Jim Henson were closing in on merger agreement [1]. As part of the agreement, Disney would have become the owner of the Muppet franchise and Jim Henson would have joined the company in numerous roles. After acquiring the Muppets, Disney also planned on integrating them into their theme parks[1].In the Disney-MGM Studios, Imagineers began to work on plans for Muppet Movieland[2]. This new area of the park would have featured two main attractions, The Great Muppet Movie Ride (a parody of The Great Movie Ride and a 3D film attraction[2].

The plot for the 3D Muppet film came about during brainstorming meetings between WDI and the Henson team[3] . Henson writer Bill Prady was tasked with writing the plot, which initially focused on newly created Muppet Bean Bunny[3]. Although Henson wanted to promote his new character, Imagineers informed Henson that the theme park audience would respond better to well known characters[3]. According to show producer Mark Eades:

Filming of the new Muppet film began in California, with the Miss Piggy sequence being the first scene to be shot [3]. Although construction on the 3D theater for Muppet Movieland was underway, Jim Henson's tragic death in May 1990 caused the merger between the companies to fall through [4]. Without Henson, Disney's interest in the Muppet's waned, and Henson's estate balked at Disney's offer to purchase the Muppets. The falling through of the merger led to a biter lawsuit being filled[4].

Shortly after Henson's death, frequent collaborator Frank Oz took over directing duties on Muppets 3D [3]. With negotiations between Disney and the Henson estate breaking down however, the Henson family asked everyone working on the film on their side to stop. According to Mark Eades, Disney Imgagineering then had to complete the film alone:

On May 19, 1991 however a confidential settlement was reached between the two parties[4] . As part of the agreement, Disney was allowed to continue their development of the 3D Muppet attraction, and they were given merchandising rights for 18 months[4] . Henson's son Brian, felt that releasing the Muppet 3D film would be a fitting tribute to his father [3]. Although in the end the Muppets would come to Disney-MGM Studios, the plans for integration were drastically cut back. Instead of Muppet Movieland, Disney instead constructed the 3D theater and a Muppet area surrounding it[2]. Finally, on May 16, 1991 Jim Henson's Muppet Vision 3D opened to guests [5].

Although no changes have to the Muppet Vision 3D show itself, the attraction has seen some minor changes. In 2004, Jim Henson's name was dropped from the attraction, with the attraction being renamed simply “Muppet Vision 3D” [6]. This change was the result of the fact that Disney purchased The Muppets from the Henson family, but did not acquire the Henson name or company [7].In 2006, Jim Henson's name was removed from the entrance sign, and drawings of Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Dr. Honeydew and Beaker were added [8]. In 2009, new parody posters were added to the show's queue including spoofs of: Hammah Montana, Pirates of the Amphibian, High School Mayhem, Wild Frogs and BEAK•E [9]. Finally, in 2010 the projection system used in the show was updated [10].

Leading up to and following the release of the 2014 film Muppets Most Wanted, Constantine (the villain of the new film) was added to Muppet Vision 3Ds preshow [11]

Attraction Plot[edit]


The Muppet Vision 3D queue features various Muppet parody posters. Photo: Muppet Wiki

When guests first enter the queue for Muppet Vision 3D, they pass by posters of Muppets spoofing various movies. Some of the posters here include: Hammah Montana, Pirates of the Amphibian, High School Mayhem, Wild Frogs, and BEAK•E. Moving on, guests enter a room which is designed to look like the lobby of Muppet Labs. While winding through the queue, guests pass by various office rooms with ridiculous titles. Above an unattended security desk, guests can see a photograph of Link Hogthrob in a patrol man uniform. A sign nearby tells guests that there is a key under the mat, and if guests lift it, the mat reveals a key to the building.

After reaching the end of the queue, guests enter a holding area which is designed to look like a storage facility for Muppet props. Some gags in the prop room including "a net full of Jell-O" (a pun on Annette Funicello) and a box of fruit marked "2D Fruities". Also located in the room are crates full of:

  • Gonzo's Stunt Props (and really weird stuff).
  • Bunsen's inventions
  • Photographs from Fozzie's photo shoot.
  • Miss Piggy's costumes.
  • Lew Zealand's Boomerang Fish

Pre-Show Film[edit]

