• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Walt Disney World: New Horizons


President of Progress City
Be prepared, guys. Here's another short post. You see, one of the pavilions that will be covered here is merely a rumor, and such a rumor is spearheaded by a site notorious for spreading outlandish rumors. If the rumor does indeed turn out to be true, I'm sure Disney will announce it at D23. Therefore, we'll merely bypass that pavilion for now, but if the rumor is true, I'll come back and edit it after D23.

With that said, let's continue the tour.

~ ~ ~

With South Africa explored, we come across the fifth country -- and second new addition -- to World Showcase: Greece. Greece has one of the most unique histories and one of the most famous collections of architecture in all the world, and the atmosphere would lend an air of peacefulness to the World Showcase experience. The architecture of the Greece pavilion is inspired by the glorious architecture that borders the Mediterranean -- the architecture of Santorini, Ios, and Naxos. But as you head towards the rear, you'll find yourself taken back in time to the days of Ancient Greece. A gorgeous blend of Mediterranean buildings and ancient Greek architecture. And with traditional Greek music playing in the background, it would be absolutely beautiful!

The surroundings of the Greece pavilion are lush and green, taking inspiration from the cliffs and greenery of Santorini. Even the borders along the World Showcase Lagoon would be outfitted in a similar fashion. Proceeding further into Greece, we find a bustling Mediterranean community living under the shadow of Mount Olympus. Η Αγορά, which means "The Marketplace", is the pavilion's major shop, selling Greek dolls, Greek Orthodox Iconography, leather goods, and evil eye charms, just to name a few. Smaller stores come in the form of Θησαυροί της Ελλάδας ("Treasures of Greece"), which sells Greek masks, carvings, statuettes, paintings, pottery, miniature mosaics and stories on scrolls, and Νέκταρ των Θεών ("Nectar of the Gods"), which sells food items, like Kalamata olives, olive oil, and traditional Greek spices. The smells of such wares carry throughout the pavilion!

Η Ελιά, which means "The Olive Tree", is an authentic Mediterranean and Greek restaurant set around a giant olive tree. According to Greek mythology, Athena, the goddess of wisdom, gave such a tree to the Greeks as a blessing. And the food for sale at The Olive Tree is a blessing unto itself! Spanakopita,
tzatziki, gyros, baklava, mousaka, and souvlaki every day. Not to mention ouzo, raki, and other traditional Greek drinks. Of course, the wine would flow like rainfall here. Greece is home to some of the world's most famous wines, so it seems only fitting that the pavilion honor such a legacy. Η παραγωγή του κρασιού ("The Making of Wine") is connected to the The Olive Tree, showing us how authentic Greek wine is made. The Making of Wine features wine tasting (at a cost), wine-flavored ice cream, wine-flavored candy, and wine-flavored...well, I'm gonna stop whining about it and just let you put the rest together for yourself.

The center of this Mediterranean town is a prime source for entertainment. A large circle in the center of town marks the performance space of a team of Greek dancers. To the lively sounds of the bouzouki, a team of Greek dancers take to the streets to perform a series of traditional Greek dances, and even invite fellow guests to come and try their hand at a dance or two! But, if you're the kind of guy who likes to rub shoulders with Disney characters, Greece is the place to go if you want to meet Hercules and Megara. The characters from the 1997 cult classic have only appeared sporadically throughout Walt Disney World over the years. A Greece pavilion would be the perfect place for them to meet with guests on a regular basis.

Standing proudly beyond this Mediterranean town is the imposing visage of Mt. Olympus, home of the gods of Greek mythology. The mountain itself is towering, creating an impressive backdrop when you view the pavilion from across the lagoon at Showcase Plaza. Surrounding the mountain are the ancient remains of Greek temples, with an impressive replica of the Parthenon found within the forecourt. Inside the mountain, we'll set forth on an adventure of epic proportions: Mythica. Mythica is another roller-coaster coming to the park, themed after the perils of Greek mythology. Beautifully blending a dark ride with a classic Disney roller-coaster, Mythica promises itself to be another shining jewel in EPCOT's crown.

The ride's queue is themed to what looks like the ruined remains of an old Greek temple, taking guests past marble columns and beautiful frescos. Finally, guests walk into the pre-show, where the largest animatronic Disney has ever created will make its appearance. In dedication of the original designs for The Living Seas, Poseidon will make his appearance in this hall. He will stand still as guest enter in this hall in groups. But, as soon as the hall is filled, Poseidon will come to life in a jovial way. He will greet the guests and offer guest the chance to help Helios on his quest to take the sun on its daily journey. Guests will make their way through a side tunnel that will lead them into the station. From here they will board their ride vehicle that is shaped similarly to a Greek chariot. This ride vehicle will leave the station and with a flash of lightning, guest will find themselves flying through mist and clouds until they reach Olympus, where an animatronic of Helios tells guests that he needs their help to get the sun delivered to the sky. The coaster dives left into a heat room, simulating proximity to the sun. With the sun "following" us, our journey is stopped by a Hades animatronic (an original design created specifically for Mythica), who steals the sun in the hopes of using it for his own nefarious purposes. In Hades' wake, the track rolls backwards through a backwards section as if they are falling and losing control of the chariot. Finally the coaster will come to a stop again as Zeus (likewise, another original design) tells guests that they must retrieve the sun. With that, Zeus gives guests the power of lightning and the coaster launches off again on a new track. With strong use of special effects and projections, quest will rush through a battle between Zeus and Hades. Of course, all ends well -- Hades is defeated, Zeus and Helios retrieve the sun, and as we return to earth, Zeus gives us a blessing of a prosperous and fulfilling life.

Moving on from Greece, guests will arrive at the entrance to Germany. Germany consists mainly of many different shops, with some restaurants tucked in here and there. Just on the outskirts of the pavilion is a beautiful wishing well, where Snow White often meets guests. Upon entering the pavilion, to the right is the Das Kaufhaus store, which specifically sells crystal and glass figures, artwork and other types of merchandise. Surrounding the front of the pavilion is a nice relaxing area of trees and benches, which also make a great location to view the nighttime fireworks. Along the edges of the lagoon, the iconic miniature train display has been moved here because of the new pavilion moving in next door. Guests find themselves in a quaint village of Germany, just at the base of a clock tower. Every hour, on the hour, the clock comes to life, as a series of gizmos and figures appear from within the clock's frame, creating in the midst of the town. The clock comes to life in a wonderfully animated scene, including several different moving gadgets and figures. The German village surrounds a beautiful fountain, atop of which sits a statue of.

On the left corner of the town is Karamell-Küche, a wonderful bakery, offering all sorts of treats. The bakery specializes in caramel sweets, from everything to caramel and vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cookies with caramel frosting, brownies, cupcakes and wonderful other snacks. Passing through the sweet shop, guests will come across Die Weihnachts Ecke, a store completely devoted to Christmas items, featuring many different ornaments and Christmas merchandise. Through this store, guests will then be able to come across Weinkeller, a location that features a variety of different German wines and alcohols, where guests can purchase and even partake in their own wine tasting. Through the wine room, guests will then be able to reach the Kunstarbeit in Kristall store, which features more art work pieces and figures made completely out of glass.

All of these stores appear on the left hand side of the Germany pavilion. On the right side of the pavilion, the Volkskunst store can be located, offering many different Germany-based merchandise, from clothes, to yodeling attire, to sports equipment and working clocks. The store is also attached to the Der Teddybar store, which sells Disney Princess and teddy bear merchandise. On the farthest back end of the Germany pavilion, guests will find the sit-down Biergarten restaurant in the clocktower structure. Biergarten is a place where it's pretty much Oktoberfest every day. As guests dine on a German buffet, they are entertained by a German band, who perform on instruments native to Germany, as well as a lively troupe of German dancers, who often invite diners to join them in a polka or two. Nearby, Sommerfest has great German dishes, where guests can dine while being entertained by a quartet of yodelers. The location also features a quick-service location, consisting of mainly hot dogs and pretzels.

In my ideas for Germany, my biggest priority would be to restore something that's been a long time coming for this pavilion: the Rhine River Cruise. According to the Walt Disney Company's 1976 annual report, the Rhine River Cruise was to be "... a cruise down Germany's most famous rivers -- the Rhine, the Tauber, the Ruhr and the Isar. Detailed miniatures of famous landmarks will also be seen, including one of the Cologne Cathedral." While a majority of the show building was never actually constructed, the load and unload area of the ride would have been located next to the entrance to the Biergarten restaurant. Today, this area is hidden behind a giant mural depicting the German countryside. My version of the ride would be based upon what was originally planned, and similar in style to the boat ride in Mexico. The ride would feature a dramatic score comprised of music from some of Germany’s greatest composers including Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Wagner. Guests would sail past scenes of some of Germany’s most enduring landmarks such as the Neuschwanstein castle, the Brandenburg Gate, the Cathedral of Cologne, and the Schwarzwald (Black Forest). As in the original plans, when we reach the unload dock, the exit walkway has small seating areas so that we can stop and view the shows at Biergarten from above.

Brazil is one of those pavilions that's consistently rumored to be joining the World Showcase family, and recently, those rumors started circling around again. However, these rumors are spearheaded by a site notorious for spreading rumors that never come to fruition. With D23 on the horizon, it seems we'll get confirmation then. So, we'll just leave Brazil here for now, and if it's confirmed to be coming by, this post will be edited to include what Disney says is coming, as well as a few things I'd like to see.

Strolling along, we find ourselves in the pastoral settings of Italy. Guests arrive in the quaint city square of a city reminiscent of Venice. It looks quite majestic and beautiful. In the forefront of the pavilion, there are two landings jutting out onto the World Showcase Lagoon, the two, connected by a pair of twin bridges. The landings display a set of fountains. In-between the bridge landings and tunnelways, several canal boats can be seen on a nearby dock, making it seem as though the landings really are floating over the canals of Venice. Back up north, guests will arrive in the Italian courtyard. To the left, guests will come across Enoteca Castallo, an Italian shop, which specializes in clothes, perfumes and ceramic art pieces. Just across the courtyard, guests will come across Il Bel Cristallo and La Bottega Italiana, one being a wine location, offering a variety of wines to the guests and the other a chocolate store, offering some of the finest chocolate sweets and candies from Italy. Outside of the two stores, a small seating area is located, which also happens to be a perfect location for guests to have a wine tasting. The courtyard often becomes host to a series of performances from two different sources: Sergio the mime and the World Showcase Players. That's right--they're back! This troupe of players go around World Showcase to tell their butchered versions of classic tales from the countries they perform in. In the UK, they perform King Arthur & the Holy Grail, as well as A Christmas Carol during the holidays; they perform Cyrano de Bergerac in France, and here in Italy, they perform a very unique take on Romeo and Juliet.

Tucked away in the corner behind one of the shops is a stairway leading up to one of the upper levels of the buildings. This location is often used as a meet & greet location for Pinocchio and Geppetto. Speaking of Disney characters, the Lady and the Tramp topiary located here will be removed. They are not Italian characters. The back end of the Italian pavilion is reserved exclusively for some of the best restaurants in EPCOT. Guests come across a beautiful fountain area. Just past the fountain, to the left, is the Tutto Italia restaurant, which offers some of the best pasta, salad and Italian dishes. At the farthest back end of the Italy pavilion, guests will come across the Via Napoli pavilion. This restaurant is a great pizzeria, utilizing three different oven burners to create some of the finest dishes, transporting the flavors of Italy to their guests. The restaurant features a large sitting area, as well as a quaint outdoor seating location, offering wonderful views of the fireworks at nighttime. An extension to Via Napoli would give the pavilion its own counter-service restaurant. It would serve the same pizzas as its table-service counterpart, but give guests the opportunity to buy pizza by the slice.

Beyond all that, this pavilion will be expanded upon. I know it’s already a sufficient sized pavilion, but it has always seemed to be missing some of the grandeur of some of the other pavilions. I hope to fix that with this expansion. My ideas for an expansion are similar to the original Phase II proposal, beginning with -- at last -- a ride for the pavilion. what would Italy be without the iconic sounds of the gondolier? Now, at last, EPCOT's Italy gets that iconic sound in the form of Gondolas di Italia. Even though World Showcase is already heavy on boat rides, I think this idea is too good to pass up and there is something about gondolas themselves that would add extra allure to the attraction and make it somewhat unique. Based upon the original concepts for an Italian expansion, the ride begins with that yellow building we passed by earlier, which was meant to be the starting point for our cruise. It is here where we board our gondola. As we journey down along the rivers of Italy, a live gondolier will sing to us and tell us the history and stories of Italy as we glide along. We'll travel through scenes from some of Italy’s best-known cities, including Venice, Milan, Florence, Pisa, Rome, and Naples, and encounter some of the country’s most enduring landmarks. The ride will use miniatures and audio-animatronics to help bring Italy to life. It won't be an e-ticket, but it will certainly be educative, relaxing and entertaining.

After the ride, we're invited to explore ancient Roman ruins along the lines of what one would see today if walking through the Forum in Rome, built at the northern end of the pavilion. Paths would lead back to the main concourse of the pavilion. In addition to this new ride and ruins area, I'd build a little something called the Gelataria, a bakery that offers a wide assortment of sweet Italian gelato, as well as numerous pastries, such as biscotti, cannoli, and zeppole. This would be found near the ride's docking port and would help disguise the ride building.

As you can see, this picture was made before Via Napoli was built, but it still should help give you an idea of what I want to do here. Of course, the ride's path would have to be altered, and the location and set-up of the ruins would have to be adjusted as well, but I still believe that if this Phase II was to finally come to be, I think we'd have a real beautiful pavilion on our hands.

~ ~ ~

Another four pavilions down! What do you think, guys? It should be noted that my Greece pavilion was a combination of four distinct concepts -- @MANEATINGWREATH's Beastly Kingdom from his 2016 Dream Resort thread, the Greece pavilion concepts of @MonorailRed and @ScorpionX, as well as the Helios' Journey ride created for a tournament back in 2013 by @Voxel and @jdmdisney99. Their version was created for a potential Italy pavilion expansion, but I thought it would work better in Greece. Besides, the Greek gods and Roman gods are basically the same people with mostly different names.

Now, in our next post, we'll cover five more pavilions, and after that, we'll cover the final four pavilions of World Showcase, as well as the International Gateway. See you all then! Until then, if you have any feedback or comments, please feel free to share them. I really would like to hear what you guys think!
I'm honored that some of my past work has inspired this project! Great work!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I have to get this question off my chest; why did you move the rainforest from the South America room to Africa?
I've read that Africa also boasts rainforests of its own, and the animals in the rainforest scene are also native to Africa. The ride-through I pitched was inspired by a ride-through @MANEATINGWREATH posted in his 2016 Dream Resort thread, and the concept of the rainforest scene in Africa was his idea. I figured, given that the ride would need space for the new North American scene and the re-located Islands scene, the rainforest might as well go in Africa.

I'm honored that some of my past work has inspired this project! Great work!
Thank you very much!

~ ~ ~

Continuing on from Italy, we arrive at the heart of World Showcase, exactly symmetrical to where we first entered World Showcase. From across the vast World Showcase Lagoon, one could just make out the border-line buildings of Future World, the majestic Horizons building and the Spaceship Earth globe. This location is the home of the host pavilion of World Showcase, The American Adventure. When entering into The American Adventure, guests feel as though they are entering into the colonial era of American history. The buildings are adorned in brick layering, with white finishings. Oak trees planted about create a serene vista for the American pavilion. The pavilion is similar to the Liberty Square land over at the Magic Kingdom, as they share the same theme.

A beautiful plaza featuring lush fountains and beautiful gardens greets us as we enter. Orchestral arrangements of beloved Americana fill the air. At certain points throughout the day, the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps add a flavor of Revolutionary-era America to the pavilion. Every now and then, Mickey and his pals appear at the pavilion, dressed in their patriotic finest. Just across from the main plaza of the pavilion, guests will find the America Gardens Theater, which is host to several events such as the Eat to the Beat concert series during the Food and Wine Festival and the famous Candlelight Processional during the holiday season. Most of the time, the theater is specifically used solely for special event purposes. On the right-hand side of the America Gardens Theater, guests will be able to find what appears to be a landing dock, reminiscent of the earlier settlements of the pilgrims' arrival to America. The dock leads the way towards the Mayflower, the ship upon which the Pilgrims had sailed to reach America. The ship, while immobile, offers guests a great view of World Showcase, while including several interactive elements which guests can discover, similar to Disneyland's Sailing Ship Columbia. The plaza features two small food buildings. The first is Fife & Drum Tavern, featuring turkey legs, pretzels, popcorn and ice cream. On the other side of the plaza is the famed Funnel Cake Stand. The area also features a few small carts featuring merchandise.

I've always felt that the Liberty Inn is very mediocre, and not fitting for an American pavilion. While every other country has a sit down restaurant at the least, America just has a boring counter location that is not very good. Besides, burgers and fries don't really represent "America"...but they sure do represent the stereotype that we're fat and lazy. Furthermore, the restaurant layout is very flat, the least dimensional of all of World Showcase. Therefore, I have once again utilized an @Imagineerland concept that was too good not to use. What was once Liberty Inn has turned into the Colonial Marketplace, a kind of narrow street that leads back in the pavilion, based upon Elfreth's Alley in Philadelphia, the nation's oldest residential street. The counter service is divided up into multiple little shops with different menus and multiple themed dining rooms. I think this would add a lot of interest and culinary diversity to the pavilion. For example, there would be a New England section offering various seafood dishes, a Louisiana section featuring jambalaya and gumbo, a Southern BBQ section with ribs, grilled chicken, pulled pork, etc. and a Hawaiian section offering dishes with a tropical flare.

Furthermore, I would finally take the opportunity to bring a table-service experience to The American Adventure. For this, I'd pretty much occupy the space the toilets (the ones on the right-hand side of the pavilion, not the ones nearby Liberty Inn, which would be redesigned to match the Colonial Marketplace) currently have, and restore the original herb garden, as well. Situated among this herb garden is The President's Tavern. Here, guests would dine in an upscale, colonial-inspired dining room surrounded by antique furniture and paintings of the Founding Fathers; Guests will feel as though they are dining at Mount Vernon or Monticello. The menu would change each day of the week, highlighting a different regional cuisine each day. These changes would help make America a more complete pavilion and do greater justice to American culture and cuisine.

The plaza then proceeds to open up before a beautiful fountain, centering the pavilion, showcasing the main building, which overlooks all of World Showcase. The building's interior is very regal and colonial, set around a grand rotunda. Quotes from some of the most famous American innovators festoon the walls. Paintings around the room showcase the many different eras of American civilization. In a small side passage to the right, guests will find the National Treasures Exhibit, which features actual artifacts from previous historical figures, such as Martin Luther King, Will Rogers and Mark Twain. Heritage House Gifts, found within the building, features American-based merchandise, such as t-shirts from many different city, hats and colonial props and some of America's favorite candy treats. At certain times throughout the day, guests' ears are treated to the powerful sounds of EPCOT's premier a capella group, the Voices of Liberty. They perform underneath the building's rotunda, which amplifies their sound.

When the time is right, guests then proceed up a grand staircase through the Hall of Flags, featuring flags from all of the states of America. This staircase takes guests up to the upper level of the rotunda, which offers more breathtaking views of the rotunda. Further down the hall are the doors that serves as our entrance to a stately theater. On either side of the audience stand life-size statues of the "Spirits of Freedom," iconic statues that embody the ideals of individualism, innovation, independence and more. We'd best take our seats, because the curtain is about to go up on one of the most moving and influential attractions in all EPCOT -- and all Walt Disney World, for that matter.

The American Adventure unfolds the rich, weaving tapestry of our nation's history in a stirring and dramatic production featuring 35 Audio-Animatronics figures, digital rear-projection images on a 72-foot screen and stirring patriotic songs. Pivotal moments in history appear and disappear seamlessly through the use of a massive mobile device. Ten different sets are stored under the stage and are moved forward or backward on cue by this American technological marvel. Our hosts, Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain allow us witness to such landmark events as the landing of the Mayflower, the Boston Tea Party, the winter at Valley Forge, the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War and the Great Depression. A feat of entertainment, engineering and aesthetics, The American Adventure is a strong reminder that the "Golden Dream" of America is always there for anyone who wishes to have it come true. When the show ends, guests exit the theater -- and the building, for that matter -- via a long, carpeted ramp that leads down to the first floor of the building. There are areas where it levels off so the ramp isn’t too steep. The ramp leads right back out into the plaza of the pavilion.

As stated before, The American Adventure is the halfway point in our journey around World Showcase. We have eight more pavilions to enjoy here before we return to Showcase Plaza. Continuing down along the lagoon of World Showcase, guests will then come across the next pavilion: Japan. Guests find themselves in a beautiful city, designed to recreate the wonderful and beautiful setting of Japan. To the left, a tall building is located, where Matsuriza, a troupe of Taiko drummers, often showcase their drumming talent. Just beyond the building is a beautiful Japanese garden, featuring beautiful flowers, cascading waterfalls and real fish. Bridges lead across the garden at the summit of a small hill, where the Katsura Grill quick-service restaurant, as well as the new table-service restaurant, Takumi-Tei, is located. Katsura Grill is inspired to appear just as it would in Japan. It seems as though it is something out of an anime movie, which is essentially what the entire pavilion feels like. The restaurant also features a small outdoor sitting area on the other side of the restaurant. Takumi-Tei celebrates the relationship between Japanese craftsmanship and the natural world, while the food is inspired by the wonderful collaboration between nature and takumi, the artisan. The upscale dinner menu will highlight wagyu beef in a sublime setting, and guests interested in the ultimate experience will be able to indulge in a multi-course tasting menu featuring traditional tea service.

Across from this half of the Japan pavilion, across the main courtyard, guests will come across the Mitsukoshi building, a complete Japanese store, one of the biggest in EPCOT. These store features everything from kimonos, Japanese t-shirts, headdresses, jewelry, selections of bowls, bonsai plants, paper fans, lanterns and a great deal of Japanese wines, candies and other sweets. One could probably spend hours in this store, as there is so much to see. The store wraps around the complete right side of the pavilion, leading to the back and heading towards the front of the pavilion. At the exit of the gift shop, still in the main Mitsukoshi building, guests will then be able to find the Bijutsu-Kan Gallery. Located above the Mitsukoshi store are two restaurants that share the same building space: Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining. Teppan Edo is a teppanyaki-style restaurant. More commonly called a "Japanese steakhouse," the experience combines cooking and service into one fun performance. Tokyo Dining offers sushi, fish and maki.

Standing at the far back of the pavilion is an all-new addition: the hulking structure of Mount Fuji. One can argue that Disney already has enough mountain-themed roller-coasters, but each one has its own unique theming, details, and identity. I am envisioning this coaster to be along the lines of the Matterhorn at Disneyland or Big Thunder Mountain at Magic Kingdom in terms of both the ride experience and thrill level. Guests would travel both inside and outside the mountain from its base to the snowy summit, passing through caves, past waterfalls, and even narrowly escaping an avalanche. Another attraction located here is Bullet Train Pass. With this attraction, guests would feel as though they were entering into the car of a train only the windows would be replaced with high-definition screens that would display beautiful images of the Japanese countryside. Guests would travel past some of Japan’s amazing natural wonders, some of its most enduring landmarks, and into several of its best-known cities. The compartment itself would lurch and shake to simulate the feel of movement, but the experience would not have the same thrill level of other simulator attractions, such as Star Tours. With these two additions, the Japan pavilion would be able to offer something for everyone.

With Japan behind us, we move on to the next addition to World Showcase: India. To me, there’s just something so beautiful about this country, that I felt it definitely deserved a spot in the World Showcase roster. India is a country with plenty of qualities that would be wonderful to showcase through attractions, shows and food. India calls to mind the wonderful people and culture of its land, the exotic jungles and mountains of its landscape and its mysterious and beautiful animals.

We enter the India pavilion through a gate inspired by the the Mughal Red Fort in Delhi. Along the lagoon, much like the lighthouse that marks South Africa, is an ancient temple inspired by the Shore Complex of Bengal. The pavilion itself is dominated by a 5-story Hindu gopuram (monumental gateway tower), a replica of the one at Virupaksha, pictured above. Behind this gopuram is a step well descending deep into the earth. It's a very peaceful pavilion, yet at the same time, inviting and adventurous. The pavilion’s major gift shop is Cancala Ioga, selling Indian toys, books, games, film, and sundries. Another store is present nearby: Faridabad Fashions. This one sells Indian clothing, shoes, and perfumes. A band of Indian musicians strolls through these marketplaces, performing on traditional Indian instruments. In-between these two stores, tan walls, dim lighting and lanterns mark the Shaanti Coffee House. Befitting the name of the coffee house -- "Shaanti" being the Indian word for "peace" -- there's an air of relaxation here, inspired by Hinduist and Buddhist ways of life. The menu offers the finest of Indian coffee and all sorts of Indian desserts.

On the other side of the street, you'll find the pavilion's signature table-service restaurant, the Maharajah's Palace. Inside this opulent restaurant, you can dine like Indian royalty. The restaurant is designed gloriously, like the inside of an actual Indian palace. Large windows provide breathtaking views of the World Showcase Lagoon. Ancient Indian riches are prominently displayed. All in all, it's a breathtaking place to be inside. But what of the menu? Here at the Maharajah's Palace, you can feast on the finest Indian delicacies imaginable: Curry, chicken, naan, pork, hummus, and all other sorts of Indian food await your taste buds. Speaking of royalty, India is the place to go if you want to meet the gang from The Jungle Book: Mowgli, Baloo, King Louie and -- for the first time ever in a Disney park --
Shanti, the girl who Mowgli followed into the man-village.

The pavilion is dominated by the huge and hulking Rajput fort - a backdrop inspired by Gwalior and Amber Forts - built of yellow sandstone atop a rocky outcropping. Inside, an elaborate Omnimover dark ride in the style of Journey Into Imagination or World of Motion. You know, India is a country rich in folklore, from epic poems to religious icons to morality fables that would make The Twilight Zone blush. And that's where the book of Hitopadesha comes into play. Hitopadesha is a series of ancient Indian texts designed as common fables for both children and adults alike to gleam meaning from. The fables are separated into different themes such as losing and gaining friends, war and peace. It is in this tradition that The Four Fables casts its foundation. The Four Fables will bring life to the four themes of the Hitopadesha. These fables are a part of Indian culture that used anthropomorphic animals to tell their stories. Riding aboard hollowed-out logs, complete with vines draped over them, we will travel through the jungles of India to see how these four fables are illustrated through the eyes of the animals. Though at times, the journey may be treacherous, peace and friendship always triumph with each new day.

Also within this fort is a beautiful art gallery. It's a gorgeous hall made of "marble" (painted from a distance), as well as tile pedestals. Here, on the tile pedestals, guests will find authentic pieces of Indian art, and sculptures, each with an adjoining placard to explain the cultural significance in English and Hindi. Although the gallery is beautiful enough as is, it's actually the queue/holding area for a second attraction here in India: a show called Festival of Wonder, a celebration of the many wonders found in India. Utilizing live musicians, a team of dancers, CircleVision screens and many other wonderful surprises, Festival of Wonder would certainly be one of the most amusing aspects of EPCOT.

The sand bottoms of the Indian landscape soon gives way to the mystery and wonder of Morocco. Guests find themselves walking among the beautiful, ornately designed buildings of Morocco, with its' grand archways and beautiful architecture. Tall, turret-like building stretch into the sky. The place is somewhat designed to be similar to a maze, with several buildings revealing passageways, connecting location to location. Moroccan artisan's actually came from their country to EPCOT to match the pavilion detail to detail. Koutoubia Minaret, a replica of an ancient prayer temple, stands guard at the entrance of the pavilion. Just on the borders of the World Showcase Lagoon, guests will find Souk Al Magreb, a merchandise cart which features hand-crafted brass merchandise. Also on the border of the lagoon is the Spice Road Table, which offers small plates and an interesting wine list featuring bottles from throughout the Mediterranean region.

A fountain is located in the center courtyard of the pavilion. The fountain leads to the Medina, which stands for "Old City". Here, guests will find the Marketplace in the Medina, where guests can come across hand woven baskets, wallets, bags, hats and carpets. After passing through a small chamber, featuring a fountain, guests will find the Brass Bazaar attached to the Marketplace. The Brass Bazaar features decorative plates, pots, serving sets, wooden collectibles and even lamps. Pointed archway buildings and swirling patterns adorn the passageways from building to building, featuring wooden, plaster and tiled accents. The passageway leads towards the back of the Moroccan city, where guests will find an entryway into one of the buildings. Inside the building, a magic lamp, the same one seen in Aladdin, rests on a mantle. The room is filled with large, luxurious pillows. This is a common location for Aladdin, Jasmine and the Genie to host meet-and-greet appearances. The passageway then connects back to the Tangier Traders merchandise store, which is a complete clothing store, offering garments, woven belts, shoes and other styles of Moroccan clothing. The store is also attached to the Tangerine Cafe, which operates as a quick-service restaurant in Morocco, while also featuring a very nice dessert display, as well. Across from the Tangerine Cafe is the Gallery of Arts and History, a gallery showcasing how the unparalleled artistry and craftsmanship of Moroccan decorative arts are a visual representation of cultural identity. At the farthest back corner of the pavilion, guests will find Marrakesh, a nice sit-down restaurant, where guests feel as though they are completely surrounded by the feelings of Morocco through the flavor of their food, their customs and their fantastic hospitality service. A live band and belly-dancer are also on hand to entertain diners.

