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Coming Fall 2016: “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History”

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Disney has confirmed that “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History” will debut in Walt Disney World’s Liberty Square in October 2016. This outdoor, live show (or “Great Moments with Mr. Eagle,” as I’ll be dubbing it) will be presented above Hall of Presidents in the Heritage House windows, and will feature popular Muppets characters.

Hosted by Sam Eagle, this distinctly patriotic show will also include Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, and James Jefferson, town crier of Liberty Square. They will recount classic tales from American history injected with the Muppets brand of humor.

From the signing of the Declaration of Independence to Paul Revere’s midnight ride,”The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History” will share historical stories throughout the day. The presentations will meld information with the Muppets’ own unique take on the founding fathers and the birth of the United States of America.

Now, my take on this news, which we previously shared in our Crazy Rumor Roundup for Walt Disney World post (you might want to check back on that, as some of those “crazy” rumors now seem far less crazy)…

My Reaction

muppets-rumor-disney-world

I’m cautiously optimistic about this new show. I’m also a hypocrite. At its core, this addition has close parallels to adding Frozen Ever After to Norway in World Showcase, a decision I lamented in my recent Frozen Ever After Review. Truth be told, I don’t know how to reconcile my optimism for this show and my distaste for the location of Frozen Ever After.

I do think that World Showcase is meant to present authentic slices of culture, whereas Magic Kingdom has always skewed more towards fantasy and whimsy. With that comes characters, even outside of Fantasyland. None of that is anything new for Magic Kingdom. On the other hand, Liberty Square has been the tonal departure from the rest of the park, with a more solemn theme than any other land in Magic Kingdom.

I think this tonal difference has always made Liberty Square feel different from the other lands. Not different in a bad way, or one that necessarily sticks out, just different. It has made Liberty Square feel like something of a waypoint through which you passed to get between Frontierland and Fantasyland, not a place that most guests stopped to soak up the ambiance and experience the theme.

It seems that something like “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History” was an inevitability as Disney trends more towards character-infused experiences. character-infusion. I’m actually somewhat surprised it has not occurred before now to Liberty Square.

To that end, I can get behind this as a potential best-case scenario for incorporating characters into a land that would be minimally intrusive (when the show isn’t running, it should disappear into the background). It should running) while also piquing guest interest in the land’s theme and historical through-lines, theme and through-lines of the land, and also offering something in the form of “edutainment.” On the other hand, when the show is running, that solemn atmosphere of Liberty Square is out the window.

At the end of the day, I’m still somewhere in the middle on this–hence my cautious optimism. If the execution nails it, getting both the humor of the Muppets right and also presenting moments in history in a manner that makes it an “edutainment” offering, I think this will work, and be well-received by most fans. It could be an acceptable way to get guests to spend more time in Liberty Square (possibly luring some to Hall of Presidents), which would be good. It could also end up being more misguided character infusion where it does not belong.

In all honesty, though, my love for The Muppets probably clouds my judgment on this one. I will be the first to admit that if “Great Moments with Mr. Olaf” were announced for this location, with the exact same show details otherwise, I’d be against it. If that makes me a hypocrite, so be it.

© Disney

© Disney

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Your Thoughts

Do you agree or disagree with my take on “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History”? Do you see this as no different than Frozen in Epcot, or is there a distinction? Share any questions or additional thoughts you have in the comments!

This is a post in the Disney Tourist Blog RSS feed. For tips on Disney vacation planning, including dining reviews, tips & tricks, and other guides, check out Disney Tourist Blog!

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digdoug
2 hours ago
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well shit. Now I wanna go back to Disney World.
Louisville, KY
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By ArbitraryAndCapricious in "Election Update: John Adams Doesn't Have A Real Job Anyway" on MeFi

2 Comments
He's a dull, male, WAS(C) machine politician


I mean, that's one way of looking at it. But here's another, which is how the Clinton folks will spin it:

He's a guy from a working-class, Catholic, Midwestern background, the son of a welder, who excelled at the University of Missouri and was admitted to Harvard Law School. He could have looked at those accomplishments and decided that he could pull himself up by his bootstraps and other people should be able to, too. Instead, fueled by sincere religious conviction, he did the opposite. He took a year off from Harvard Law School to go to Honduras and volunteer in a Jesuit-run school for the poorest of the poor. When he graduated from Harvard Law, he took that fancy degree and used it to set up a practice that fought housing discrimination and red-lining in the city that was literally the capital of the Confederacy, where racism was part of the place's DNA. He, a white Catholic dude from a totally different part of the country, became mayor of Richmond, a majority-black city that also has a growing Latino and Asian population. His rise to political power in Virginia is very much tied to changes in Virginia's political culture: at every step of the way, people claimed that he was too liberal, but he said that his politics were in step with a changing Virginia, and he went out there and proved that he was right. He's a deeply committed Christian who lives his faith every day by trying to create a more just world, but who also realizes that he can't impose his religious beliefs on others. He provides a real contrast to people like Mike Pence, who claim that Christians should express their faith by oppressing gay people and women. He says that you express your faith by lifting people up, not by pushing people down.
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peelman
2 days ago
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I don't know Tim Kaine, but I'm confident enough in what I have learned in the last 2 days that if you put him and Mike Pence on a dais together, Pence is going to come off looking like even more of a joke.
Seymour, Indiana
digdoug
3 days ago
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Seriously, I want to vote for THIS guy.
Louisville, KY
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One Year on Earth – Seen From 1 Million Miles

