***Rare*** Original Disney-MGM/Sunset Boulevard/Muppet Studios Expansion Plans Circa Aug. 1989

Herbie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
...I'm not sure this is the right place to post, but I suppose it's as good as any other place (especially with something so cool.)

Where to start? I was doing some armchair imagineering with my favorite park, DHS (*swoon*) ... and in the midst of such geek fandom, I usually find myself looking to the past. (The Hollywood That Never Was, if you will?) Anyways, I came across this old blueprint as well as documents posted on the ParkRumors Twitter account.

You guys... I. was. FLOORED.
And still am. The post (Aug. 2018) hadn't garnered much traction at all and given that I've never seen these anywhere, I'm assuming this is extremely rare stuff...

What'll interest people the most is probably the blueprint of the original Sunset Boulevard / Muppet Studios expansion plan circa August 1989... But what's also fascinating are the documents related to fixing the parking lot during this time. One of the options included a lot across World Drive with an elevated bridge... and also the long-fabled parking garage. (ParkRumors Twitter: "...the most interesting to me because it seems like Disney was REALLY against garages. They found every problem they could with this option - cost, interference with operations, guest safety, tram access, sight lines, etc..." So many documents, you'll have to search them up and read for yourself!

About that blueprint...
There is a lot to unpack here... especially because it's so hard to read, but I did my best and I'm almost positive I got everything right...
What's interesting about this is that all the usual suspects are here... Muppets, Roger Rabbit, Mickey's Movieland, D*** Tracy and possibly the earliest version of the Tower of Terror with Mel Brooks (back when it was a show ride a la GMR as opposed to drop tower). In the case of the latter four (Sunset Blvd) areas, I believe the assumption was always that these different areas couldn't possibly have all been developed at the same time in conjunction with one another... (cost, space...) ...yet here they are, together, in all their glory. Interesting to note that D*** Tracy was originally planned for the Fantasmic plot as opposed to RNRC plot which makes sense as the exterior concept art featured a water dock / pier on the lake, which you can see in the art along with another massive building next to Tracy (can't decipher the label).

There's also a Pee Wee Herman attraction (show?), the little-known Ghostwriter Theater attraction, the Red Car Trolley line (a loop would've been the entrance to Sunset) and a re-positioned Theatre of the Stars. On the other side of the park, you have a re-positioned Muppet Theatre, the ride building for the Muppet Movie Ride (and ***possibly*** another Muppet attraction)...

Also, before the opening of ABC Commissary and the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre, Commissary Lane wasn't a path you could actually walk. The space would've been utilized differently here with the GMR side featuring what I believe reads as a Chinese garden in front of a Chinese quick service, therefore blocking that side of the path. Behind it, the Star Wars Cantina would have been built facing Star Tours...

Anywaaays... Just wanted to share this with everyone. Fascinating stuff! If only...

A = Muppet Movie Ride
B = Muppet .... (Different Ride or Continuation of Movie Ride? Restaurant?)
C = Muppet W...... Show (Muppet Wrangler Show? = Muppet*Vision)
D = Star Wars "Cantina" Fast Food
E = C...... Fast Food (Chinese Fast Food?)
F = C...... G...... (Chinese Garden?)
G = Red Car Line
H = Sunset Boulevard
I = Ghostwriter Theater (?)
J = Hollywood H.... H/T..... (Hollywood Horror Hotel? Hollywood Horror Thrill?)
K = Pee Wee Herman's C.... S..... (Pee Wee Herman's C.... Show?)
L = Micky's Movieland Ride (sic)
M = Benny the Cab Ride
N = T.... T.... T.... (Toon Town Tour?)
O = Baby Herman's Runaway Baby Buggy Ride
P = Hollywood ..... (Hollywood Bowl? Hollywood Show? = Theatre of the Stars)
Q = Dick Tracy's G...... W..... Ride (Dick Tracy's Gangster Wars Ride?)
R = ???? (.... ..... ....)
S = ???? (W.... ..... ....) (possibly the dock / pier seen in Dick Tracy concept art)

***EDIT***
Didn't realize the attachments would come out so small. Here's the link to the art:

And a link to ParkRumors' original thread (expand responses to find all posts about the parking lot documents):
 

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kurtk

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
...I'm not sure this is the right place to post, but I suppose it's as good as any other place (especially with something so cool.)

Where to start? I was doing some armchair imagineering with my favorite park, DHS (*swoon*) ... and in the midst of such geek fandom, I usually find myself looking to the past. (The Hollywood That Never Was, if you will?) Anyways, I came across this old blueprint as well as documents posted on the ParkRumors Twitter account.