Also at the far back of the pavilion is a brand-new attraction. I thought it would be best, as a way of balancing the attractions in World Showcase, to have something that would appeal more to children and therefore looked at Moroccan folktales for inspiration. One of the most popular pieces of literature in the Arab world is One Thousand and One Nights, more commonly known as Arabian Nights. This is a collection of various stories and tales that, while they did not originate in Morocco, are reflective of the country's culture and history. It would be extremely tempting to put an Aladdin attraction in Morocco since it is one of the stories found in Arabian Nights, but I do not feel that World Showcase is the proper venue. But however, there's another story in the Arabian Nights that I'd use in its place. The hum of an ethereal flute beckons us to enter where inside we find the wonders of Sindbad's Storybook Voyage.

To the strains of the inspired hero's anthem, "Compass of Your Heart" (written by iconic Disney composer Alan Menken), the fantastic adventures of Sindbad and his trusted tiger cub Chandu are reborn. Hopping aboard a boat of our own, we follow Sindbad and Chandu as they explore the islands and continents of the Arabian Sea in search of adventure. Giant Rocs, beautiful mermaids, musical monkeys, and a one-eyed, singing cyclops are just a handful of the obstacles and friends encountered on our voyage thru fantasy and beyond. This attraction features a cast of hundreds of animatronic characters that tell the tale of Sindbad. Walt Disney envisioned Audio-Animatronics as a way to bring cartoon characters to three-dimensional life, and that vision has never been more fully realized than in Sindbad's Storybook Voyage. The characters are beautifully conceived, and appear as though they were taken right from the pages of a storybook. What really sets them apart though is their remarkably fluid animation. It is eerie how lifelike their movements are, and they really have to be seen to be believed. Sindbad is a curious choice of subject for a Disney theme park attraction given the fact that Disney has never produced a Sindbad movie. However, the designers have done a brilliant job of bringing the story to life even without a movie tie-in. This attraction is an absolute must see if you're visiting EPCOT.

Now, the expansion pad in-between Morocco and France has reduced in size ever since the Ratatouille ride was being built. So, if a new country were to be added on this pad, it would have to be a small country, perhaps an island country... With that, I welcome you to the tropical paradise that is Jamaica. Another area of the world that has yet to be touched upon here at World Showcase is the Caribbean, so I decided to add Jamaica to represent it. Many of the Caribbean countries originated from Spanish settlers like Puerto Rico and Cuba so their architecture, cuisine and culture would look similar if we were to add them to the Showcase. However, Jamaica embodies that island nation vibe and lifestyle perfectly as well as brings diversity in its history, cuisine and architecture. I can easily see something like in the picture below alongside the World Showcase Lagoon.

Marked by a replica of Lover's Leap Lighthouse, Jamaica is the tropical paradise we’ve all come to know and love. Reggae music fills the air as guests move through traditional bungalows. These bungalows serve as locations for many of the shops here, including Portmore Provisions and Mandeville Marketplace, both selling authentic Jamaican goods. Located right nearby the lighthouse is the Taino Spirit House, featuring traditional and contemporary art forms from around the Caribbean. Located in a tropical-colored building overlooking the bungalows is Restaurant Royale, serving Jamaican patties, chicken, and seafood, Nearby, located among the bungalows is the Banana Boat Café. Named after the iconic Harry Belafonte song, the Banana Boat serving Jamaican jerk chicken, beef, lamb sandwiches, salads, and desserts ... most of which involve bananas (and a drink of rum).

In a shaded alcove of the pavilion is a replica of one of Jamaica's most notable landmarks: Dunn's River Falls. In case you're unfamiliar, Dunn's River Falls are a notable landmark, and tourists can actually climb up the waterfalls. However, for guest safety, EPCOT's replica wouldn't allow that to happen. The only way you could climb up the Falls would be via stone staircases on either side.

At the far back of the pavilion is a replica of Rose Hall in Montego Bay. This is the home of The Heartbeat of Jamaica, a show that showcases the history and culture of this vibrant island nation. In a vibrant theater-in-the-round setting, the world of Jamaica is brought to life in a highly-emotional journey.

Here's how the pavilion would be structured.


~ ~ ~

What do you think, guys? Do you think these pavilions would work in EPCOT? By the way, I should give credit where it is due: My India pavilion was inspired by three sources: S.W. Wilson's concept for a new version of EPCOT, @ScorpionX's concept from the "Gemini Series" and the India created by Team Verde -- aka, @ctxak98, @DinoInstitute, @Magic Feather, @RMichael21, @Skipper2 and @TheOriginalTiki -- for The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Homecoming Edition. Likewise, most of Jamaica came from @ScorpionX as well, so all credit goes out to these wonderful people.

So, in the next post, we'll conclude our tour of World Showcase and then, we'll take a closer look at some of the new experiences coming to EPCOT. Until then, please feel free to post any comments or feedback you have! It's all very much appreciated!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Since we're so close to the end, we might as well end our world tour now. Shall we?

~ ~ ~

The Jamaican landscape soon gives way to the serene scene of France. The buildings here are reminiscent of a beautiful French city-scape during La Belle Époque ("The Beautiful Era"). A canal passes through France, much like the Seine. Upon entering into the pavilion, guests will come across a few carts, which sell delicious home-made French crepes, as well as some other delicious treats. The stone walls that barricade the World Showcase Lagoon showcase canvasses of French artistry and artwork. In this area, artists are located to draw portraits and silhouettes of guests. France features several kiosks that often punctuate the streets of Paris. The smell of a nearby bakery seems to run through the area. From behind the buildings at the back end of the courtyard, guests can see the grand Eiffel Tower, stretching high into the sky. The Eiffel Tower utilizes the technique of forced perspective to make it appear larger than it actually is.

To the left, the first building that guests will come across is the luxurious Les Chefs de France, which features some of the finest French cuisine that you could find in Florida. The restaurant establishes itself in a beautiful setting. Located above the restaurant is the even-more-luxurious Monsieur Paul. Named after one of the original chefs of Les Chefs de France, Paul Bocuse, the restaurant offers breathtaking French food, as crafted by Chef Brocuse himself. Entertainment is abound here at France. The famed Serveur Amusant balancing act continues to delight guests, while the World Showcase Players put on their own version of the classic French romance, Cyrano de Bergerac ... or should that be Cyra-nose de Bergerac?

Continuing up through the plaza towards the top of the pavilion, guests walk along a beauitful fountain, before arriving at the Arcade, a mall of different shops, including the Plume Et Palette, La Signature and L'Esprit de Provence. All of these shops offer wonderful French items that could only be found from within the country. At Plume Et Palette and La Signature, guests can be able to sample and purchase a display of numerous perfumes and colognes from the country. L'Esprit de Provence offers displays of dinnerware and kitchen accessories. On the opposite side of the string of shops is a small maze and a rose garden, a gazebo within being where the likes of Belle, Aurora and Cinderella -- all of whom have their tales rooted in French origins -- meet guests. If you wish to meet more Disney friends while in France, characters from The Hunchback of Notre Dame often meet along the riverbanks near the bridge leading towards the last half of World Showcase. Leading off from the plaza, there is a staircase descending down into a tiered landing--an ideal place to watch IllumiNations.

Back in the main courtyard of the pavilion, to the left, a small alleyway leads to the farthest back point of the pavilion. However, directly ahead, guests will find Impressions de France, which is showcased in the Palais du Cinema, a theater in which the guests can witness a break-taking eighteen minute film sequence about the beauty, landscape, foods and cultures of France. The film features beautiful estates, vineyards in harvest time, beautiful harbors, the French Alps and a view of the Eiffel Tower. The entire experience is enhanced by a wonderfully composed score of French classical music, as well as a 200 degree screen that wipes across the entire front and sides of the theater. The attraction exits out into the Souvenirs de France store, which features everything from Eiffel Tower statues and shirts to CDs and gifts themed to the artwork of several French artists. Just outside of the shop, to the right, guests will find the Boulangerie Patisserie, a wonderful bakery in the pavilion, located amongst the other themed buildings in the Paris city. The bakery features delectable treats, some of them include turnovers, parfaits, sandwiches and pot pies, amongst other things. There is a quaint small sitting area just outside of the bakery. Just across from the bakery is Les Vins de France, a wonderful wine shop, where guests can hold their own wine tasting. The alleyway proceeds to lead further down, back into the main plaza of France.

A pathway leads past the garden and towards a newly-discovered corner of France. It is here in this courtyard that we can see the sights, sounds and smells of Paris from a different point of view. Remy's Ratouille Adventure is a trackless LPS dark ride based upon the 2007 Pixar film. It's a wild adventure through the kitchens of Paris alongside Remy as he hunts for the perfect ingredients… and startles a few patrons along the way. The breathtaking dark ride -- based on the attraction at Walt Disney Studios in Paris -- is a new classic through-and-through, and a perfect ride for the whole family. Of course, once you’re through cooking with Remy, you might as well share the spoils! You’ll disembark with an exclusive view into the regal Gusteau's Bistro where fine dining awaits.

Continuing on from the France pavilion, guests cross a bridge, leading over World Showcase Lagoon and proceeding out of the France pavilion. Here, guests enter the International Gateway. While the International Gateway is not an actual "land" in the park, it still does serve some vital purpose. This serves as a "second entrance"--or a "back door", if you will--for EPCOT. The International Gateway is connected to the nearby EPCOT area resorts: the Boardwalk Inn, the Swan & Dolphin Resorts and the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. This also serves as the entrance/exit point if you're coming to/from Disney's Hollywood Studios. FriendShip boat service is available for these locations, and this is also the place where the new Walt Disney World Skyliner drops you off. The Skyliner services Disney's Hollywood Studios, the Caribbean Beach Resort, the Riviera Resort, the Art of Animation Resort and the Pop Century Resort. Just like at the main entrance to EPCOT, admission tickets can be purchased at International Gateway from one of the two ticket booths. Lines are rarely long here.

Near the ticket booths are large, seldom crowded restrooms. Just beyond the ticket booths are bag check and then the turnstiles leading into World Showcase. The turnstile hours of operation at International Gateway are the same as those located at the main entrance. Once inside the park, strollers, wheelchairs, and a limited number of ECV's are available for rent. Guide maps and Times Guides are also found in this area. In addition, a small number of lockers can be rented here. To the left, guests will come across the World Traveler store, which feature EPCOT and World Showcase merchandise. Plus, for all you character-hunters out there, the International Gateway is a perfect place to see some rare Disney friends. Much like what occurs in Showcase Plaza, various Disney characters come out at certain times of the day for photos and autographs.

Moving on, guests will arrive at the entrance to the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom takes guests to the beautiful city-scape of a London square and then to the edge of a canal on a rural countryside, all within the realm of a contained bustling city street. The streets are framed by London buildings, which perfectly capture the elegance and charm of England. The buildings receive their architectural styles from English Tudor, Georgian and English Victorian style characteristics. While there is no major attraction in the pavilion, it does feature nearly half a dozen shops and a pub that serves a fantastic selection of beers.

As soon as you enter the pavilion, a thatched roof cottage will be just on the left, amidst the other English buildings in the area. Inside of the cottage which was inspired by the home of Anne Hathaway, William Shakespeare's wife, guests will find The Tea Caddy. The cottage features a fireplace, amongst the beams. The shop stocks a wide variety of English teas, teapots, china and biscuits. Characters like Alice, Winnie the Pooh, Robin Hood and Peter Pan often meet guests in the gardens nearby. Just next to the Tea Caddy is The Queen's Table, which offers a wonderful display of perfumes, soaps and other fragrances. The pathway then empties out into the Rose and Crown Pub, which is a fantastic restaurant that serves wonderful England-inspired dishes. The restaurant also operates at a basic pub, which serves some great alcoholic drinks. To the side of the restaurant, the Yorkshire Country Fish Shop quick-service location serves a limited list of items from the Rose and Crown. Just before the restaurant, guests will find a pair of faux telephone booths, identical to those that could be found around the United Kingdom. The main plaza is home to a series of great entertainment--the aforementioned World Showcase Players bring a twisted tale of Camelot to life in King Arthur and the Holy Grail and the musicians at the Rose & Crown always make "happy hour" even more happier. Connecting back into the main plaza of the English town, guests will then come across The Crown and Crest. The exterior of the shop is beautiful, almost like something out of the days of King Arthur. The store is adorned with bright banners, a fireplace and gallant crossed swords, depicting a fanciful scene in the store. Here, guests can purchase mugs, limited chess sets, stamp sets and even their family coat of arms. Through a small passage, guests will come across the Sportsman Shoppe. This store features clothing wear and accessories that are centered around British local events, from Wimbledon tennis attire, to golfing accessories and Rugby shirts. At the back end of the pavilion, guests will find one last store, the Toy Soldier, which features a nice selection of British toys, as rather as an extensive gift selection from Winnie the Pooh and the gang from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Now let's discuss the biggest change I'd make to the United Kingdom pavilion. The gardens at the rear of the pavilion would be removed to make way for what I consider one of the greatest concepts I've seen on this forums. It's based on a universally-beloved -- and severely under-used -- Disney IP; but one that has its roots firmly set in British culture. "Wind's in the East ... mist coming in ... like something is brewin', about to begin..."

Mary Poppins got its start as a series of children’s books written by English author P.L. Travers; and Walt Disney turned those stories into a movie in 1964. The movie to this day continues to be one of the most beloved of all Disney movies and features an assortment of memorable songs written by the venerable Sherman Brothers. Its combination of music, fantasy, and beautiful scenery make it the perfect candidate for a dark-ride style attraction, something that the United Kingdom pavilion desperately needs. And fortunately, @kap91 has created a dark ride concept unlike any other: Mary Poppins' Jolly Holiday!

Hopping aboard a vehicle designed to look like Mary Poppins' umbrella, we set off for the world only seen inside Bert's chalk drawings on an unforgettable, musical holiday through the peculiar world of P.L. Travers. In this curious world, we encounter dancing penguins, singing farm animals, nonsensical vocabulary, and even get involved in a horse-race! And if you want to read more about this concept -- and trust me, you do -- then check out this link. Of course, Mary Poppins herself greets guests here in this pavilion, often joined by Bert.

Now, heading over towards Canada, you'll notice the area formerly occupied by the Millennium Village has been razed for the sixteenth country -- and sixth and final new addition to World Showcase. We have arrived in the sand-swept ruins of the great deserts of Egypt. This new pavilion will be centered by a grand pyramid, which dominates over the rest of the pavilion. Sand floors are sketched into the pavement of the pavilion. A wooden bridge is suspended over the land, as a part of the World Showcase Lagoon runs throughout the Egyptian sands, simulating a serene Nile River, as tall strings of grass appear from the waterbeds of the river. In the center of the pavilion, guests will find the Egyptian Marketplace, which is a bustling metropolis of activity. The Marketplace features several stores and the Cairo Cafe quick-service restaurant, which offers a splendid selection of Egyptian-style foods. Egyptian cuisine is know for its kebabs, meat and vegetables that are grilled on skewers. The concept for this restaurant would be that diners walk through an area designed to look like a market and select different types of meat, vegetables, spices, and sauces they want on their kebabs. Diners then take their ingredients to a large open fire pit where a chef will place the ingredients they have chosen onto a skewer and they can watch as the kebabs are prepared over the open fire.

There's also the Market Bakery, featuring a large selection of breads, which form the backbone of Egyptian cuisine, as well as numerous Egyptian pastries. The bakery would offer a variety of different sandwiches and guests would have the opportunity to select which type of bread on which they would like to have their sandwich. Within the Marketplace, the Cairo Jewelers store is located, featuring a great supply of wonderful jewelry and fragrance items. Attached to Cairo Jewelers is the Ancient Artifacts store, which sells all different sorts of material and merchandise from Egypt, including clothing, wooden sculptures, ancient tablets and incenses.

From here, the guests are then led along a sand road, adorned with ancient columns, destroyed after years and years of decay. The stone columns line the way to an exact replica of the Great Sphinx; and the grand and recognizable shape of the Great Pyramid of Giza; where Secrets of the Pyramid is located. This is an EMV attraction that takes guests through the Pyramid of Giza to gather the knowledge of the facts and myths of the worlds of Egypt and more-so, what lies beneath the the deepest chambers of this sacred pyramid. While the promise of a pyramid-based E-ticket seems like the chance for horror to pop up, this is not a scary attraction. There are no zombies or demons chasing after the guests, much opposed to Universal's Revenge of the Mummy attraction. Instead, this adventure offers guests a once in a life-time journey to explore the secrets of a pyramid, lost to the world for hundreds of years. It's more like an Egyptian-based Indiana Jones. Although there are no zombies, our exit from the pyramid does set off a booby trap or two, so we must escape quickly! The inside of the pyramid also features King Tut's, a sit-down restaurant inside one of the lavish treasure chambers of the pyramid.

All right, folks, this is it. We have reached the final country in all of World Showcase, which connects back to the entry point to Future World. Welcome to Canada. This pavilion celebrates the United States' neighbor to the north. The country features a rocky landscape, leading past a set of totem poles. Arriving just beyond, at the top of a wooden staircase leading to the upper section of the pavilion, guests will be able to find Northwest Mercantile and La Boutique des Provinces. Northwest Mercantile features Canadian apparel, as well as plush toys, lanterns, maple syrup and other Canadian-themed collectibles. La Boutique des Provinces is located inside of Hotel du Canada, a large recreation of the Canadian hotel, and features items crafted by Canadian artists. Down the steps and leading to the right, guests will find a small pathway, wrapping down a lovely garden area, right beside a babbling brook and a cascading waterfall. Here, guests are then brought to Le Cellier Steakhouse, one of the finest steakhouses in Florida. The restaurant features great entrees, a relaxing atmosphere and a great selection of desserts. However, because this restaurant is one of the most popular in all of the resort, landing a specific reservation here can be somewhat tedious. As such, I'd build Le Café du Matin Soleil, a counter-service restaurant that would serve a couple of Le Cellier's most popular dishes--including the cheddar cheese soup--as well things like Newfoundland cold plates and various Canadian pastries. I would also re-open the Beaver Tail stand, bringing back a classic EPCOT snack.

Just north of Le Cellier Steakhouse, guests will walk along the rushing waterfalls of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The mountainous range stretch a vast way, leading guests to the farthest point of the pavilion, where they are then brought to O Canada!, an eighteen minute Circle-Vision presentation. However, the current film has been removed and replaced with an all-new film, which also utilizes the new "seamless" Circle-Vision technology. Despite the new form of film, the basic plot of O Canada! will remain the same: a journey through the splendor that is Canada, from prairies and plains, shorelines and rivers and untouched snowfields. The film takes guests along a journey through many of Canada's cities, such as Montreal and Quebec, before ending the presentation with a trip by Niagara Falls and a song simply called "Canada (You're a Lifetime Journey)." The film is, as columnist Jack Lakey put it, "urbane, amusing, reflective of our culture and sophistication, and breathtaking, too, like Canada itself." As it stands now, when looking at the Canada pavilion from across the water, the view of the pavilion is dominated by the show building for Soarin’ in the background. I'd build additional rockwork and trees to hide this intrusion. From here, the pathway connects back to the center point of World Showcase and Future World.

Well, that concludes our tour of World Showcase. We've added an attraction (or two) to the pavilions, and added six new ones to the roster. World Showcase is now home of 17 countries, filling in all the expansion pads. All of these changes that I have envisioned for World Showcase would help make this area of the park more than just a place for shopping and dining. Guests would now have an assortment of attractions to choose from, attractions that would range from mild to thrilling and offer something for everyone in the family. All the while, each of these attractions would still serve to present a view of the country it represents. Overall, my plan for World Showcase would help solidify its purpose of educating and informing guests about the various countries’ cultures, histories, traditions, and people.

~ ~ ~

When the afternoon comes, the streets of World Showcase come alive with the return of Tapestry of Nations. Tapestry of Nations, created for the Millennium Celebration, is a celebration of the human spirit in the form of a processional. It is a story of unity told and led by the Sage of Time, a wise grandfatherly figure. He reminds us that years ago, humans lived in peace and harmony with one another and with the Earth. But as time passed, humans strove to rule the Earth and to rule over each other. Today, while there are still disputes and power struggles, humans are realizing that life is not about what country you can conquer and which people you can persecute. We are realizing that it is acceptable to be different. We are learning from each other improving our lives and our societies. Each one of us is a single thread. As we realize we are all a part of one human family, we join together to celebrate our differences, our similarities, and our accomplishments hand in hand. Our threads weave themselves together forming a tapestry of one human family. We are many nations and we are many people, but within each one of us we all have the same threads of joy, kindness, compassion, and love which weave together to form our human spirit. Each of us and our ethnic, cultural differences are represented by the different groups of puppets. Within each group, each puppet is different. Tapestry of Nations shows us how we can embrace each other and celebrate life together as the puppets dance together along with us, the human audience, which is invited to interact with the puppets to the heartbeat of drums. The procession will be pretty much unchanged. The parade will make two runs throughout the day: one in the afternoon, and one in the evening, just before IllumiNations.

The newest chapter in the IllumiNations saga is IllumiNations: An International Songbook, a show which celebrates how Disney music inspires people around the world. I will admit, as soon as I heard this concept, my mind was reminded of Disney's International Songbook, a show that used to play at the America Gardens Theater. In that show, which you can see in the link, Mickey and the gang would visit characters from the various World Showcase pavilions, who would sing songs from their film in their country's respective language. For example, Belle sang in French, Pinocchio sang in Italian and Snow White sang in German. The only major English-speaking act -- apart from the wrap-around segments with Mickey and the gang -- was Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, who, of course, were based in England. I have no doubt that this show will follow a similar concept. From the concept art, I can imagine we'll hear songs from Coco being sung in Spanish, Hercules singing in Greek and Moana singing either in Hawaiian or in Tokelauan (the language primarily used in "We Know the Way"). In addition, the show features massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers.

~ ~ ~
And with that, our tour of World Showcase is complete! Now, I will admit, there aren't many rides I'd like to go over individually here in EPCOT. So, expect a lesser load than that we got in the Magic Kingdom. As I said a few posts back, Spaceship Earth will likely wait till after D23, so we'll hold off on that for now. But, our first EPCOT ride-through will involve space in some way... stay tuned. Until then, please feel free to post any comments or feedback you have, and I'll see you in the next post!
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Let's get started with the first ride-through for EPCOT. This is going to be a brief one, so I may do two in one night. Besides, I really want to get started with Disney's Hollywood Studios, so I may do two tonight and finish up tomorrow.

~ ~ ~

Mission: SPACE -- Orange Flight

As part of this newly-redesigned Mission: SPACE, the soon-to-be-outdated Orange Flight film will be replaced with a film that is more, shall we say, "timeless." As stated in the initial post regarding the ride, this new Mission: SPACE takes place in a future where space travel is common travel for us Earth-dwellers. The International Space Training Center has turned into the Cosmos Space Center, a hub for any and all space-based activities, including the delivery of goods to other space stations. In this hypothetical future, man has finally started colonizing Mars. Cosmos is sending us up into a spaceship to deliver goods to their base camp on the Red Planet. Compared to the incredibly intense original flight, this new flight is more akin to Star Tours, more accessible for the whole family.

Upon blasting off from the Cosmos launch pad, you detach supplies, supplies which are to be delivered to the CSC base camp on the planet itself, from a revolving CSC satellite around Mars. Your Engineer presses the button and the supplies come parachuting down to the surface of Mars. Your Pilot then engages the manual control and pushes the vehicle forward towards the supplies. The Navigator redirects the pilot if he/she gets lost or isn't participating on the mission, however if all else fails, the cabin can switch to automatic control for the duration of the mission - but it is more fun to use the controls, as the controls are indeed manual and you can roam around the surface of Mars. The only thing that is automated in that case is if you veer too far off track, the automation will kick in and lead you to the direction you're supposed to be in at the certain time for the attraction narrative to proceed.

Anyways, you pick up the supplies which are drilling equipment for your mission to drill for water on the planet. The first part of the attraction is very slow paced, enjoying the scenery of the Red Planet, and a calming narration telling you of all the things that we have discovered on the planet itself. NASA research and Disney would collaborate for this project to ensure the most up to date information.

The second half of the attraction is more thrilling however. You cross over into the mountainous terrain when suddenly there is a shaking of the ground. The Commander presses the button to upload the shields, but as everyone sees in the distance, a massive dust storm is approaching and you need to find shelter. Being too far away from your base camp, you press the ignition on the rover and press forward at a faster pace, turning and twisting around. There is a nitrous button in which the pilot presses that jolts the vehicle upwards and over a cliff, onto the other side and further away from the oncoming storm.

The mountains become more and more treacherous.

The dust begins to swell around the vehicle. In the distance, a massive dust storm now swells in front of you, completely encapsulating the vehicles and creating an intense shaking of the pod. The pilot races off into a canyon and soars down to avoid the massive dust swell. Fortunately, you survive to live another day, manage to get the task done, and head back to the Cosmos base camp, thankfully situated far away from the storm.

At the base camp, your capcom tells you that while there is beauty and charm on the Red Planet, it is a hostile environment which should not be underestimated. Safe and sound, you disembark from your spaceship and head off for the official Cosmos Space Station.

~ ~ ~

What do you think, guys? By the way, it should be noted that this concept was devised by @spacemt354 and @MonorailRed for the Around the World in 30 Days thread, so all credit goes out to the two of them! The former also inspired our next ride-through, which will come by later tonight. Until then, feel free to post any and all feedback and I'll see you in the next post!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And now, here's the second ride we'll focus on here at EPCOT. Truth be told, this will also be the last Future World ride we'll cover until D23. I plan to cover Spaceship Earth once D23 comes and goes. If they talk about Spaceship Earth then, my ride-through will focus on what they say. If not, I'll just post how I think the ride should go.

With that said, let's take a ride that, borrowing a Pixar-based tagline, is "an epic of miniature proportions..."

~ ~ ~


A modern-day spiritual successor to Body Wars, Intracellular at the new World of the Body pavilion is a unique hybrid of a dark ride and a roller coaster, sending guests on a thrilling adventure into the human body to help restore a broken mitochondria before the effects of programmed cell death occur. It's a race against time, and time is limited enough as is! Let's not waste any more of it, and dive right in!

Upon your arrival to the UAG lab, you notice histology slides and X-rays lined up along the research hallway. Inside the open doors, you can see research tables, lab equipment, PPE, and other items lined up in an organized fashion inside. Plaques along the walls note UAG's predecessor -- MET, and their success with miniaturization. The article goes on to say that MET became extraordinarily famous for their expeditions into the human body - even for a simple splinter, and moved on to a bigger lab and a bright future. Nevertheless, the triumph of MET gave other science communities the knowledge and fortitude to use the miniaturization technology to more easily study and cure diseases on a microscopic level. However, the process is just beginning...

You approach the boarding dock and are given a pre-expedition conference call via webcam with a board of doctors and researches of UAG Labs about the mission and what it entails for you and the lab as a whole. Dr. Gates, head of the UAG Labs, welcomes you and thanks you for taking this noble expedition to cure one of their patients. He continues, describing your journey within as a diagram depicts in visuals the part of the body as he narrates over it.

DR. GATES: The mission is to travel to the mitochondrion -- often referred to as the "power plant of the cell." It serves a vital role in several important metabolic processes and functions that would take too long to describe in full. The essentials that you need to know for this mission are that the mitochondrion consists of two layers, an inner and an outer membrane. The outer membrane serves as a barrier between the cytosol and the inner environment. The inner membrane, identified by the numerous infoldings known as cristae, contains the molecules and enzymes necessary for the electron transport chain and the pumping of protons from the mitochondrial matrix to the intermembrane space establishes the proton motive force, imperative for ATP synthase to generate ATP during oxidative phosphorylation. (He takes a breath and jokingly smiles at the complexity of the situation.) Essentially...without a working mitochondria, human life cannot survive. The cell most likely will kick-start a process known as apoptosis, otherwise known as programmed cell death. We need to get to the mitochondria and fix it before the apoptosis kick starts and it begins a chain reaction in the body.

(The screen rotates to the almost needle-like cruiser that you will be traveling in.) We've coated your transporter with histamine, a natural chemical in the body, so that the patient's immune system doesn't react and attack you as a foreign object entering the body...ha-ha, wouldn't want that to happen! It'd be all out war. What will happen is you'll dive down through the epidermis, through the layers of skin to the subcutaneous level - where you will pick up an artery and travel with it to heart - where you will dive into the 3 disrupted cardiac muscle cells of the patient. Want to know why and how your heart pumps? Well, it's due to the mitochondrial power of the cardiac muscle cells. Using the ATP, they generate to pump blood throughout the circulation and keep you alive. So you can see how critical this is for the patient's survival. Fixing these cardiac cells will ensure a safe and healthy life - and there's no time to waste...so let's get to the boarding procedures - thank you for your bravery and for taking this incredible journey within ...with us. Good luck team!

The monitor pans to the boarding procedure instructor.

INSTRUCTOR: When the doors to your vehicles open, take a seat and pull up the restraint until it locks in place. Those who are prone to motion sickness, head, back or neck problems, should bypass this experience due to the turbulence, drops, turns, and stops we may encounter. Best of luck, UAG team, on your mission!