Inside the prop warehouse, guests watch a film that shows the Muppets preparing for the upcoming show. The movie begins with a construction crew attempting to hang a series of Kodak signs, with comical (and disastrous) results. The preparations for the show are being supervised by Scooter, who first has to deal with a series of technical difficulties. As Scooter attempts to get the show in order, he is constantly interrupted by the cast. Fozzie is the first to interrupt, as while it initially appears that the comic is trying to get everyone ready in the orchestra, it eventually becomes clear that he is trying to present his new musical act, The Three Ds. The group then performs a disastrous version of "By the Light of the Silvery Moon". The film then shows Bean Bunny prepping for her musical number. Ignoring Scooters warnings not to interrupt Miss Piggy, Bean eventually is karate chopped across there room by the star. Next, Gonzo takes center stage in the film when he sends Scooter away to answer the telephone (despite the fact that Muppet's don't have one). Gonzo then tries to tap dance with a vase of flowers on his head, which he is surprisingly able to do. After Bean once again attempts to "help" Miss Piggy, Sam the Eagle gives guests a safety spiel. Gonzo then tells Sam that Mickey Mouse is in the building. An excited Sam introduces Mickey, only to see that it is just Rizzo wearing Mickey Mouse ears. Sam then tells guests to move all the way down the rows in the theater (claiming that "stopping in the middle is distinctly unpatriotic"). Finally, after Kermit tells guests that they are almost ready, a stampede of Muppet's enter the theater and guests follow them in.

Main Show[edit]

After watching the preshow, the audience enters a reproduction of the Muppet Theater. As in the show, Statler and Waldorf are sitting in their theater box. After entering the theater, guests are instructed to put on their 3D glasses, as Nicky Napoleon and his Emperor Penguins (in Audio Animatronic form) play an instrumental version of The Muppet Show Theme. As the curtain rises, a door which reads “Kermit the Frog presents Muppet Vision 3D” is revealed. The 3D portion of the door seems to be moving towards the audience, but it is simply Gonzo holding the sign at the end of a long pole. After Kermit chastises the daredevil, he welcomes guests to the show and takes them around the facility. Kermit then informs guests that the Swedish Chef is once again in charge of filming the show. He also introduces the upcoming acts including a song by Miss Piggy, and musical finale by Sam the Eagle. Kermit concludes the introduction by saying that "at no time will we be stooping to any cheap 3D tricks."

Jim Henson with the cast of Muppet Vision 3D. Photo: Jim Henson Company Archives

At this point in the attraction Kermit is interrupted by Fozzie, who performs a series of cheap 3D tricks. His tricks include a party streamer, a shake nut can, and a flower in his lapel that squirts real water onto the audience. In the middle of his act, Statler & Waldorf heckle Fozzie, telling him that his act isn't even funny in 3D! When Fozzie asks how the old men got here, they inform him that:

Following Fozzie's act, Kermit takes guests on a tour of Muppet Labs, where Bunsen and Beaker invented Muppet Vision. Unfortunately, Bunsen and Beaker are unable to control their newest invention, which ends up releasing Waldo C. Graphic, the first living 3D effect. Waldo then performs a series of 3D effects for the audience including bouncing on the audience’s heads. After a series of unsuccessful attempts to control Waldo, Beaker uses the VacuumMuppet. The attempt to capture the new creation proves to be unsuccessful, as the vacuum sucks up everything on the screen except for Waldo, who turns himself into a car and drives away.

Kermit then appears on screen, telling guests that Muppet Labs has temporarily been sucked up. As he is speaking, a flying banana cream pie floats by. It turns out that the pie is actually being controlled by Fozzie. Fozzie demonstrates his invention by hitting himself in the face with the dessert. Following Fozzie's interruption, Kermit introduces Miss Piggy's music number.

While Miss Piggy performs her musical number "Dream a Little Dream of Me", Bean attempts to help her by using a series of 3D effects. In one of his attempts to help, Bean showers the audience with bubbles, before handing Miss Piggy a water ski rope, which drags her away. After Miss Piggy's departure, Sam the Eagle appears, telling Bean that he is ruining the film. Bean, upset by the scolding leaves the film, going to a pitch-black area outside of the scene. As Bean prepares to leave, he meets up with Waldo who is also trying to escape the film. As the two of them head out the door, Gonzo asks Bean where he is going. Although Bean says he is going away forever, Gonzo fails to understand,and only asks Bean if he can bring him back a sandwich. After Bean has left, Gonzo realizes the gravity of the situation, and goes to find Kermit.

After Gonzo leaves the screen, Sweetums appears playing paddle ball. Just as Fozzie is complimenting the effect, Gonzo and Kermit enter the scene discussing what has happened. Gonzo, Fozzie and Kermit then organize a search party for Bean, telling the audience to holler if they see the rabbit.

