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Disney through the eyes of teens
|Adrienne Krock, editor|
|SuperStar Limo: You're Hollywood's Newest Superstar!|
Throughout the existence of Disney's California Adventure, there have been mixed reviews about numerous topics: theming, attractions, entertainment, child-friendly activities, and so forth. One of the most significantly discussed is Superstar Limo. Some people find it a waste of time and space, and may think of it as a ridiculous attraction. Others, including myself, find it a zany, entertaining ride through a hilarious new look at Hollywood and at many of our favorite stars.
Superstar Limo begins when guests get in line for the attraction and are surrounded by sounds of airplanes and the noticeable sights of Los Angeles International Airport. While standing in line they pass a baggage claim and a TV monitor featuring a caricature puppet of Joan Rivers. She informs guests that one of Hollywood's newest superstars has just landed at LAX, and is awaiting the adoring public. "Could you die? Or could you not?" she says.
Guests then round the queue to a Hollywood gift shop to board their limousine, realizing at that point that they are the "newest superstar" described by Joan Rivers. Upon boarding the vehicle, guests meet their agent, Swifty La Rue. Swifty informs riders that a fabulous new contract awaits them; all they have to do is sign it to become Hollywood's newest superstar! That's when the ride begins. Guests start moving through the building and encounter sets and scenes from numerous familiar Hollywood attractions and of course our favorite stars.
First up is Rodeo Drive, where guests see "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" host Regis Philbin pops out from behind a closed door of The Bauble Room holding out crisp, new dollar bills. Around the corner are some more pranks and jokes of California, such as "Pricey Pizza" and "Law Suits," as well as Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas animatronics.
"Don't look now," but as the limo enters world-famous Sunset Strip, the beautiful Cindy Crawford awaits. Moving through the ride and onto the shopping scene, guests see "Tower of CDs" and "Fur Sure" as well as Swifty La Rue's advertisements for "Star Maker." Further down the famous strip are star-studded clubs such as "Laughter Shocks," "Cobra Cabana," and "The House of Schmooze." These clubs feature funny-man Tim Allen, as well as the martial arts star Jackie Chan.
Now, guests move onto Bel Air, where the streets are paved with royalties and hype. Here, numerous people bombard guests as they hawk their products, agents sell their scripts, and Drew Carey, from the Drew Carey Show, sells "Maps of the Star's Homes."
Past a pool party and through a tattoo parlor, the limo arrives in Malibu where the beautiful people get more beautiful. In a clever spoof of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, actress Melissa Joan Hart plays Madame Leota inside a crystal ball. "Agents, execs, producers beyond. Give me a sign the green light is on," she says as guests travel past. Singer and actress Cher stands in the mist behind the Leota spoof. Cher was the last animatronic added to the dark-ride attraction.
At this point, everywhere guests turn they see production studios and sound stages. It can only mean they have arrived in Hollywood, where Whoopie Goldberg, from Sister Act and Golden Dreams, announces the guest's arrival at the big Hollywood premiere. Screaming and adoring fans line the red carpet as riders enter the theater. The riders' picture appears on a projection screen as Swifty La Rue, comments "Don't you look good on camera? Now that's what I call a superstar." At that, the ride comes to an end and a brief moment in the spotlight becomes a fond memory of a spin through a highlighted version of Hollywood.
The original concept of this ride was far different from what was produced, but I believe it's a hit either way. The original Superstar Limo would have been located where Hollywood & Dine is now located. The theming and storyline would have been much more in-depth. Guests would have entered an attraction building resembling a miniature LAX instead of just a baggage claim booth and poster on the wall.
Guests would enter fast and zippy limos, as opposed to the slow and pokey limos used today. On the video screen next to them, Disney CEO Michael Eisner would appear and inform guests that they would be the newest stars in the latest Disney movie. Eisner would remind guests that they had not yet signed their contracts for the picture, which he expected you to sign when you arrived at the theater. Riders are whisked off on their ride as Eisner reminds them not to do anything that would ruin their reputations.
Limos would then zoom through the building through similar sets and view characterizations of stars, but in a more natural look as opposed to the cartoonish and juvenile sense today. Meanwhile, the paparazzi would be waiting to catch a glimpse of the newest superstar.
The limo would zip through Hollywood all the while avoiding the paparazzi that may ruin the superstar's career. When all chaos breaks loose, the paparazzi would finally snap a picture that then ends up on the front of a tabloid. When Eisner sees this, he tells the riders that they ruined their careers and reputations as actors. At that, riders would leave the ride and enter a gift shop modeled for the Hollywood premiere they were supposed to have attended.
Disney abandoned this original concept when Princess Diana was killed in a high-speed car accident fleeing from the paparazzi. Budget cuts made the ride a cheaper, yet entertaining and appealing attraction that we have at Disney's California Adventure today.
Superstar Limo has been getting bad reviews, as unlikely as it may seem. I do believe that the queue area of the current Superstar Limo can use a touch of work. Unlike the dark rides across the esplanade, this area fails to explain to guests what is in store for them. There has even been talk of renovating the new ride and replacing the cartoon versions of Hollywood's famous stars with hordes of Disney characters. This new version would have the one and only Goofy driving guests on a zany experience through Tinsel Town.
Superstar Limo is a wonderful attraction. It is very entertaining to pretend to see Hollywood stars and I hope it stays very similar to what we have at California Adventure today. True, the original concept of Superstar Limo would have been slightly better in theme and in story line but I feel this is truly a one-of-a-kind attraction. No matter what replaces Superstar Limo, or how Disney refurbishes Superstar Limo, I will always remember the wonderful memories I had on that ride and how I was, at one time, Hollywood's newest superstar.
I am thirteen years old and live with my family in Southern California. I am currently a high school student, and an avid fan of Disneyland Resort. Other than visiting the "Happiest Place On Earth," I have numerous hobbies, the most significant of which is acting.
Acting has always been a major hobby of mine. I have been participating in numerous plays, movies and productions all of my life, and hope to eventually accomplish my dreams of becoming a famous actor. Some of my recent works include productions of The King and I, Shakespeare- Enough Already, and Ebeneezer. Other than acting, I enjoy playing the alto saxophone for my high school jazz band, playing the keyboard / piano, listening to music (especially the Rent soundtrack), and visiting the Disneyland Resort.
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