With that, the doors open and we step in to the loading area. Our ride vehicle sits before us: A 16 row (8 car) roller coaster type vehicle - with 2 seats per row in the shape of a probe before it is miniaturized into the body. You must be 44" to ride this attraction. As you prepare to board you can hear on the loudspeaker and radio conference calls, the doctors and nurses taking the patients vitals and doing pre-probe checks before the procedure. On the second floor of the loading area - you can see a room with Audio-Animatronic doctors -- Dr. Wise, Dr. Stevens, Dr. Brown -- and engineers -- Jenkins, Wilson and Perry -- in the "control room" with Dr. Gates leading the team. The team of doctors will periodically narrate via on-board audio and assist your journey within throughout the attraction. As you are standing on the loading platform, faint ominous music slowly begins to swell.

The control room of doctors and engineers controlling your probe take vitals of the patient you are going to help as you proceed to dock in the shrinking bay.

DR. STEVENS: Heart rate steady at 61 beats per minute.

DR. BROWN: Blood pressure 90/40 - little low.

DR. GATES: That's because we need to get this procedure done quickly and efficiently. Dr. Wise, can you read me the O2 stat?

DR. WISE: 92%.

DR. GATES: Losing saturated O2. Probe team, how are we looking?

JENKINS: Manuel nodules in tact.

WILSON: Meningeal Artery clear for passage upon miniaturization.

PERRY: Cochlea Nerve undamaged - no sign of precaution necessary.

JENKINS: Looking good, ready for the miniaturization round.

The ride vehicle itself begins to shake - the electronic and mechanical walls around you begin to rumble, You feel a sense of fear and adrenaline all at the same time as you are docked ready to take that incredible journey within. The engineers continue to take pre-shrink tests on your vehicle.

WILSON: Size barrier.


PERRY: Motion activation.


A loud screech is heard underneath the vehicle.

WILSON: Manual control.

JENKINS: Authorized. Proceed towards miniaturization?

DR. GATES: Approved.

JENKINS: Here we go...

Colors and distortions surround your vehicle - a swirling vortex appears in the gate in front of you. Your ride vehicle is released from its stationary position and glides towards the vortex in front of you. As it begins to get larger and larger light flashes appear around you - the music swells to an extremely hit pitch and holds the note as your vehicle is shrunk down to the sub-atomic level. Visual stimuli and lights surround the vehicle before the fogginess and disorientation of the lighting simmers and you realize that you're under the skin of the human body...

The vehicle then appears directly below the skin in the epidermal layer - the stratum corneum to be specific, and then begins to trek through the different layers of skin. An on-board controller from the lab narrates your dive, along with the doctors and engineers in the control room.

CONTROLLER: Through the stratum lucidum, granulosum, spinosum, basale...into the dermis.

DR. GATES: Oh there's a nice Langerhans Cell!

DR. WISE: No time for a field trip, doctor. We have to keep descending.

CONTROLLER: Through the papillary dermis...into the reticular dermis.

DR. STEVENS: Almost there...we got a clock on this?

DR. BROWN: 30 seconds and counting.

The scenery around you becomes more condensed and veiny, as you approach the layer that you want. A nerdy science eye can see the cytoplasmic processes appear on the right hand side - as several dendrite cells, Langerhans cells, and keratinocytes continuously prowl the dermis for microorganisms - to engage them and protect the body in the process. The vehicles turn individually to the right so that you can get a closer look at the inner workings of the dermis layer of skin as you continue to glide down the various layers, getting deeper and deeper so you can pick up an antery.

DR. WISE: There...into the subcutaneous level!

DR. GATES: Perfect, let's catch the axillary artery and get to that heart!

JENKINS: Engaging in the axillary artery - now.

The transition of the scene then goes through a red artery and into the new scene, which is a 360 degree large artery with red blood cells seemingly traveling up it with the arterial flow.

DR. GATES: Alright team, we ride this to the heart and....

Suddenly, turbulence rocks through the room and shakes our vehicle!

Sir, we are coming up on some white blood cells from behind!

DR. GATES: Ah, they are probably going to the sedative we gave the patient, shouldn't be too harmful.

More turbulence!

DR. BROWN: Dr. Gates, it's not only white blood cells, it's macrophages, neutrophils...the entire immune system army is tracking us!

There's a pause...and it's silence...so silent you can hear the heart rate monitor outside of the patient, and the on-board timer ticking as well...as you wait for the Doctor's response.

It's not us...it's not the meds.

JENKINS: Brace for impact!

DR. GATES: Impact? How much danger are these people in?

DR. BROWN: Doctor, they are multiplying -- all sorts of antibodies.

DR. WISE: There's a virus in here! How did we not see this?

Oh my gosh! We need to get these people out of there.

Sirens go off!

DR. STEVENS: Doctor, all sorts of antigen binding complexes are coming - we aren't going to be able to contain it - B-lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes, all through compliment activation

DR. BROWN: Everything but the kitchen sink is being thrown at this thing!

DR. GATES: Oh, no...

As you round the edge of the artery and curve into the heart, you see a massive virus army attached to cells in front of you, and behind you, an army of the patient's immune system is forming to fight it.

DR. GATES: Get them out of there, now!

JENKINS: Go! Go! Go!

WILSON: Tracking new course... We need to get to a new flow. The current is too strong.

DR. GATES: What about the lungs? They're close by.

PERRY: It's their only hope!

The giant immune system battle continues and you dive out of the way - hundreds if not thousands of immune cells taking on the bacteria that had infected the patient - at an inopportune time for you and the crew. You glide out of the artery and fall into the lungs...the lungs, breathing back and forth, make the vehicle rock to the left and right to the motion of the breathing.

DR. GATES: How do we get them out?

JENKINS: Use the booster engines!

DR. WISE: But that might damage the bronchioles and alveoli.

DR. STEVENS: Be careful, we need to get those people out of there!

Around you are sacs of alveoli - large in comparison to the size of you, but one of the smallest aspects of the lungs. The cool special effect here is that you can feel the wind of the gas exchange occurring in the alveoli before you rocket out of the lungs and into a new artery and away from trouble.

WILSON: Gotta get this angle right.

PERRY: Locking on to the intracostal capillary - now!

JENKINS: This will take us to the aorta! Go, go!

You then proceed up an incline up a new escape route and make your way up to the heart.

Silence... A calming aura surrounds your vehicle as you go up an incline at a slow pace. the noise of the incline is unheard as you just hear the arterial walls moving the blood vessels along. Your command center comes back online to break the silence.

DR. GATES: Ok folks, we are in the aorta now the superhighway for red blood cells entering the heart, one of the most powerful arteries in the body. We should be safe.

The relief can be felt throughout the probe. You continue to climb in the aorta - at a narrow incline, but enough to feel the force of going up - and you see the blood cells traveling next to you.

JENKINS: Locking onto the cardiac cells.

DR. GATES: Excellent - can you power up the ATP extract for the Mito?

JENKINS: Powering up.

Screech! Your vehicle comes to a stop at the top of the incline.

DR. GATES: What was that?

DR. WISE: Not again...

DR. GATES: What is it now?

DR. BROWN: Have we hit plaque in the artery?

DR. WISE: It appears to be that way, let me just make sur-

As the control room is trying to figure out how to get out of the plaque, you vehicle begins to crest over the incline.

DR. STEVENS: Oh gosh - it's redirecting you, can we override this?

DR. WISE: Working on it.

DR. GATES: There's no time, they are already going down the wrong path!

Your vehicle makes a right turn and then begins the roller coaster portion of the attraction. The music swells up. After taking a dive to the right, you soar down a vein and towards the internal organs of the body.

PERRY: Rotation at 5 inches per second.

DR. WISE: They are swirling down to the Spleen!

DR. STEVENS: In the trabecular artery!

DR. GATES: Hang on, folks.

You glide around the trabecular artery and into the red pulp of the spleen. You pass through the central artery and into the radial artery - the swirling vessels surrounding you as you begin a sharp turn down into the open circulation and into the liver.

In the liver, you soar around the portal triad of the bile duct, hepatic portal vein and hepatic portal artery, you race around the sinusoids and continue to a lymph node where you are picked up at the hilum and glide your way to the medulla and the medullary sinus.

DR. WISE: They are in the lymph node, doctor.

DR. GATES: Is there anything close by? Try and guide them towards the stomach. If we can bypass that, we can hit the central nervous system. That's the only way we can get them to the heart before they run out of fuel.

DR. BROWN: Locking onto the stomach.

You then burst out of the lymph node and out the efferent lymphatic vessel, towards the gastric pit of the stomach.

DR. STEVENS: Phew, just missed it.

DR. GATES: Look at all that bile. Wouldn't want to be down there in the stomach acid!

DR. WISE: We're near the spine, doctor.

DR. GATES: Give it all you got!

The vehicles pause and prepare for the neuron in the CNS to fire.

DR. GATES: Hang on!

You rocket from 0-35 in 2.3 seconds and fly forward through the nervous system and directly into the heart, where the brakes are pumped and you slow down on the approach.

In the grand finale scene - a giant 30-foot animatronic heart is beating at a steady pace in front of you as you circle around and see the damaged cells. Another transition and you enter the intracellular cardiac cells and see the inactive mitochondria!

DR. GATES: There it is. Apply the ATP!

The doctors make the proper adjustments and fire in the ATP to purify the mitochondria and jump-start it to get it working again.

DR. GATES: Mission successful. Let's get you out of there!

You ride the beat of the heart out and into the artery, out and back through the layers of skin...you see a blinding white light and some colors around you as you burst out and back into the research lab.

DR. GATES: Wow, you made it! Fantastic work, team. That was more than we thought, but you pulled through and helped to save this body. You can never underestimate the human body, but you can also never underestimate human willpower. Thank you for your courage today on this mission.

After disembarking from the probe, you proceed out of the unload area and back into the lobby atrium where there is a memorabilia stand and clothing section with themed shirts, magnets, pins, and more themed to Intracellular.

~ ~ ~

Now, that was exciting! I will admit, this is an incredible idea, and I have to thank @spacemt354 for providing it. As soon as I read through it, I knew I wanted to make it a part of my ideal EPCOT. Now, regarding World Showcase, there are only two rides I want to take a closer look at, and they just so happen to both be part of the same pavilion. We'll take a closer look at those rides in the next post, so until then, if you have any feedback, please feel free to post it, because it is all very much appreciated!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Let's finish our brief time with EPCOT ride-throughs with the two attractions of the India pavilion at World Showcase.

~ ~ ~

The Four Fables

After briefly winding through an outdoor overflow queue, guests find themselves in the middle of the mighty fort in which the ride is held. Weaving through the three main rooms of the queue, guests see large scrolls that act as tableaux illustrating the style of story we'll be encountering along the way. Because there are 9-13 different stories in each "book" of the Hitopadesha and only two scenes in the ride per book, the rest will be illustrated through these scrolls to give guests an insight into the grander spectrum of these fables. The illustrations will be done in a style similar to Mary Blair's iconic "little golden book" series where the paintings will be on golden scrolls and the animals represented in the paintings will be done up in the traditional Blair style using her classic eye popping primary colors. As we wind through the queue traditional Indian meditation music will play throughout to further draw guests into the mood of the attractions.

The load will be a very simple dock, with an elaborate mural in the style of Living with the Land's load mural, depicting the animals of the Indian jungle. Our ride vehicles are Omnimover vehicles in the style of Journey Into Imagination or World of Motion; only here, they are designed to resemble hollowed-out logs, complete with vines and other greenery draped over them.

The first of four books in the ride we travel through is "How to Gain a Friend" with the two fables being encountered here clear parallels for the power of friendship. The first scene depicts a snow storm and an anthropomorphic tiger and lion making their way up the side of a mountain. The lion is the "Traveler" in this story, unaccustomed to the harsh terrains of the snowy mountain that the tiger has lived in his whole life. We see the camaraderie between traveler and native as Tiger assists the lion up the mountain. The next scene depicts a clearly blind and injured jackal being helped up the same mountain by a cat and a flock of birds. The birds are chirping in unison so the jackal can follow a clear path with their sounds, while the cat nurses the jackal's wounds. Another clear scene of animals of different species working together towards a common goal.

Things get a bit more ominous as we enter the heart of the snowstorm and the second book of fables, "How to Lose a Friend." We see the animalistic instincts of our colorful cast of characters come into play within one large room more at the base of the Himilayas, where most of the attraction takes place. There are two scenes of would-be animal friends turning on each other due to the predator/pray cycle of nature. These include a lion, cat, and mouse locking eyes with each other tensely scoping out who will get the first kill as well as a rabbit hiding helplessly from a ferocious lion. If we don't see past our natural urges then "friendship" will be a concept lost to us as a species, the narrator preaches.

Following that we enter the next book, "War". A dark "starry sky" backdrop has overtaken us. The Himalayas are now but a forced perspective effect in the distance as we enter a snowy forest overtaken by a blizzard. We see a lone elephant stomping around a warren of rabbit holes. He's not intentionally stepping on the rabbits and their home, but his mere presence has caused a war-like chaos to break out for the rabbits. The next scene we see is a family of monkeys fighting for control of the forest trees with a group of birds. The birds flying rapidly on strings overhead while the monkeys hoot and holler from the tree branches. The entire scene will be framed so that guests will have to look up at it, a contrast to the chaos going on at ground level with the elephant rabbits. Following this we enter one more transitional tunnel into the final section of the ride, "Peace."

This time the Himalayas are in the distance and we are on the outskirts of a village. We pass by a small wooden shack and see the tiger who had helped the lion at the beginning of the ride. The tiger looks very lonely until he sees the rabbits who were being attacked by the elephant pop up from his floorboards as he gets a delighted look on his face that he's no longer alone. Finally heading into the village we see all the animals we've met along the way and then some singing a traditional Hindi poem in its native language as the sun rises over a glimpse of the mountains. A hopeful note to go out on. After unloading and walking down a walkway, we see one last poem that cements the tone of everything we've seen up until this point and hopefully lets the lessons of the ride sink in.

May peace forever yield happiness to all the victorious possessors of the earth!
May just men forever be free from adversity, and the fame of those who do good long flourish!
May prudence, like a glorious sun shine continually on your -------!

May the earth, with all her vast possessions, long remain for your enjoyment!

~ ~ ~

Festival of Wonder

Festival of Wonder is a live show celebrating the spectacle and color of Indian culture. Each theater will hold 360 (more rows and intricacies than shown in art) and shows will begin every 20 minutes (25 min show and 15 min reset period per theater) on normal days, 30 minutes on slow days (just one theater running with a 5 min reset) or 15 on super busy days (two theaters, same time schedule as the slow days). Each theater uses a cast of five, along with live musical accompaniment, seven projection screens, lasers, and fog effects. All the seating is on the first floor with a slight angle forward (only a 5 foot difference between back of seating and front), with Screens/stage elevated at about the same height as the stage used in The Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom.

As guests enter one of two magnificent theaters, they will notice a large, purple velvet curtain flanking their semi-circular view, even going beyond some guests' seats. When the time comes, an Indian cultural representative will stand on a raised elevated platforms, and greet guests with a simple greeting: "Hello, and welcome to Festival of Wonder, a celebration of Indian culture as told through dance, light, and 180 degree imagery. We ask that for your safety, and the safety of the performers, we ask that you please refrain from using flash photography or any other external video lighting. And now, EPCOT proudly presents: Festival of Wonder!"

As guests politely clap the representative off stage, the theater falls dark as a sole female voice is heard, "India. A land of many Wonders. These Wonders permeate throughout our land to bring to life a culture like no other, full of spirit, life, and... light!" As the narrator speaks her final word, the curtain has lifted to reveal 180 degrees of screens, which are projecting a sea of light, all made by candles. "Diwali is a celebration unlike any other. The wondrous celebration of lights permeates through our culture, as seen through festivals, fireworks, and dance!" Suddenly, the three center screens lift to reveal a stage, backed and surrounded by mirrors to give the effect of the light multiplying. A series of five dancers (two male, three female) hold candles and dance to the music, eventually spreading out into the audience, before returning to the stage, as the screen returns over them.

The narrator resumes "Diwali happens only once a year, but much of India lasts for centuries on end." As dramatic sitar music begins playing, we soar, through the magic of Semi-Circle-Vision, over some of India’s most renowned landmarks, like the Taj Mahal. Finally, we land near a large soundstage. "While some Wonders were made years ago, some continue to be made, through the bustling Bollywood industry, from movies, to songs, to iconic dances, Bollywood has transformed Indian culture." The screens lift again to reveal three dancers, now clad in Bollywood attire, who begin to dance to a medley of Bollywood songs of the time as colorful lasers and lights dance overhead, making a canopy.

Suddenly a glass wall comes down like a curtain in front of the stage, as large fog cannons cover the glass. "Bollywood is not the most colorful thing in India, however, as that title belongs to Holi, the Festival of Color." In the climax of the performance, two dancers appear behind the glass, throwing colored powder in a colorful finale that doesn’t even get to guests! To join in on the fun, guests will be sprinkled with water while fog cannons in the audience will be illuminated to look like colored powder. Suddenly, everything falls still as our narrator returns for one final saying "India truly is a Festival of Wonder, isn't it?" Before one final color/fog burst covers the audience as the curtain falls, signifying the end of our program.

~ ~ ~

Let us end with a brief recap of what my ideal EPCOT will hold...

Future World

1) Spaceship Earth

2) Horizons

Stargate Plaza
The Green Thumb

Gateway Gifts
Camera Center
Wheelchair and Stroller Rental

3) Guardians of the Galaxy

4) Play Pavilion

5) Mission: SPACE

Mission: SPACE
The American Space Experience

Space Restaurant

6) Test Track
Test Track
World of Motion

Green Light

7) Journey Into Imagination
Journey Into Imagination
Figment's Dreamcatchers

Food for Thought

Sparks of Inspiration

8) The Land
Living with the Land
Awesome Planet

Garden Grill
Farmer's Market

9) World of the Body
Inside Out: Driven by Emotion
Kitchen Kabaret
The Psychology Department
Frontiers in Medicine
Sensory Funhouse
Health and Wellness Center
Life Research Center

Pure and Simple

10) The Living Seas
"The Sea" Film
Hydrolators & Seacabs
Turtle Talk

Coral Reef

World Showcase

Showcase Plaza
Tapestry of Nations
IllumiNations: An International Songbook

Refreshment Port

Port of Disney
World Traders

1) Mexico
Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros
Mexican Folk Art Gallery

San Angel Inn
La Hacienda de San Angel
La Cantina de San Angel
La Cava de Tequila

El Ranchito del Norte
Plaza de Los Amigos

2) Norway
Legend of Valhalla
Royal Sommerhus
Viking Ship
Stave Church Gallery

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Kringla Bakeri og Kafe

The Wandering Reindeer
The Puffin's Roost

3) China
Reflections of China

Nine Dragons
Lotus Blossom Cafe

Yong Feng Shangdian

4) South Africa
Caves of Man
Tales from Africa

Kos vir die Siel
Indlu Yokuvumelana

5) Greece
The Making of Wine

Η Ελιά

Η Αγορά
Θησαυροί της Ελλάδας
Νέκταρ των Θεών

6) Germany
Rhine River Cruise


Das Kaufhas
Die Weihnacts Ecke
Kunstarbeit in Kristall
Der Teddybar

7) Brazil

8) Italy

Gondolas di Italia

Tutto Italia
Via Napoli

Enoteca Castallo
Il Bel Cristallo
La Bottega Italiana

9) The American Adventure
The American Adventure
America Gardens Theater

Fife and Drum Tavern
Funnel Cake Stand
Colonial Marketplace
The President's Tavern

Heritage House Gifts

10) Japan
Mt. Fuji
Bullet Train Pass

Katsura Grill
Teppan Edo
Tokyo Dining


11) India
The Four Fables
Festival of Wonder

Shaanti Coffee House
Maharajah's Palace

Cancala Ioga
Faridabad Fashions

12) Morocco
Sindbad's Storybook Voyage

Spice Road Table
Tangerine Cafe

Souk Al Magreb
Marketplace in the Medina
Brass Bazaar
Tangier Traders

13) Jamaica
Heartbeat of Jamaica
Dunn's River Falls

Restaurant Royale
Banana Boat Cafe

Portmore Provisions
Mandeville Marketplace
Taino Spirit House

14) France
Impressions de France
Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

Les Chefs de France
Monsieur Paul
Boulangerie Patisserie

Plume Et Palette
La Signature
L'Esprit de Provence
Souvenirs de France
Les Vins de France

International Gateway

15) United Kingdom
Mary Poppins' Jolly Holiday

Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room
Yorkshire County Fish Shop

The Tea Caddy
The Queen's Table
The Crown and Crest
Sportsman Shoppe
The Toy Soldier

16) Egypt
Secrets of the Pyramid

Cairo Cafe
Market Bakery
King Tut's

Cairo Jewelers
Ancient Artifacts

17) Canada
O Canada!

Le Cellier
Le Cafe du Matin Soleil
Beaver Tails

Northwest Mercantile
La Boutique des Provinces

~ ~ ~

And that just about does it for my ideas for EPCOT (again, at least till D23). With a new entrance and central plaza for Future World, a complete renovation to the Journey Into Imagination pavilion, the returns of Horizons and The Living Seas, two new experiences in Future World, a spiritual successor to the old Wonders of Life, six new pavilions for World Showcase, and several other additions made to almost all of the other pavilions, I believe that these changes will help EPCOT become a much stronger park and has established itself as the way it was originally intended to be: a real-world experience where guests could learn about communication, the world, the wonders of nature, the sky and sea and to unlock imagination. While the park had originally suffered for being an "educational" park, yes, education is intertwined with this park, but now, additions like Soarin', Test Track, Mission: SPACE, Guardians of the Galaxy, StormRider, Horizons, Journey Into Imagination, Intracellular, Mythica, Mt. Fuji, Mary Poppins' Jolly Holiday, Sindbad's Storybook Voyage and Legend of Valhalla, among so many other things in the park, help repel against the idea of the park just being educational. This is the perfect mix of educational and entertainment without having to commercialize the park into being too "dumbed down" or "cartoonish". I believe that this park is strong now and has so much more to offer, but still reflects on all of the eras of EPCOT that we have come to know and love.

And to perfectly book-end our time in EPCOT, I'd like to play for you the full version of what I believe should serve as the park's theme song:

~ ~ ~

And there we have EPCOT! What did you guys think of the park overall? Please let me know what you thought about EPCOT, any and all feedback is very much appreciated! Now, our next post will be coming by shortly. The time has come to explore the third park of the resort, and as with all my other introductory posts, this park's introduction is a bit on the short side, so that way, we can mount anticipation for what's around the bend. See you all in the next post!

By the way, I must once again give credit to those who breathed life into the India pavilion concept I utilized: @ctxak98, @DinoInstitute, @Magic Feather, @RMichael21, @Skipper2 and @TheOriginalTiki. I helped them out with this pavilion back in the Sorcerer's Apprentice days, and I just couldn't resist using our concept for my ideal EPCOT.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Let's dive into the third park of Walt Disney World, shall we?

~ ~ ~
What makes the Disney parks work so well? I honestly believe the secret to its success is that it was created from the point-of-view of a filmmaker. At Disney parks, everything is a form of storytelling. Everything is crafted the way a film is crafted. Those movies we grew up watching come to life before our very eyes, and we get a chance to explore those celluloid worlds. It is in this spirit of the inspiring world of film-making that I welcome you to the third gate of Walt Disney World...

Disney's Hollywoodland

When Disney's Hollywoodland -- currently known as Disney's Hollywood Studios -- opened on May 1st, 1989, it was meant to be a working film studio with a theme park component. As a result, the various attractions and shows on the theme park side were not necessarily meant to take up the whole day. Over the years, the working studio component faded away and the Disney-MGM Studios became more of a traditional theme park. However, the attractions and shows found in the park have not changed substantially enough to keep up with this change in the park’s main function. As a result, the re-branded Disney’s Hollywood Studios is still considered by many to be a half-day park lacking a sufficient number of attractions to warrant spending a whole day there. Disney’s Hollywood Studios today is probably the park that needs the most work of all four of the parks here at Walt Disney World. Sure, Toy Story Land and Galaxy's Edge are helping to give this park some much-needed identity, but it still feels like it's not using much of its space. One of the park's biggest downfalls is its small size. In fact, it's the smallest of all the Florida parks. At the same time, the park does have a few things working in its favor. First, the Hollywood theme of the park is one that encompasses so much of what Disney is about. In addition, the park already has a set of themed areas, but the themes just need to be more defined and developed. I truly believe that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the park with the most potential, but in order to realize that potential it will require a lot of work. My goal for Hollywood Studios is to better develop its themes, firmly establish the park’s identity, and yet still remain true to the original mission of the park as presenting "The Hollywood that never was and always will be."

The newly-renamed Disney's Hollywoodland is dedicated in the spirit and fantasy of the Hollywood Dream. This is a reverent celebration of Hollywood – not as a place on a map, but as a state of mind. The notion of Hollywood is alive with sights, sounds, glamour, fame, adventure, and mystery. For that reason, Disney's Hollywoodland is not a movie studio. You won’t see or hear the term "movie magic," and you’d be hard-pressed to find studio-rig lighting. Hollywood is a place of enduring hope where stories come to life and viewers escape into impossible worlds of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. That describes Disney's Hollywoodland pretty well, too. This is a place where guests can step into the worlds of some of their favorite films, from old favorites to modern-day offerings. You can even learn how to operate a puppet just like Jim Henson or see first-hand how your favorite animated features are created

There are two distinct halves to the park. The first half is A Tribute to Hollywood, honoring the Golden Ages of Hollywood and the art of film-making. This encompasses Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Echo Lake, Commissary Lane, half of Grand Avenue and Animation Courtyard. The second half is Where Movies Come to Life, which takes you far from the soundstage and right inside your favorite films. This encompasses the other half of Grand Avenue, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Toy Story Land, as well as a new land I’ll describe later. Some parts of the park will actually serve as transitional areas to ease guests into each different area of the park. For example, the Muppet section of Grand Avenue, which will be turned into a full-blown Muppet land--quasi-studio/IP-based area; Animation Courtyard, honoring Disney/Pixar animation and how it's made--segue into land based on Toy Story. In addition, The Great Movie Ride will make its triumphant return, serving as a reminder of both sides of this park: a tribute to the movies and a taste of "movies-come-to-life". Are you ready? Well, as they say in the movie biz: "Lights, camera, action!"

Imagine...it's another wonderful morning in Florida. The morning sun is turning the sky a bright blue as Walt Disney World rises to greet the new day. Whether you arrive via bus, boat or car, all paths lead to the entrance of Disney's Hollywoodland. The park's entrance plaza hugs the edge of Crescent Lake. The wide pathways leads to a replica of the soaring, teal Pan-Pacific Gates. The gates are modeled after the iconic entrance to Los Angeles’ loved-and-lost Pan-Pacific Auditorium. With a triumphant swell of music, the park is open! Eager are we, ready to explore the world where movies come to life. A world of excitement is just waiting for us. Passing under the gates, guests enter not into a film set or a studio backlot, but into Hollywood in the 1930s. This is the Hollywood of Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This is a town that once took the heart of a young Walt Disney. The automobile has made way for the Red Car of the Pacific Electric Railway. The shimmer of neon and bustle of traffic have built a fairy-land from a suitcase and a dream, "where any office boy or young mechanic can be a panic, with just a goodlooking pan." Here, one can go out and try their luck, and most certainly meet Donald Duck. Here, in the year 1937, the stress of our contemporary life fades for a glimpse into a warm embodiment of the "Hollywood that Never Was." The shimmer of neon and triumph of a dream set our stage for this reverent tribute to the romance, glamour and sentimentality of the silver screen. This is...

Hollywood Boulevard

In the principle of Main Street, U.S.A. over at the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Boulevard is a sparkling thoroughfare presented in the style and architecture of one historic Hollywood building after the next. The use of Art Deco instills in us a sense of familiarity with a hint of intrigue. The reality of the Great Depression has subdued into the color and excitement of a cinematic Tinseltown. Trolley cables hang throughout the "skies," while theRed Car Newsboys exclaim the "daily" headlines through song and dance aboard their trolley "stage." Keystone cops patrol the streets in search of ne'er-do-wells, while an overly-flamboyant movie starlet canoodles her poodle to the adoration of her "fans." The Citizens of Hollywood simply and thematically add to the immersive environment, all the while setting a period that is further established in Art Deco architecture and rooftop billboards representing fictional and nonfictional products of the 1930's and 40's. Big band beats fill the air, played in crisp, fresh orchestrations rather than crackling radio transmissions. At the center of this entrance plaza is the Crossroads of the World, a clone of the California icon, with Mickey Mouse atop a spinning globe. The location operates as an information station for the rest of the park. Just within the entrance to the park, guests will also find the Movieland Memorabilia shop, which sells generic Disney's Hollywoodland and Los Angeles merchandise (a perfect place to do last-minute shopping at the park).

