Ryan Dosier - As you all surely remember, on Tuesday I discussed the first two days of my trip to Walt Disney World. Well I'm back again (go figure) to share with you my experiences in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom (again), and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Ready? Well hop in your flying elephant and let's go!
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Unsurprisingly, this was an extremely lackluster day for Muppet stuff. Considering there is virtually zero Muppet representation within this park, I was completely surprised to see some Animal, Kermit, and Fozzie plushes displayed fairly prominently within one of the DinoLand U.S.A. gift shops. I have no idea why they were there, but they were the only Muppets I saw in Animal Kingdom.
But I did meet Jiminy Cricket in Animal Kingdom, so the park wasn't a total bust.
Magic Kingdom, Day 2
There was nothing that would be able to stop me from seeing Kermit and Miss Piggy in the Honorary VoluntEARS Parade at the Magic Kingdom today. That's why at 1:00, two hours before the parade started, I dragged my party to the top of the Main Street railroad station for some absolutely perfect seats to view the parade. (Okay, so it was my brother's idea to sit up there. Like he's going to read this anyway!)
Our view of Magic Kingdom atop the Main Street Railroad Station
So as we waited, my antsy brother had to get up to go get popcorn for himself. Much to my surprise, he returned with a souvenir cup with the same design and picture as the popcorn bucket I mentioned earlier. It was a pain in the neck to carry around all day (I almost left it on Space Mountain), but it was a nice gesture on my brother's part.
Finally, 3:00 struck and the parade began. I was thrilled to see that the Volunteer portion was the very first thing out of the gate. On a side note, if you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World anytime soon and want to catch this show, they aren't kidding when they say it starts at 3:00. You'll want to make sure you're there early.
Anyway, out come the frog and the pig and I'm thrilled to death and waving (because I know they can see me) and then I remember that I need to take pictures... so here are those pictures I remembered to take!
It was so much fun to see the crowd watching the parade react to a real Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy right in front of them. It was tremendous to see so many people giving Sweetums high-fives and stopping him (in the middle of the parade!) to take pictures with him. I came to one conclusion after seeing this parade, and it's that we need to see more Muppets in the Disney Parks. Whether it's just in a daily parade like this, or if the characters do silent meet and greets--I think Disney-goers would eat it up. So... get on that Disney people!
More pictures of Kermit and Piggy and Sweetums (along with most of the pictures from my trip) are available on the new Muppet Mindset Photobucket account!
Disney's Hollywood Studios
This was obviously the biggest amount of Muppet stuff in one place (thanks to Muppet*Vision 3D). Aside from all of the wonderful atmospheric elements of the Muppet*Vision outside area along with the lobby area, there is also a gift shop right outside of the show where you can, presumably, buy Muppet stuff.
All of the Muppet stuff you can buy, however, is on one very small side of the rather large store. I was severely disappointed by the sparse amount of Kermit merchandise I could buy. Aside from the stuff seen at Magic Kingdom mentioned in Part 1, here there were t-shirts of Kermit, Fozzie, and Rizzo as their Star Wars personas (Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, and Yoda) with clever little quips on each shirt (I was not impressed), two different Beaker t-shirts, a Sam the Eagle "Bald and Proud" t-shirt, two different Animal t-shirts, and a group t-shirt (which I bought, pictured at right).
Other than t-shirts there was... well, not much. There were drumsticks with Animal on them, a glass with Kermit's face on it, keychains and magnets with Statler and Waldorf that read, "Old... It Sure Beats Dead!", Pepe and Miss Piggy's books, and, shockingly enough, Jim Henson: The Works, the incredible 1993 that I haven't seen for sale anywhere. But... yeah, that's it. No Miss Piggy girly merchandise, hardly any fun Kermit stuff, one Gonzo in the form of a plush, no Swedish Chef cooking items--zip, zilch, nada limonada! (Yes, I just called you lemonade.) A true testament to how little the store had is in the fact that I only bought the group t-shirt and the Kermit glass (because it was $6.00)--I buy anything Muppety!
But I still have faith that more merchandise is coming and I just caught the store in its in-between phase. I'm sure that once the new movie comes out the Muppet*Vision store will be flooded with Muppet stuff (and hopefully stores we can go to every day will too).
Well, unfortunately, that's all I've got for Muppet stuff in Walt Disney World. I wish I had more, but, alas, I do not.
Thanks for tuning in! And be sure to check out The Muppet Mindset Photobucket account for all of these pictures and more!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier