- to the right under the tram loading area)
PICTURES BACKLOT -
"As you enter, the area looks very opulent and over-the-top, but as
you walk through, you discover that it is all a Hollywood set — false
fronts, etc.," Braverman said.
Now they aren't trying to save
some money here are they? ;)
This area features several major
attractions. The first is the Muppet Vision 3-D film from
the Disney-MGM Studios park at Walt Disney World.
In this story line, the Muppets
are charged with providing research and development for this Hollywood
studio. Of course, all goes awry in typical Muppet fashion, and chaos
"The Muppets give this park a
strong character franchise that differentiates it from Disneyland,"
I hate to see Disney people
using these kinds of internal marking terms to the public in statements
such as these - it sort of cheapens the illusion they are working on so
hard to build here.
Also keep in mind this Muppets
"new attraction" is a decade old now. [Although it is a very
good film - it's only one of many you'll see in this park since film is
easier and more inexpensive to install than a traditional anamatronic
type of attraction Disney has been famous for.]
Another big attraction here is Superstar
Limo, a dark ride.
"The story is that you are
about to be signed to a major movie deal, but you need to get to the
Chinese Theater in Hollywood to ink the deal," Braverman said.
It's a harrowing limo ride through
Los Angeles traffic that includes "short cuts" to the beach and
other far-flung locations before reaching the theater. At one point, the
limo visits a drive-through tattoo parlor and riders find tattoos
projected onto their bodies.
I am stunned that even after
Princess Di's gruesome death, we must still see this ride put in. One of
the reasons this is still a push is that Michael Eisner himself was
supposed to have dreamed this all up, and of course the
"photographers" [or Paparazzi as they are better known]
"chasing" you around the ride [cameras are mounted at key
points] gives Disney more opportunities to sell you ride photos.
And the tattoo thing? Just what
I'd want to encourage any child to do. Sigh.
This will be a bare bones dark
ride effort - lots of plywood cutouts all through out it.
This area also is home to the Hyperion
Theater, a 2,000- seat Broadway- style theater where Disney plans
to offer two different theatrical shows daily.
Rumor has it that the current
park show will give way to a separate admission evening performance of a
Disney Broadway classic, it's conceivable that "Beauty and the
Beast" for example could end its tour here and have an open ended
run. Tickets would be included as part of a hotel package to encourage
Do note there are NO bathrooms
in this building.
Nearby a 40,000-square-foot Disney
Animation exhibit will offer a workshop by a Disney animator and
other shows. The building has a screening room where visitors can view
"pencil tests" of upcoming Disney animated features.
The Sorcerer's Workshop
is an interactive area where guests experiment with animation, including
taking a personality test to find out which Disney cartoon character they
are most like.
At Ursula's Grotto,
visitors will have the opportunity to put their voice into scenes from
Disney animated features.
The last section of the animation
exhibit features projected images of Disney characters in battle against
Disney villains. At one point, the floor of the exhibit seems to drop
away, suspending the visitors in the middle of the conflict, which is
resolved in typical Disney fashion.
Basically this seems to match up
to what is currently done at the Disney / MGM park in Orlando.
The final special effect room as
detailed above is probably the single one new and innovative, Disney
type item offered in the entire park.
ABC may also have a TV studio in
this area in the future, and the Hollywood Hotel Twilight Zone Tower of
Terror is rumored to be a future addition if this area ends up expanding
over into the Timon parking lot for "phase two."
What is and is not an
attraction? The following e-mail I received helps tell you what some of
these things may be - as opposed as to what you may think they are:
In your last Ask Al you were asked about
"attractions" that aren't attractions.... so I'll give you
the details on the ones you listed:
- Back to Neverland: The Robin Williams & Walter Cronkite
film that plays in Florida's animation attraction. This film will be
playing in one of the two theaters inside Disney Animation in
- Beast's Library: One of three interactive rooms that comprise
the "Sorcerer's Workshop" in Disney Animation.
- Enchanted Books: The interactive kiosks inside the Beast's
Library. Seems pretty desperate to count the Animation as an
attraction, plus a room inside it, plus the things inside the room...
- Drawn to Animation: Will be a live show inside Disney
Animation. I live CM will interact with animation on a screen. It'll
be a funny little film about the making of animated films.
- Magic Mirror Realm: More interactive exhibits inside Disney
Animation. This one will be a personality test where they match your
personality to a Disney character based on your answers. Then they
morph a picture of you onto that character.
- Ursula's Magic Voices: Interactive kiosks inside Animation,
where you sing along with Ursula, along the lines of the part of the
movie where she steals Ariel's voice.
It does seem like this was an odd way to inflate the number of
attractions there... but what do you expect?
Plus here is a conversation I had about another
Hollywood area attraction, Superstar Limo:
Al: I hear there are ten animatronics in superstar limo -
movie stars and such. True? And are they more than just cutouts? Are
they well animated and such?
????: There's a Drew Carey, Tim
Allen, Cher, Whoopi, etc...
Al: All the Disney studio contract players... :)
have been told that they will be "Animatronics" and there
was a definite distinction between that and
Al: More like wax figures then.
like a moving hand, or turning arm, etc.
Al: Real low budget. :) I imagined. Is it like a dark ride
like Pinocchio, but a little faster?
????: Same speed, 3 ft pre second.
I'd compare it more to Toad. Although its longer than any dark ride
the park now has. It has more black lights than all of Disneyland
combined. It does have the onboard audio / visual and a few little
effects here and there, but its basically a pretty simple dark
Now you see why I have both
"official" and "unofficial" attraction listings. The
Disney hype is thickest here.
YOU'LL SEE IN THIS AREA:
listing for this area:
Superstar Limo dark ride
Muppet Vision 3-D Film, Hyperion Theater Character Show (day)
Possible Broadway style show (night)
Disney Animation, with Ursula's Grotto and "animation
"Official" attractions listing
for this area:
Art of Animation / Back to
Neverland / Beast's Library / Disney Animation / Drawn
to Animation / Enchanted Books / Hyperion Theater / Jim
Henson's MuppetVision 3-D / Magic Mirror Realm / Sorcerer's
Workshop / Superstar Limo / Ursula's Grotto / Ursula's
ABC SoapLink / Gone Hollywood / Off the Page / Rizzo's
Prop and Pawn Shop
ABC Soap Opera Bistro / Award Wieners / Between Takes
/ Fairfax Market / Hollywood & Dine / Pop-arazzi
Popcorn / Schmoozies
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