The historic Red Car of the Pacific Electric Railway criss-crossed Los Angeles from 1887 to 1961, when the advanced network made way for the advent of the automobile. Today, the Red Car Trolley of our Magic Kingdom is of one and the same purpose - efficient travel. With three convenient stops - Hollywood Boulevard, the Chinese Theatre, and Sunset Boulevard - the Red Car is in tribute to the bygone memory of a yesteryear Los Angeles. Located to the left of Crossroads of the World is Sid Cahuenga's One-of-a-Kind Antique Shop, which offers signed autographed pictures and posters from celebrities from a huge variety of different movies.

Bright light and the crackle of a phonograph welcome us to Oswald's Filling Station. There always seems to be a '40 Pontiac Torpedo Coupe out front. Oswald’s is decked "ear-to-toe" in memorabilia of American Car Culture, with the inventory following suit. Oswald himself often frequents the station in full mechanic attire, a rabbit-shaped wrench at hand. As with Oswald, on Hollywood Boulevard, we can "rub elbows" with the Disney stars of celluloid - including Mickey, Minnie, or Goofy - dressed in their Hollywood finest.

Like the real-world Hollywood, Hollywood Boulevard is populated with “real,” believable people. The aforementioned Citizens of Hollywood walk the street in stride, a living snapshot of the optimism, humor and pride of the Hollywood Dream. On the "Sunny Side of the Street," the musical Five & Dime arrive in Town Square in their ramshackle jalopy. Led by the voice of “Dime,” the band has traveled down Route 66 from Chicago in the hope of making it big in Tinseltown.

But Five & Dime aren't the only hopeful musicians you'll meet here. There's also Danni Spink and her trusty piano, Chaplin. @Pi on my Cake knows this girl quite well, so I'll just let his description of her speak for itself:

"Danni (short for Dannielle) Spink dreams of becoming a star! To share her talents and passions with others. She’s a singer/performer who moved to Hollywood recently with nothing but a dream, gumption, and her full-size piano she treats like a pet and has named Chaplin (She thinks it is funny to name a musical instrument after a movie star since movie stars can’t make any noise and probably never will be able to. A movie with sound? How ridiculous!).

What you see at the top of the post are her glamour shots. In Danni’s mind, she always looks like that. In reality, her hair is often much more frizzy and messy. Her freckles shine through without the special make up and lighting for the photos.

She often has a determined look on her face and green eyes beaming with excitement. She may only be about 22 (that’s Hollywood speak for 26), but she is ready to take on the world. With her mix of old-Hollywood glamour, small town simplicity, and big city attitude she looks almost like the daughter of Hercules and Megara in a 1920s Hollywood setting.

Personality wise, she is just full to the brim with spunk
(hey! That sounds almost like her name! What a coincidence!). She is full of the grit and determination needed to make her dreams come true. Plenty of sass to go around. Very much a confident, fast talking kind of person. She is going to make her own path to stardom and nothing is gonna stop her. But she can also be very awkward and quirky. She’s got a lot of determination, but next to no experience. Her plan to make it big in Hollywood is to push her full-sized piano around the streets and perform for random people hoping to miraculously find a talent agent. So, she is full of sass and gumption, but awkward and inexperienced. Almost like the daughter of Hercules and Megara in a 1920s Hollywood setting (I swear that comparison was unintentional and just came to me while writing this up that it works for both her personality and her appearance lol).

It is strongly implied that the small town she moved to Hollywood from is Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. Of course, with the 20 or so year time difference between those two lands, not much evidence can be found outside of a few throw away lines in her show. Like talking about missing the meatloaf at the Plaza back home
(Referring to the meatloaf which is the signature item for the Plaza Restaurant despite the meatloaf being kind of awful). The biggest connection is when Danni mentions being named after her father who was a musician too and in a barber shop quartet. This is obviously implying that her father is one of the Dapper Dans."

~ ~ ~

Once again, the idea for Danni Spink comes from the mind of @Pi on my Cake, who went up against my Clef the Minstrel in SYWTBAI: Purists vs. Innovators (I swear, I thought I was going to lose that round, that's how good his prompt was!). If you want to learn more about Danni Spink, particularly what her show will be like, click here!

Please be sure to leave any feedback you may have, because it is all very much appreciated. We will continue our walk down Hollywood Boulevard in the next post, so stay tuned -- our tour of Disney's Hollywoodland has just begun!

Pi on my Cake

Well-Known Member
Let's dive into the third park of Walt Disney World, shall we?

~ ~ ~
What makes the Disney parks work so well? I honestly believe the secret to its success is that it was created from the point-of-view of a filmmaker. At Disney parks, everything is a form of storytelling. Everything is crafted the way a film is crafted. Those movies we grew up watching come to life before our very eyes, and we get a chance to explore those celluloid worlds. It is in this spirit of the inspiring world of film-making that I welcome you to the third gate of Walt Disney World...

Disney's Hollywoodland

When Disney's Hollywoodland -- currently known as Disney's Hollywood Studios -- opened on May 1st, 1989, it was meant to be a working film studio with a theme park component. As a result, the various attractions and shows on the theme park side were not necessarily meant to take up the whole day. Over the years, the working studio component faded away and the Disney-MGM Studios became more of a traditional theme park. However, the attractions and shows found in the park have not changed substantially enough to keep up with this change in the park’s main function. As a result, the re-branded Disney’s Hollywood Studios is still considered by many to be a half-day park lacking a sufficient number of attractions to warrant spending a whole day there. Disney’s Hollywood Studios today is probably the park that needs the most work of all four of the parks here at Walt Disney World. Sure, Toy Story Land and Galaxy's Edge are helping to give this park some much-needed identity, but it still feels like it's not using much of its space. One of the park's biggest downfalls is its small size. In fact, it's the smallest of all the Florida parks. At the same time, the park does have a few things working in its favor. First, the Hollywood theme of the park is one that encompasses so much of what Disney is about. In addition, the park already has a set of themed areas, but the themes just need to be more defined and developed. I truly believe that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the park with the most potential, but in order to realize that potential it will require a lot of work. My goal for Hollywood Studios is to better develop its themes, firmly establish the park’s identity, and yet still remain true to the original mission of the park as presenting "The Hollywood that never was and always will be."

The newly-renamed Disney's Hollywoodland is dedicated in the spirit and fantasy of the Hollywood Dream. This is a reverent celebration of Hollywood – not as a place on a map, but as a state of mind. The notion of Hollywood is alive with sights, sounds, glamour, fame, adventure, and mystery. For that reason, Disney's Hollywoodland is not a movie studio. You won’t see or hear the term "movie magic," and you’d be hard-pressed to find studio-rig lighting. Hollywood is a place of enduring hope where stories come to life and viewers escape into impossible worlds of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. That describes Disney's Hollywoodland pretty well, too. This is a place where guests can step into the worlds of some of their favorite films, from old favorites to modern-day offerings. You can even learn how to operate a puppet just like Jim Henson or see first-hand how your favorite animated features are created

There are two distinct halves to the park. The first half is A Tribute to Hollywood, honoring the Golden Ages of Hollywood and the art of film-making. This encompasses Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Echo Lake, Commissary Lane, half of Grand Avenue and Animation Courtyard. The second half is Where Movies Come to Life, which takes you far from the soundstage and right inside your favorite films. This encompasses the other half of Grand Avenue, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Toy Story Land, as well as a new land I’ll describe later. Some parts of the park will actually serve as transitional areas to ease guests into each different area of the park. For example, the Muppet section of Grand Avenue, which will be turned into a full-blown Muppet land--quasi-studio/IP-based area; Animation Courtyard, honoring Disney/Pixar animation and how it's made--segue into land based on Toy Story. In addition, The Great Movie Ride will make its triumphant return, serving as a reminder of both sides of this park: a tribute to the movies and a taste of "movies-come-to-life". Are you ready? Well, as they say in the movie biz: "Lights, camera, action!"

Imagine...it's another wonderful morning in Florida. The morning sun is turning the sky a bright blue as Walt Disney World rises to greet the new day. Whether you arrive via bus, boat or car, all paths lead to the entrance of Disney's Hollywoodland. The park's entrance plaza hugs the edge of Crescent Lake. The wide pathways leads to a replica of the soaring, teal Pan-Pacific Gates. The gates are modeled after the iconic entrance to Los Angeles’ loved-and-lost Pan-Pacific Auditorium. With a triumphant swell of music, the park is open! Eager are we, ready to explore the world where movies come to life. A world of excitement is just waiting for us. Passing under the gates, guests enter not into a film set or a studio backlot, but into Hollywood in the 1930s. This is the Hollywood of Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This is a town that once took the heart of a young Walt Disney. The automobile has made way for the Red Car of the Pacific Electric Railway. The shimmer of neon and bustle of traffic have built a fairy-land from a suitcase and a dream, "where any office boy or young mechanic can be a panic, with just a goodlooking pan." Here, one can go out and try their luck, and most certainly meet Donald Duck. Here, in the year 1937, the stress of our contemporary life fades for a glimpse into a warm embodiment of the "Hollywood that Never Was." The shimmer of neon and triumph of a dream set our stage for this reverent tribute to the romance, glamour and sentimentality of the silver screen. This is...

Hollywood Boulevard

In the principle of Main Street, U.S.A. over at the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Boulevard is a sparkling thoroughfare presented in the style and architecture of one historic Hollywood building after the next. The use of Art Deco instills in us a sense of familiarity with a hint of intrigue. The reality of the Great Depression has subdued into the color and excitement of a cinematic Tinseltown. Trolley cables hang throughout the "skies," while theRed Car Newsboys exclaim the "daily" headlines through song and dance aboard their trolley "stage." Keystone cops patrol the streets in search of ne'er-do-wells, while an overly-flamboyant movie starlet canoodles her poodle to the adoration of her "fans." The Citizens of Hollywood simply and thematically add to the immersive environment, all the while setting a period that is further established in Art Deco architecture and rooftop billboards representing fictional and nonfictional products of the 1930's and 40's. Big band beats fill the air, played in crisp, fresh orchestrations rather than crackling radio transmissions. At the center of this entrance plaza is the Crossroads of the World, a clone of the California icon, with Mickey Mouse atop a spinning globe. The location operates as an information station for the rest of the park. Just within the entrance to the park, guests will also find the Movieland Memorabilia shop, which sells generic Disney's Hollywoodland and Los Angeles merchandise (a perfect place to do last-minute shopping at the park).

The historic Red Car of the Pacific Electric Railway criss-crossed Los Angeles from 1887 to 1961, when the advanced network made way for the advent of the automobile. Today, the Red Car Trolley of our Magic Kingdom is of one and the same purpose - efficient travel. With three convenient stops - Hollywood Boulevard, the Chinese Theatre, and Sunset Boulevard - the Red Car is in tribute to the bygone memory of a yesteryear Los Angeles. Located to the left of Crossroads of the World is Sid Cahuenga's One-of-a-Kind Antique Shop, which offers signed autographed pictures and posters from celebrities from a huge variety of different movies.

Bright light and the crackle of a phonograph welcome us to Oswald's Filling Station. There always seems to be a '40 Pontiac Torpedo Coupe out front. Oswald’s is decked "ear-to-toe" in memorabilia of American Car Culture, with the inventory following suit. Oswald himself often frequents the station in full mechanic attire, a rabbit-shaped wrench at hand. As with Oswald, on Hollywood Boulevard, we can "rub elbows" with the Disney stars of celluloid - including Mickey, Minnie, or Goofy - dressed in their Hollywood finest.

Like the real-world Hollywood, Hollywood Boulevard is populated with “real,” believable people. The aforementioned Citizens of Hollywood walk the street in stride, a living snapshot of the optimism, humor and pride of the Hollywood Dream. On the "Sunny Side of the Street," the musical Five & Dime arrive in Town Square in their ramshackle jalopy. Led by the voice of “Dime,” the band has traveled down Route 66 from Chicago in the hope of making it big in Tinseltown.

But Five & Dime aren't the only hopeful musicians you'll meet here. There's also Danni Spink and her trusty piano, Chaplin. @Pi on my Cake knows this girl quite well, so I'll just let his description of her speak for itself:

"Danni (short for Dannielle) Spink dreams of becoming a star! To share her talents and passions with others. She’s a singer/performer who moved to Hollywood recently with nothing but a dream, gumption, and her full-size piano she treats like a pet and has named Chaplin (She thinks it is funny to name a musical instrument after a movie star since movie stars can’t make any noise and probably never will be able to. A movie with sound? How ridiculous!).

What you see at the top of the post are her glamour shots. In Danni’s mind, she always looks like that. In reality, her hair is often much more frizzy and messy. Her freckles shine through without the special make up and lighting for the photos.

She often has a determined look on her face and green eyes beaming with excitement. She may only be about 22 (that’s Hollywood speak for 26), but she is ready to take on the world. With her mix of old-Hollywood glamour, small town simplicity, and big city attitude she looks almost like the daughter of Hercules and Megara in a 1920s Hollywood setting.

Personality wise, she is just full to the brim with spunk
(hey! That sounds almost like her name! What a coincidence!). She is full of the grit and determination needed to make her dreams come true. Plenty of sass to go around. Very much a confident, fast talking kind of person. She is going to make her own path to stardom and nothing is gonna stop her. But she can also be very awkward and quirky. She’s got a lot of determination, but next to no experience. Her plan to make it big in Hollywood is to push her full-sized piano around the streets and perform for random people hoping to miraculously find a talent agent. So, she is full of sass and gumption, but awkward and inexperienced. Almost like the daughter of Hercules and Megara in a 1920s Hollywood setting (I swear that comparison was unintentional and just came to me while writing this up that it works for both her personality and her appearance lol).

It is strongly implied that the small town she moved to Hollywood from is Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. Of course, with the 20 or so year time difference between those two lands, not much evidence can be found outside of a few throw away lines in her show. Like talking about missing the meatloaf at the Plaza back home
(Referring to the meatloaf which is the signature item for the Plaza Restaurant despite the meatloaf being kind of awful). The biggest connection is when Danni mentions being named after her father who was a musician too and in a barber shop quartet. This is obviously implying that her father is one of the Dapper Dans."

~ ~ ~

Once again, the idea for Danni Spink comes from the mind of @Pi on my Cake, who went up against my Clef the Minstrel in SYWTBAI: Purists vs. Innovators (I swear, I thought I was going to lose that round, that's how good his prompt was!). If you want to learn more about Danni Spink, particularly what her show will be like, click here!

Please be sure to leave any feedback you may have, because it is all very much appreciated. We will continue our walk down Hollywood Boulevard in the next post, so stay tuned -- our tour of Disney's Hollywoodland has just begun!
That really was a close round! I'm so proud of Danni, but Clef is also so amazing! As is your writing and ideas in this project, as always. You describe everything in a way that makes it feel so real!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
That really was a close round! I'm so proud of Danni, but Clef is also so amazing! As is your writing and ideas in this project, as always. You describe everything in a way that makes it feel so real!
Thank you kindly! As someone who's been to Disney World countless times, I know my way around there quite clearly.

~ ~ ~
Are you ready? Then, come step down Hollywood Boulevard and take in the atmosphere. Unlike the real equivalent, the Hollywood found here is to always remain fresh and new. This is what the real Hollywood should be like…

Hollywood Boulevard is anchored by the lavish Mickey's of Hollywood, the largest mercantile in the entire park, basically this park's equivalent to the Magic Kingdom's Emporium or EPCOT's Centorium. Mickey's of Hollywood sells any and all things related to kid-friendly merchandise, from stuffed Mickeys to Disney character-themed clothing The store also features large statues depicting the Big Cheese in some of his most iconic roles, including him as the Sorcerer's Apprentice, Steamboat Willie and the conductor of "The Band Concert". From here, guests will come across a small off-set to the left, which leads guests to Hollywood & Vine, a buffet style restaurant that is literally located on the corners of Hollywood & Vine. The interior of the restaurant is a quintessential depiction of 1930s Hollywoodland, featuring neon lights and California depictions of the city-scape. The buffet is open regularly for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with Disney Junior characters popping in for breakfast and lunch, and Minnie and her friends hosting dinner. Returning to the main stretch of Hollywood Boulevard, just past the path leading towards Hollywood & Vine, guests will then find the Keystone Clothiers store, which offers a wide variety of clothes and accessories. The interior of the shop is designed to look like an art-deco lounge in Los Angeles, California.

On the other side of the street, you'll find The Darkroom, a shop which features Nikon cameras and video items. This is also a shop for PhotoPass participants, where guests can see and buy their photos taken throughout the park that day.The outside of the shop takes an artistic style from "California Crazy" architecture, which is big, bold and well, crazy. The exterior of the shop is a large camera. The Darkroom than leads to the next store on Hollywood Boulevard, Cover Story. The store feature primarily plush toys and child clothes. Nearby that is Celebrity 5 & 10, which features a wide variety of Disney's Hollywoodland merchandise, as well as general Walt Disney World merchandise. The shop also features item embroidery. Finally, there's Adrian & Edith's Head to Toe. From Mickey ears to hand towels, this costume designer-inspired store offers distinctive clothing and keepsakes as well as embroidered towels, aprons and Christmas stockings. From here, the road then splits off to an intersection to the right, where the road then leads down the Sunset Boulevard strip. This is the location for the Trolley Car Cafe, a good place to get some Starbucks coffee (perfect for those who need that "java jive" to get them going early in the morning). On the opposite corner, surrounding a fountain, is Guest Relations. This is a great location to go to receive any information that you might need while visiting Hollywood.

From here, Hollywood Boulevard then proceeds to split off into the Grauman's Chinese Theater Courtyard, a much needed expanded courtyard, surrounded with lush, green foliage and planted with lining palm trees. The surrounding area is lined with plains of grass, planted with bountiful trees, illuminated with twinkling LED lights. In my ideal Hollywood Studios, Fantasmic! remains the only nighttime spectacular in the park, so the projection towers will be removed.

Disney's Hollywoodland is anchored in the remarkable aspiration of a young man who left Kansas City for Los Angeles with big dreams - and little money. His ideas, drive and determination would one day change the world. That man was Walt Disney. Storytellers recalls the moment in which a young Walt and Mickey first laid foot in the City of Angels. The tribute of bronze and plaster has hidden itself among the foot-traffic of the Chinese Theater Courtyard, a subtle reminder that Walt was once such an everyday dreamer as ourselves. An adjacent plaque reads: "It was July 1923. I packed all of my worldly goods - a pair of trousers, a checkered coat, a lot of drawing materials and the last of the fairy tale reels we had made - in a kind of frayed cardboard suitcase. And with that wonderful audacity of youth, I went to Hollywood, arriving there with just forty dollars. It was a big day the day I got on that Santa Fe California Limited. I was just free and happy!" - Walt Disney

To the right of the courtyard, guests will find the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant, a lavish restaurant modeled after the truly iconic location, located in the park just up the corner from the Hollywood & Vine streets. The restaurant is famously known for its' Cobb Salad, which was apparently Sid Grauman's favorite snack after he had underwent some dental work. The restaurant features wonderful meals, while completely re-inventing the iconic restaurant, which even includes the classic Bamboo Room, modeled after the VIP Space.

In the space formerly held by the Frozen show, you'll find that the bland, nondescript Hyperion Theatre has been turned into a replica of the famous Hollywood Pantages Theatre. Inside, an extraordinary journey into the world of film: CineMagic. From the charm of the silent era to the modern blockbuster, Martin Short and Julie Delpy star in a romantic, remastered, English-language version of the now-lost treasure of Walt Disney Studios, Paris. From one moment to the next, such featured films include Mary Poppins, Titanic, and Star Wars, all concluding in a waltz down the Yellow Brick Road. Also here is the American Film Institute Showcase, which closed alongside the Backlot Tour. Well, now it's re-opened to serve as a perfect post-show for CineMagic.

A few feet away from the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, you'll find the neon-lit sign marking the entrance to the Lakeside Club, the swankiest club of all, located along the edge of Echo Lake (more on that location later on). The club has taken over the space currently occupied by the former Sound Studio (currently showing Star Wars: Path of the Jedi), and it serves two purposes throughout the day at Disney's Hollywoodland.

First of all, during the day, the Lakeside Club serves as the home of The D Show! Inspired by the 1998 computer game, The D Show is "the big Disney game show that everyone can play!" Or in other words, The D Show is a trivia game show that spans the Disney lexicon. Now, the original D Show game came out in 1998 (Mulan being the most current film represented in the game), but this show would have an updated lexicon to include the most recent Disney films. And for an example of how the game is play, just watch the video above. Three "episodes" of the show are played out in that, so you'll definitely get a good idea of how things work.

My vision of the stage would more than likely look like the backgrounds in the game. The sides of the stage would be flanked with that thing that's located to the left during the category parts. Anyways, the show would begin with that catchy-as-all-get-out theme song, followed by the introduction of our "host(ess) with the most(ess)", who in turn, introduces the three lucky contestants. There are 2 rounds to the game, each one going through three of six categories. Each category has three questions to it. The three contestants -- designated by the colored ring (red, green or blue) around their name tags, as well as the color of their buzzer -- will attempt to be the first to answer the question. Whomever answers it will be the first who presses their buzzer after the question has been asked. Standing to the left of the stage is the "D-Buck" spinner, which denotes how many D-Bucks the question is worth -- 1,000 D-Bucks to 6,000 D-Bucks -- as well as a screen for video clues. The videos would also be played on a big screen behind the stage.

Anyways, after the first or second categories in each round, a bonus round will be played. There are six different bonus rounds.

  • Before & After: In this round, contestants are presented with early concept drawings of Disney characters or attractions next to pictures of the way they turned out. The pictures will keep changing automatically, so if they can spot a perfect match, they'll buzz in as quickly as they can. A match wins 1000 D-Bucks, but a mismatch costs them 1000 D-Bucks.
  • Casting Call: Ten squares are shown. One by one, they'll flip around to reveal a character from a Disney movie or TV show. When the contestants think they know which show the characters are from, they'll buzz in and make the call before the 10-second clock runs out. The sooner you answer, the more D-Bucks you earn. If you can't, the game continues until someone else answers correctly, or until the complete cast is revealed. There are three casting calls per bonus round.
  • Cel-O-Vision: This'll put animation buffs to the test. In this game, contestants will have to match the character cel on the left to the background painting on the right. The cels keep changing automatically, so you have to be quick. Winning matches earn contestants 1000 D-Bucks, but mismatches cost them 1000 D-Bucks.
  • Character Mix-Ups: This is a dizzying game for sure! Contestants are faced with three character wheels, each one with a different part on it--one featuring heads, one torsos and the last legs. The character wheels will spin, and the contestants will have to figure out which character can be pieced together. If the contestant thinks they knows, they'll buzz in and attempt to piece the character together. If the contestant can do it before the clock runs out, the D-Bucks are theirs, but if not, it's anyone's chance to steal. There are three mix-ups in each round.
  • Fast Focus: Contestants are presented with a blurry, twisted, out-of-focus picture of someone or something very Disney. If the contestant can figure out who or what the picture is of, they'll buzz in and quickly choose the correct answer. The faster you buzz in and answer correctly, the more D-Bucks you'll get. If you can't focus fast enough, anyone can steal. There are three images per round.
  • Picture Perfect: This game puts contestants up against one of the scariest brain-benders of all: an 8-square slider puzzle! There are three pictures per round, and all of them are themed to one Disney movie. The puzzle will solve itself automatically, but if the contestants think they can solve it before the puzzle can--and in 30 seconds--they'll hit the buzzer and slide the pieces together. If they can complete the puzzle before time runs out, they'll win the D-Bucks. And the faster they solve it, the more D-bucks they'll earn. Important Note: If the contestants buzz in as the last piece slides into place, they must move the piece right, then left (or up or down or whatever) in order to win the D-Bucks. No freebies in this round.
Once all the categories are breezed through and all the bonus rounds played, don't think the game ends here. Oh, no. There's still one more challenge the contestants have to face: the D-Fibulator! Here, the contestants will be faced with 15 Disney facts, and they'll have 60 seconds to decide which ones are true and which ones are false. They'll have to press two buzzers: a blue one for true and a red one for false. Correct answers earn the contestant 2000 D-Bucks, but incorrect answers will cost them 2000 D-Bucks. And whoever has the most D-Bucks at the end of this nerve-wracking final challenge is declared the winner!

By night, the exciting sounds of game show madness are replaced by those of uproarious laughter, laughter that can only be supplied by the Comedy Warehouse! This uproarious group of comedians used to entertain at Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney before packing up in 2008. Well, I've decided to bring them back to make guests LOL. After all, since the park hosts their yearly Christmas Special, why not bring them back full-time? And when Disney's Hollywoodland closes down for the night, the Comedy Warehouse remains open for a few more hours. In fact, the schedule of shows there are: 8:00 p.m., 9:05 p.m., 10:15 p.m., 11:45 p.m. & 12:45 a.m. It's clear that this part of the park is aimed more towards adults than it is children.

Leading behind the Hollywood Pantages Theater, guests will come across a vastly small alleyway. This alleyway is lined with palm trees, leading their way down the strip. This alleyway was formerly known as Commissary Lane, but has since been re-themed to become part of Hollywood Boulevard. Located to the guests' right is the ABC Bistro. The former studio-based ABC Commissary has been re-themed to fit the feeling of Hollywood Boulevard. The exterior has changed to feature streamline moderne architecture of the 1930s, much like the former ABC Soap Opera Bistro at Disney's California Adventure, pictured above. But unlike the Soap Opera Bistro, this bistro isn't themed to soap operas. The restaurant still keeps its interior from its days as the ABC Commissary. The new restaurant has also dumped its counter-service days, and now functions as a table-service restaurant, offering such foods as pizza, soups, salads, roast chicken, sandwiches, ribs, roasted salmon, sandwiches and luscious desserts, like the famed chocolate mousse and strawberry parfait

Well, we've been skirting around it long enough -- let's get to the shining star of Hollywood Boulevard: a life-size replica of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. The Chinese Theatre is one of the most famous in all of Hollywood, a theater which has hosted dozens of award shows and numerous movie premieres. It is truly the icon of all of the glitz and glamour that Hollywood could imply. The theater has hosted dozens of award shows and numerous movie premieres, including two Disney films: Mary Poppins in 1964 and The Jungle Book in 1967, souvenirs from which you can find in window displays. It is truly the icon of all of the glitz and glamour that Hollywood could imply. Outside of the theater, instrumental musical pieces from well-known movies play. The actual Chinese Theater in Los Angeles had been studied to be re-created and detailed in exact appearance here at Disney's Hollywoodland. Not only was the exterior of the Theater created, but even the forecourt was created, having actual celebrity handprints and spurting fountains along the rim of the Theater. And, as part of the park-wide expansion and the re-branding from Disney's Hollywood Studios to Disney's Hollywoodland, “handprint ceremonies” will once again take place in the theatre courtyard, bringing attention to the new attraction and helping guests understand just how important an “opening act” Hollywood Boulevard is to the park. In the near future, as guests walk through the courtyard, they might notice the handprints of Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Channing Tatum and the like.

Inside the theater, we can take The Great Movie Ride, a 25-minute guided dark ride through the history of cinema, cataloging and bringing to life some of the greatest stories ever told. Brimming with excitement, we enter the lavish movie palace and into a lobby filled with iconic props and posters of the silver screen; Dorothy's ruby slippers, the Ark of the Covenant, Mary Poppins' umbrella. An inspired collection of trailers and scenes of classic cinema lead to a soundstage held beneath the Hollywoodland Sign at twilight. Here we board a "traveling theater" for a guided, immersive tour through the world of cinematic history.

Narrated by film historian and longtime Disney collaborator Leonard Maltin, The Great Movie Ride employs the use of Audio-Animatronic figures, practical sets, live actors, projections and special effects in a 25-minute experience. Along the way, we pass screen legends in their most iconic roles; a tableau of film in a timeless snapshot, from one movie to the next. The finale, of course, brings all the films together in a moving montage of what else, but great movies… Such featured films include Citizen Kane, The Ten Commandments, Singin’ in the Rain,and The Wizard of Oz. This is the signature attraction of not just Hollywood Boulevard, but of the park itself.

If you need to take a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood Boulevard, then take a quiet stroll through the Eastern Gardens. This is a tranquil and gorgeous garden nestled alongside the left side of the Chinese Theatre and into the Hollywoodland Hills, which serve as the street’s backdrop. Under the hill’s uneven letters reading HOLLYWOODLAND are the garden’s walking paths, bridges, streams, pagodas, and waterfalls that serve as a break from the ever-frantic pulse of Tinseltown. A secret path leads right inside the hills and takes guests into Toy Story Land, helping guests slowly transition into becoming "toy-size."

~ ~ ~

With that, the first distinct area of Disney's Hollywoodland is upon us! Now, it's usually tradition for DHS walk-throughs to end with Sunset Boulevard, but that's not the case here. I want to get through all of the major "Tribute to Hollywood" sections first, so we'll be heading there next.

Once again, if you have any feedback at all, feel free to post it, because it's all very much appreciated; and I'll see you in the next post!
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Now, there's a lot to talk about regarding this section of Disney's Hollywoodland, so much so that it will require two posts to talk about it all. Here's the first one, covering most of the existing land.

