Theme Park Bits: The Muppets Return, Mickey Ride Sneak Peek, And More

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Watch a sneak peek of Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway.
  • The Muppets are returning to Walt Disney World for a limited time.
  • And more!
  • The Muppets live show

    Walt Disney World fans were pretty depressed when it was announced earlier this year that the Liberty Square section of the Magic Kingdom was losing the live show featuring the Muppets, titled "The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History". Well, if you're visiting Walt Disney World over the Christmas holiday, you may be in luck: from December 23 to 31, the show is back. There's no doubt that it'll get watched by a lot of guests, if only because that's one of the busiest stretches of the year at the theme parks. Maybe this portends a possible future for the show? Here's hoping.

    For anyone who wasn't watching a recent Disney Channel holiday special, you might want to peek at this video. (I count myself among those who missed out on the special, titled "Disney Channel Holiday Party @Walt Disney World", and yes, the @ symbol is there on purpose.) The special featured a brief look at one of the new arrivals in 2020, Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. The new ride, taking the place of the Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios, opens on March 4, but you can get a taste of it right now.

    Disney is always toying with new technology, which should come as no surprise. But there's a new patent they've submitted for tech that would both be massively important and deceptively simple. Consider: when you meet a costumed character at the Disney parks, you may not realize that they're limited heavily by what they can and can't see. The new patent, though, would allow people in such costumes to have a fuller point of view, to see small children approaching, people on their sides, and more. It's kind of amazing they haven't implemented such technology already.

    A few months ago, Universal Studios announced the arrival of an upcoming land called Super Nintendo World in their Epic Universe. It'll be arriving first in Japan, and we now have the ability to see a rumored layout of how the land will look from a bird's-eye view. There's three basic areas all within the Super Mario-verse, with a Mario Kart area, one themed to Donkey Kong, and one with a Super Mario and Yoshi ride. Here in the States, we'll have to wait until at least 2023 for the Epic Universe to open, and Super Nintendo World along with it. For now, this kind of detail is what we can salivate over.

    Shifting back to Disney for our last story today, there's even more details coming out about the Fantasyland expansion in Tokyo Disneyland. We've already talked about the menus for the Beauty and the Beast-themed areas, but there's new descriptions of the entire expansion's experience, down to its shops (including a library, of course), and a new theater experience in the Fantasyland Forest Theatre, the first indoor theatre in Tokyo Disneyland. There, you can eventually watch Mickey's Magical Music World, a stage show with Mickey and his friends discovering a music box in the forest from which emerges plenty of characters and songs. The theatre itself sounds gorgeous, with decorative tapestries and murals inspired by Disney animation.