You guys... I. was. FLOORED.
And still am. The post (Aug. 2018) hadn't garnered much traction at all and given that I've never seen these anywhere, I'm assuming this is extremely rare stuff...

What'll interest people the most is probably the blueprint of the original Sunset Boulevard / Muppet Studios expansion plan circa August 1989... But what's also fascinating are the documents related to fixing the parking lot during this time. One of the options included a lot across World Drive with an elevated bridge... and also the long-fabled parking garage. (ParkRumors Twitter: "...the most interesting to me because it seems like Disney was REALLY against garages. They found every problem they could with this option - cost, interference with operations, guest safety, tram access, sight lines, etc..." So many documents, you'll have to search them up and read for yourself!

About that blueprint...
There is a lot to unpack here... especially because it's so hard to read, but I did my best and I'm almost positive I got everything right...
What's interesting about this is that all the usual suspects are here... Muppets, Roger Rabbit, Mickey's Movieland, D*** Tracy and possibly the earliest version of the Tower of Terror with Mel Brooks (back when it was a show ride a la GMR as opposed to drop tower). In the case of the latter four (Sunset Blvd) areas, I believe the assumption was always that these different areas couldn't possibly have all been developed at the same time in conjunction with one another... (cost, space...) ...yet here they are, together, in all their glory. Interesting to note that D*** Tracy was originally planned for the Fantasmic plot as opposed to RNRC plot which makes sense as the exterior concept art featured a water dock / pier on the lake, which you can see in the art along with another massive building next to Tracy (can't decipher the label).

There's also a Pee Wee Herman attraction (show?), the little-known Ghostwriter Theater attraction, the Red Car Trolley line (a loop would've been the entrance to Sunset) and a re-positioned Theatre of the Stars. On the other side of the park, you have a re-positioned Muppet Theatre, the ride building for the Muppet Movie Ride (and ***possibly*** another Muppet attraction)...

Also, before the opening of ABC Commissary and the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre, Commissary Lane wasn't a path you could actually walk. The space would've been utilized differently here with the GMR side featuring what I believe reads as a Chinese garden in front of a Chinese quick service, therefore blocking that side of the path. Behind it, the Star Wars Cantina would have been built facing Star Tours...

Anywaaays... Just wanted to share this with everyone. Fascinating stuff! If only...

A = Muppet Movie Ride
B = Muppet .... (Different Ride or Continuation of Movie Ride? Restaurant?)
C = Muppet W...... Show (Muppet Wrangler Show? = Muppet*Vision)
D = Star Wars "Cantina" Fast Food
E = C...... Fast Food (Chinese Fast Food?)
F = C...... G...... (Chinese Garden?)
G = Red Car Line
H = Sunset Boulevard
I = Ghostwriter Theater (?)
J = Hollywood H.... H/T..... (Hollywood Horror Hotel? Hollywood Horror Thrill?)
K = Pee Wee Herman's C.... S..... (Pee Wee Herman's C.... Show?)
L = Micky's Movieland Ride (sic)
M = Benny the Cab Ride
N = T.... T.... T.... (Toon Town Tour?)
O = Baby Herman's Runaway Baby Buggy Ride
P = Hollywood ..... (Hollywood Bowl? Hollywood Show? = Theatre of the Stars)
Q = **** Tracy's G...... W..... Ride (**** Tracy's Gangster Wars Ride?)
R = ???? (.... ..... ....)
S = ???? (W.... ..... ....) (possibly the dock / pier seen in **** Tracy concept art)

***EDIT***
Didn't realize the attachments would come out so small. Here's the link to the art:

And a link to ParkRumors' original thread (expand responses to find all posts about the parking lot documents):
It would have been great to see more Roger Rabbit attractions in the park. It was such a great movie and it isn't acknowledged at all from a park perspective. (OK there is a window at DHS)
From one of the images above, the hidden Mickey at the center of the park isn't very hidden:)
 

Robbiem

Well-Known Member
...I'm not sure this is the right place to post, but I suppose it's as good as any other place (especially with something so cool.)

Where to start? I was doing some armchair imagineering with my favorite park, DHS (*swoon*) ... and in the midst of such geek fandom, I usually find myself looking to the past. (The Hollywood That Never Was, if you will?) Anyways, I came across this old blueprint as well as documents posted on the ParkRumors Twitter account.

You guys... I. was. FLOORED.
And still am. The post (Aug. 2018) hadn't garnered much traction at all and given that I've never seen these anywhere, I'm assuming this is extremely rare stuff...