~ ~ ~

Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard takes guests back to a different side of Hollywood, as well as the different sides of the entertainment industry. Just off of the Hollywood Brown Derby, guests will find the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard, a reminiscent take on a classic 40s-era Hollywood street. The street is very similar to Hollywood Boulevard, as it is filled with shops and eateries, stretching into the eastern-most part of the park. Sunset Boulevard is definitely a place filled with excitement, charm, thrills, all while keeping the classic Golden Age of Hollywood intact. The buildings that form the exteriors of Sunset Boulevard are meant to portray a theater district in California, for both cinemas and live theater performances. The exteriors feature grand ornamentation and close attention to detail to provide a powerful experience throughout the area. Some of the buildings are topped with billboards, showcasing the innovations and entertainment that were all the rage over seven decades ago. The area features more stylistic designs to the architecture, as opposed to Hollywood Boulevard. Sunset Boulevard is inspired by the reviving architecture that was starting to be re-used in California during the decade, showcasing the many different ornate and intricate building designs. The boulevard curves slightly, as lined palm trees align the way to the back of the boulevard, where the tall, inactive Hollywood Tower Hotel rests.

On the left side of the street, guests will find the Beverly Hills Theater, the home of Sweet Spells, a sweet confectionery, including elements of the Disney Villains, as portraits of Disney Villains hang from the walls of the sweet candy store. In the windows of the store, guests will find figures of the Witch from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. Connected to Sweet Spells is Villains in Vogue, your one-stop shop for all things evil! Beyond Villains in Vogue is an all-new restaurant. The former Sunset Ranch Market area has been removed. On the space formerly held by Anaheim Produce and surrounding seating area is the Sunset Ranch Diner. Despite the closing of Sunset Ranch Market, the restaurant is a food-court style area featuring six stands boasting the menus of the five original components of Sunset Ranch Market--Anaheim Produce, Catalina Eddie's, Fairfax Fare, Hollywood Scoops and Rosie's All-American Cafe. So, if you're a fan of one area, don't fret. You'll still be able to find the food from that area here at the Sunset Ranch Diner.

Just across the street, guests will find Legends of Hollywood, found inside of the exterior of the Academy Theater. The location features generic Disney's Hollywoodland merchandise, as well as a selection of Disney jewelry and watches, including limited edition pieces. Nearby, you'll find Mouse About Town, filling the space left when the Planet Hollywood store closed. Mouse About Town is a quite fashionable shop. This is the place for men's apparel and golf accessories. The store is themed with a golf club motif so if you need a polo shirt with Mickey on it, this is the place.

At the end of the street, guests will find the historic Carthay Circle Theatre. This detailed re-creation of the now-defunct movie house is a true testament to the glamour and romance of the Golden Age. Among more Disney fans, this place is practically legendary, because in 1937, this theater is where Walt Disney risked the future of his still-young animation studio and premiered the world's first feature-length animated film. Stepping inside the theater, we are whisked into the world of that immortal film: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

An all-new version of the Magic Kingdom's former Snow White's Scary Adventures ride, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs takes us aboard a mine cart named for one of the Dwarfs and into a masterpiece in carnival "spook house" dark rides. A breathtaking, three-dimensional mural and diorama of the Seven Dwarfs' Cottage and the "Enchanted Forest" prelude the beauty, grandeur and magic of this cornerstone of the animation industry. Once inside our mine cart, we are in store for a harrowing adventure through the film's most iconic moments -- the whimsical and the dark, the funny and the scary, and everything in-between. Of course, Snow White does receive her "Happily Ever After," though the same could not be said for the fate of the Wicked Witch...

Moving on down Sunset Boulevard, the remainder of the former Sunset Ranch Market area has been turned into a small park with a gazebo and with large trees providing shade and fountains spurting. It's a perfect place for guests to take a load off in the middle of their fun-filled day at Disney's Hollywoodland.

Across the street from this park, guests will find the location formerly held by the Theater of the Stars. In my plans, the beloved Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage has moved to a new location in the park; and with the show being moved gives the chance to give its theater the makeover it so deseperately deserves. The theater has turned into a replica of the famous El Capitan Theatre, which is not only currently owned by Disney, but it was around in the 1940s, so it blends in perfectly with its surroundings. Furthermore, n enclosed theater, the technical, theatrical and performance aspects of the show are improved, the lighting is better and crisper, weather is no longer a factor -- an enclosed theater just creates a better production. And given what the El Capitan looks like on the inside, you can bet it would make for a more elaborate production.

Now again, with Beauty and the Beast now playing elsewhere in the park, that begs the question: what will the Theater of the Stars play host to now? Well, I have an idea. I thought to myself, "Hey, the park wouldn't be a tribute to Hollywood without having a big awards ceremony." Well, now we've got just that...

The proud musical legacy of Disney is on full display as the El Capitan Theatre hosts The Golden Mickeys! The premise of this show is that guests are attending an awards show highlighting achievements by various Disney animated films in several different categories, such as romance, villains, heroes, comedy, etc.; represented, of course, through some of the iconic songs to come from the Disney movies. A live orchestra is even on hand down in the pit to accompany the singers!

Right from the get-go, the feeling of being at an awards ceremony hits you. The entrance ramp that leads up to the theater is outfitted with a red carpet and banners. There's no mistaking that a special event is about to take place. A velvet rope is set up a few feet away from the entrance doors. Behind this cordoned off area is a video camera. An announcement is made that Rona Rivers, famed red carpet hostess, will be interviewing guests as they arrive for the show. A beautiful woman in a gold evening gown arrives and begins her sound and camera checks. A display of the awards to be presented is set up behind her. As the special guests (a.k.a. us) arrive, Rona selects a few to interview. Each is asked what "designer" line they are wearing, who's their favorite Disney character and other "red carpet" questions. While this is fun to watch in person, you can see these interviews as they're broadcast inside the theater. However, just as the music tunes up and the performance is about to begin, there’s a commotion backstage. The master of ceremonies has failed to appear, so a reluctant young stage manager named Benson (who, in this version of the show, is a gender-fluid role) must take over hosting duties. The show follows the age old show biz tale of the star unable to perform with the understudy stepping into and shining in his/her role.

The show does not highlight one movie, but many. In fact, here is a list of movies and songs that will be represented, and what "award category" they will be part of. The Disney's Hollywoodland take on The Golden Mickeys would be a blend of both the Wonder and Dream versions, with a few new scenes thrown in for good measure.

  • Opening: "Tonight is the Night"
  • History Lesson (Scene with Benson and someone on-screen--currently, it's Bob Iger. Maybe Leonard Maltin could do this? I mean, he's already narrating the new Great Movie Ride in my plans)
  • Classic: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    • "Someday My Prince Will Come"
    • "Whistle While You Work"
    • "Heigh-Ho"
  • Heroism
  • Symphony
    • "Under the Sea" (The Little Mermaid)
    • "Dig a Little Deeper" (The Princess and the Frog)
  • Villains
    • "Cruella de Vil" (101 Dalmatians)
  • Friendship
    • "You've Got a Friend in Me" (Toy Story)
  • Romance
    • "Bella Notte" (Lady and the Tramp)
    • "I See the Light" (Tangled)
    • "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" (The Lion King)
    • "Beauty and the Beast" (Beauty and the Beast)
  • Finale: "Who Knows Where a Dream Might Lead?"
This is an extravaganza unlike any other. Enjoy it as it all unfolds with dazzling song-and-dance numbers that pay homage to the magic and stories of Disney. And then -- just like in the movies -- see a once unsure stage manager transform into a confident host, realizing that anything is possible and dreams really do come true. And by the time the curtain falls, the message rings out with crystal clarity: In our hearts, we are all winners!

At the easternmost part of the park, guests will find the Hollywood Tower Hotel, casting a foreboding shadow against the Hollywood streets. Looking at it from the side, something bad has happened. A giant, cracked hole in the middle of the tower appears, as a complete part of the building has seemingly been ripped from the hotel. We step uneasily into the infamous hotel, only to find a dusty, abandoned lobby frozen in time, with everything in order as it was nearly one hundred years ago, left in untouched condition. Even the subdued hotel staff seems to be strangely out of this long-lost era.

Legend has it that the hotel was once the pinnacle of the hotels in Hollywood, until lightning struck the place on Halloween night of 1939, sending an elevator and five unfortunate hotel patrons into parts unknown. In the aftermath of such a tragedy, the Hollywood Tower closed its doors. But now, the doors have mysteriously opened up, allowing guests to take an unusual journey aboard that haunted elevator. We strap ourselves in and prepare to discover what lies among the dark side of the Hollywood dream. We shriek in terror as we are suddenly propelled up and down the abandoned shaft - unexpectedly dropping and rising - as the sound of cables snapping and metal clanging rings in from overhead. When this living nightmare finally ceases, we'll hopefully discover the mysteries of the Hollywood Tower Hotel ... or as it's more commonly referred to ... the Tower of Terror.

I've always believed that Disney will eventually stop licensing The Twilight Zone, and I've always believed that the backstory behind this iconic thrill ride is still enough to stand out as its own ride without the Twilight Zone framing device. In a similar vein to Tokyo DisneySea's Tower, the existing backstory will be expanded into a full-fledged story. We will be joining a team of investigators to discover what happened to the hotel. The fifth dimension scene will be re-worked as a new scene based on the Halloween 1939 backstory. And of course, the voice of the head investigator will crackle away as the hotel takes over and the drop sequence begins.

Tower of Terror supernaturally exits into Hotel Gifts, a musty gift shop of the old Hollywood Tower Hotel.

~ ~ ~

With such a frightening adventure behind us, I think now would be a good time as ever to take a break. Our tour of Sunset Boulevard will continue eventually, but until then, please feel free to post any feedback you have. I'm especially curious to hear what you guys have to say about the Twilight Zone theme being removed from the Tower of Terror. Do you think it could work?


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
~ ~ ~

The Rocketeer remains one of Disney's biggest cult classics: a pulp Art-Deco adventure in the grand style of 1930s serials, following an amateur stuntsman becoming an unlikely superhero. This classic film still has a strong fanbase, and with news that someone else may take up the jetpack in the future, why not bring the Rocketeer to the parks? Besides, I hate to say it, but Rock 'n' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith is quickly starting to become dated. As such, I would take this opportunity to remove this popular coaster, get rid of the coaster aspect entirely and make way for a whole new experience at Disney's Hollywoodland: The Rocketeer and the Squadron of Doom.

What was once G-Force Records has turned into an exact replica of Griffith Observatory. Inside, black-and-white TVs clue us in on the backstory of the Rocketeer himself: one Cliff Secord, jetpack adventurer extraordinaire. Guests learn of the Rocketeer's rise to fame, as well as that of Howard Hughes' jetpack technology, which is coveted by the nefarious Squadron of Doom, a union of the world’s greatest criminal minds. Seeking help in this endeavor, the Rocketeer urges guests to don modified jetpacks, and rocket from the Griffith and out over Hollywood! Predictably, the Squadron of Doom emerges from the trade winds in a fleet of warplanes, keen on acquiring guests’ jetpacks by any means possible. A spectacular dogfight commences in, around and through 1940s Hollywood’s modernist edifices, while the Rocketeer repels the invaders! This engaging E-ticket dark ride uses updated G2 KUKA arm technology, newly freed from a 10-year exclusive contract with Universal. Imagineering is keen to perfect this ride system, which holds riders suspended like Shanghai Disneyland’s jetpacks. And the scenery is almost entirely practical, not screen-based! Expect an epic example of animatronics in use in the ride's climatic flight scene!

Just nearby, you'll find that the Sunset Showcase has turned into an exact replica of the South Seas Club. Elegant French cuisine, seafood, steaks and crepe suzettes are on the menu, allowing you to dine in elegance. And yes, this restaurant does come with a big band orchestra and a wide, open dance floor. Expect to see many Dapper Day meet-ups here. Alongside the South Seas Club is The Mallard Lounge, an upscale bar serving a signature "Hughes Brews" beer. Of course, Cliff Secord and Jenny Blake are often about in this corner of Hollywood, ready to meet with fellow aspiring actors and future heroes.

On the other side of the Tower of Terror, a few new experiences have been added. They, along with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, offer kid-friendly diversions whilst their older siblings take on the Tower of Terror or go to fly with the Rocketeer. First and foremost, built just a few steps away from the Hollywood Tower Hotel is an exact replica of the
Pomona Fox Theater. Inside, we are cordially invited to take part in a very special concert...

The powerful sorcerer, Master Yen Sid, has joined together time periods, drawing together classic music spanning the centuries. We are cordially invited to choose our own concert experience and take a journey unlike anything ever seen before in a Disney park, as we explore the magical, musical world of Fantasia! Fantasia takes us out of 1940s Hollywood and into the world of music, where anything can happen. Beginning with the surrealism of Bach's "Toccata and Fugue", we then explore one of four different worlds: the excitement of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite", the humor of Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours", the horror of Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" and the beauty of Resphigi's "Pines of Rome". It all wraps up with -- what else? -- Dukas' "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", as we relive the magic of Mickey Mouse trying in vain to stop a horde of living brooms from destroying Yen Sid's laboratory.

Across the way from Fantasia is an exact replica of the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round. It was here at this very spot that Walt Disney first dreamed up the concept that would become Disneyland. As he watched his daughters go round on the merry-go-round as he sat on a bench eating peanuts, he wondered why there wasn't a place where parents and children could have fun together. Such a wondering would go on to inspire countless Disney parks around the world Now, enjoy a replica of this iconic Spillman ride in a bucolic, park-like setting overlooking Crescent Lake. Find a tribute to Walt Disney, complete with a statue of Walt on a bench, murals depicting his brainstorming process, and a calliope playing classic Disneyland favorites.

At the far end of Sunset Boulevard is the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater. As part of the overall park refurbishment, the Hollywood Hills has been given quite a bit of a makeover, inspired by the famous
Pilgrimage Theater, a war-era icon of poured concrete emulating the gates of Jerusalem. These "gates" serve as new lighting towers for the theater. Throughout the day, it sits dormant. But when night falls, it's a whole 'nother story...

When night falls on Sunset Boulevard, the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater is magically transformed into an amazing celebration of imagination, hopes and dreams. The incredible world of Mickey's imagination comes to life in Fantasmic!, a spectacular nighttime pageant. A mysterious, mountainous island becomes the stage for a timeless clash between good and evil, with lasers, projection mapping, cascading waters, extraordinary digital projections, and breathtaking pyrotechnics.

In Mickey's dream, we witness the forces of good and evil engaged in conflict, where mischievous monkeys, pink elephants, wild cowpoke, magical genies, voyagers and demigods, and princesses more surprisingly appear on and around the Rivers of America. When Mickey is pulled into the Magic Mirror, the forces of evil are awakened as the Evil Queen of Snow White summons some of Disney’s most dastardly villains - including Ursula, Scar, Dr. Facilier, Chernabog, and Maleficent, the latter having transformed into a 45-foot, fire-breathing dragon!

Will Mickey triumph over the evil forces inside his imagination?

~ ~ ~

Sunset Boulevard is completed! What do you guys think of this land, and the overall park so far? Please feel free to let me know what you think!

Oh, and BTW, I must give due credit to the amazing @D Hindley, who created two of the experiences we've seen here on Sunset Boulevard: The Rocketeer and the Squadron of Doom and Fantasia. All credit to those two attractions goes out to him!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
This is really good. With Toy Story Mania is it going to be the same or is it going to be updated to include Toy Story 4 characters, and game like Ducky, Bunny, Forky, Duke Caboom, and Bo’s new design?
I'm frankly going to skip Toy Story Land (and Galaxy's Edge, for that matter), because they are both still too recent to be doing anything with. I'm sure Disney will make the announcement themselves if they choose to bring more Toy Story 4 characters to the area.

~ ~ ~

You know, they say the central plaza of Disney's Hollywoodland looks a lot like Mickey Mouse. If that's the case, there’s one dead-ringer for the right ear. It is, of course...

Echo Lake

If Hollywood Boulevard represents Hollywood in the 1930s, and Sunset Boulevard represents Hollywood in the 1940s, then Echo Lake represents Hollywood in the 1950s. The sounds of jazz and early rock-and-roll fill the air. Echo Lake represents a small town in Hollywood in the mid-50s; the post-war years, when television was just starting out: a whole new frontier in the world of entertainment. And I must give a shout-out to @MANEATINGWREATH, whose Eliasburg concept from his 2016 Dream Disney Resort thread served as my major inspiration for this new take on a lesser-known part of the park.

Mid-century architecture and oasis vegetation, not too different from that found in Southern California, wrap around Echo Lake. Echo Lake Park is an actual man-made reservoir in the Echo Lake neighborhood near the Hollywood districts and has been recreated here at Disney's Hollywoodland as well, albeit, a much smaller version of it. On both sides of the lake are two eateries, making full use of the "California Crazy" architecture that was popular in the 50s. First is Min & Bill's Dockside Diner, an open-air tramp steamer eatery that pays homage to the 1930 comedy Min and Bill. Serving specialty foot-long hot dogs, pulled pork sliders and delicious vegetarian options—as well as assorted beverages—it’s a perfect place to dock 'n' dine! Nearby, shipping crates provide homages to beloved films like Citizen Kane, Casablanca, It's a Wonderful Life, Gone with the Wind and The Producers. On the other side of the lake is Dinosaur Gertie's Ice Cream of Extinction. Named after Windsor McCay's iconic Gertie the Dinosaur, this stand is the best place to get a cold treat on a hot day.

Back on the mainland, nearby Hollywood and Vine, you’ll find the 50's Prime Time Cafe, where guests are transported back to their grandparents' homes, in the dawn of the television age, where every room in this cafe features the new technology. The televisions feature early black and white television show promos and advertisements from the early days of television. The waitresses and waiters act as idealized images of the family, telling guests to eat their vegetables and to keep their elbows off of the table. These characters are a huge part of the show and help tell the story of the restaurant. You'll also find the Tune-In Lounge, which serves alcoholic beverages.

Just off of the Prime Time Cafe is a boulevard full of 50s-esque shops, not unlike a thriving Main Street of many a 50s town. Stepping into Echo Lake, you might feel the same way Marty McFly felt when he went back in time to 1955 Hill Valley. That Old Black Magic Shop, named for the Louis Prima and Keely Smith duet of the same name, acts as Hollywoodland's leading purveyor of fine magic, tricks, gags and novelties. Here, master magicians often perform sleight-of-hand tricks for passers by, while eerie blacklight and mechanical creatures create a setting reminiscent of Mario's Magic Shop, as seen in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, right down to the mechanical chimpanzee out front clutching a bouquet. Plan 9 from Outer Space continues the fantasy theme of the adjacent magic shop, named for the truly horrid sci-fi classic, Plan 9 from Outer Space. In this peculiar shop, vintage memorabilia from nearly all mediums of pop culture - classic horror, Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Pixar, Disney Animation, Godzilla, old sci-fi flicks, etc. - line the glass-encased shelves, while miniature statues of King Kong, Godzilla and the Beast from 20,000 Fathoms keep watch from above.

The All-American Waffle Co. acts in lieu of your typical breakfast joint in the American Southwest, dishing up jumbo-sized, Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles, complete with your choice of toppings. The haunting a capella sounds of the Doo-Wop Dans can be heard throughout Echo Lake, as this leather-clad quintet travels throughout this small town throughout the day, singing doo-wop songs both old ("In the Still of the Night"), new ("For the Longest Time") and in-between ("Lollipop"...in the style of
that Dell commercial from 2009).

On the other side of this boulevard, we find a few more colorful shops. In the 1950s, The Mickey Mouse Club had warmed the hearts of America’s children. In that spirit, The Mickey Mouse Club resides here. Here, children are invited to become "Honorary Mouseketeers." As such, classic Disney cartoons -- as well as clips from The Mickey Mouse Club -- are shown in a small theater, while Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy make special appearances in their traditional attire. Next door is Roy’s Place, a shop devoted exclusively to hats and head gear resides, complete with the world-famous "MousekeEars", designed by the shop’s namesake, Roy Williams. Roy’s Place is a neighbor to Candyland, named for a 1955 original: the classic board game...well, Candyland. In this candy shop of yore, peculiar treats and sweets of the period are sold from shelves stacked from floor-to-ceiling. In the storefront window, trained chefs create colorful caramel apples and taffies, while an antique circus organ provides a kooky underscore for the decor reminiscent of the 1955 board game. Odd inventory, such as marshmallow bouquets, chocolate Easter bunnies, bacon-flavored sodas, chocolate-dipped crickets, and peculiar popcorn varieties are in full supply.

Heading towards the back of the town, you'll come across the Hollywood Courthouse and Second Public Library. As we meander through these public facilities, we learn of Hollywoodland’s “super” past, including the destruction of the First Public Library by notorious supervillain, Bomb Voyage, circa 1951… What lies before us is a journey unlike any other.

Alongside the likes of Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone, we zip through the stylized, digitally-rendered streets of Hollywood in the comic-book world of 1955. Martians from the a hostile planet have invaded Earth, and it’s up to us to assist the "Supers" and save the day from these evil intergalactic forces. The Incredibles: Escape the Martians! simulates an incredible journey, allowing us to experience "stretching" with Elastigirl, "gliding" with Frozone, "invisibility" with Violet, "super-speed" with Dash and, to an incredible extent, "super strength" with Mr. Incredible, all utilizing the latest in KUKA Arm technology. The attraction is presented in a seamless mix of digital projections, three-dimensional sets and audio-animatronic figures, bringing the world of the Disney*Pixar classic to life like never before. The Incredibles themselves, alongside their trusted acquaintances, Frozone and Edna Mode, often meet fans right outside the ride.

An old 1950s radio station serves as the home of Casting Call. Using parts of the former American Idol audition rooms, the defunct Radio Studio and the old corporate lounge, Casting Call is Disney Hollywoodland's premier destination for all superstar hopefuls to rub shoulders with some famous Disney celebrities. Combining Celebrity Spotlight and Mickey & Minnie starring in Red Carpet Dreams in one roof (a new centralized lobby will be built with paths diverging towards the two distinct meet-and-greets), Casting Call features two predominant meet-and-greet areas: one featuring the stars of the latest Disney or Pixar animated film (currently, it's Olaf from "Frozen") and the other featuring the creme-de-la-creme of Disney celebs, Sorcerer Mickey and Starlet Minnie.

Going past Casting Call, on the back-street towards The Great Movie Ride, the Sci-Fi Dine-In serves the ultimate in thematic dining. Though the restaurant’s aged facade - the Hollywoodland Water District - suggests otherwise, we are instead immersed into a faux, outdoor realm of endless night, where vintage roadsters sit before a flickering, black-and-white movie screen. In a car-shaped booth of our own, we chow down on scrumptious morsels (popcorn served with every meal!) while watching scary clips on the big screen: attacking aliens, marauding mummies, rampaging robots and more, all to the orchestral themes of Bernard Herrmann and Bernhard Kaun. Naturally, animated shorts and skits intersperse the rather monstrous imagery, including an old favorite.

~ ~ ~

And that was Echo Lake! Now, in the next post, things are going to become sensational, inspirational, celebrational ... I dare say even Muppetational! So stay tuned. Until then, please post any feedback that you may have and I'll see you in the next post!

By the way, I realized that Casting Call would likely be more on the Echo Lake side of the park than Hollywood Boulevard, hence why I moved its description here.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
~ ~ ~

Muppet Studios

It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights! Anything can happen at Muppet Studios, where Jim Henson's iconic cavalcade of creatures run the show! Who better to serve as a transition from the "A Tribute to Hollywood" section of the park to the "Where Movies Come to Life" section than the Muppets, who transcend the line between reality and IP so beautifully. They're some of Hollywood's most colorful and beloved characters, and their films have a general "slice-of-life" aspect that, for the most part, takes place in the real world. A re-themed Grand Avenue, Muppet Studios is the place where the Muppets live and work, welcoming visitors from all over the world to experience their wacky, almost explosive antics. New York-style buildings, peculiar gardens and a massive hot-air balloon marked with the grinning face of Kermit the Frog welcome us to this unique district of Hollywood, where the strains of jazz fade in favor of classic Muppet favorites - "The Muppet Show Theme", "Movin' Right Along", "The Rainbow Connection", etc. Perhaps the smallest area of Disney's Hollywoodland, Muppet Studios allows us to get a first-hand look at how the Muppets make that movie magic.

The adventures begin just a few steps beyond Grand Avenue. Now that Star Tours has moved to the Magic Kingdom and has become The Time Machine, that leaves a huge gap in-between Echo Lake and Muppet Studios. As such, a scale replica of the famous Muppet Theater has been built. It's a beautiful building, blending in beautifully with the 1950s Echo Lake and giving no clue as to what mayhem lies inside. Tethered down on one of the rooftops is Kermit's old hot-air balloon, which used to mark Muppet*Vision 3D, but was since removed because it would be seen from Galaxy's Edge. Inside this theater, you can take The Great Muppet Ride. Despite the similar name, this ride isn't a parody of the movies as seen through the eyes of . Instead, it's a parody of Disney Parks as we know them. The basic storyline is that the Muppets are welcoming guests to their own ride. The only problem is...they can't find it! While you frantically help Kermit search for the ride, the other Muppets have run amok trying to create their own attractions to make up for its absence, most of which are giant parodies of some of Disney's most famous theme park attractions. For example, the Haunted Mansion is turned into a ghost-based version of the "At the Dance" sketch from The Muppet Show. The Pirates of the Caribbean are played by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. And what's the one way to make "it's a small world" even more annoying? Fill it with Beaker clones, of course! Will you find the missing ride? Will the Muppets be kept under control? Will I stop asking questions where the answers are obviously "yes"?

The ride exits out into Jim Henson's Muppet Workshop, which replaces Tattooine Traders. The workshop is unique to Disney's Hollywoodland in the sense that it provides live puppet shows and an exhibit all about Jim Henson's Muppets from their early days in Sam and Friends to their heyday in The Muppet Show. For a good sum of money, we can design our own Muppet and receive one-on-one tips from a trained-Muppeteer. If we do not wish to pay, all we have to do is pick-up a spare Muppet Whatnot from the Muppet Chest and enjoy. There's even a special experience for children to learn the fine art of Muppeteering, hosted by P.J. and Kai-Lee, two young Muppets who have experience working with children. After all, they were the ones who starred in the Jim Henson Play-Along Video series of the 80s. (The link provides an example of their work.) The giant Muppet-Screen 3000 overlooks the workshop, often playing classic clips and skits from The Muppet Show. Restrooms located nearby the shop seem to belong to the Broadway Plumbing Co., but it seems even more obvious that it's about to be bought out by Gonzo's Royal Flush, the plumbing business seen -- and just as quickly destroyed --in the 2011 film The Muppets.

Down the street from the Muppet Theater, we come across what was once Grand Avenue. Baseline Tap House has been removed in favor of an expanded apartment complex. These apartments serve as the homes of our Muppet friends. First and foremost, we have Kermit's apartment. Ever the friendly type, Kermit has opened his doors to us so that we can meet him and the rest of the Muppet gang. Different Muppet characters meet throughout the day. But unlike your average theme park meet 'n' greet, these Muppets are not just people in suits. No, these are true, authentic puppets! For this, puppeteers have been trained to mimic their inflections perfectly and voice actors have also been trained to authentically mimic their voices. The set-up for this meet 'n' greet will be reminiscent to what is done on The Muppet Show with the Muppet "sitting" on a ledge with the celebrity (or in this case, guest) standing in front of it.

Miss Piggy's apartment, right next door to Kermit's, is also open. She's graciously decided to welcome everyone into her design studio where the next installment of Miss Piggy's clothing line, Who...Moi, is being created. Among the various knick-knacks (including love letters to Kermit), guests can find the interactive design stations where they can create their own digital outfits for various Muppets, but be warned, Miss Piggy has very high standards. Fozzie Bear's apartment serves as a joke shop, where all wannabe comics can purchase items to make their act a rollicking good time! Well, those are the only three apartments that guests can actually step in. The rest are the existing facades, but they offer hints at other friends who reside within. For example, a giant American flag above the window of one apartment means that Sam Eagle lives there, and a familiar pink unitard hanging on a clothesline means we're standing before Gonzo's window. And if you want to know where Dr. Honeydew and Beaker live, just listen for the explosions and the high-pitched screaming.

Across from this apartment complex, the Muppet Studios gate welcomes us into the main meat of the land.

The brick courtyard leads to a Muppet fountain right in the middle. The fountain features several Muppets, including Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Rizzo and Miss Piggy, dressed as the Statue of Liberty. Directly behind the fountain, guests will find the outstanding Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3D in a brick soundstage building. The venerable Disney's Hollywoodland classic seats us in a perfect replica of the theater from the classic television series, The Muppet Show. As the curtain rises, Kermit, Miss Piggy and the whole Muppets menagerie appear in eye-popping 3D. They're taking us on a zany tour of Muppet Labs and showing off their new movie-making invention: Muppet*Vision 3D. Things, of course, go haywire when Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker set off a disastrous string of events into motion. With onscreen musical numbers, Audio-Animatronics figures and live in-theater special effects, it's a show guaranteed to bring the house down - and end with a glorious "three-hour" finale - a "Salute to All Nations, but Mostly America."

Owned and operated by Brooklyn’s own Rizzo the Rat, PizzeRizzo is where guests can grab a New York(ish)-style pizza pie and a cold drink. Enjoy a casual Italian-American dining experience in a whole new way, through the eyes of the lovable, wisecracking Muppet. Heading further into the courtyard, guests will come across Rizzo's Prop & Pawn Shop, a complete gift store themed to the Muppets. The store features three themed sections, one themed to Muppet Babies, the other themed to a generic Muppets set, featuring lighting rigs, camera equipment and real props used in the Muppet movies and the last is themed to the Happiness Hotel from The Great Muppet Caper.