Miss Piggy and Bean Bunny

While the Muppets are looking for Bean, a walk around version of Sweetums strolls through the audience holding a flashlight. After a little while searching, voices of children say that they see Bean in the balcony on the left. Sure enough, the bunny is sitting in a box opposite Waldorf and Statler’s. Bean eventually agrees to stay, after Fozzie suggests that he can set off the fireworks for the show's finale.

At this point in the attraction, Sam the Eagle's big finale, "A Salute to All Nations (But Mostly America)," begins. As dolls modeled after those found on "it's a small world" begin to sing and play instruments, Waldo accidentally knocks one of them over, causing chaos. Many of the dolls begin firing cannons and other weapons, before Sam shoots off the fireworks. The scene concludes with Miss Piggy dressed as the Statue of Liberty. During the finale however, Waldo appears as a rocket, flying around her and causing her dress to fall down.

Waldo, continuing to cause chaos, then crashes into the orchestra pit which explodes into flames. He then shoots back onto the screen. Sweetums, trying to get control of the situation, throws water on the fire, and yells at Chef to turn off the projector. The penguins in the orchestra pit think that Sweetums is the one causing the problems, and they raise a large cannon out of the pit. The cannon fires, but instead of hitting Sweetums, it misses and hit's Chef's projection booth. This causes the film to break, leaving the screen black.

The Swedish Chef, now angry with Waldo, pulls out a blunderbuss and shoots at Waldo, missing several times. As Waldo teases the Chef (turning himself into a target) the Chef pulls out a huge cannon, which when fired is so explosive that it almost destroys the theater. When the smoke from the battle clears, Staler and Waldorf (now hiding in their box), hold a white flag and proclaim: "We surrender! We surrender!".

Kermit then re-enters the theater through the large hole that has been blown into the back wall, seated on the back ladder of a fire truck. He apologizes for the slight technical difficulties, and ensures guests that the theater only suffered minor damages. As Kermit leaves, Waldo reappears, turning himself into Mickey Mouse. This time however, the VacuumMuppet behind the curtain is able to suck him up, finally ridding the show of the creation.

Bean, who is still sitting in the box above guests, comments "What a cute ending". Finally Waldorf who is back to sitting in his balcony asks if they have time to go to the bathroom before the next show. The show concludes with Staler telling him that they can't, because they are bolted to the seats. Guests then leave the theater as the Muppet Show Theme Song plays.

Cast [12][edit]

The character Waldo was created for Muppet Vision 3D

Jim Henson- Kermit the Frog, Waldorf, and the Swedish Chef

Fran Oz- Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Sam the Eagle, and Rick

Jerry Nelson- Camilla and Zoot

Richard Hunt - Scooter, Statler, Beaker, Sweetums (voice only) and Chuck

Dave Goelz- Gonzo and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew

Steve Whitmire- Waldo C. Grap
  1. 1.0 1.1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3
  6. To see the name change view the 2004 Hollwood Studios map compared to the 2005
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The exterior of the Imagination! pavilion.
Land Future World
Theme Imagination
Opening date October 1, 1982
Number of Attractions 3
Formally Known As Journey Into Imagination (1983-1999)
Sponsored by Kodak (1982-2010)
Logo Imaginationlogo.png

Imagination! is a pavilion in Epcot. The pavilion was known as the Journey Into Imagination pavilion from 1983-1999.

Pavilion History[edit]

Development and Construction[edit]

When original designs for EPCOT Center were being drawn up, an Imagination pavilion was nowhere to be found. In fact, the Imagination pavilion was the last pavilion designed for Future World [1]. The structure that would eventually become the Imagination pavilion took inspiration from an idea that Tony Baxter had for the Mineral and Ecology pavilion that was originally planned for EPCOT Center but never constructed [2]. Imagineer Tony Baxter had worked on early plans for that pavilion, however after it was decided that the pavilion should go in a different direction (due to the fact that Kraft had assumed sponsorship) he turned his attention to the Kodak pavilion [3]. Although Kodak had originally signed on as an EPCOT Center sponsor in 1977 [1], the company did not have a firm idea of what they wanted their pavilion to focus on [3] . According to Tony Baxter:

“They wanted something that would be very imaginative.” So we said: “How about doing a pavilion on imagination"[3]

With a theme now in place, Tony Baxter and his Imagineers began fine tuning their plans for the pavilion. Baxter had initially impressed representatives from Kodak with his models for Captain Marvel and his pet dragon. These characters had initially been designed for an expansion of Disneyland called Discovery Bay [2]. Although the expansion was never constructed, Baxter continued to rework the characters for his other projects. In fact, Captain Marvel was going to be renamed Landkeepr and used in Tony Baxter's early version of the land pavilion [2]. With his attention now focused on Imagination, Baxter (as well as Steve Kirk and X Atencio) was able to rework Captain Marvel and his dragon into Dreamfinder and Figment, the stars of the Journey Into Imagination pavilion [3].

