Op-Ed: Disneyland Needs a Muppets Ride

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Op-Ed

The Muppets gathered together on a white background

Credit: The Jim Henson Company

While they may not be as big as Mickey, Star Wars, or Marvel, many fans still love the Muppets. Unfortunately, their presence hasn’t been felt at Disneyland Resort in a long time. And that needs to change.

Part of a Muppets Mural by Coulter Watt
Credit: Coulter Watt, Jeff Christiansen via Flickr

Related: The Muppets Make a Surprise Disney Park Debut

The Muppets is one of those classic brands that feels like it will be around forever. They started strong with The Muppet Show (1976-1981) and The Muppet Movie (1979) and have continued to have success over the years with projects like The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Muppet Treasure Island (1996), and The Muppets (2011).

While their popularity has waned over the years, the Muppets have recently had a string of hits with The Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021) and the critically-acclaimed series The Muppets Mayhem (2023). Beaker and Dr. Bunson Honeydew will even be appearing at the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World. That being said, their presence is still missing from Disneyland Resort, and many Disney fans agree: the Muppets need to make a comeback at the Park.

Multiple Fans Want the Muppets Back

Beaker and Dr. Bunson Honeydew from the Muppets in the Muppet Mobile Lab
Credit: Dawn Endico via Wikimedia Commons

While the Muppets don’t currently have a presence at Disneyland Resort, that was not always the case. There used to be a show called Muppet*Vision 3D in Disney California Adventure. On top of this, Beaker and Dr. Bunson Honeydew used to roam the same Park on the Muppet Mobile Lab. However, the attraction and the roaming character are gone and now only exist in Disney World.

Instead, fans are left with nothing, prompting a thread to form on the Disneyland Reddit page. There, multiple fans lamented the lack of our felt friends and pitched their own ideas, including takeovers of Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion, a new show similar to Muppet*Vision 3D, and an attempt at The Great Muppet Move Ride, a planned attraction that was never built.

Concept Art for the Muppet Movie Ride
Credit: The Jim Henson Company

Related: ‘Muppets’ Creator Offers Credibility to Imminent Attraction Retheme

However, one idea kept popping up in the thread: a dark ride. Something that gave Disney Imagineers free rein to lean into the chaos that follows the Muppets wherever they go. And while some interesting pitches were recreating classic movies like Muppet Treasure Island, it would be more beneficial to put the Muppets in a place that really needed it.

They Should Move to Critter Country in Disneyland

Kermit from The Muppets playing Rainbow Connection on his banjo in a swamp
Credit: The Jim Henson Company

While the Muppets could truly fit anywhere in a Disney Park and have on many occasions, the place most needing of their presence is easily Critter Country. Currently, it is home to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the soon-to-be-opened Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (formerly Splash Mountain). With only two attractions, a shop, and a restaurant, it’s hard to justify Critter Country’s existence.

Adding a new attraction could bring additional life to the section, and the Muppets are the perfect group to do it. While they’re now more recognized for their show business leanings, Kermit and the gang started at more humble origins. It could tell a story of Kermit returning to the swamp he came from to put on a show for his family and friends. It’d be wonderful to see the mayhem of the whole crew trying to get there and finally culminating in a group sing-a-long of “Rainbow Connection.”

However, this is all just wishful thinking. While the Muppets have experienced great success recently, they’re still seen as relatively niche compared to Star Wars and Marvel. Hopefully, Disney can see past that and give Jim Henson’s creations more time in the spotlight.

What would you like to see on a Muppets ride? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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