The biggest change to the existing Muppets Courtyard involves the space currently held by It's a Wonderful Shop and Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano. The space these two buildings share will be completely renovated and turned into two new experiences. Taking up the space formerly held by It's a Wonderful Shop and half of Mama Melrose's is a new restaurant: Chez Muppet. Looks beautiful, right? Well, not so much. Chez Muppet is essentially a New York-style dinner club, but with a Muppet twist. Inspired by the dive pizza joints of Manhattan, the rustic, red-brick exterior gives way to a misshapen, mismanaged amalgam of Muppet antics. The restaurant is designed as a two-level atrium arrangement, with seating on both levels. The familiar warbles of he Swedish Chef ring out from the main kitchen, where the legendary chef is seen preparing meals, although things are not necessarily going as planned. This effect is achieved by having an animatronic Swedish Chef inside a replica of his kitchen, as seen in his recurring segment on The Muppet Show, in front of a fake window prominently displayed in one corner of the restaurant, right nearby the actual kitchen door.

On top of that, chaos breaks loose throughout the dining experience. Fire erupts from the kitchen, a pair of rats scurry across the shelves in the restaurant, reportedly heard “tampering” with the ingredients. A "living character" Camilla, Gonzo's chicken lover, is brought out as dinner, as Gonzo attempts to save her by climbing through the rafters above the restaurant. And speaking of the Great Gonzo, his crashed biplane narrowly teeters through a hole in the rooftop, right above one of the tables on the second level, visible from nearly every vantage point of Muppet Studios. Platters of "food" come to life and start to talk with the audience. Pictures of the Muppets on the wall come to life and strike up conversations with nearby diners. Quite an experience.

My biggest inspiration for Chez Muppet comes from Henson's Revue, a concept created by @jyn erso, @AceAstro, @MonorailRed and @spacemt354 for The Great Movie Ride competition held a while back. Essentially, I'm pretty much using that concept's menu for the menu here at Chez Muppet. Open for lunch and dinner, Chez Muppet features what I call an "ABA" menu: a salad bar for appetizers, an a la carte entree option (although a la carte appetizer options are also available), and for dessert: a trip to the sundae bar!

Buffet Salad Bar
$8.99, buffet style. Free refills.

· Romaine Crisp Mix
· Baby Spinach
· Spring Lettuce Blend
· Purple Onion
· Red Bell Peppers
· Sweet Grape Tomatoes
· Cucumber Slices
· Carrot Shreds
· Green Peas
· Sliced Cremini Mushrooms
· Diced Hard-Boiled Eggs
· Shredded Cheese Mix
· Broccoli Florets
· Preserved Beets
· Garbanzo Beans
· Cauliflower Florets
· Banana Peppers
· Artichoke Hearts
· Olive Mix
· Diced Ham
· Scratch-Made Hummus
· Homemade Potato Salad
· Homemade Spring Pasta Salad
· Fresh Basil & Tomato Penne Salad
· Homemade Broccoli Crunch Salad
· Homemade Corn Salsa
· Homemade Cole Slaw
· Homemade Three Bean Salad
· Cottage Cheese
· Fresh Seasonal Fruit
· Pineapple
· Fresh Apple Waldorf
· Feta Cheese

A La Carte Appetizers
Mixed Vegetable Fondue ~ $9.99
Cheese Soufflé ~ $7.99
Spinach Puffs ~ $6.99

A La Carte Entrees
Swedish Chef's Swedish Meatballs, topped on a bed of house made egg noodle and covered in a rich Swedish sauce. ~ $22.99
Piggy Pasta Primavera, penne pasta mixed with fresh vegetables in a creamy Alfredo sauce, dusted with Mozzarella and Parmesan ~ $19.99
Gonzo's Pasta, pasta served with tomato and basil sauce, with sausage or meatballs ~ $17.99
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's Stuffed Turkey Dinner, vegetable stuffing stuffed inside a large roasted turkey breast, served on a bed of mashed potatoes and topped with a reduced cranberry sauce ~ $29.99
Tropical Kokomo Kabobs, pork, pineapple, mushrooms, and onions, roasted with a Polynesian coffee run and glazed with a sweet and sour tropical juice sauce ~ $25.99
Sam Eagle's American Spaghetti-Stuffed Meatballs ~ $20.99
Pepe's Seafood-Stuffed Peppers ~ $21.99

Sundae Bar
Customized by the Swedish Chef! $7.99. Free refills.

Pick Your Base
Apple Cobbler
Black Forest Cake
Seasonal Pie: Grape (winter), Berry (spring/summer), Pumpkin (fall), Peppermint Eggnog (Christmas)
Warm Fudge Brownie
2 Fresh Buttermilk Waffles
3 Vanilla Cupcakes

Pick Your Flavors (3 Scoops of Ice Cream Per Sundae)
Mint Chocolate Chip
Cookies & Cream
Rocky Road
Cake Batter
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Butter Pecan

Pick Your Sauce
Hot Fudge

Pick Your Unlimited Toppings
Chocolate Chips
Shredded Coconut
Chocolate-Covered Peanuts
Seasonal Fruits
Crushed Chocolate Chip Cookies
Crushed Oreos
Sliced Almonds
Assorted Crushed Candy Bars
Whipped Cream

Fountain Drinks ~ $8.00
Water ~ $5.00
Milk ~ $5.00
Coffee ~ $12.00

Beaker's Experiments (Mixed Drinks)
The Animal, red cherry liquor mixed with a shot of gin ~ $10.99
Fozzie Wozzie, 1 part tequila, 2 parts rum, 1 part lime. You'll be feeling fozzie wozzie alright. ~ $9.99
The Star Wars Holiday Special, vodka, rum, tequila, gin, triple sec, and a shot of lemon juice mixed with cola. It's a mess. ~ $11.99
Camila Tequila, It's a tequila shot. What more do you want from us? ~ $7.99
Bobo's Boo Boo, rum, gin, and triple sec mixed with lime juice ~ $9.99

For the Kids
Kermit's Chicken Fingers ~ $8.99
Cheeseburger and Fries ~ $9.99
Macaroni and Cheese ~ $7.99

So, that's what's on the menu here at Chez Muppet. But you know, some guests just pop by to take advantage of the salad bar or the sundae bar. If that's the case, a quick-service window is open at the entrance to Chez Muppet, taking full advantage of Disney's new mobile order system.

Down a hilariously graffitied New York alley is the not-so-well-guarded entrance to Dr. Bunson Honeydew’s secret laboratory. Kermit invited some of the world’s most well-reknowned scientists to do their research at Muppet Labs! Unfortunately, none of them showed up. Muppet Labs is an interactive exhibit that’s half ImageWorks and half Innoventions, with a hint of madness and music thrown in. Here, you can take part in some of Dr. Honeydew's wacky experiments. And don't worry: Kermit personally oversaw each experiment, so you don't have to worry about getting hurt here. Heck, even Beaker couldn't get hurt here!

Of course, Streetmosphere can be found aplenty here. Traveling deeper into Muppet Studios, guests may find a strange set of lockers, with what sounds like voices having a conversation, and if guests happen to wander by at the right moment, the doors open up to reveal the Muppets (who have for some reason have made these lockers into beds). This impromptu show has jokes, guests participation, and as always with the Muppets, the odd story or two that spirals out of control. In addition, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem can often be found driving their tour bus. While Dr. Teeth is driving the bus, the rest of the Electric Mayhem can be found in the back of the bus playing the latest and greatest songs, some covers, some originals. Expect "Can You Picture That?" to be featured at least once a day. Three times a day, Electric Mayhem shows will play out in front of the apartment complex to get the crowd into it. Muppet Studios is also a common location for the Muppet Mobile Lab to appear, another interactive experience, where "living character" Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker take members from their audience to help enlist in the creation and performance of their new inventions.

Now, the next two lands of Disney's Hollywoodland -- Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Toy Story Land -- take full advantage of the "Where Movies Come to Life" aspect of the park. However, both are still incredibly recent and as such, we will leave them alone for the time being. Besides, as someone who lives closer to Disney World than Disneyland, I want to avoid any and all depictions of Galaxy's Edge until I have had a chance to see it myself. So, with all that said, we'll move on across the park to see what's new in what is, perhaps, my favorite of all the areas of Disney's Hollywoodland.

~ ~ ~

And there we have Muppet Studios! I will say, most of my inspiration for this land came from @MANEATINGWREATH and from the Muppet City concept as seen in The Sorcerer's Apprentice last year. So, until the next post, please feel free to leave any and all feedback you may have about what you've seen so far.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
As stated earlier, this is my favorite area of the park, so let's dive on in and see what's in store!

~ ~ ~

Animation Courtyard

Animation Courtyard is a land devoted to the business that has made Disney what it is today - animation. Walt Disney was an innovator, a dreamer, a conceptualist, a designer, but had started his influential career as an animator. Ever since he was a child, he was a drawer and loved the process of putting together images to simulate moving pictures. He had studied all sorts of information regarding this new kind of art. He had created some of the most beloved characters, such as Mickey Mouse, whom he had drawn and provided the voice for in the earliest years of the character. And with this major renovation of the park, Animation Courtyard will see a true re-development of the entire area, something to focus on both the process of animation and Walt Disney's inspiration that had led to a sweeping career. The heart of animation has always been at the heart of The Walt Disney Company, so this area is as important as ever to be represented in the Studios. Animation is a source of inspiration, it creates stories and lovable characters that society finds endearing.

We enter Animation Courtyard from the central hub of Hollywood Boulevard, just off of the Hollywoodland Hills. The archway that used to serve as the entrance into the courtyard has been removed. Just beyond the entrance, we find a lush and elegant cul-de-sac, perfect for representing one of Hollywood's finest art forms. The entire area has been refurbished to share the same feeling as the rest of the "Tribute to Hollywood" section of the park, with beautifully-detailed buildings and brightly-colored planters and trees. The scores to some of Disney and Pixar's most famous animated films fill the air as we walk through.

Along the left-hand side of the courtyard, nestled in the shadow of the Hollywoodland Hills, is the Walt Disney Theatre. The impressive, brick-faced Broadway-style theatre takes up the space formerly held by Voyage of the Little Mermaid and the In Character and Studio Store shops, as well as some of the space left behind when Walt Disney: One Man's Dream moved over to the Magic Kingdom. With so much space to work with, the building would be completely gutted and re-built, turning a small theater into something that wouldn't be out-of-place on the streets of Broadway. Such a brick-faced facade betrays its regal grand interior. The iconic theater entrance from the Cruise Line decorates the entrance to the theater. The theater's extravagant lobby is decked out in shades of gold. Two passages lead to the theater's balcony level and to the box seats.

Of course, the theater itself would look like the theater on the Disney Dream and Fantasy cruise ships--recalling a bygone elegance of movie houses, yet behind the curtain, you'll find a technological marvel. Adorned with Art Deco and Art Nouveau flourishes from the 1930s and 1940s, the Walt Disney Theatre is a luxurious venue designed to handle today’s most complex productions. It's also one of Disney's most technologically advanced theaters, boasting an approximately 40-foot-wide proscenium stage, full-flying capabilities for moveable backdrops and scenery, a projection system for animated scrims and stage lifts, pyrotechnic capabilities, state-of-the-art lighting and Dolby sound systems and even orchestra and balcony seating. Speaking of which, much like with The Golden Mickeys, a live orchestra accompanies the show! The park has had success with a live orchestra in the past with The Music of Pixar Live!, so I think it would be a nice touch to have a live orchestra accompany the two major stage productions here at the park. The theater has a 1,340-seat capacity, so it's highly recommended to come early if you want a good seat.

But what show does this theater play host to? I'm glad you asked...

Fitting for such a regal and majestic setting, the stage of the Walt Disney Theatre serves as the new home of Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage. Now, I know what you're probably thinking: "Why would you keep the Beauty and the Beast show if there's already an area dedicated to the movie in Fantasyland?" Well, the reason is because, logically, the main attraction of that area, Enchanted Tales with Belle, doesn't tell the full story of Beauty and the Beast. There's no mention of Gaston, the Enchantress or of any of the scenes following the ballroom scene (the show is even set during the night Belle and the Beast share that ballroom dance). Besides, the show is one of the quintessential experiences here at the park, and I didn't want to get rid of it altogether.

However, this won't be the same production that played at the Theater of the Stars for so many years. As part of the re-location, the show will undergo a massive change. First and foremost, the show will receive a brand-new script, fleshing out more of the story and not rushing any dialogue. In fact, this new show should run about an hour or so, about the same length as Frozen: Live at the Hyperion at Disney California Adventure. In addition, brand-new sets will be constructed, utilizing an artful blend of screen backgrounds and practical design, making the castle come to life like never before. New costume design brings the characters to vivid life, while still paying tribute to the show's original costume design. One thing I admire about having the show be in a full indoor theater is that it will allow for more special effects. The show utilizes puppetry (this will help make the enchanted objects even more lifelike), LED effects, fiber-optics and smoke. This is a show that is definitely one for the history books, as the "tale as old as time" is brought to life like never before.

Right across the courtyard from the Walt Disney Theatre, you'll find that the former home of Disney Junior: Live on Stage! has been returned to its original roots as a restaurant. Back in the day, this site was home to the Soundstage Restaurant, a full-service restaurant that was designed to look like a "live set" from Disney films. Well, I'd turn that space into one of Disney's most revered restaurants, the Animator's Palate. Here, guests enter into a dining room that is completely black and white. Throughout the course of the meal, the paintings of various Disney characters along the walls are magically transformed into color. The meal ends with a film highlighting great moments from Disney animated classics and then the entire room bursts into an array of colors, with even the servers’ costumes changing from black and white to color. Unlike its Cruise Line brothers, this version of the restaurant will be the original styling, not the new styling that debuted with the Dream/Fantasy, and was subsequently implemented on the Magic/Wonder. As a nod to the original Soundstage Restaurant, Animator's Palate offers buffet meals with characters from Disney's iconic animated films, and the exclusive bar that overlooked the place will be restored. A restaurant of this theme would be a perfect fit in the Animation Courtyard.

Right in the center of Animation Courtyard, a beautiful Art-Deco building invites you to explore the ever-fascinating world of Disney Animation. As we all know, the original Magic of Disney Animation closed in July of 2015 to make way for the Star Wars Launch Bay. But since the Launch Bay is pretty much a temporary thing and will likely close once Galaxy's Edge opens, I've decided to demolish the old building and replace it with a brand-new building, a carbon-copy of the amazing Disney Animation building at Disney's California Adventure, pictured above. Although much of the building is a clone of the DCA original, there will be a few changes and surprises in store.

There's so much to see and do at Disney Animation, but first, let's talk about something that happens outside the building. At certain points throughout the day, three animators take their craft to the streets of Animation Courtyard and invite guests to be Drawn to the Magic. If the name sounds familiar, that's because this is a show that used to run at DCA from 2004 to 2010. In the show, we join three animators as they invite guests to see how they get inspiration for their drawings; each one focusing on a certain kind of character--heroes, princesses and magical friends. Three volunteers are even brought up to help them out by posing a certain way. Then, after a medley of songs from the Disney films, the sketches they've been working on are revealed, and in a true bit of magic, the character they've sketched appears before our very eyes! After the show, guests are even invited to meet the characters inside the Disney Animation building's lobby or right outside nearby the animators' easels -- a perfect photo-op if you ask me!

And by the way, the three characters in the show are as follows: Representing the heroes, Woody. Representing the princesses, Cinderella. And representing the magical friends, who else but Sorcerer Mickey. In addition, other heroes and princesses have been known to drop in one occasion, if Woody and Cinderella can't make it to a particular performance. So, for the heroes, Hercules and Peter Pan are on stand-by; and for the princesses, Snow White and Belle are on stand-by.

Entering the building, we pass by a curved wall in which "Once upon a time..." is inscribed in gold lettering. Once inside the well-sized building, we are greeted by the breathtaking Animation Lobby. Inside this gorgeous place, a number of gargantuan screens convey the clips, music, stills and sketches of the Disney Animated Canon and the Pixar Canon. The films date back from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Peter Pan, all the way up to current films like Tangled and Zootopia. The loop here at Disney's Hollywoodland will combine elements from both the old (pre-2011) and new (post-2011) loops, with a few new additions added, as well. Here’s a brief overview of what this loop would feature, listing the films that will appear, and the music that will play underneath each film…
  • The Little Mermaid ("Part of Your World")
  • Beauty and the Beast ("Belle")
  • Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 ("The Sorcerer’s Apprentice")
  • Bambi ("Little April Shower")
  • Finding Nemo ("Fronds Like These")
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ("The Silly Song"/The Evil Queen’s transformation)
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire ("The Crystal Chamber")
  • WALL-E ("Define Dancing")
  • The Incredibles ("The Incredits")
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ("Winnie the Pooh"/"The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers"--the latter segment largely inspired by this video.)
  • The Jungle Book ("The Bare Necessities")
  • Toy Story tetralogy ("You’ve Got a Friend in Me")
  • Cinderella ("A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes")
  • Hercules ("Go the Distance (Reprise)"--instrumental)
  • Monsters, Inc. ("The Scare Floor")
  • Ratatouille ("La Festin")
  • Zootopia ("Try Everything")
  • Lilo & Stitch ("Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride")
  • Tarzan ("Two Worlds (Reprise)"--instrumental)
  • A Bug’s Life ("Suite")
  • Inside Out ("Dream Productions/Bundle of Joy")
  • Coco ("Un Poco Loco")
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame ("The Bells of Notre Dame (Reprise)"--instrumental)
  • Alice in Wonderland ("The Unbirthday Song")
  • The Emperor’s New Groove ("Perfect World")
  • Up ("Married Life")
  • Lady and the Tramp ("Sunday/The Rat/Morning Paper"/"He’s a Tramp")
  • Tangled ("I See the Light")
  • Dumbo ("Casey Junior"/"Baby Mine")
  • The Lion King ("King of Pride Rock")
  • Frozen ("Let it Go")
  • Moana ("We Know the Way (Finale)")
  • Cars ("Dirt is Different")
  • Pocahontas ("Colors of the Wind")
  • Wreck-It Ralph ("Arcade Finale")
  • Sleeping Beauty ("Once Upon a Dream")
  • Aladdin ("A Whole New World")
  • Peter Pan ("The Second Star to the Right")
  • Pinocchio/Finale Montage ("When You Wish Upon a Star")
This indoor courtyard is our "hub" for the varied wings of the sprawling exhibition, including:

The Animation Academy
In this magical classroom, learn to draw a beloved Disney character with a hands-on lesson from a Disney artist.

Character Close-Up
What Disney animation exhibit wouldn't be complete without the chance to meet a beloved Disney character? In this colorful meet-and-greet, you'll find six randomized characters representing six time periods: 30s/40s, 50s, 60s/70s, 80s/90s, 2000s and 2010s. Every morning, a different movie from each timeframe is selected by a computer, and two characters from the film in question are scheduled for an all-day meet 'n' greet in the space providing an experience that always proves to be different.

If I may go on a brief tangent, here is the complete list of available characters. It will always be two characters, except where noted:


  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Snow White and either Prince Florian, Dopey or The Queen, or simply her by herself
  • Pinocchio: Pinocchio and either Geppetto, Jiminy Cricket or The Blue Fairy, or simply him by himself
  • Fantasia: Sorcerer Mickey
  • Dumbo: Dumbo and either Timothy Mouse or simply him by himself
  • Bambi: Thumper and Miss Bunny
  • Cinderella: Cinderella and either Prince Charming or the Fairy Godmother, or simply her by herself
  • Alice in Wonderland: Alice and either the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts or the Cheshire Cat
  • Peter Pan: Peter Pan and either Wendy or Captain Hook, or simply him by himself
  • Sleeping Beauty: Aurora and Phillip
  • 101 Dalmatians: Cruella de Vil
  • The Sword in the Stone: Merlin
  • The Jungle Book: Mowgli and Baloo; or Baloo and King Louie
  • Robin Hood: Robin Hood and either Maid Marian, Little John, Prince John, Friar Tuck or the Sheriff of Nottingham, or simply him by himself
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Winnie the Pooh and either Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore or Rabbit, or simply him by himself
  • The Rescuers: Bernard and Bianca
  • The Little Mermaid: Ariel and either Prince Eric or Sebastian, or simply her by herself
  • Beauty and the Beast: Either Belle and the Beast; Belle and Gaston; Lumiere and Cogsworth; Belle and Chip; Lumiere and Chip or Cogsworth and Chip
  • Aladdin: Aladdin and either Jasmine, the Genie or Jafar
  • The Lion King: Rafiki and Timon
  • Pocahontas: Pocahontas and John Smith or simply her by herself
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Quasimodo and either Esmeralda, Phoebus or Clopin
  • Hercules: Hercules and either Meg, Phil or Hades or simply him by himself
  • Mulan: Mulan and either Shang or Mushu, or simply her by herself
  • Tarzan: Tarzan and either Jane or Terk, or simply him by himself
  • The Emperor's New Groove: Kuzco and either Kronk or Yzma
  • Atlantis: Milo and Kida
  • Lilo & Stitch: Lilo and Stitch
  • Brother Bear: Kenai and Koda
  • Chicken Little: Chicken Little and Abby Mallard
  • Meet the Robinsons: Lewis and Wilbur
  • Bolt: Bolt and either Rhino or Mittens
  • The Princess and the Frog: Tiana and either Naveen, Louis or Dr. Facilier
  • Tangled: Rapunzel and Flynn
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph and Vanellope
  • Frozen: Either Anna and Elsa; Anna and Kristoff; Anna and Olaf or Elsa and Olaf
  • Big Hero 6: Hiro and Baymax
  • Zootopia: Nick and Judy
  • Moana: Moana

Sorcerer's Workshop
A collection of three exhibits each focusing on a different aspect of bringing an animated character to life: development, voice and appearance. In the Magic Mirror's Realm, we can create simple animation via spinning "reels", create our own virtual portraits and mosaics, piece together our own Silly Symphony short or create an adventurous and romantic plot to their own animated film. There are also interactive exhibits teach how the principles of persistence of vision trick the eye into believing that still images are in motion, the most notable exhibit being the mesmerizing Toy Story Zoetrope, a constantly-spinning optical illusion that brings to life several sculptures of characters from the film(s). The stone walls reveal many of our favorite characters arranged by theme: Fairies and Spirits, Heroes and Villains, Mentors and Warriors.

The wise, talking portrait of the Magic Mirror points the path into Ursula's Grotto, the eerie but humble abode of Ursula the Sea Witch. Rather than stealing our voice for her own benefit, Ursula allows us to do a bit of voiceover work, re-recording our own voices over classic scenes and songs from Disney animation.

The adjoint Beast's Library allows us to find our "Disney" self in a humorous quiz with Lumiere and Cogsworth. One of the most beautiful areas in the entire park, the Beast's Library seems to stretch into the heavens, often falling into a state of disrepair before the displayed rose is restored and beauty and magic brighten the chamber.

The Art of Animation
Rounding out the building is the Animation Screening Room, home of The Art of Animation. Found where Turtle Talk would be at DCA's Animation building, The Art of Animation is a fifteen-minute film which focuses on the creation of an animated feature from start to finish, from everything including research, design, conceptual planning, characters, paint cells, voice-acting and wrapping production. The film also informs us of the evolution of animation, including archival footage of Walt Disney and other previous and modern day artists talking about the evolution of art. It all culminates in a moving montage featuring a highlight of clips from every film in the Disney Animated Canon, all set to a dramatic score of some of the best music from these movies.

When it comes time to leave, you head out past a wall similar to the one we passed when we entered, this time reading "...and they lived happily ever after." Much like DCA, Disney Animation exits out into the Off the Page store, which showcases merchandise from several classic animated Disney films. The exterior will (surprise, surprise) look just like the Off the Page store at DCA.

Expanding beyond the current courtyard, a new "studio" area inspired by the original Walt Disney Studios campus on Hyperion Avenue. Not only will this be a homage to Disney’s very humble beginnings, but also gives this land an air of authenticity. Among the notable features of the skyline is the top of the Earffel Tower, the icon of Disney's Hollywoodland making its triumphant return. It's basically a giant water tower topped with the iconic mouse ears. Throughout this expanded courtyard, artists, live actors and characters pass through, creating a sense of a lived-in environment. Littered all around the studio grounds are interactive props that can be opened, emit strange or funny noises, or provide great photos ops (for example, Hyacinth Hippo’s broken bench, a fallen safe, the Movie shoe box, and talking trash cans). Like with Maroon Studios in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Red Car Trolley does a loop through here, depositing guests off for some cartoon cavalcades.

Upon entering this expansion from in-between Disney Animation and Animator's Palate, the first thing you'll see on your left is a building designed to look like a sound-recording facility. Inside, a number of recovered costumes and props lead to a spectacular showing of Mickey’s PhilharMagic. When a mischievous Donald Duck dons the Sorcerer’s Hat of Conductor Mickey, the scheduled concert goes awry; a 3D dream world awaits in a number of classic animated musical sequences, including "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast and "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. Mickey, of course, saves the day, catapulting Donald off-screen and into the back wall of the opera house, much to the duck’s dismay… The show exits out into the Sherman Music Co., a shop named after, perhaps, the most famous of all Disney composers -- the Sherman Brothers, Richard and Robert. Sherman Music Co. sells wares inspired by PhilharMagic and cartoon music in general. In fact, it is here where you can make your own customizable Disney CD. Choose from a wealth of beloved Disney tunes--from the movies, from the TV shows, from the theme parks and beyond--and you'll have your own memento of the magic and music of Walt Disney World.

In the center of this expansion, an exact replica of the original Walt Disney Studios building, complete with Mickey Mouse billboard, serves as our entrance to one of the biggest E-tickets in the park: Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway! This is an adventure I'm sure many guests will be familiar with. It had its world premiere down at the Chinese Theatre in Florida in 2020, and it opened in California's Toontown four years later. So with that in mind, with this Animation Courtyard expansion, the ride has been re-located here to allow The Great Movie Ride to make its triumphant return. The fun begins with Mickey and Minnie getting ready for a picnic. As they head out, they drive alongside a train and find out that the engineer is Goofy. Then, one magical moment lets you step into the movie and on Goofy’s train for a wacky, wild ride. Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse short where you're the star and anything can happen. And for the first time, we shared a preview of what the cars will look like when you board the attraction for a zany, out-of-control adventure filled with surprising twists and turns.

Finally, on the right of this new courtyard, right nearby The Rocketeer and the Squadron of Doom, you'll find the Toontown Cab Co., the home of Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin. Aboard Lenny, a talking cab who is the brother of Roger's pal, Benny, we discover that the thrills are well underway the moment the Weasels show up and kidnap Roger's beloved wife, Jessica. What ensues next is a madcap adventure through Toontown that results in countless gags, a simulated "free-fall" into the streets below, and a happy ending only Roger Rabbit and his outlandish crew could dish out. Of course, you can meet Roger Rabbit, Eddie Valiant and Jessica in the courtyard! Nearby, a secret panel leads to the opulent foyer of the Ink & Paint Club. The host motions us toward a "larger than life" portrait of Marvin Acme, the so called "Gag King." Even so, the rose etched on his breast pocket squirts water straight from the canvas. Suddenly, the entire wall begins to move and we are thrust into the smokey nightclub, with Jazz blaring and cigarette girls roaming the room. A large octopus is our bartender, while the penguins of Mary Poppins hustle as the frantic waitstaff. Corks are popping and dinner is served. Lowbrow tomfoolery is the stock-in-trade of the Gag Factory, where rubber chickens and whoopee cushions are manufactured by a highly over-engineered contraption. Gag gifts and Toon merchandise are all the rage in this prop warehouse.

~ ~ ~

I think that these new additions will make Animation Courtyard stand out a whole lot more. To me, this expanded Animation Courtyard seems more natural than merely cloning Mickey's Toontown, and helps to strengthen the whole Old Hollywood aspect of the park. And frankly, I may or may not do a full script for the new version of Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage, like I did for Hunchback. If I do, it may take me a little while, and I'd probably save it for the very end of the ride-throughs, or at the very least, before we discuss entertainment.

Speaking of which, I think it's ride-through time again. We've covered all the areas of Disney's Hollywoodland, so I think it's time to dive through some of the rides and shows featured in the park. But until the time when those ride-throughs start, I want to know: what do you guys think of Animation Courtyard, and for that matter, Disney's Hollywoodland in general? Please post any feedback you may have, because it is all very much appreciated, and I'll see you guys in the next post!
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Well, you could say it's been a while. Why don't we take the first of our rides here at Disney's Hollywoodland?

~ ~ ~

The Great Movie Ride

The great legacy of Hollywood has left us with so many amazing films, and The Great Movie Ride is Disney's way of paying tribute to some of them. Our adventure begins on the edge of Hollywood Boulevard. We find ourselves standing before an exact replica of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Instrumental pieces from various movies play. The actual Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles had been studied to be re-created and detailed in exact appearance here at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Not only was the exterior of the Theatre created, but even the forecourt was created, having actual celebrity handprints and spurting fountains along the rim of the Theatre. We head forward, inside the Theatre, our excitement mounting.

