And, I think that having the Muppets as a pre-show in the outer area would be a fun way to celebrate our history before entering the main room for the more serious presentation.
The ‘Great Moments’ show outside effectively was already a pre-show. It was scheduled to end immediately before a HoP start, and the script ended with an invite to step inside.
The park is not just about leaving the real world behind. The fantasy of Magic Kingdom includes time travel to eras past and future:
"Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America"
"Here you leave the world of today and enter the worlds of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy"
"This program is dedicated to the memory of Walt Disney" - HoP (2017-2021)
There's just something different about seeing actual AAs of characters.
I can remember that a large part of the attraction of the HoP back in the early days was the impressive technological feat of having so many ‘lifelike’ characters realistically portrayed on stage. To acknowledge the time travel aspect of Magic Kingdom, it was (as it was with many attractions) an experience that was grounded in the past but felt like you were living a bit in the future at the same time. Robotics was still the realm of science fiction when the show was conceived, and the show was legitimately impressive and world renowned for that in its own right.
Disney one-upped themselves a decade later with American Adventure, but aside from adding some projection tricks ala Frozen and more fluid and nuanced articulation like the Navi River shaman, AA’s have largely hit a wall in development.
In a modern era where literally anything is possible on a movie screen and we can summon YouTube videos on our phone of cutting edge robotics, the tech behind HoP is decidedly less of a draw then it used to be. How amazing and ‘must see’ would the show become if instead of the Presidents being mostly static figures behind a curtain, the Presidents walked independently around the theater and up onto the stage? If it became a cutting edge demonstrator for the possibilities of modern robotic tech?
The show is completely stuck in the past as it is, along with CoP, missing the futuristic wonder that was part of making the special sauce for both of those attractions.