These new promotions for Walt Disney World and Disneyland signify a lot more than just a few commercials featuring the Muppets, this is a full-blown advertising campaign starring the Muppets. Disney has given Kermit and Co. the reins to their campaign to bring people to their theme parks in 2010. The theme parks are perhaps Disney's greatest means of money-making, so the fact that the Muppets have been tapped to bring people in to the parks this coming year really speaks to the confidence the Mouse House has in our furry little friends.
Not only does Mickey have confidence that the Muppets can and will do good things, but they're being welcomed into the Disney world as family. How do I know this, you ask? Well, there are many telling signs, but I'll just point out the glaringly obvious ones in this video starring Miss Piggy and Taye Diggs (whoever that is). Go ahead and watch it, I'll wait here.
...You done? Great! Now, what's the first sound emitting from the video? Yes, it's the time-honored Disney classic "Bella Notte" from Lady and the Tramp. Why is this so important, you may ask, again, the answer is clear: Disney has integrated the Muppets into their company. The Muppets are no longer the awkward step-child, they're now the beloved little cousin who always gets the best Christmas presents. In the video, Miss P. also gets to play Cinderella for a second. I don't really know why that's important... but it's pretty cool.
The Muppets have also been unleashed on the main websites for Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, and the Disney Parks homepage. On the first two sites, Gonzo, literally, cuts through the castles and appears with some chickens. "There! That's better!" he declares proudly before being seen flying above and around the castle on a balloon.
The Muppets are the main focus on the Disney Parks homepage as well. Here, there are six different videos (three sets of two) that show the Muppets volunteering then enjoying their reward of a free trip to a Disney Park. Kermit is hammering, then seen with Robin and some other frogs in front of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland; Miss Piggy is hauling a piece of wood, then enjoying herself on the puke-worthy Mad Tea Party; Animal is "painting," then seen jamming with the Electric Mayhem on the Mark Twain River Boat; Fozzie is sawing, then seen on a fire truck going down Main Street, USA with the rest of the Muppets; Pepe and Rizzo are drilling, and then living it up in Pirates of the Caribbean; Bunsen and Beaker are testing the electricity of the house they're building, then Beaker becomes part of the Disney fireworks. If Disney didn't trust the Muppets' popularity, they wouldn't trust them to headline their main portal to all of their theme parks the world over.
Last, but certainly not least, is the main website for the entire "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" promotion starring, you guessed it, the Muppets! Although it's not terribly easy to navigate, it's still a fun, Muppety site and it once again screams that Disney finally trusts the Muppets. They really are the spokes-whatevers for the 2010 Disney Parks promotion, and Disney really is doing right by them.
One has to wonder, however, if people who see these great promos on their TV (Did I mention that they're nationally broadcast commercials? 'Cause they are.) will be clamoring to see the Muppets in the parks once they've volunteered and received their free tickets. It seems that some guests who came specifically influenced by these ads and this campaign would be slightly perturbed that the only place to see the Muppets is in Muppet*Vision 3D. But, then again, this could also be a sign that Disney is planning to integrate the Muppets into the Parks more. Imagine Fozzie's Comedy Clubhouse, Pepe's Salsa Soiree, Miss Piggy's Palace ("Please, like Cinderella has anything on MOI!")... Yes, I'm going overboard, but I'm an obsessed Muppet fan, so it's okay.
So, yeah, that's how Disney is (finally) throwing the Muppets a big welcome to the family party. Keep a lookout for these fantastic commercials on your TVs! But, if you're feeling lazy and don't feel like doing that, you can catch them all on Disney's "What Will You Celebrate?" video page.
Oh, and did I mention that Bob Iger loves Kermit and Miss Piggy too? 'Cause he does!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go volunteer so I can meet the Muppets! ...That's what happens when you volunteer, right?