Walking into the Chinese Theatre, at first, guests may not realize that some things have changed. The area still appears to be nothing more than a movie theatre lobby with a couple of glass cases scattered about holding old movie props. But, as guests get closer to the props, they’ll soon realize that not all is as it seems; the props seem to be “alive”, allowing guests to see that this is no ordinary theatre. Here, the movies come to life. Lining the walls are various electronic poster displays. The posters switch between the ride’s logo and movie posters that come to life with some animated element. As guests move through the queue, the first prop they'll find is the carousel horse from Mary Poppins. Enclosed within a glass case, the horse is still magically moving up and down and back and forth, just as it did in the movie. Continuing past the horse, guests then come across the "Mighty Thor's" costume, and right next to it is his magic hammer, from The Avengers. While Thor’s costume is being held within a glass case, it appears the theatre staff has had a bit more difficulty with his hammer…it’s so heavy that it’s fallen through the bottom of the case! The glass has been removed, and all guests can see is the very bottom of the hammer handle poking out of a hole within the base of the case. Posted on the outside of the case is a hand-written note reading, "Too heavy—can’t lift up. Please help!" Persistent guests who attempt to pull the hammer out might find they have about as much strength as the mighty "God of Thunder."

Further in the queue, guests will find the treasure chest that holds Davy Jones' heart, from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. If they listen closely and touch the case, they'll be able to hear and/or feel his broken heart pulsating beneath the glass. The final prop found in the queue, just before guests step into the next room, is the great Sorcerer Yensid's hat, made famous by the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" sequence in Fantasia. Every now and again, if guests are paying attention, they’ll notice the hat twinkling with magic.

Entering the Theatre Room, guests will note that nothing about this room has changed, save for the trailers being played, which now reflect the changes made to the attraction show scenes. Moving back and forth through the switchbacks, anticipation builds as guests begin to wonder which scenes the Imagineers could have chosen from the new films being represented in the ride.

Heading onto the load dock, guests will still step onto a typical Hollywood soundstage, dressed up to appear as though guests are looking out to the original "HOLLYWOODLAND" sign and neighborhood. The sounds of a film crew preparing for a shoot are heard in the background. Up ahead, a large, theatre-style tram waits. The tram looks exactly like it did back in the day, however, the space for the live cast member is gone, since this version of the ride is fully audibly narrated by Leonard Maltin. Leonard Maltin has had a long history with Disney, introducing the various volumes of the Walt Disney Treasures box set series, and hosting Treasures from the Disney Vault on Turner Classic Movies. He'd be a perfect choice to take us into the wonderful world of movies. In addition, the cars do not travel two at a time anymore. This change occurs in order to fully perform some of the new scenes, and to make sure the audio narration flows perfectly.

As guests board the vehicle, and once all are comfortably seated, the voice of Mr. Maltin is heard: "Hello, everyone, and welcome aboard. At this time, I'd like to ask everybody to please remain seated throughout the ride, and keep your hands and arms within the vehicle at all times. Also, for the safety of our cast, and the comfort of those around you, please no flash photography or use of external video lights. Alright everybody, get ready, because it’s showtime! Ready when you are, C.B.!" All of a sudden, a big booming voice is heard, shouting "Lights! Camera! And...ACTION!"

With that, a chorus of voices begins to sing: "Hooray for Hollywood! That screwy, ballyhooey Hollywood! Where any office boy or young mechanic can be a panic with just a good-looking pan..." Our tram begins to move. We slowly make our way past the elaborate mural and towards a glittering neon marquee advertising “A SPECTACULAR JOURNEY INTO THE MOVIES! CHILLS! – THRILLS! – ROMANCE! – A CAST OF THOUSANDS!” As we begin moving, Mr. Maltin announces "And we are rolling! Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of Disney's Hollywoodland, welcome to a celebration of cinema as you’ve never seen before! Welcome to The Great Movie Ride! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Leonard Maltin, and I'll be your host for this one-of-a-kind experience. On this tour, we'll leave this soundstage behind and enter into the heart of some of Hollywood's greatest motion pictures. From the Old West to the rooftops of London and along the yellow brick road, there really is no place like the movies."

Passing underneath that neon-lit marquee, we pass by glittering blue curtains and into a world unlike any other. This is no soundstage, my friends. This time, the movies are real, and anything can happen.

Upon passing the curtains, we find ourselves on a completely black and white set with older piano music playing in the background. Standing in front of some trees on a stylized dirt road is an AA figure of Charlie Chaplin in his most famous role, the Tramp. Leaning on his cane a bit and tweaking his mustache, he looks at the guests and smiles. Behind him the screen featuring the trees and background starts to change, and we are treated to a brief montage of some of Chaplin's most famous roles, from The Gold Rush to The Great Dictator. We hear Leonard say, "Where better to begin our tour of Hollywood history than right here at the dawn of American film with one of its most beloved stars? Charlie Chaplin was one of the most famous actors in the history of filmmaking. His career spanned over 75 years and both his silent and speaking films have had a massive impact on the way we make movies even today." As the tram moves forward, the AA figure of Chaplin waves goodbye at guests as they make their way to the next scene.

Moving a very short distance from Chaplin, to our left, an animatronic Gene Kelly, in character as Don Lockwood, sings while swinging on a lamppost in the middle of a rainstorm."...Come on with the rain, I've a smile on my face..." he sings, while Leonard announces, "With the advent of sound films came movie musicals, and the gold standard is often considered to be the 1952 classic 'Singin' in the Rain', starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor."

Moving into the next showroom, we’re brought to the rooftops of London, as cutouts of chimney sweeps sway back and forth, and Mary Poppins (as played by Julie Andrews) and Bert (**** Van ****) sing in harmony, "…No where is there a more happier crew, than them what sings chim-chim-cheree-chim-cheroo…" Leonard says, "Here's one of the quintessential Disney musicals, 'Mary Poppins.' Starring Julie Andrews and **** Van ****, this classic earned 13 Academy Award nominations, and won five, including one for Andrews’ portrayal of the nanny who is practically perfect in every way."

Leaving the rooftops of London behind, our tram enters a recreation of 1945 New York City. Garbage litters the streets, as the buildings rust and mold in decay. Flickering street lamps and hotel signs faintly illuminate the area. A fight brews in a nearby apartment, seen only in shadow behind the window shade. We can hear city sounds in the background. "Welcome to the seedy underbelly of New York City, the scene of the iconic gangster film 'The Godfather', starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and James Caan", says Leonard. "Originally released in 1972, 'The Godfather' is notable for being the first film to portray gangsters seriously as dramatic figures of real complexity, with real depth of character, and to tell the story from their perspective."

Passing by a building window, we see the Godfather himself, Don Vito Corleone (as played by Marlon Brando), the head of the most powerful mafia family in all of New York. He is in a meeting with his godson Johnny Fontaine (Al Martino) and his sons, Sonny (James Caan) and Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall)."Tell me", Vito asks Johnny, "do you spend time with your family?" "Sure I do", he replies. "Good", Vito responds. "Because a man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man. You look terrible. I want you to eat, I want you to rest well. And a month from now this Hollywood big shot's gonna give you what you want." "Too late", Johnny replies. "They start shooting in a week." And Vito responds with that most famous of lines:"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."

The northern streets of NYC give way to the Southern styles of another classic epic: Gone with the Wind. "One of the most famous epics in Hollywood history is 'Gone with the Wind', a tale of love, loss and redemption set amidst the dramatic tableau of the American Civil War." Indeed, we see the Civil War represented in one dark scene: the siege and burning of Atlanta by the Union Army. Using a mix of real flame and fake flame (a la Pirates of the Caribbean), we watch as the citizens of Atlanta (all played by live actors) make to leave. We slowly make our way through this scene, which takes the space once held by the Gangster Switch, watching the people flee and the flames build higher. At the farthest edge of the room, on the outskirts of this burning town are Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh), both of whom are also live actors. Rhett casts an ashen look towards us. "Take a good look, my dear", he says. "It's a historic moment. You can tell your grandchildren how you watched the Old South disappear one night."

Moving on, the old Western town has been transformed into a completely different kind of Western town: Rock Ridge from Mel Brooks' classic comedy Blazing Saddles. Every single building is changed up to look like the Rock Ridge in the movie. The triumphant theme plays, the sound of hooves clopping coming from the horizon. There to greet the trams as they enter Rock Ridge are live actors portraying Bart (Cleavon Little) and Jim (Gene Wilder), better known as the "Waco Kid". Bart tips his hat and gives us a smile and a wink. "Howdy, folks!" he cries. "Isn't it a lovely day?", Suddenly, a gunshot whistles right past us and hits a nearby rock, causing Bart and Jim to duck. "Looks like we're under attack", Jim says, stating the obvious. "There's only one way to go at a time like this", Bart says. "And what way is that?" Jim asks. "The other way!" Bart replies, as he and Jim dash inside one of the buildings.

After a few seconds of silence, a big gunfight starts up. Cowboys, bandits, and townsfolk alike all engage in a huge shootout a la a classic western film. It's Bart, Jim and the good people of Rock Ridge vs. Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Kormann) and his goons. Humor ensues as expected in a Mel Brooks film, including a bull emerging from a laundromat with giant polka-dotted underwear on its horns, an old woman hitting a bandit over the head with her purse, and Lili von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn) singing German hymns with WWI German soldiers. Bart, noticing we're in the middle of the fight, directs us towards the Sheriff's Office, the doors of which magically open. We're safe...or so we think...

Before us is a dark ominous island jungle. That unsettling ambiance and the distant sound of native chanting fills the air, setting a grim tone for the world of horror, the next stop on our journey. Suddenly, our tram begins to halt, emitting electric sparks and slamming the brakes off-and-on, off-and-on. This can't be good. Leonard's worried tone fills our ears. "Uh, don't worry, folks. We're just experiencing a few technical difficulties. I'm sure we'll be fine; and we'll be..." Suddenly, Leonard's voice cuts off, replaced with static, as if being interrupted by something...or someone. The chanting starts to grow louder and more fevered. A ferocious roar silences the chanting. The sounds of giant footsteps pounds into our ears, as the tram (and the entire room, for that matter) shakes with each step. Appearing before us is King Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World, and he is not pleased to see intruders on his island. The massive gorilla animatronic (baring a striking resemblance to the original stop-motion puppet) begins extending a hand towards us, just barely missing, all thanks to our tram regaining its power and high-tailing it out of the jungle.

~ ~ ~

And on that cliffhanger, I say we momentarily stop the journey for now. What does everyone think of the ride so far? Is it as exciting as the old one? Oh, and by the way, I must give credit to @MANEATINGWREATH for the King Kong sequence, which came from his own take on The Great Movie Ride, called "Adventures in Film." And if you're wondering why I used King Kong when he's already at Universal, it's because this Kong is taken from the original 1933 RKO production. The two Kong-based attractions at Universal were based on other iterations of the famous beast: the much-missed Kongfrontation was based on the 1976 remake and the current Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Islands of Adventure is based on the 2005 remake.

Stay tuned for Part Two, and until then, please feel free to post any feedback that you may have!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
~ ~ ~

The haunting roar of the massive gorilla gives way to a new sight familiar to those fans of the original Great Movie Ride: the spaceship Nostromo from Alien. A PA announcement rings out as we enter the spaceship through a near-destroyed corridor filled with flashing lights and broken television monitors. "WARNING! REMAIN IN YOUR VEHICLE! THE AREA YOU ARE ENTERING IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. PROCEED WITH CAUTION." The old (albeit updated) animatronic of Sigourney Weaver as Lieutenant Ripley remains, hiding from the title creature of the film which springs from the nearest wall in a blast of steam and strobes. The trolley quickly jolts forward, leaving Nostromo behind and entering another vast jungle.

As we enter, a screech of static fills our ears and Leonard's voice returns! "Phew! That was a close one! You've got to be careful around these parts, because the world of film can sometimes be quite treacherous. Take our next film, for example. The action-packed world of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' is adventurous and magical, yet filled to the brim with pure danger. Terrifying villains and greedy grave robbers lurk around every corner in addition to ancient curses, countless booby traps, vile spirits and...snakes...why did it have to be snakes?" Sure enough, a cluster of various jungle snakes swarm around the jungle floor. Amazonian natives peer out from the bushes as our trolley takes us into the mouth of an ancient river-side temple, but not before nearly being bitten by a surprise snake attack from above.

Mysterious music from the film plays, putting our tram to a stop. Indiana Jones himself, also a live actor, appears at the top of a nearby shrine, ready to grab a small, golden idol. He turns to see us. "Is that a - is that a tram? What are you doing here? You must leave at once, the gods of this temple will be angered by our presence. You must..." But before he can stop us, the temple begins to shake. "Now you've done it." The idol sinks down into its pedestal. Indy darts down the stairs towards us, grabbing a hold of the tram. "Get out! I've seen this happen too many times before!" But the tram won't start. It's sinking in quicksand. "Quicksand? Quicksand?!" But that's not all. A huge boulder has appeared on the other side of the tram! "Uh-oh. I have a very bad feeling about this", Indy strangely says (isn't that a Star Wars gag?). Indy darts around the side of the tram and approaches a series of floor-switches. "These booby traps outta do the trick." He slams his foot on a switch, causing a giant spike to come flying down from the vine-entangled ceiling. Just before the boulder crushes both ourselves and Indy, the spike stabs into the boulder, thus saving the day. "Well, that was a close one. Next time - leave the adventuring to the professional - me." And with that, our tram departs from the temple.

Upon leaving the temple, we find ourselves along the wind-swept sands of the Middle East. Before us stands the mighty Red Sea, raging and churning against the land. Our tram stops. "If it's not one danger, it's another", Leonard says. "How are we going to get across this ocean?" Suddenly, the sound of oncoming chariots fills our ears."That doesn't sound good." Suddenly, an actor dressed in red robes and a long, grey beard walks up onto a ledge overlooking the sea. This is Moses (Charlton Heston). "Be not afraid", he tells us. "After this day, you shall see his chariots no more." He stretches his hands over the sea. "The Lord of Hosts will do battle for us. Behold His mighty hand." A low rumbling fills the air. Suddenly, the sea parts down the middle, its waves crashing along the sides. "Well, I'll be!" Leonard muses. "It's a miracle!" Moses tells us, "Now go down through the midst of the waters. May God be with you." We proceed down through the parted sea as Leonard tells us, "This glorious moment you've just witnessed comes from Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 epic 'The Ten Commandments'. Starring Charles Heston and Yul Brynner, this film received seven Oscar nominations, but won solely for Best Visual Effects."

We find ourselves changing course from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, circa 1912. To our right, Rose Dewitt-Bukater (Kate Winslet) lies on a wooden frame, as Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) holds on from the water below, re-enacting their last moments together and one of the most iconic moments of the movie. "I love you, Jack", Rose whispers. "Don't you do that", Jack replies. "Don't say your good-byes. Not yet, do you understand me?" "I'm so cold." "Listen, Rose. You're gonna get out of here, you're gonna go on and you're gonna make lots of babies, and you're gonna watch them grow. You're gonna die an old... an old lady warm in her bed, not here, not this night. Not like this, do you understand me?" "I can't feel my body." "Winning that ticket, Rose, was the best thing that ever happened to me... it brought me to you. And I'm thankful for that, Rose. I'm thankful. You must do me this honor. Promise me you'll survive. That you won't give up, no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless. Promise me now, Rose, and never let go of that promise." "I promise." "Never let go." "I'll never let go, Jack. I'll never let go. I promise." On the other side of the tram is the RMS Titanic, half submerged "underwater." The lights occasionally flicker aboard the ship, and the room is dominated by the sounds of the ship’s sinking. A water effect is achieved using a semi-transparent blue plastic sheet, molded to look like waves. By placing this a few feet off of the ground in a dimly-lit room and slightly changing the lighting, the "ocean" will appear to actually move. Leonard tells us, "From the raging Red Sea to the mysterious North Atlantic Ocean, we find ourselves in the modern masterpiece 'Titanic'. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, this film is one of the most popular films of all time, and held the record for highest-grossing movie for nearly thirteen years."

From the cold Atlantic Ocean, the instrumental strains of "As Time Goes By" swell as we come to the airport scene in the well-known film romance Casablanca. Leonard tells us "To continue this romantic theme, here's Humphrey Bogart in his most famous film role. In 1942, Bogart finally got to spread his wings and romance the beautiful Ingrid Bergman in 'Casablanca'." Much like the current scene the room is decked out in drab, older colors but it has also been expanded. The entire room has been redone, with the wall opposite of Ilsa and Rick painted to look like guests are in the middle of an airport runway, with fog and lights surrounding them. To the right are still animatronics of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) standing next to the plane, as Blaine quotes the famous lines from the film. This redo however also gives Lund her speaking lines as well. "I'm saying it because it's true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life." "But what about us?" "We'll always have Paris. We didn't have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night." "When I said I would never leave you..." "And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now...here's looking at you, kid."

Moving on to the next room, the drab colors of 1940s Casablanca give way to the colorful pastels of 1980s Disney. In this nighttime scene (to blend in with the last room as well as to better hide where exactly the props end and the paintings begin) guests look to the left and see an AA of Ariel, better known as The Little Mermaid (the screen that projected Sorcerer Mickey has been carved out, allowing a single AA to fit), leaning on a rock and looking out to the right at Prince Eric’s Castle. As the wind blows, she recreates the famous scene from the film. "I don't know when, I don't know how, but I know something's starting right now... Watch and you'll see, someday I'll be part of your world!" As the tide crashes to the shore and stars twinkle overhead, Leonard speaks."Animation is a special kind of filmmaking. Almost any genre can be brought to life through animation, and romance takes the forefront in the classic film 'The Little Mermaid'. Originally released in 1989, 'The Little Mermaid' helped kick start a new golden era of Disney animated films known as the Disney Renaissance, an era which gave us films like 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'The Lion King'."

As we exit, we can see the funnel of a sepia-toned tornado swirling in the distance...

As the tornado lifts, we arrive in the bright and colorful village of Munchkinland. Upon entering, we see Dorothy Gale’s old Kansas farmhouse, which sits upon the body of the Wicked Witch of the East, her ruby-slipper-clad feet sticking out. "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore", Leonard quotes. "Yes, folks, we’ve come “over the rainbow” and into one of the most beloved and acclaimed films ever made: 'The Wizard of Oz'!"

As we enter, we hear the Munchkins singing "Ding-Dong, the Witch is Dead" in celebration of the death of the Wicked Witch of the East, who met her end when a tornado brought Dorothy's humble Kansas abode smack-dab into the magical land of Oz. Speaking of which, she and Glinda (both of whom are live actresses) are standing in the middle of town, looking on in happiness. Suddenly, the merriment is ruined by a sudden burst of red smoke. As the smoke dissipates, we see the figure of one of cinema’s most iconic villains: the Wicked Witch of the West (also a live actress). The Munchkins duck back down in fear.

"Who killed my sister?" the Witch demands. "Who killed the Witch of the East? Was it you?" she asks, pointing towards Dorothy. "No, it was an accident! I didn't mean to kill anybody, really, I didn't!" Dorothy replies. "Well, my little pretty, I can cause accidents, too!" the Witch threatens. "Oh, rubbish!"Glinda declares, coming to Dorothy's aid. "You have no power here. Begone, before somebody drops a house on you, too." "Very well", says the Witch."I'll bide my time. But just try to stay out of my way. Just try! I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!" And with another burst of red smoke and a menacing cackle, the Witch is gone.

Apprehensively, the Munchkins start to rise back up. Glinda tells Dorothy "I'm afraid you've made rather a bad enemy of the Wicked Witch of the West. The sooner you get out of Oz altogether, the safer you'll sleep, my dear." "I'd give anything to get out of Oz altogether", Dorothy replies. "But which is the way back to Kansas? I can't go the way I came." "No, that's true. The only person who might know would be the great and wonderful Wizard of Oz himself!" Upon hearing that name, the Munchkins bow reverently. "The Wizard of Oz? Is he good or is he wicked?" Dorothy asks."Very good, but very mysterious", Glinda asks. "He lives in the Emerald City, and to get there, all you do is follow the Yellow Brick Road." The Munchkins start to repeat Glinda's advice, and soon break out into song. "Follow the Yellow Brick Road, follow the Yellow Brick Road. Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the Yellow Brick Road." "Sing along, everyone - you know the words!" Leonard calls out as the Munchkins start to sing: "You're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz..."

From there, Dorothy (and the guests) leave Munchkinland and enter a forest. To our right, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion (all actors) wave to us. An AA figure of Toto stands on a rock, barking gleefully. "Dorothy, look!" cries the Scarecrow. "We've made it!" Dorothy runs up a rocky stair to the platform where her friends stand. Both Dorothy and the guests get a glimpse of the Emerald City for the first time, standing proudly at the edge of the forest, surrounded by a field of poppies. Dorothy lets out an astonished gasp. "The Emerald City! Oh, we're almost there, at last, at last! It's beautiful, isn't it? Just like I knew it would be. He really must be a wonderful wizard to live in a city like that!" "I've as good as got my brain!" says the Scarecrow. "I can faintly hear my heart beating!" says the Tin Man. "I'll be home in time for supper!" Dorothy says. "In another hour, I'll be king of the forest", proclaims the Cowardly Lion. "Long live the king! Well, come on, then, what are we waiting for?" "Nothing!" replies the Scarecrow. "Let's hurry!" And with that, the foursome link arms and make their way towards the Emerald City.

As the trams leave Dorothy and her friends to walk along the yellow-brick road, our vehicles head inside a film vault. Once inside the vault, we're surrounded by several giant filmstrips, some in strips, some in giant reels. The whole place is dimly lit, and looking long-abandoned. As we enter, we hear Leonard's voice... "Well, it appears we've come to the end of our tour, yet we've barely even begun to see all that Hollywood has to offer, so we aren't finished just yet. In fact, when it comes to the magic of the movies, we'll never be finished!" During the above, a low orchestral note is played. As it grows and grows in dynamic, the filmstrips gradually start to light up. "There are millions of films out there, just waiting to be discovered, and here are just a few of my favorites..."

With that, the room comes to new life and the filmstrips present a brand-new take on the iconic ending montage, set to a brand-new fully orchestrated piece, weaving together some of the most famous movie scores of all time. Each film-strip in the vault is synchronized to play a montage like you've never seen it before. The reels spin around, providing all sorts of unique views. Of course, this montage is punctuated with many of the iconic lines that punctuated the previous versions of the montage. I really want this new montage to be a true love letter to the world of film, highlighting its many stars, its many scores, and its many amazing pictures.

As the montage reaches its conclusion, the film-strips turn off, we hear a triumphant instrumental rendition of “Hooray for Hollywood”, and the doors open. We pass through the doors and find ourselves in the unloading area. As we pull in, we hear Leonard Maltin's voice one last time. "On behalf of Disney’s Hollywoodland, thank you for joining us on The Great Movie Ride. Now before we wrap this production, we still have one more scene to do. It's called 'The Exit'. The action begins with you remaining seated until we come to a complete stop, then you gather all your personal belongings and take small children by the hand. Now once these doors open, you will rise dramatically to your feet, and make a grand exit directly to the rear of the vehicle. Ready, everyone? And...action! Well, good-bye, everybody, and enjoy the rest of your day here at Disney's Hollywoodland. I'm Leonard Maltin and I'll see you at the movies...the stuff dreams are made of!" As soon as the instrumental ends and Leonard's spiel ends, we hear DeMille’s voice providing a nice book-end to our tour: "CUT! That's a wrap!"

And with that, our tour of the movies is complete.

~ ~ ~

And there we have it: my vision for a new take on The Great Movie Ride!

Just for posterity's sake, the ride layout, as I'm sure you can tell, is the same as it originally was. But, I will denote where each of the scenes will be located.

  • Charlie Chaplin: Replaces Footlight Parade.
  • Singin' in the Rain: Same place as before.
  • Mary Poppins: Same place as before.
  • The Godfather: Replaces The Public Enemy.
  • Gone with the Wind: Replaces the Gangster Switch area.
  • Blazing Saddles: Replaces the Western sequence.
  • King Kong: Replaces the first 1/3 of the Alien scene.
  • Alien: Same place as before.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: Same place as before.
  • The Ten Commandments: Replaces the Mummy Chamber and first 1/3 of Tarzan.
  • Titanic: Replaces the rest of Tarzan.
  • Casablanca: Same place as before.
  • The Little Mermaid: Replaces Fantasia.
  • The Wizard of Oz: Same place as before.
I made sure to highlight films that didn't already have representation in the parks (save for their appearance in the finale montage), hence why Fantasia is not in this version - because it already has a ride on Sunset Boulevard. And as for the inclusion of Blazing Saddles, I made sure to include scenes that weren't too offensive, so it should be safe for little kids to see.

So, what do you guys think of The Great Movie Ride? Please feel free to leave any feedback that you have, and I'll see you in the next post!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Well, here's yet another ride-through for Disney's Hollywoodland...

~ ~ ~

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

As we all know, the Carthay Circle Theatre is where Walt Disney risked it all in 1937, where he premiered the world's first full-length animated feature film. Step inside the theater and be whisked away into the world of that iconic film: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. An all-new version of the beloved Magic Kingdom attraction Snow White's Scary Adventures, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs takes us aboard a mine car named for one of the Seven Dwarfs and into a masterpiece in carnival "spook house" dark rides. From the general cheeriness of the Dwarfs' Diamond Mine to the terrifying catacombs and dungeons of the Evil Queen's Castle, the attraction is a solid mix between light and dark that is guaranteed to end happily ever after.

Entering through the door of the Carthay Circle Theatre, we find ourselves in the theater lobby. This is a place of pure elegance and opulence. Swinging 40's music fills our ears. Spend some time taking in the beautiful decor here, as well as all the fun memorabilia. There are tons and tons of photographs and other fascinating pieces. Be sure to check out the collection of Snow White animated cels that are said to have hung in Walt Disney’s home. Finally, we reach the entrance to the movie theater at the far end of the lobby. However, we find ourselves not in a 40's-era movie-theater...but rather, our eyes are filled with the majestic sight of Snow White's own Enchanted Forest.

The forest is represented through a magnificent three-dimensional diorama composed mostly of flats, murals, and forced perspective scenery, a near-direct lift of the Magic Kingdom's 1971-1994 attraction load area (designed by the great Claude Coats). An unseen Snow White can be heard perpetually singing "I'm Wishing" (in the same recording from The Mickey Mouse Revue, heard in the video above) from within the well in a slightly distorted, echoed rendition, creating a false sense of security while establishing that the adventures ahead may be unsettling. To our left, we see the courtyard of the Evil Queen's castle, complete with Snow White's flower-entangled wishing well, as well as the dispatch point for our journey. In the center, a forested hillside provides our first glimpse of the relatively distant Dwarfs' cottage bathed in a pool of blue light breaking through the overhead trees. Finally, to our right, is the cavern entrance to the Dwarfs' diamond mine.

Before we know it, we have hopped aboard a two-row, four-seater wooden mine car named for one of the seven Dwarfs, each embroidered not just with a name, but also with intricate little carvings of cute woodland creatures and flowers, a stark contrast to the adventures ahead. After a quick safety spiel from a rather regal female voice (is that you, Evil Queen?), our mine car quickly pulls away from the load area, heading immediately for the castle's courtyard, circling around the wishing well and heading towards the Dwarfs' cottage. But sadly, our car quickly pulls away from the cottage, instead turning towards the intimidating gates of the Queen's castle. From an overhead window, the Evil Queen parts the curtains, making direct red-eyed eye contact with us before drawing the curtains shut. The doors beneath slowly open, beckoning us into the darkness...uh-oh...

Suspenseful music fills the air as we enter the dark confines of the castle. We veer straight on, towards the face of the Magic Mirror. "Alas, Snow White is the fairest of them all." Our car veers right once more as the unseen Queen shouts "No!" Just ahead is the Queen's throne room where we find the Queen facing a second mirror with her back turned to us and her arms outstretched. Nearby, her faithful raven sits perched atop her lavish throne, seeming to be stuck in a state of perpetual shock. Just as our car reaches the Queen, she pivots around with a strike of lightning that illuminates the entire room, revealing the bulgy eyes and boney fingers of the aforementioned Wicked Witch. "I am the fairest of them all!" To the sound of the Witch's hideous cackle, our car hastily turns sharply away from her, but unfortunately goes straight into the innermost dungeons and catacombs of the forsaken fortress via the second of the dark ride's many "crash doors."

Suspenseful music, taken from the film, and the distant sound of howling wind and howling wolves welcome us to the narrow corridors of her Dungeon, ghostly voices telling us to turn back. Countless skeletons pop up in the dungeons, some hanging from chains on the walls, others simply fallen to the floor. Perhaps the most iconic of these skeletons (from a memorable moment in the film) is a skeleton trapped beneath iron bars, reaching for a nearby pail of water, having died doing so. We turn towards a archway leading to the relative safety of the outside world set in a blue night sky with glistening stars. Our escape is foiled - the Witch has summoned a large portcullis to come crashing down, blocking our path. Suddenly, on the door, we see the silhouette of the Queen drink from a goblet, and we see her figure slowly morph into the Witch. Black lights create an unnatural, unreal sensation of disenchantment as we enter the laboratory of the Evil Queen...