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On July 20, 2015, NASA released to the world the first image of the sunlit side of Earth captured by the space agency's EPIC camera on NOAA's DSCOVR satellite. The camera has now recorded a full year of life on Earth from its orbit at Lagrange point 1, approximately 1 million miles from Earth, where it is balanced between the gravity of our home planet and the sun.
EPIC takes a new picture every two hours, revealing how the planet would look to human eyes, capturing the ever-changing motion of clouds and weather systems and the fixed features of Earth such as deserts, forests and the distinct blues of different seas. EPIC will allow scientists to monitor ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth.
The primary objective of DSCOVR, a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force, is to maintain the nation’s real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of space weather alerts and forecasts from NOAA.
For more information about DSCOVR, visit: http://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/DSCOVR/
If you like this video, subscribe to the NASA Goddard YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/goddardtv
Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Kayvon Sharghi
This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12312
Follow NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NASA.GSFC
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NASAGoddard https://twitter.com/NASAGoddardPix
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nasagoddard/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+NASAGoddard/...

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digdoug
4 days ago
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Louisville, KY
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An Einsteinian Warhol without having to like know anything about...

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An Einsteinian Warhol without having to like know anything about art or culture. Prisma filters: Mononoke, Composition, Dreams, Original.

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digdoug
4 days ago
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Self-share again. But really the Prisma app is fun. I wish they'd build in a feature to do this very thing. "Take image, build grid of filtered around it, let me select from, or save the grid"
Louisville, KY
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wilwheaton: micdotcom: Watch: George Takei sends a message in...

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wilwheaton:

micdotcom:

Watch: George Takei sends a message in Spanish about how we can defeat Trump

George is doing such important work right now. I’m so grateful he’s speaking out.

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deezil
3 days ago
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Louisville, Kentucky
peelman
4 days ago
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Seymour, Indiana
digdoug
4 days ago
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Louisville, KY
jepler
6 days ago
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Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
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You are the best author in human history

4 Comments and 13 Shares


In 2013, a then-9-year-old boy named Joshua wrote to his hero, Alan Moore, the genius responsible for writing such classics as Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Joshua’s father recently told me by email:
“Whilst my sons were at primary school they both did an exercise in English where they wrote letters to their favourite writers. In fact they both did it twice, and three of those times received back a form letter from the publishers. However, my youngest wrote a letter to Alan Moore and received back the most wonderful reply, along with a book and some unlettered art from The Roses of Berlin which hadn't yet been published.”
Moore's reply is indeed wonderful, as is Joshua's original letter; transcripts of both can be found below. Since Joshua's father contacted me, and I subsequently got in touch with Alan Moore, I've learned that Joshua's quote will quite literally be reprinted on the back of Moore's upcoming Jerusalem: see here. Enormous thanks to all--Joshua, his father, and Alan Moore--for generously allowing these to be featured.

Update, 21/07/16: It's less than 24 hours since these letters were posted here on Letters of Note, and already almost a million people have enjoyed them. A message from Alan Moore's daughter:


The Letters
Dear Alan Moore

I am writing because I want to know more about your comics including V for Vendetta, Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Swamp Thing. I also want to say thank you for making such amazing graphic novels and how did you make such wonderful things?

The first book I saw was V for Vendetta which has a brilliant storyline and is very cool when he blows up Parliament. I also love his awesome mask. Watchmen was the second, so far the best book I have ever seen - Rorschach is my favourite character, then Dr. Manhattan, lastly the Comedian. I like the way he uses a flamethrower as a cigar lighter and a smiley face for a badge. My third favourite was the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I like the way it’s more like a book because it has lots of writing in it and I also like the things that they have collected. All in all you are the best author in human history. Please write back.

Joshua

--------------------

Dear Joshua

Well, first of all, thank you for a lovely letter. I apologise if this reply is a bit short, but I’m working really hard on about six different things at once just now, and I know that if I put replying to you off until later when I had more time then I might lose your letter (you should see all the books and papers and clutter filling nearly every room in my house), or not get back to you for some other reason. After your kind words about me and my writing I really didn’t want to do that, so here I am in an odd half hour between finishing one piece of work and starting another.

I’m really pleased that you’ve enjoyed so much of my stuff, and especially because most of my readers these days are people almost as old as I am. Of course, I appreciate my audience however old they are, but it’s particularly gratifying to think that I’ve got intelligent and adventurous readers of your own age out there. It’s the kind of thing, when I’m taking my vitamin pills and swilling them down with Lemsip, that makes me feel like I’m still ‘down with the kids’.

