Muppet Monday: Carousel of Muppets

Well, not really… but since it is Halloween I thought it was okay to be a bit silly with today’s Muppet Monday.

MuppetVision 3D and Carousel of Progress are two attractions that I always try to make time for whenever I get to visit Walt Disney World… even if I’ve seen them close to a bazillion times. It’s funny, the little things you notice over time. This last trip in August, I was sitting in MuppetVision 3D watching the grand finale and noticed just how much Piggy as the Statue of Liberty looked like Carousel’s daughter, Patti, when she dressed up for the 4th of July during one of the segments.It was the blond ringlets that really had me.

It’s sort of wishful thinking on my part to assume Miss Piggy looks like this way as homage to an attraction that has been around since the 1964 New York’s World’s Fair. It is just a coincidence though, as Miss Piggy has played the Statue of Liberty on multiple occasions.

(If I want to be over analytical, I could say that the fountain outside of MuppetVision is also a homage since Piggy is again the SOL and is spinning around. Get it, spinning? Please don’t throw tomatoes!)

Carousel of Progress seems to be on the mind of many lately – I’ve listened to two podcasts in the past couple of weeks discussing its history and its future: WDWToday & WDWRadio. While the last scene in this rotating theater is a little out of date, the sentiment of the attraction remains relevant still today: the important of family and the inevitability of change. For many years, I sort of begrudgingly joined my family on this ride until it started to grow on me, and now I have my own appreciation to it. (My dad and I actually danced to “There’s a Great Big, Beautiful Tomorrow” at my wedding in March.)

In some ways, MuppetVision 3D and Carousel of Progress have a lot more of a connection than ever imagined. They are two attractions that have endured the test of time, and have only had minor changes since their debut. Carousel of Progress opened up at Magic Kingdom in 1975 (4 years after the opening of MK), while MuppetVision hit its 20th anniversary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this year after opening in 1991 (2 years after the opening of MGM Studios).

Both were also the visions of creative geniuses who died far too young. Walt Disney created Carousel of Progress with WED Enterprises while MuppetVision 3D was the last project that Jim Henson ever directed. For more reasons than one, it’s fabulous that these two attractions have had such long lives at their respected parks because they are true extensions of these talented men.

So, the next time you check out either (or both!) attractions, maybe you’ll smile a little bit bigger when you hit the Statue of Liberty scene.

One thought on “Muppet Monday: Carousel of Muppets

  1. This. Is. Brilliant!!! You know how obsessed I've been with the 64-64 NY World's Fair lately, so this really tickled me today. And I totes got choked up when you talked about dancing with your dad to "GBBT" at your wedding. Thanks for dragging me out of my stuck-in-the-cruddy-office-on-Halloween blahs.

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