Muppet*Vision 3D has unexpectedly received an update. The attraction opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 1991 and, beyond refurbishments, has been largely unchanged since then. Disney has used modern technology to enhance a scene in the 32-year-old show with projection mapping.
Projection-Mapping in Muppet*Vision 3D
When Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker create Waldo C. Graphic, and Waldo begins going wild, he splits into multiples and declares, “Now I can start my own football team!” During this sequence, new projection mapping shows dozens of Waldos flying across the walls.
Beaker and Bunsen then use a vacuum to suck up all the Waldos (except one who escapes).
You may be thinking that this effect isn’t new. Well before now, the attraction used GOBOs to put Waldos on the walls — these were essentially moving stencils that projected otherwise static images. With the new projection mapping, each Waldo appears to be doing his own thing, and they stand out more clearly.
Watch our video of the full Muppet*Vision 3D show, including the new effect at about 5:00, below.
Muppet*Vision 3D History
Muppet*Vision 3D opened in 1991 as one of the first representations of the Muppets in Disney Parks, and the only permanent Muppets attraction since then. As production began on Muppet*Vision 3D, there was a tentative agreement for Disney to purchase the Jim Henson Company. However, Henson’s death in 1990 ended that agreement and delayed the attraction.
Directed by Henson, it was one of his and puppeteer Richard Hunt’s final Muppets projects. It was the last time Henson performed as Kermit the Frog, as well as Waldorf and The Swedish Chef, and the last time Hunt performed as Scooter, Statler, Beaker, and Sweetums. Hunt passed away in 1992 after the attraction premiered.
Other performers who participated in Muppet*Vision 3D included Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, John Henson, David Rudman, Kathryn Mullen, and Wayne Allwine (as Waldo’s Mickey impression). A live actor also portrays Sweetums, who walks through the theater during a section of the show. Audio-animatronics of Statler and Waldorf are in a box seat above the audience.
Disney never did acquire the Jim Henson Company in full, but purchased theme park rights to the Muppets, and eventually purchased the property entirely in 2004.
Muppet*Vision 3D has run for 32 years, even as other Muppet attractions have been closed and canceled, and as Disney’s Hollywood Studios changed around it. Until 2016, it was part of Streets of America. The area then became known as Muppets Courtyard, before becoming Grand Avenue in 2017. The Muppets section of Grand Avenue is still often unofficially referred to as Muppets Courtyard. It’s also home to PizzeRizzo and the Miss Piggy fountain, which is currently being refurbished.
Currently, guests can also enjoy Bunsen and Beaker at the Muppets-themed Brew-Wing Lab as part of the 2023 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. Beginning in November, during Disney Jollywood Nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Miss Piggy and Kermit will host a musical holiday special.