Books like Watchmen, V for Vendetta and Swamp Thing were done back when I was just starting my career in the 1980s, when I was in my twenties or thirties. I’m glad they’re still enjoyable today, and as for how I wrote them...well, I suppose I’d have to say that I started out, when I was your age or a little younger, by being simply in love with comics or books that were full of brilliant ideas that set my imagination on fire. From a very young age, I was trying to emulate the people whose stories I was reading by writing little stories or poems or even little comic books drawn in coloured biro on lined jotter paper and then stapled together. I’m not saying that these things were any good, but that I had tremendous fun doing them and that they at least taught me the beginnings of the skills that my writing would need in later life.

As well as writing and drawing, I was also reading as much as I could about the things that interested me...this is why libraries are so important...whether that be in books or comics or any other medium that I could get my hands on. When I was reading things, part of me (probably the biggest part) would just be enjoying the story because it was so exciting, or scary, or funny or whatever, while another part of me would be trying to work out why I’d enjoyed whatever it was so much. I tried to understand what it was that the author had done that had had such a powerful effect upon me. It might be some clever story-telling effect that had tickled my brain, or it might be a powerful use of symbolism that had struck a deep, buried chord inside me, but whatever it was I wanted to understand it because I figured that if I understood these things, I’d probably be a better writer than if I didn’t.

As I got older, while I found I still enjoyed a lot of the books and comics I’d grown up with, I found that I was becoming able to appreciate all sorts of other writings and art that I hadn’t been able to get to grips with before, and I started to apply the lessons that I’d learned from these different sources to my writing. Thus, when I finally entered the comic field in my late twenties, I’d probably got a much wider range of influences than most of the other writers in the field at the time and was able to produce work that was very different to what had been seen before. I liked to experiment with things (I still do, for that matter), and to try and think of a different way that I could write a specific scene or a specific story. I think that one of the most important things for any artist or writer is that they should always be progressing and trying new things, because that is what will keep your work feeling fresh and lively to your readers even after twenty or thirty years. Yes, it means that you have to work harder, and to think harder, and to generally keep pushing yourself and testing your limits, but in my opinion the results are definitely worth it.

Although I’m still very proud of the work that I did on all the books mentioned above, the fact that I no longer own any of those titles (I’m afraid they’re all owned by perhaps-less-than-scrupulous big comic-book companies) means that I’m always most interested in my most recent work, so I was glad that you’d liked The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which Kevin and I still own and have a great deal of fun doing. I know that a very clever young man named Jess Nevins runs a website at which he picks through all of the volumes of The League and points out all the different books, plays, films and stories that we’re making references to. Although a lot of the books mentioned might be pretty boring until you’re older, there’s a few of them that you might really love, and some of them might help you to enjoy The League a bit more.

Speaking of The League, I’m enclosing a couple of things with this letter, including a copy of the brand new Heart of Ice book. In case you haven’t seen League volume III, Century, (which isn’t out in collected form yet) the main character in Heart of Ice is the original Captain Nemo's daughter, Janni Dakkar, who somewhat reluctantly took over her father’s command of the Nautilus when he died of old age in 1910. Heart of Ice shows Janni attempting to recapture some of her father’s past glories and ending up running into a scenario from the work of American weird tale master, H.P. Lovecraft. As well as this, I’m also including a couple of pages of unlettered art that I’ve received from Kevin for the next book in the series, which is entitled The Roses of Berlin. Nobody except me, Kevin and our publishers have seen these yet, so this is a special preview just for you. Please guard them with your life (not literally, of course), and don’t let them get onto the internet or anywhere...I mean, I’m sure you wouldn’t dream of such a thing, but it’s just that than Kevin puts such a lot of work into these pages, and he wants people to see them when they’re properly lettered and coloured and everything, and part of the actual story that they’re intended for. Anyway, I hope you enjoy them.

Well, I’ve just looked at the clock and realised that I’d better get down town (Northampton) if I want to get my wife Melinda a present for our wedding anniversary on Sunday. Thanks again for a great letter, and thanks for calling me the best author in human history, which I don’t necessarily agree is completely true but which I may well end up using as a quote on the back of one of my books someday. Oh, and please give my regards to Naseby. It gets more than a couple of mentions in my forthcoming novel Jerusalem, which I’m about two chapters away from the end of at present.

Take care of yourself, Joshua. You’re obviously a young man of extraordinary good taste and intelligence, and you confirm my suspicion that Northamptonshire is a county touched by the gods.

All the best, your pal —

[Signed ‘Alan Moore’]
(Best Author in Human History. In your face, Shakespeare, Joyce and Cervantes!)
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digdoug
7 days ago
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Alan Moore might be batshit insane sometimes, but goddamn if this wouldn't leave a mark on a kid. A good mark.
Louisville, KY
popular
7 days ago
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glenn
7 days ago
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Waterloo, Canada
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3 public comments
rtreborb
6 days ago
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My immediate thought was that "saw the book" meant the kid was referring to the movie versions.
JayM
7 days ago
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:)
Boston Metro Area
b12
8 days ago
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This choked me up, honestly.
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