He is joined by Sam Eagle who appears through a window cutout in the eave above the Hall of Presidents. The uni-browed, earnest, ultra-patriotic character tries to keep the proceedings solemn.(Photo: Matt Stroshane, Disney)
Liberty Square is the most somber land at Walt Disney World's otherwise whimsical Magic Kingdom. Its featured attraction is the Hall of Presidents, a reverential overview of American history that includes animatronic renderings of every American leader. As is the case whenever a new president takes the oath of office, the theater is temporarily closed to accommodate the introduction of a Donald J. Trump figure.
The Hall of Presidents is set to reopen in late June. But Liberty Square visitors can enjoy a decidedly non-somber, irreverent take on the country's story with “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History.” The live show, which opened a few months ago, puts the waka waka in George Washington.
Presented periodically throughout the day, the approximately 10-minute performance takes place outdoors in the square. A (human) town crier in Colonial-era garb speaks and sings an introduction. He is joined by Sam Eagle who appears through a window cutout in the eave above the Hall of Presidents. The uni-browed, earnest, ultra-patriotic character tries to keep the proceedings solemn.
But when Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and The Great Gonzo take their places in the second-story windows of the adjacent Heritage House building, well, all solemnity pretty much goes out the window. Especially when Gonzo's all-chicken chorus show up.
The Muppets are actual puppets, not animatronic characters or projected media. Their voices would seem to be pre-recorded on a soundtrack (although their actions are remarkably well synced if that's the case). There are two versions of the show, one of which (generally) covers the Declaration of Independence.
The gang performs a rousing "Great Moments in History" song. Kermit, in a tricorn hat, assumes the role of Thomas Jefferson. He has to inform Miss Piggy that there is no role for her, since the show is about the Founding Fathers. She inserts herself into the proceedings anyway as "Queen Georgette."
There's the usual Muppet shtick such as groan-inducing puns from Fozzie. Of course, it ends on an earnest, upbeat note with Kermit invoking the true meaning of the founders' call for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Cue the unfurling of the Stars and Stripes. The midnight ride of Paul Revere gets a Muppet makeover in a second show.
The Muppets are no strangers to Disney World. They've been bringing their characteristic brand of silliness to Disney's Hollywood Studios for years in Muppet*Vision 3D. With neighborhood multiplexes now routinely showing 3-D films, the attraction is no longer a novelty. It's still plenty of fun, however – especially the snarky comments from Staler and Waldorf, the old hecklers in the balcony.
In other Muppets-related news, the Italian restaurant located next to the Muppet*Vision 3D theater has been renamed PizzeRizzo. The diminutive, buck-toothed Rizzo the Rat is the new proprietor of the quick-service eatery, which serves pizza, subs, salads, and treats such as cannolis.