Viewers enter the Imagination Institute's theater for the Inventor of the Year Award Ceremony, in which professor Wayne Szalinski is receiving the award. Attendees are asked to don their "safety goggles" in preparation for the scientific demonstrations. The show opens with the crew of the show searching for Wayne, when he suddenly flies on stage miniaturized and in a transportation device called a Hoverpod.
He accidentally drops the control box and sends the machine flying off behind the stage out of control. The Hoverpod comes back and destroys the neon Imagination Institute "Inventor of the Year Award" sign over the audience (at first only some letters are knocked out, leaving "NERD" spelled diagonally).
Wayne's son Nick demonstrates some of his father's other inventions to kill time while the crew searches for Wayne. This does not go smoothly, and the audience ends up screaming with loose mice running under their seats and a holographic "Holo-Pet" lion in their faces. While the demonstrations go awry, Wayne manages to use his shrinking machine to return himself back to normal size. He brings out the machine to demonstrate its uses by shrinking a family's luggage, saving space and money when traveling.
Unfortunately, the machine goes out of control and shrinks the audience (plus Nick, who pushes Dr. Channing out of the way of the machine's electro-beam). The viewers are antagonized by obstacles such as Wayne's youngest son Adam taking a picture of the audience with a blinding flash and picking up the theater to "show the little people to Mommy." (The whole room literally is lifted right off its construction for a minute or two before Channing persuades Adam to put the theater back where he found it.) Then Nick's python Gigabyte, much larger than the miniature audience, nearly eats the audience, as Gigabyte was not fed just yet that day. Quark, the Szalinski's dog, then chases Gigabyte away with a few barks. Luckily, Wayne fixes the machine just in the nick of time and returns the audience back to normal size, but Quark is momentarily affected by the beam and then runs backstage out of sight.
Wayne accepts his award and begins his speech, but he is interrupted by Nick warning of a "big, humongous problem." The now giant Quark walks out onto the stage and the curtain closes while viewers hear the Imagination Institute's crew trying to stop the dog from crushing the place. Quark then finds his way through the curtains and sneezes on the audience for the finale. As the audience leaves, they can hear the commotion from backstage continue.