Concept art for the Journey Into Imagination pavilion

Construction on the Journey Into Imagination pavilion began in July 1981, only 15 months before the park was set to open [1]. When completed, the pavilion would feature the dark ride attraction that was also titled Journey into Imagination, the Magic Eye Theater which showed the film Magic Journeys, and the interactive ImageWorks area on the pavilion’s second floor.

Although the Journey Into Imagination pavilion was completed in Epcot Center’s opening day, inside the pavilion only Magic Journeys was open to guests. Five days later on October 6, 1982 the ImageWorks area opened to guests[3]. Lastly, on March 5, 1983 the Journey Into Imagination attraction finally opened to guests. Although the attraction had been more or less ready to go since the pavilion opened, Disney executives felt that Imagineers needed more time to work the kinks out. According to Tony Baxter:

“The show was ready to go, everything was running, and they made the call that the show was not perfected enough to guarantee the reliability they wanted,” [4]

It was not until the attraction opened that the pavilion was officially named Journey Into Imagination [1].

History Since Opening[edit]

The Journey Into Imagination pavilion remained essentially the same until 1986, when Magic Journeys closed [5]. The attraction (which was eventually moved to Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom) was replaced with a new 3D show Captain EO [5]. Captain EO was created in partnership with Lucasfilms and stared pop icon Michael Jackson as the title character, a space captain charged with saving the universe. The new show featured technologically not present in its predecessor, including in-theater special effects such as laser and smoke to go along with traditional 3D effects [6].

Dreamfinder and Figment in the ImageWorks's Rainbow Tunnel

Captain EO ran in the Journey Into Imagination pavilion for eight years, before it was finally replaced with a new show in 1994. Replacing Captain EO, was a new 3D show- Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. A spin off of the popular Honey, I Shrunk the Kids film series, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience once again used 4D effects including water and small fans to immerse guests in the film [7]. Due to the fact that new film took place in the fictional Imagination Institute (where Professor Wayne Szalinski was receiving the inventor of the Year award), the Magic Eye Theater was renamed the “Imagination Institute” at this time [8].

In 1998, with Kodak's sponsorship ending shortly, Fujifilm approached Disney with an offer to sponsor the Journey Into Imagination Pavilion [9]. Their sponsorship would have included a complete restructuring of the pavilion, including getting rid of the Journey Into Imagination attraction. Although the attraction was popular, it cost a lot of money for Disney to maintain. Fujifilm told Disney that they would replace the attraction with an "E-Ticket" thrill ride, that would be just as popular as Journey Into Imagination, yet cheaper to maintain [10]. Kodak, not wanting to lose their sponsorship of the pavilion (especially not to rival Fujifilm) pitched their own idea to Disney [11]. They told Disney that they would make Journey Into Imagination more scientific, and use cheaper special effects. Although their proposal may not have seemed as glamorous as the FujiFilm proposal, Disney had concerns about turning the attraction into a thrill ride (as such a ride would still be costly to maintain). With this in mind, Disney accepted Kodak's proposal and Journey Into Imagination closed for renovations on October 10, 1998 [12].

When the Journey Into Imagination Pavilion reopened on October 1, 1999, its name was changed to the Imagination! pavilion [13]. Following the refurbishment, the pavilion featured a drastically different layout. For starters, the jumping fountains located outside of the pavilion were significantly reduced in size, in order to accommodate the addition of a new gift shop [14]. The color scheme and signage on the exterior of the pavilion were also changed dramatically, as they now reflected Kodak's company colors of red and orange[14]. Furthermore, the ImageWorks, which had originally been located on the second floor of the pavilion, was moved to the first floor and reduced in size[14]. At this time, the attraction was also renamed the “Kodak What If Labs". Although its basic premise remained essentially the same, many guests complained that the new What If Labs were simply one big advertisement for Kodak. After exiting the What if Labs, guests were funneled into the aforementioned new gift shop, where they could buy photos, Epcot souvenirs, and Journey Into Your Imagination merchandise[14].