What'll interest people the most is probably the blueprint of the original Sunset Boulevard / Muppet Studios expansion plan circa August 1989... But what's also fascinating are the documents related to fixing the parking lot during this time. One of the options included a lot across World Drive with an elevated bridge... and also the long-fabled parking garage. (ParkRumors Twitter: "...the most interesting to me because it seems like Disney was REALLY against garages. They found every problem they could with this option - cost, interference with operations, guest safety, tram access, sight lines, etc..." So many documents, you'll have to search them up and read for yourself!

About that blueprint...
There is a lot to unpack here... especially because it's so hard to read, but I did my best and I'm almost positive I got everything right...
What's interesting about this is that all the usual suspects are here... Muppets, Roger Rabbit, Mickey's Movieland, D*** Tracy and possibly the earliest version of the Tower of Terror with Mel Brooks (back when it was a show ride a la GMR as opposed to drop tower). In the case of the latter four (Sunset Blvd) areas, I believe the assumption was always that these different areas couldn't possibly have all been developed at the same time in conjunction with one another... (cost, space...) ...yet here they are, together, in all their glory. Interesting to note that D*** Tracy was originally planned for the Fantasmic plot as opposed to RNRC plot which makes sense as the exterior concept art featured a water dock / pier on the lake, which you can see in the art along with another massive building next to Tracy (can't decipher the label).

There's also a Pee Wee Herman attraction (show?), the little-known Ghostwriter Theater attraction, the Red Car Trolley line (a loop would've been the entrance to Sunset) and a re-positioned Theatre of the Stars. On the other side of the park, you have a re-positioned Muppet Theatre, the ride building for the Muppet Movie Ride (and ***possibly*** another Muppet attraction)...

Also, before the opening of ABC Commissary and the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre, Commissary Lane wasn't a path you could actually walk. The space would've been utilized differently here with the GMR side featuring what I believe reads as a Chinese garden in front of a Chinese quick service, therefore blocking that side of the path. Behind it, the Star Wars Cantina would have been built facing Star Tours...

Anywaaays... Just wanted to share this with everyone. Fascinating stuff! If only...

A = Muppet Movie Ride
B = Muppet .... (Different Ride or Continuation of Movie Ride? Restaurant?)
C = Muppet W...... Show (Muppet Wrangler Show? = Muppet*Vision)
D = Star Wars "Cantina" Fast Food
E = C...... Fast Food (Chinese Fast Food?)
F = C...... G...... (Chinese Garden?)
G = Red Car Line
H = Sunset Boulevard
I = Ghostwriter Theater (?)
J = Hollywood H.... H/T..... (Hollywood Horror Hotel? Hollywood Horror Thrill?)
K = Pee Wee Herman's C.... S..... (Pee Wee Herman's C.... Show?)
L = Micky's Movieland Ride (sic)
M = Benny the Cab Ride
N = T.... T.... T.... (Toon Town Tour?)
O = Baby Herman's Runaway Baby Buggy Ride
P = Hollywood ..... (Hollywood Bowl? Hollywood Show? = Theatre of the Stars)
Q = **** Tracy's G...... W..... Ride (**** Tracy's Gangster Wars Ride?)
R = ???? (.... ..... ....)
S = ???? (W.... ..... ....) (possibly the dock / pier seen in **** Tracy concept art)

***EDIT***
Didn't realize the attachments would come out so small. Here's the link to the art:

And a link to ParkRumors' original thread (expand responses to find all posts about the parking lot documents):

really interesting find. It’s fascinating to see what might have been. As a Transport planner by profession its interesting to read the justification for the parking solutions although I’m surprised they built such a constra ined site
 

Herbie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Something I didn't notice the first time: there's actually another attraction of sorts labeled but I can't make it out. Two words. It's the building attached to the backside of Oscar's.

Also, the Backstage Tour would've expanded into that area behind Catastrophe Canyon. The tram would've wrapped around the retention ponds in an area labeled Backlot Thrill Zone. Lots of trees and a few small buildings.
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
Something I didn't notice the first time: there's actually another attraction of sorts labeled but I can't make it out. Two words. It's the building attached to the backside of Oscar's.

