Mitchell Stein- Last weekend at the D23 Expo, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger made it official and announced rumors that have been circulating for years, that the company will indeed be building a brand new, fourteen acre Star Wars themed land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, currently the only home to Jim Henson’s famed Muppet-Vision 3D. This obviously put many Muppet fans (including myself) on edge. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the park layout, the current Star Wars themed area and attraction are located right next to the Muppet courtyard, so with news of an expansion, the potential result could see the Muppets evicted out of the park to make way for intergalactic space travels.
Does the news mean that the Muppets are doomed in the park? Possibly, but not necessarily. Below I am going to break down all the current rumors circulating in the parks and potential possibilities in which the Muppets will be able to fit within all of this new construction chaos.
Logically, it would make sense to assume that the Muppets are on their way out, seeing as how fourteen acres of Star Wars Land is Disney’s biggest expansion yet, which is the equivalent of roughly twelve and three quarter football fields, it would make the most logical sense to expand into the Muppet area for the expansion. The expansion will most definitely be seeing the end of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular on the right side of Star Tours, and Muppets still hang in the balance. The photo below was created by Slashfilm and is a speculation of what the park could potentially look like following the Toy Story and Star Wars expansion, which sees the Muppets become a thing of the past. ThemeParkWizards mapped out fourteen acres within the current layout of the park which also sees the Muppets gone. However, we believe the expansion will look otherwise.
The current rumors, which we’ve heard from several previously very reliable sources, is that Disney is waiting on the new Muppet series to make a decision on the fate of Muppet-Vision. Construction on the new land won’t begin at least until 2017 or 2018, so the plans aren’t concrete. If the parks see that the Muppets remain popular on TV, they’ll probably stick around in the park, and who knows, maybe even an update. Until then, the fate hangs in the balance of America’s television remotes.
Keeping that in mind…how could this expansion even possibly work without harming the Muppets? This mega construction is bound to evict them!
Not necessarily, and luckily WDWMagic has all the potential plans figured out (and they’ve been incredibly reliable in the past on rumors):
What you see below are the highlighted areas for where they think Star Wars (blue) and Toy Story (orange) placed, and none of these lands interfere with the Muppets. They believe that Star Wars will begin in the front of the park, which will see the removal of Echo Lake and Gertie the Dinosaur, and transform the Hyperion Theater, former home of the American Idol Experience and current home of the Frozen Sing-Along into the Jedi Training Academy. It would also mean the transformation of Indiana Jones into a new attraction.
So to be honest, it’s very much a guessing game at this point. From what we know, Muppets are a 50/50 chance of staying or going, and it truly depends on which direction the Muppets are about to go in. We believe WDWMagic’s is the most logical explanation of what the park will look like, based on previous rumors and reliability, but still, anything at this point is anyone’s guess. The best we can do as fans is make sure we watch and tell all our friends to tune into The Muppets Tuesdays 8/7 on ABC if you want Muppet Vision..and the Muppets to continue to stick around.
We’ll keep you updated on the fate of Muppet-Vision as it unfolds!