While many things changed both outside and within the Imagination! Pavilion in 1999, there was no bigger change then the new Journey Into Imagination attraction. Now titled Journey Into Your Imagination, the attraction was rethemed as a tie-in to Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Taking place inside the Imagination Institute, Dr. Nigel Channing (Eric Idle) now gave guests a tour of the institute, using them as test subjects for a new invention, the Imagination Scanner. To the surprise of many guests, Dreamfinder was completely removed from the attraction and Figment (once the mascot of Epcot) was reduced to only a brief cameo[14].

The four attractions housed in the Magic Eye Theater, from left to right: Magic Journeys, Captain EO, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, Disney Pixar Short Film Festival

The new Journey Into Your Imagination attraction proved to be extremely unpopular with guests and many decided to boycott the attraction (as well as Kodak) to protest the changes. This campaign proved to be quite successful, as guest complaints (along with pressure from Kodak and Michael Eisner) led to the attraction getting another overhaul in 2001 [15]. Journey Into Your Imagination closed on October 8, 2001 [16], before reopening on June 2, 2002 as "Journey Into Imagination with Figment" [14] [17]. Following the refurbishment, the attraction still focused on Dr. Nigel Channing once again giving guest a tour of the Imagination Institute. Instead of testing out his Imagination Scanner however, Dr. Channing now explained how the five senses can trigger human imagination. Figment returned in this version of the attraction, disrupting the doctor’s tour, and showing guests his imagination. Although the focus of the attraction was changed, the basic premise and the track structure of the ride remained basically the same. Also of note, The Kodak What if Labs remained essentially the same, however Figment was added to many of the exhibits [14].

In 2009, following the death of Michael Jackson, Disney mulled over the idea of bringing Captain EO back as a tribute to the late singer. Sure enough on July 2, 2010, Captain EO returned to the Imagination! Pavilion, replacing Honey, I Shrunk the Audience [18]. In August of 2010, Kodak ended its 28 year sponsorship of the pavilion and all references to the company were removed [19]. Following the end of Kodak's sponsorship, The What If Labs have returned to their original name ImageWorks. On March 25, 2012, ColerVision announced it would assume sponsorship the ImageWorks [20].

On March 26, 2015 Disney announced that Captain EO would be temporarily closing on April 10, 2015 [21]. Following the attractions closure, the Magic Eye Theater showed a sneak peak of the 2015 Disney movie "Tomorrowland". After the end of the preview period, on July 19, 2015 Captain EO returned to the Magic Eye Theater [22]. Finally, on December 6, 2015 Captain EO was permanently removed. Taking its place in the Magic Eye Theater is the Disney Pixar Short Film Festival [23]. The new attraction shows three Disney-Pixar short cartoons.

In January 2016 Disney announced that in the Spring 2016 a new Disney Vacation Club members-only club would be opening on the second floor of the Imagination! pavilion [24]. The lounge will be located in the former location of the upstairs ImageWorks [25].


Disney Pixar Short Film Festival- This attraction allows guests to watch three Disney Pixar shorts including: "Get A Horse" "For The Birds" and "La Luna"

Journey Into Imagination With Figment- This dark ride lets guests take a tour of the Imagination Institute with Dr. Nigel Channing and Figment. Along the way guests learn how the five senses relate to imagination.

ImageWorks- After exiting Journey Into Imagination With Figment, guests enter the ImageWorks. Here, they can explore various interactive exhibits featuring Figment.

Former Attractions[edit]

Dr. Nigel Channing and Figment host Journey Into Imagination with Figment

Magic Journeys- This 3D attraction showed guests what the world looked like through the eyes of a child. The show was the first attraction to open in the Magic Eye Theater, where it ran from 1982 until 1986.

Honey, I Shrunk the Audience- This 4D show was based on the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids film series. While attending the Imagination Institute's awards ceremony, guests would accidentally be shrunk down to the size of an ant. Honey, I Shrunk the Audience replaced Magic Journeys in 1994 and ran until 2010.

Captain EO- This 4D attraction starred Michael Jackson as the heroic Captain EO. The film followed
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Parish, Matt, Nate Parish, and Michael Crawford. "5:3 The Original Land Pavilion." Audio blog post. WedWay Radio. N.p., 20 May 2013. Web.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4
  4. Realityland: true-life adventures at Walt Disney World. David Koenig - Bonaventure Press – 2007
  5. 5.0 5.1
  7. Epcot Encyclopedia
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6
This Day in Walt Disney
World History
On this day in 1993, the Top of The World restaurant closed at the Contemporary Resort.

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