Also, the Backstage Tour would've expanded into that area behind Catastrophe Canyon. The tram would've wrapped around the retention ponds in an area labeled Backlot Thrill Zone. Lots of trees and a few small buildings.
One of the plans for the tour was to ride though several interior sets - much like Universals Hollywood tour. One such interior would have a monster attack the tram based on Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

The idea was resurrected decades later in Tokyo.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
One of the plans for the tour was to ride though several interior sets - much like Universals Hollywood tour. One such interior would have a monster attack the tram based on Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

The idea was resurrected decades later in Tokyo.
I missed the tram tour at DHS backot tour driving thru the tram tunnel in the late 1990s. The nice ladies sewing costumes at Creative Costuming would sometimes wave at the guests.
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
I missed the tram tour at DHS backot tour driving thru the tram tunnel in the late 1990s. The nice ladies sewing costumes at Creative Costuming would sometimes wave at the guests.
Fun fact. When the animation tour first opened, and you could watch the animators working through the glass, you would have seen them working on the Cranium Command preshow.
 

Herbie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
One of the plans for the tour was to ride though several interior sets - much like Universals Hollywood tour. One such interior would have a monster attack the tram based on Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

The idea was resurrected decades later in Tokyo.

I think I've seen art for that, but it doesn't seem to be covered in this concept... So I'm curious what the actual plans were for this little area. Again, it just seems like trees and a few small buildings... If anything, I guess in the future, it would've been prime real estate for that George of the Jungle set!

Yet ANOTHER thing to note: there is an area on Mickey Avenue labeled Wrap Party Bridge that would've seemingly connected the GMR building to one of the soundstages. I'm curious why. I know there's a small bridge there... But can you actually walk it? And if so, to where...?

There also seems to be some sort of overpass that the tram would've had to go under after exiting Residential Street and heading towards New York... It's relatively long, connecting from the Muppet Movie Ride to the Special Effects building.

What are your thoughts on this, Martin? Anything confusing or new to you? Anything else you know of not covered in this plan?

Whatever the case, am hoping this'll maybe lead to more discussions with your "insiders" per se, possibly to yield more info. 😁 We might need a new video!!!
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
I think I've seen art for that, but it doesn't seem to be covered in this concept... So I'm curious what the actual plans were for this little area. Again, it just seems like trees and a few small buildings... If anything, I guess in the future, it would've been prime real estate for that George of the Jungle set!

Yet ANOTHER thing to note: there is an area on Mickey Avenue labeled Wrap Party Bridge that would've seemingly connected the GMR building to one of the soundstages. I'm curious why. I know there's a small bridge there... But can you actually walk it? And if so, to where...?

There also seems to be some sort of overpass that the tram would've had to go under after exiting Residential Street and heading towards New York... It's relatively long, connecting from the Muppet Movie Ride to the Special Effects building.

What are your thoughts on this, Martin? Anything confusing or new to you? Anything else you know of not covered in this plan?

Whatever the case, am hoping this'll maybe lead to more discussions with your "insiders" per se, possibly to yield more info. 😁 We might need a new video!!!
Oh theres plenty new. It’s a great find. I’d never seen an actual blueprint for the first Sunset proposal. And the other material... I knew of parking guests across World Drive and a new tram bridge since the late 90s but it was great to finally see a plan of it! So many things I knew about - it’s great to finally see them all tied together.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
I think I've seen art for that, but it doesn't seem to be covered in this concept... So I'm curious what the actual plans were for this little area. Again, it just seems like trees and a few small buildings... If anything, I guess in the future, it would've been prime real estate for that George of the Jungle set!

Yet ANOTHER thing to note: there is an area on Mickey Avenue labeled Wrap Party Bridge that would've seemingly connected the GMR building to one of the soundstages. I'm curious why. I know there's a small bridge there... But can you actually walk it? And if so, to where...?

There also seems to be some sort of overpass that the tram would've had to go under after exiting Residential Street and heading towards New York... It's relatively long, connecting from the Muppet Movie Ride to the Special Effects building.

What are your thoughts on this, Martin? Anything confusing or new to you? Anything else you know of not covered in this plan?

Whatever the case, am hoping this'll maybe lead to more discussions with your "insiders" per se, possibly to yield more info. 😁 We might need a new video!!!
I've heard about the Soundstages which is now Toy Story Midway Mania. Justin Timberlake, Brittney Spears and others shot videos there way back when.
 

The Real Buzz Lightyear

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
...I'm not sure this is the right place to post, but I suppose it's as good as any other place (especially with something so cool.)

Where to start? I was doing some armchair imagineering with my favorite park, DHS (*swoon*) ... and in the midst of such geek fandom, I usually find myself looking to the past. (The Hollywood That Never Was, if you will?) Anyways, I came across this old blueprint as well as documents posted on the ParkRumors Twitter account.

You guys... I. was. FLOORED.
And still am. The post (Aug. 2018) hadn't garnered much traction at all and given that I've never seen these anywhere, I'm assuming this is extremely rare stuff...

