Okay; so having been in Disney for ten days, I took lots of notes about all that was going on between Walt Disney World and the Muppets. In short, I was pleasantly pleased and extremely intrigued, so here’s my report about what you can expect from the happiest place on earth and our beloved Muppets who now reside there. Now I did my best to include as many photos as I could, and I took them all with my camera solely at Disney so you're seeing what I saw, so make sure you check all of them out! The Store outside Muppet Vision 3D Reports here at MC have led me to believe that there was little or practically NO Muppet merchandise at the store just outside the 3D theater. Now while the whole store isn’t overwhelmed with Muppet merchandise, it is well stocked, filling approximately 30% of the large store. The main items are clothing. There are some really hot t-shirts with images I’ve not seen around before. These graphics include illustrated Muppets as well as photo like images, there’s even a Pepe shirt! Here are some images of some of what they have: • A rack of shirts • Yet another rack of shirts • A cool Piggy shirt • This particular shirt is of note due to it’s style. Disney has a line of gray t-shirts and sweat shirts that host Disney characters on the front with this style text underneath the image, like "tink" or "mickey." This impressed me because it showed Disney warmly accepting the Muppets as their own family now. Now a decent list of merchandise they carry include the t-shirts as well as handbags, wrist bands, two pieces of Disney’s highly collected pins (sorry the pic is blurry! ), Song book, TMS season 1 DVD as well as the 6 major Muppet movies, plushes, magnets and even 3 different coin presses from a coin machine (I got the Kermit one, I'll have to scan it for you later) as well as some other merchandise. Extremely Intriguing Now among these items are also some very interesting pieces like the sideshow busts and new Christmas ornaments (which can also be found in "Ye Olde Christmas Shop" in the Magic Kingdom and the Christmas store in Downtown Disney). But here’s the REALLY exciting thing that Disney carries: Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock stuff!!!!! The SS stuff is primarily DVDs and CDs while the only Fraggles merchandise is the Red and Gobo plushes, but this gives me a LOT of encouragement that Disney isn’t the evil splintering monopoly they’re often portrayed as here at MC. Granted it’s not a big collaborated project, but it does prove that Disney is open minded. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyone who could give me a straight answer as to why Disney was allowing this additional Henson merchandise as no one seemed to know what I was talking about, but I stand here before you all today that this is very encouraging. Other stores Along with some of the merchandise carried at the MV3D store (mainly the plushes), other Muppet merchandise can be found around the resort. As mentioned there are the Christmas ornaments, but also intriguing as well in Downtown Disney are the Palisade Muppet figures! Now they only had Clifford, but an associate said that they did have series five on up and Clifford was all that was left, so Palisades was selling merchandise through Disney as well, lest anyone think that Disney was once again an evil empire hoping to squish all things Muppets. Disney’s big Muppet item however is a Kermit statue that I’ve heard light flittering about here on the boards, only now I have a picture! The Kermit statue is beautifully crafted and very solid. The flying bugs behind him actually blink a soft yellow light and create a lovely atmosphere around him. Kermit is solid with a soft fabric tightly applied to his body. Like wise, the log he sits on has a nice wood texture and the water beneath him is a clear light blue. It stands approximately 18" tall and Kermit's collar can be removed as it's only support is a small magnet button in the back. The statue is heavy and well designed and surprisingly not found in the MV3D store! However it can be found at "The Art of Disney" store in Downtown Disney, The animation store in MGM as well as several of the more prominent resorts. We had the luxury of staying in the Contemporary resort and were encouraged to see it proudly displayed in the main display window of the Contemporary’s main gift shop "BVG." They seem to be pushing this particular item very heavily, in fact, where ever I saw the saleable statue of Mickey, I saw the frog. Kermit’s price tag is a modest $150. The 3D Movie For those of you who have had the pleasure of seeing this magnificent ride, you know the magic that exudes from this last Muppet project Jim was part of. I can un-biasly say with great pride that out of EVERY attraction I saw at Disney, this one got the most excited reaction from the audience every time I saw it. Every joke was laughed at, every gag was noticed and every child and adult left with bigger smiles then I saw anywhere else in the park. This also proves that the Muppets still have it when they’re done right, they have staying power and this proves they can still be as popular as they were before if marketed properly. Hidden Mickey Many Disney enthusiasts know that Disney has a little thing called "Hidden Mickeys". A hidden Mickey is basically defined as the image of Mickey’s head hidden among a Disney attraction, resort or film (several hidden Mickeys appear in MV3D!). Hidden Mickeys extend beyond just Mickey and include other Disney characters too. In a new book published by Disney and available exclusively at Walt Disney World, a new hidden Mickey has been added to the "Star Wars - Star Tours" attraction in MGM in the form of a Hidden Kermit! After some searching and confirmation from a cast member, I found him! He’s made of wires and tubing and I got a picture of him here. He can be found while waiting in line for the attraction amongst animatronic robots and the "trash" they’re salvaging. It’s not all rose colored I’m not going all mushy here and saying everything was perfect, I did have a few gripes. Let’s face it, even if they rename the parks to Muppet World, we fans still won’t be satisfied, so I do have some issues. A lot of the animatronics were not up and running, but that was the case around a lot of the attractions all throughout the parks, not just the Muppets. Waldorf’s mouth was inoperable and the Swedish Chef’s cannon never protruded from the back either. I also remember the conductor penguin having the ability to move his mouth too, but that wasn’t working either. The other problem was how unknowledgeable the staff was about everything. No one seemed to know why Disney was carrying Henson and CTW merchandise as well as their acquired Muppets, nor were they aware of anything new that could be expected in the future as far as merchandise or attractions. Now I have been trying to get in contact with the Muppets Holding Company for well over four months now, leaving messages almost every other day at one point and still to this day have not received a response either by phone, e-mail or snail mail. If I have a problem with the Muppets thus far, it’s this Muppets Holding Company rather then Disney. Sadly, Kermit and Piggy no longer make appearances on the side for photos or autographs. No cast members had an answer for why that was either, but I assume it’s due to having few if not just one Kermit & Piggy costume that would require a high level of maintenance. But the most devastating is the removal of the painting of Jim and Kermit from the Hall of Fame garden in MGM. A small plaque noting Jim’s admittance to the Television Academy Hall of Fame is now there, but seeing that Jim had no bust displayed prior but rather that picture, I think that was a poor move on the park’s part. All around Muppet merchandise could be found almost everywhere except Epcot. Also, Kermit, Piggy and Sweetums were all featured in the "Stars in Cars" parade in MGM and personally introduced as they passed over the speaker system which is more then a lot of characters got. The whole FR and SS merchandise really got me very excited (btw - SS merchandise could also be found in Downtown Disney as well in the small but easily found Muppet section there). So if you consider my personal opinion worth anything, I’d like to say that overall, I think that Disney and the Muppets still have a very promising future. Be patient, I’m sure we can expect more. If you have any questions about Walt Disney World and the Muppets, I’ll do my best to answer.