If for some strange reason you have never seen the movie Monsters Inc., you need to stop reading now and go watch. Seriously, I’m about to spoil the ending, this is your last chance to bookmark the page and come back later. Ok, everyone ready? Here we go. If you are still reading then you know that Monstropolis was once powered by the screams of young children from our world. Fortunately, thanks to the adorable bond of Sully and Boo, the monster world discovered that laughter is 10x more powerful than screams.
After that the monsters, known as scarers, took a back seat to those more comedically gifted. Enter Mike Wazowski! This little one-eyed green beach ball has led the charge to fuel the monster world by performing nightly routines in the same bedrooms that were once filled with screams. There is only one problem: it seems that Monstropolis is running a little low on power. So, Mike and his friends have put on their creative thinking caps and come up with an idea. “What if we created a place that could capture the laughter of 400 human guests and rotate them through every 20 minutes?! Just think of how much laugh energy we could capture in a short amount of time!” Hence, the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club was created.
Did you notice the original name of the ride? Actually, that was the second version of the name, but that’s not really important. What is important is that Comedy Club was once part of the title, but was dropped just a couple of weeks before opening. The neat tidbit here is that Disney was so far along in production that merchandise had already been created with this name. If there are any fellow Disney Pin collectors listening, go look on eBay for Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club and you will find a pretty unique pin to add to your collection!
Ok, back to the ride.
How do you find the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor? Well, the monsters have installed some of their magical doors in Tomorrowland. Here, guests can walk through the doors and instantly find themselves in the monster world. All you have to do is look for the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor as you enter Tomorrowland from the central hub. If you are having trouble finding it, look for Stitch’s Great Escape! and then quickly run away. The laugh floor entrance will be directly across the walkway. If you find yourself outside Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin you have gone too far.
Once you are in the queue for the show, you will notice a message in the banners above that makes this show a little different. The monsters want your jokes! That’s right, you can actually text a joke to the provided number and it may be used in the show. Television monitors will give you instructions and provide the number to send your text. You simply follow the instructions by starting your text with that particular show’s keyword, include your first name and hometown, and then share your joke. While there is no foolproof formula, trial and error has proven that jokes chosen are usually family friendly, short and sweet, and fit in with the monster world by containing a small gross out factor. You will have an even better chance if your joke incorporates a Disney character. While I can’t claim these as my own, here are a few good examples:
Why can’t Cinderella play soccer?
- Because she always runs away from the ball!
Or for the boys listening:
Why did Tigger go into the bathroom?
- Because he was looking for Pooh.
So, with the ability to incorporate jokes texted in a few minutes before the show starts, you may have already figured out that the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is an interactive experience. The show utilizes what Disney calls digital puppetry. This technology was developed to provide a way for the animated characters on screen to interact with a live audience. Live voice actors serve as the wit and heart of each character behind the scenes. Their real time conversation with the audience is synced with the animated character’s movements. The result is a magical experience that will amaze kids and even have adults scratching their heads as they try to figure it out. Disney first contributed to developing digital puppetry in the show Turtle Talk with Crush, which debuted in 2004. However, what you probably don’t know is that the technology goes back as far as the 1960’s and has a tie in with another ride located in Walt Disney World. What ride? Well, if you have ever been over to Hollywood Studios and seen Muppet*Vision 3D you will have meet Waldo. The character known as the spirit of 3D in Muppet*Vision 3D, was first developed by Jim Henson back in 1988. Waldo C. Graphic was the first commercially successful digitally animated figure rendered in real time. Flash forward to 2007 and Waldo’s Walt Disney World cousins have progressed tremendously.
So, how exactly does digital puppetry figure in to the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor? Well, once you enter the comedy club you will see a series of screens at the front of the auditorium. You will first be greeted by Roz.
Cheery thing isn’t she? Well, there will be some more friendly monsters filling the screens delivering their comedy routines. The performers can change but the show always features Mike Wazowski as the MC. The laugh troop will do their best to fill the giant power canister with your laughter and will include a couple members of the audience along the way. I won’t spoil everything here for you, but usually one individual is selected near the beginning of the show and remains a rolling punch line for several jokes. This person is henceforth referred to as “that guy.” If someone in your party is selected as “that guy,” it makes the show even more fun and will be a special memory for the whole family. So, you are probably wondering one of two things right about now. One, how do I get selected to be “that guy,” or two, I’ll do anything to avoid having 400 strangers stare at me on a giant screen. Whether you want the attention or desperately want to blend into the crowd here is what you need to know.
- The selection is random, there is no magic seat in which the audience member is always chosen.
- The first ones to find their seats are more likely to be chosen since this gives the cast members the most time to find their perfect comedic muse.
- Those sitting a few rows from the front, towards the center aisle have the best chance of being noticed.
- Anyone wearing an easily identifiable piece of clothing is a good target. This could be a Dallas Cowboys hat or a brightly colored Hawaiian shirt.
- The less interested you appear in the show, the more likely you are to be the selected target. The jokes work best with someone who appears to be an unwilling participant.
In summary, a middle aged bald man wearing a Grumpy tee who looks like he has been dragged through the Magic Kingdom and is at his wits end has a high likelihood of being “that guy.” If you don’t want to be selected, casually find your way to the back of the group entering the auditorium. Be one of the last to be seated and look mildly interested in what is about to happen.
Before we move on, I do want to mention that there will be multiple audience members besides “that guy” who get their 15 seconds of fame. Even the kids can get in on the act. One of my favorite segments is when a young audience member gets to help share the jokes which were texted in before the show started.
As an audience member, I think you will really have fun at the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. In addition to the jokes, the animated monsters put on a display of physical comedy that keep the laughs coming. There is playful banter between Mike and Roz reminiscent of the first movie which keeps the show humming along. Since the release of the movie Monsters University, the show has been updated to include some references to this time in the monster world. Best of all, every show is unique thanks to the show’s interactive nature. This is a show you can take in every time you visit the Magic Kingdom, or even multiple times in the same trip.
One other great thing about the show is that it rarely has a long wait. Fastpass + is available for this ride but I have never used one here personally. This is a great show to take in when you are waiting for your Fastpass + on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin or Space Mountain. With a 400 person capacity, and show time just over 15 minutes, the crowds can move through here quickly. Because the ride is inside, it also doesn’t matter if you see it during the day or the night. If you find the ride is showing more than a 20 minute wait, I would save it for a little later. Chances are you will come back to find the line has gone down and you can get in pretty quickly.
So, be sure and stop by the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor next time you are in Tomorrowland. This sometimes overlooked show is a lot of fun for the whole family. The indoor theater provides a nice place to sit down and cool off when it’s hot outside. It may not be scary, but it is a great showcase of the funniest monsters from Monsters, Inc.
Well, I hope you enjoyed our coverage of the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. I’m a huge fan of Monsters, Inc. so I just loved exploring this ride. In fact, I’m such a big fan I have a Monsters, Inc. themed truck. Well, it’s really just a big blue truck which I have affectionately name Sully. To top it off I picked up a Mike Wazowski antenna topper on my last WDW trip. So, I like to introduce people to Mike & Sully when offering a ride! I think it is kinda cool.