What'll interest people the most is probably the blueprint of the original Sunset Boulevard / Muppet Studios expansion plan circa August 1989... But what's also fascinating are the documents related to fixing the parking lot during this time. One of the options included a lot across World Drive with an elevated bridge... and also the long-fabled parking garage. (ParkRumors Twitter: "...the most interesting to me because it seems like Disney was REALLY against garages. They found every problem they could with this option - cost, interference with operations, guest safety, tram access, sight lines, etc..." So many documents, you'll have to search them up and read for yourself!

About that blueprint...
There is a lot to unpack here... especially because it's so hard to read, but I did my best and I'm almost positive I got everything right...
What's interesting about this is that all the usual suspects are here... Muppets, Roger Rabbit, Mickey's Movieland, D*** Tracy and possibly the earliest version of the Tower of Terror with Mel Brooks (back when it was a show ride a la GMR as opposed to drop tower). In the case of the latter four (Sunset Blvd) areas, I believe the assumption was always that these different areas couldn't possibly have all been developed at the same time in conjunction with one another... (cost, space...) ...yet here they are, together, in all their glory. Interesting to note that D*** Tracy was originally planned for the Fantasmic plot as opposed to RNRC plot which makes sense as the exterior concept art featured a water dock / pier on the lake, which you can see in the art along with another massive building next to Tracy (can't decipher the label).

There's also a Pee Wee Herman attraction (show?), the little-known Ghostwriter Theater attraction, the Red Car Trolley line (a loop would've been the entrance to Sunset) and a re-positioned Theatre of the Stars. On the other side of the park, you have a re-positioned Muppet Theatre, the ride building for the Muppet Movie Ride (and ***possibly*** another Muppet attraction)...

Also, before the opening of ABC Commissary and the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre, Commissary Lane wasn't a path you could actually walk. The space would've been utilized differently here with the GMR side featuring what I believe reads as a Chinese garden in front of a Chinese quick service, therefore blocking that side of the path. Behind it, the Star Wars Cantina would have been built facing Star Tours...

Anywaaays... Just wanted to share this with everyone. Fascinating stuff! If only...

A = Muppet Movie Ride
B = Muppet .... (Different Ride or Continuation of Movie Ride? Restaurant?)
C = Muppet W...... Show (Muppet Wrangler Show? = Muppet*Vision)
D = Star Wars "Cantina" Fast Food
E = C...... Fast Food (Chinese Fast Food?)
F = C...... G...... (Chinese Garden?)
G = Red Car Line
H = Sunset Boulevard
I = Ghostwriter Theater (?)
J = Hollywood H.... H/T..... (Hollywood Horror Hotel? Hollywood Horror Thrill?)
K = Pee Wee Herman's C.... S..... (Pee Wee Herman's C.... Show?)
L = Micky's Movieland Ride (sic)
M = Benny the Cab Ride
N = T.... T.... T.... (Toon Town Tour?)
O = Baby Herman's Runaway Baby Buggy Ride
P = Hollywood ..... (Hollywood Bowl? Hollywood Show? = Theatre of the Stars)
Q = **** Tracy's G...... W..... Ride (**** Tracy's Gangster Wars Ride?)
R = ???? (.... ..... ....)
S = ???? (W.... ..... ....) (possibly the dock / pier seen in **** Tracy concept art)

***EDIT***
Didn't realize the attachments would come out so small. Here's the link to the art:

And a link to ParkRumors' original thread (expand responses to find all posts about the parking lot documents):
Holy crap this would have been amazing! I love how we would have had more Muppets and Roger Rabbit! Plus the Dick Tracy ride would've been awesome!
 

Twirlnhurl

Active Member
I think it is really strange how the segment on the parking garage talks about the logistics of getting the parking tram to the upper levels. I wonder what that would have looked like and if anyone ever seriously thought that was a good idea. It is the only part of the parking garage alternative that seems like it was intended to skuttle the proposal.

All of the other arguments against the parking garage at that location and time sound very reasonable to me.
 

ppete1975

Well-Known Member
so what would be gone......
pee wee of course (decades ago) after the arrest
id think Richard tracy would be gone.. (I never watched it when it came out and have no intention to now.. is there a cult following)

the rest I think if done well could still be there today
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
so what would be gone......
pee wee of course (decades ago) after the arrest
id think Richard tracy would be gone.. (I never watched it when it came out and have no intention to now.. is there a cult following)

the rest I think if done well could still be there today
From what I know about it, I think the Tracey ride would’ve been an E that would succeed regardless of the IP. A lot of information came out about the Paris (clone) version.
 

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