The old hag stands behind a cauldron filled with a bubbling, green liquid. Bubbling test tubes and pots, scattered spellbooks, and a multitude of lit candles surround the Witch as she dips an apple into the cauldron, reading from the opened pages of her spellbook. She pulls the apple out to reveal that the fruit has turned into a green skull, an image taken straight from the film. The Queen's raven joins her once more, menacingly cawing from atop a bookshelf filled with lab equipment straight ahead. As she pulls out the apple, the Witch turns to face us. "Apple, dearie?" Approaching the bookshelf, it begins to shift forward as if about to fall! But luckily for us, our car immediately turns right and breaks out of the castle, the sound of shattering glass and crumbling wood not-so-far behind us.

A grey night sky festers and swirls above us like a hurricane as we exit the castle, racing past several turrets and across a rickety footbridge running above a trickling stream. However, as we head towards the forest, we run across a large river, where we come across a couple of logs resembling some hungry alligators that open their jaws and give actual alligator groans. A third "alligator" launches out from behind a nearby tree, ready for munching on an early luncheon. The trees of the forest grow progressively "deader" and "deader," turning our attention towards the Huntsman. "Please! Run! The Queen is after you! Go! Go!" Thunder and lightning crash, illuminating the first in-ride appearance of Snow White, just as equally terrified as we are. This first appearance from Snow kicks off our trip through a haunted forest filled with fluttering bats, blinking eyes (taken from the Haunted Mansion's wallpaper), and dead oak trees...dead oak trees with "claws" and "faces" that slowly move their claw-like branches towards us. The suspenseful music fades out in favor of eerie sound effects; moaning ghosts, screeching bats, howling wolves. Passing one final tree, we find ourselves surrounded by eyes, but as the dark forest gives way to the setting sun, the eyes reveal themselves to belong to the friendly woodland creatures. At last, something happy and friendly! They point us towards our first "happy" destination since the loading area: the Seven Dwarfs' Mine.

Immediately, we find ourselves re-immersed into a scene of happiness and fairy tale whimsy, meeting the Dwarfs once again amid the horrors of the outside world. The Dwarfs sing a rousing rendition of "We Dig-Dig-Dig" as they tirelessly work at the walls of their glistening diamond mine. Dopey, with eyes multiplied by a pair of giant diamonds covering either socket, sits within a jewel-filled cart pulled by a deer; Sneezy and a raccoon attempt to hold up a pile of buckets filled with jewels, Sneezy himself just about ready to sneeze and drop everything; Sleepy sleeps atop a jewel-filled mine car with a skunk on top of him, its tail brushing his nose; adjacent to Sleepy, Happy and Bashful pick away at the walls, while nearby Doc surveys a collection of rather pricey-looking diamonds; finally, we see Grumpy who stands near an open shaft, clutching an unlit keg of blasting powder which might be a little too heavy for him to carry as a couple of squirrels attempt to give him leg support. Another mine shaft door moves aside for us, allowing us access into the forest at sunset. We find ourselves about to go under a log spanning a canyon, a miniature waterfall near our path. As we pass under, we see the Seven Dwarfs actually march atop the log, singing "Heigh-Ho".

Passing underneath the log, we come across another warm, inviting place: the Dwarfs' cottage. Naturally, our car bursts inside a set of crash doors to enter.

Cutesy woodland creatures peer into the hand-carved and self-decorated cottage of the Dwarfs. From in the other room, we hear the sound of "The Silly Song," and entering the other room we find that the Dwarfs and Snow White are having a little dance party amid their scary adventures. Snow White dances on the floor with a very "tall" Dopey wearing a trenchcoat, whilst Grumpy plunks away at the keys of a miniature organ and the other Dwarfs generally jam out on little instruments. From atop the adjacent staircase, even more woodland critters watch the party, gleefully clapping along and or just smiling.

Unfortunately, this moment of happiness doesn't last as we quietly leave the party and head back into the woods, only to be greeted by the Wicked Witch and her all-seeing raven standing just outside the cottage window, cackling wildly as we meet her. We loop around a tree, face a mural of the now-distant Queen's castle, then turn right back towards the cottage. The Dwarfs line both sides of the track, each one warning us not to proceed, others shouting for Snow White to run. Making a left turn explains the shouting: the Wicked Witch stands near the opened front-door, Snow White inside the door, about to take a bite from the apple. "That's right, dearie, just one bite, and all of your dreams will come true." Looping around the cottage, thunder and lightning strike. "Now I'm the fairest in the land!" A pair of mean-eyed vultures from an overhead branch follow our movement as we set off, deeper and deeper into the forest. Using LCI technology, the Dwarfs appear, riding deer and brandishing pickaxes and clubs, in hot pursuit of the Witch. As we pass them by, we hear them shouting over each other, Doc's voice rising above the others: "It's the Quicked Ween -- the Wicked Queen! Come on, men!"

As we leave the forest, we find ourselves standing in front of a tall mountain. All seven of the Dwarfs appear to our left, climbing the mountain in "action poses." "What's she doing?!" Happy asks. "We've gotta stop her!" Grumpy adds. "C'mon, men! Let's get her!" Doc bravely shouts, clutching a lantern. It appears as if the little men are climbing towards a giant boulder perched right on the edge of the cliffside. Without warning, the Witch prods her head out from behind the boulder, attempting to lodge into our heads (and against the Dwarfs' heads) with a walking stick. "Fools! I'll crush your bones! Hee hee hee hee!" The boulder begins to rock forward, but suddenly changes direction, leaning back towards the Witch. We dash underneath the mountain and into a dark room. In the dark, we see the silhouette of the Witch falling backwards with the giant boulder as she unleashes a bloodcurdling scream, shortly followed by the aforementioned pair of vultures flocking down towards the fallen... Our car enters one second-to-last set of crash doors...

A moving instrumental of "Some Day My Prince Will Come" fills the air as we enter a colorful clearing the enchanted forest. Snow White, having been placed in a glass coffin to preserve her beauty, lays out before us, Prince Florian leaning over her, ready for true love's first kiss. As the two animatronics kiss, Snow's eyes open, much to the joy and pleasure of the surrounding woodland creatures. Turning sharply to the right, we face an overhead bridge where Snow White and Prince Florian ride away on horseback towards the Castle in the Clouds, turning to wave to the very bald dwarfs standing on a nearby hillside, red "smooch-marks" on their foreheads. As a humorous farewell, Dopey appears on the back of the horse, sheepishly bidding us farewell with a little wave. Crashing through one last set of doors beneath the bridge, we pull back into the load area and depart our car for other adventures along Sunset Boulevard...hopefully, less scary ones.

~ ~ ~

What do you guys think? I should point out that my inspiration for this new ride-through comes, once again, from @MANEATINGWREATH. We are both quite fond of this iconic Disney dark ride, and I hope that this new take on an old favorite provides a welcome new surprise. But of course, that's not the only new dark ride found on Sunset Boulevard. The other...well, we'll see that in the next post. Until then, please keep the feedback coming, because it is all very much appreciated!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
~ ~ ~


Within the famous Pomona Fox Theater, Sorcerer Yen Sid is inviting guests to a very special "concert program". With his powerful magic, Yen Sid has joined together time periods, drawing together classic music spanning the centuries. Scattered all about the fortress’s base are musical instruments from innumerable cultures and eras. Yen Sid's naïve-yet-eager apprentice, one Mickey Mouse, has tossed together hand drawn signs promoting his master’s concert. Hastily drawn, smeared with wet paint, Mickey's glove-prints staining the nearby walls of the Symphony Hall. These signs ask guests to "choose your own program" and "conduct your world."

Guests enter the theater, passing through the various corridors. The sounds of a distant orchestra to echo through the halls – music from both Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, all the pieces not presently featured on the ride. Soon, we enter the main chamber, where musical instruments appear on display. Guests are invited to toot, whistle, plunk and boom to their hearts content. Play the xylophones. Bang the drum. Pluck a violin’s strings. Blow air into the brass section. Better still, the far corner features a screen – tastefully held within a wooden arch – housing Fantasia’s Soundtrack. This anthropomorphized sound graph reacts to guests’ cacophony of sounds in an adorable, colorful manner.

Down further halls, with framed concept art for the assorted Fantasia segments. Finally guests reach a fork – the FastPass+ merge. Here a cast member clad in usher black tie directs guests to their concert hall section. In fact it's guest choice: Four Fantasia segments, and four unique ride experiences, each now with separate branching queues. With so many tuneful tales to choose from, the choice is rarely the same. Here upon opening, Fantasia offers a choice between The Nutcracker Suite, Dance of the Hours, Night on Bald Mountain, or Pines of Rome. Like Fantasyland’s original dark ride breakdown, these options represent different moods – exciting, humorous, frightening and beautiful, respectively.

Guests continue down one of four final queue halls, with décor dedicated to their unique choice. Here they’ll see sheet music, artwork and appropriate props. Loading is found on four distinct platforms in a row. In practice, Fantasia loads similarly to other trackless dark rides, like Mystic Manor or Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, with four vehicles leaving at once. (One vehicle for each segment.) This loading takes place within an abstracted, minimalist stone concert hall. In place of the traditional dark ride mural, here we find a velvet curtain with projected silhouettes or the orchestra members. They tune and practice their instruments. There is an uncontainable energy; the concert is ready to begin!

Much like Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Fantasia is a trackless dark ride. The ride vehicles resemble balcony box seats, with two rows of three. Each row features a interactive addition to the trackless genre: a touchscreen. These are tastefully, subtly incorporated, much like those on Efteling’s Symbolica. When the screens light up – as they’ll do three times during the ride – it’s an invitation for guests to “conduct” the music and the landscape before them. Combined with the trackless vehicles’ wonderful ability to dance, glide and spin, this feature shall further immerse guests into the enveloping world of classical music which lies ahead!

As the cast member behind her "ride op" conductor's podium raps her baton, the vehicles move out. They pass through spreading curtains, and face a proscenium arch... Here, via screen projection is the silhouette of master conductor Leopold Stokowski. With "Fantasound" onboard speakers, riders hear the music begin to swell. Fantasia narrator Deems Taylor also appears over the speakers, introducing the ride’s first act: "There are three kinds of music on this Fantasia program. First up is the kind of music that exists simply for its own sake: Absolute music."

ACT ONE: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Vehicles dance together into an abstract chamber of light and sound, to the tune of Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor." (With its screens and on-ride soundtrack, Fantasia is designed to change out regularly. This sequence can easily feature Beethoven’s "Fifth Symphony" from Fantasia 2000 on occasion instead.)

Riders slowly transition from the concert hall into fantasy. Projected musician shadows display against plain walls, all dominated by ever-shifting primary colors. Vehicles move in time with their music. As the harpist plays, the lights turn cool. As the drummer pounds, lights turn red.

Here vehicles split along our first branching path. "Exciting" and "humorous" glide left towards the orchestra's String Section, while "frightening" and "beautiful" veer right to the Brass Section. Either way, these two vehicles join two more from the previous dispatch in a fog-shrouded room of pure abstraction. Physical set pieces suggest a mental landscape inspired by music. Colorful discs sail around overhead. For the String Section, strange poles(vaguely reminiscent of violin bows) dance from behind an undulating hill. Lights flash across strings. For the Brass Section, abstracted trombone handles rise up from swirling horn-shaped pipes. Colors race across a tangle of tubes. Vehicles pause before different screens. Their touchscreens light up, inviting guests to “conduct.” The patterns they create are duplicated on the large screens. Patterns form of clouds, of lights, of shapes…all animated abstractions familiar from Fantasia’s opening sequence.

ACT TWO: Branching Programs
"The next kind of music is the type that, while it has no specific plot, does paint a series or more or less definite pictures."

Vehicles reverse into darkness, where they secretly branch away once again. Here for Act Two, guests enjoy their unique musical selection. No matter their choice, each Act Two follows a similar pattern. First solo vehicles glide through a small hallway mostly defined by screens, again allowing guests to “conduct” live-rendered imagery. (Very easy to switch out as needed whenever Fantasia alters its segments.) The second scene joins the solo vehicle with the two vehicles which left ahead of it on this same path. (By "mixing and matching" vehicle groups like this, Fantasia can pack multiple cars together in a smaller space like similar trackless rides.) Here vehicles dance together to the music surrounded by physical scenery and animatronics. Here’s how this works in practice:

ACT 2A: The Nutcracker Suite (The Exciting Piece)

To the strains of the "Waltz of the Flowers" sequence of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece, riders pirouette through forest scenes depicting the seasons. Screens, framed by physical trees and vines, display beautiful 1940 animation. Guests "conduct" the fall leaves, winter snowflakes and other elements, all while nature sprites dance and celebrate.

Then riders begin the Mushroom Dance, surrounded by charming animatronic Chinese mushrooms. Trackless vehicles spin and swirl around each other in tune with the music.

ACT 2B: Dance of the Hours (The Humorous Piece)

Ponchielli’s "Dance of the Hours" begins in a hall of Greco-Roman columns, which frame screens of dancing elephants and ostriches. While these clumsy animals struggle to perform a delicate ballet, guests "conduct" bubbles flying from the elephants’ trunks. The dance room introduces riders to animatronic hippos and crocodiles, along with the ballet’s rousing upbeat crescendo. Once again, trackless vehicles peerlessly dance to the tunes!

ACT 2C: Night on Bald Mountain (The Frightening Piece)

Vehicles cautiously creep amidst towering crags. Between them, guests glimpse horrifying specters rises from their tombs. They conduct these eerie demons. The music builds and builds, ultimately revealing a huge animatronic Chernabog flanked by flame effects! Vehicles dance in a circle around their profane overlord, surrounded by screens of gyrating demon revelers!

ACT 2D: Pines of Rome (The Beautiful Piece)

Icy glacier walls frame a starry nighttime under the Aurora Borealis. Guests conduct flocks of seabirds. As the music builds, a pod of whales rises from the ocean’s surface below…and flies into the heavens. Vehicles dance gracefully, beatifically around a glowing spectral orb. Above them, animatronic whales soar weightlessly, in a scene of pure transcendence.

NOTE: All these scenes – even the animatronics – are designed to be regularly changed out, much like Haunted Mansion and its holiday overlay in California. This allows us to occasionally feature other beloved Fantasia segments in the future, bringing guests back again and again. These future segments shall include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" (exciting), "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Carnival of the Animals" (humorous), "The Firebird" and "The Rite of Spring" (frightening), and "The Pastoral Symphony" and "Pomp and Circumstance" (beautiful).

As Act Two ends, the fours vehicles secretly join together within a star field room. Deems Taylor introduces the ride’s climax as the on-ride music changes:"Finally there is the kind of music which tells a definite story. A very ancient story, about a sorcerer who had an apprentice…"

ACT THREE: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Paul Dukas' symphonic poem – the most beloved and most famous of all of Fantasia's segments – carries us into a chamber. Vehicles pause before an animatronic Mickey Mouse asleep at a desk, dreaming, the shadows of hardworking brooms projected on the wall behind. In a Pepper's ghost effect, Mickey's spirit seems to rise from his body and float away. We follow Mickey's spirit to a mighty crag. Here, animatronic Mickey with sorcerer's hat magically commands the stars above and the waves below. Guests similarly control the earth and heavens with their touchscreens, performing feats of wondrous wizardry right alongside Mickey!

Soon we awake from our reverie! We’re back within Yen Sid’s masonic chambers, where a veritable army of living broomsticks endlessly fills a water well. These animatronic brooms are among Fantasia's neatest tricks – they too are trackless, able to weave and dance amongst ride vehicles! This is the ride’s climax, held in a massive room with 12 ride vehicles (three dispatches), much like the Heffalump room in Pooh’s Hunny Hunt. Trackless cars zoom from one show scene to another. They spin around broomsticks. They pause by a hallway where Mickey’s shadow is scene chopping brooms into splinters. They skirt around the well, overflowing with projected water. Gliding across a "watery" floor (which is really just blue lighting), vehicles pass an animatronic Mickey upon a gigantic book struggling to reverse his spell. As a grand finale, the four original vehicles twirl together around a deadly whirlpool projected upon the floor. Endless rows of brooms march the stairs above us!

A huge door swings open! An animatronic Yen Sid spreads his arms, and the waters splash away (minor spray effects). Vehicles sit atop a hidden motion base – another Hunny Hunt trick – where they feel a little rumble with every downbeat, with every gesture of Yen Sid’s arms. The music crescendos…and ends.

The concert program concludes. Escaping vehicles pause before a final screen of conductor Leopold Stokowski. Mickey Mouse, also in silhouette, rushes up to congratulate Mr. Stokowski. They shake hands. "Mr. Stokowski!" Mickey says. "Mr. Stokowski! My congratulations, sir." "Congratulations to you, Mickey," is the conductor's response. "Gee, thanks! Well, uh, so long. I'll be seein' ya!" "Goodbye."

Vehicles lastly arrive in a separate unloading chamber, the backstage area of the theater. Soggy instruments are chaotically strewn about, suggesting the aftermath of Mickey’s misadventure with the brooms. (Also in here is a dedicated ADA loading platform.) Guests unload amidst this mess, and exit via hallways back out onto Sunset Boulevard.

~ ~ ~
What do you guys think? As stated in my initial Sunset Boulevard post, this idea comes from the mind of @D Hindley, so all credit goes out to him! Now, for our next ride-through, we'll head over to the other side of the park to take a "most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational" ride...

See ya then; and until then, keep the feedback coming!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I think I'm gonna do these next few posts one right after the other. I'm really anxious to begin our journey through Disney's Animal Kingdom, so we'll do the last three posts for Hollywoodland tonight: the following ride-through, as well as details on the two biggest sources of entertainment here at the park.

~ ~ ~

The Great Muppet Ride

As part of the re-branding to Disney's Hollywoodland, fans of the Muppets will be delighted to hear that their presence in the park is expanding. Grand Avenue is turning into Muppet Studios, a land marked by an all-new attraction: The Great Muppet Ride. As I said in my initial post on the land, this ride will stand on the ground where Star Tours once stood. Separated by a brick wall from the rest of the 50's-inspired Echo Lake is the famous Muppet Theater.

The Muppet Theater stands triumphantly at the edge of Echo Lake, giving no clues as to what mayhem lies inside. Tethered down on one of the rooftops is Kermit's old hot-air balloon, which used to mark Muppet*Vision 3D, but was since removed because it would be seen from Galaxy's Edge. As we walk in, it is clear that this is no ordinary theater. A ticket booth sits in the entrance. We see a sleeping rat in the chair with tickets in his hand. As we continue to move through the queue, we see a number of movie posters on the wall. The floor is a floral pattern, as can be found in old theaters, and the walls are red and gold. A ledge about 20 feet above the floor runs the length of the walls.

Spaced out evenly around the lobby are golden statues. Each has a mirror image of itself so that they appear to be touching one another. We see Kermit standing magnificently and flexing. Another is Gonzo staring at the sky with his nose up, touching the nose of the mirror. Miss Piggy lays on a chaise lounge with her hair blowing in the wind. Around the top of the room are lights shining towards the ceiling inside gold shells. An elaborate chandelier hangs at the center of the room, made of ornate crystal with gold accents. High above is a small balcony. Every so often we see Kermit appear on the balcony. He speaks to the crowds below.

KERMIT: Oh gosh, that’s a lot of people. (Clears throat) Hello, everybody. Thank you all for coming to the world premiere of The Great Muppet Ride! We’ve been so excited to bring you a one of a kind attraction and we hope you all enjoy it very much. You know, we’ve done so many performances in this theater, and it feels really good to put it to use again. We feel right at home and we hope you do too.

SCOOTER (interrupting): Kermit, we need you backstage.



KERMIT: Oh, well, all right. Sorry folks, it looks like I’m needed backstage. Well I hope you all enjoy the ride. On behalf of all the Muppets, we thank you for coming to the Great Muppet Ride!

We pass doors at the front of the room and move down the hallway toward the backstage area. The halls are lined with posters from Muppet films, records, and signatures of the guests and performers that have played this beautiful theater throughout the years. As we reach the end of the short hall, we come to the backstage area-- a small room with cream-painted brick walls and green accents on the doors. Up a small set of stairs, we pass two dressing rooms from which we can hear indiscernible voices, chickens, Cows, Bike Horns, a trombone practicing, and other random noises occasionally. At the end is one last door that says “loading bays.” This is where trucks usually pull up to unload equipment for shows, but it has been transformed into the loading platform for The Great Muppet Ride.

Like Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway over at the Chinese Theatre, this is a trackless dark ride. The ride vehicles can arrange themselves in infinite ways. For example, they could be configured in Omnimover fashion, in a roller coaster car pattern, or even in a theater seating formation.

The ride vehicles will consist of two rows that can each seat up to 4 people. They will have a red and gold color scheme, with decorative patterns and fleur de lis on both flanks. The ride will board in groups of 5 vehicles at a time, which will also travel together throughout the experience. Animatronic versions of Statler and Waldorf will occupy the front row of one of the vehicles from each group, riding with the guests and occasionally commenting on the action. Thus, the maximum total capacity of each group of vehicles will be 36 people.

As we enter our ride vehicle, we hear a short Sousa-esque fanfare as Sam the Eagle can be heard through the vehicles’ speakers.

SAM: Ahem. Welcome, gentlemen and ladies to the Great Muppet Ride. Before you ride, I must notify you of all safety concerns. Please keep all arms, and legs inside the ride vehicles, with all of your personal belongings in the net...thing below your seat. Ehem. Yes. Not complying is not only uncivilized, but is also extremely unpatriotic.

Suddenly, Waldorf chimes in.

WALDORF: You’d think this ride is dangerous.

STATLER: No. He’s right. We’d all be running to the end, otherwise.

The pair laugh their iconic laugh.

SAM: Yes. Hmm. Finally, no flash photography or video while riding.

Statler and Waldorf again pipe in.

STATLER: Why not?

WALDORF: That's a good thing. It’ll keep us from seeing the ride.

BOTH: Ohohohoho!

With a quick thanks, Sam’s fanfare fades as we pull out of the loading platform.

Rounding a corner, with each car following single file, we begin making our way down a beautifully decorated hall. The walls are adorned with deep red curtains and large marble arches. In between each arch stand marble statues, each depicting a different Muppet. As we make our way down the hall, a fanfare very reminiscent of the Muppet Show theme begins. Suddenly, we hear another voice.

KERMIT: Hi-ho, Kermit the Frog here, and welcome to the Great Muppet Ride! We’ve spent countless hours into making the best ride we could, and are now ready to show it off to you.

Making a slight turn, we notice that the statues and arches have disappeared, and we are now in a hall only adorned with red curtains. Towards the end of the hall, we can make out a large canvas sign bearing the Great Muppet Ride logo blocking the ride path. Continuing down closer to this sign, the fanfare builds and builds, eventually becoming a full blown-out rendition of the end of the Muppet Show theme with lyrics about the Great Muppet Ride. The wall curtains raise to reveal a whole chorus of Muppets on each side, very enthusiastically singing their song.

"It's time to play the music,
it's time to light the lights!
It's time to get things started
on the most sensational,
Here we go, it's the Great Muppet Ride!"

Finally the line of vehicles stop right in front of the large canvas sign as the song climaxes. As the last note holds, the canvas sign very quickly and unceremoniously rolls up, revealing....

...a completely empty and drab-looking warehouse. The last note of the song collapses.

WALDORF: "Well that was a surprise.

STATLER: You're telling me. This is much better than I expected.


We emerge into a warehouse-like soundstage. Bare and dilapidated, one thing is certain—despite what we were lead to believe, this is NOT the Great Muppet Ride. Our ride vehicles move toward the other side of the room and stop in a circle formation around a table, where animatronic versions of Kermit, Scooter, Rizzo, and Walter are gathered in deep discussion.

KERMIT: You’re telling me we LOST the whole RIDE?

SCOOTER: Er, sorry Boss, but it looks like it. See, I can’t figure out how it happened. We had it here ready to install yesterday, but—

WALTER: We have to try to find it! Look, (motions toward ride vehicles) the guests are already here!

RIZZO: Oh, come on. Kermit, this is great! Listen, how are we supposed to make money on rides anyway? Now we can use the land for merchandise sales! Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s take out some benches. People can’t buy anything when they’re sitting down!

KERMIT: No, Walter’s right. We have to try to find the ride. (to guests) Hey, why don’t you help us look? It won’t take too long.

SCOOTER: I have a bad feeling about this…

Our ride vehicles regroup and exit the soundstage.

We find ourself in a beautiful tropical-themed room, with birds of all sorts hanging from the rafters. The birds from the "Birds In the Trees" sketch, the chickens, the penguins, and even a reluctant Sam Eagle all make an appearance. A miniature Big Bird also makes a cameo. One notable group are birds from one of Jim Henson's early sketches for the Muppet Show:

The birds break into a chorus of the Tiki Room song. Several of them sing off-key, and Sam rolls his eyes in displeasure.

SAM: Bah! This is undignified!

Nevertheless, the singing goes on, and our ride vehicle moves through the maze of birds as their perches are drawn up into the rafters to allow us to move through.

We hear the voice of Kermit, who seems aghast at the spectacle.

KERMIT: What's going on here?

BIRD: We heard you couldn't find your ride. So we decided to make our own! Oh, and guess what, the others are doing the same thing!

KERMIT: Oh boy... (to audience) We'd better find that ride quickly.


As we enter the next room, we see Dr. Bunsen Honeydew appear on a screen.

HONEYDEW: Welcome to Muppet Labs. I am Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, and this is my faithful assistant, Beaker.

As we make our way further into the room, we notice that the room is really just one giant screen. There are no props, no theme; only a giant floor to ceiling screen that gently curves at the room’s corner. Suddenly, Kermit pipes in.

KERMIT: Dr. Honeydew, what exactly is this?

HONEYDEW: Ah, Mr. Kermit, I’m glad you asked. This is the future of themed attractions. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Muppet Labs Virtual Ride. With this system, there are endless possibilities.

KERMIT: But Dr. Honeydew, where’s the excitement? Where’s the adventure?

STATLER: Where's the exit?

HONEYDEW: But, Mr. Kermit, you don’t understand. With the right technology, we can create an exciting attraction for millions of people to enjoy. Just take a look at Beaker. Can’t you see him tittering with delight?

We hear Beaker scream as the screen pans to show Beaker, in a vehicle similar to our own, shooting back and forth, and spinning all around an empty warehouse. Dr. Honeydew continues.

HONEYDEW: See, it’s perfectly safe. Allow me to further demonstrate.

Suddenly, the vehicles come to life as they begin madly spinning and zigzagging through the empty room.

STATLER: They’re trying to shake us.

WALDORF: Good. Anything to get us out of here quicker.

Suddenly, Beaker’s car crashes into a large machine with a bang and a flash. The screen quickly swipes back to Dr. Honeydew.

HONEYDEW: Oh no, Beaker. You’ve gotten into the Clone-O-Matic again.

KERMIT: C-clone-O-Matic?

HONEYDEW: Yes. It was a failed experiment. It makes hundreds of smaller copies of whatever is put into it.

We hear thousands of meeps off in the distance, apparently all running off together.

HONEYDEW: Wait. Beakers! Where are you going? I need to corral the Beakers. Thank you.

KERMIT: ...well thanks, Doctor Honeydew. Now, how do we get out of here?

Suddenly, our cars once again come to life and form a single file line. Turning to the left, we quickly make our way towards the screen. Without any hesitation, we “crash” through the large screen leading into the next scene.

KERMIT: Well that’s one way to get out. And we’ve found the Beakers.


Passing through the now broken screen, we find ourselves in a very bright room. The room is decorated with abstract pastel shapes and mobiles. As we wind our way through the room, we notice that something’s a bit...off. It seems as though all the Beakers have gotten together to perform a rounding, piercing rendition of “It’s a Small World.”

STATLER: (hums "It's a Small World")

WALDORF: Wh-what are you doing?

STATLER: This song. It...gets to me.

WALDORF: Oh no. It’s getting to us!


WALDORF: (screaming) Let us out of here! It’s starting to get to us.

We continue through the room, passing the multitude of Beakers as they wreak havoc through the ride. One Beaker has gotten himself stuck in a large, Mary Blair-esque hippopotamus. Another has fallen backwards through the set, revealing part of the backstage area behind the ride. A few Beakers fly about in brightly colored airplanes. Of course, one has fallen out, hanging on for dear life. One Beaker has soared even higher than the aviator Beakers; right into the set lighting hanging from the tall ceilings. Despite their accident-prone nature, the Beakers still meep along to the song in perfect harmony.

Finally after passing all of the Beakers, we see Dr. Honeydew off slightly backstage. He’s holding a very large net, probably to capture the Beakers. Behind him stands a very large machine. It’s the Clone-o-Matic, with the word “Un” taped to the side, right before the word “Clone.”

Leaving the beautiful sounds of Beaker behind, we begin to enter a more circus-looking area, passing by a gigantic, vintage looking poster advertising “The Great Gonzo” and his Human Cannonball act.

STATLER: The Great Gonzo.

WALDORF: Heh. The only thing great about him is his health insurance.

BOTH: Ohohoho!

Turning a corner, we see a gigantic red and yellow cannon pointed off in the distance (it’s a matte.) As we make our way closer to the cannon, a short trumpet fanfare flares up as we hear the voice of Gonzo.

GONZO: Welcome, ladies and gentlemen. Tonight, you will witness my most incredible act yet. The first interactive stunt to be performed EVER. Perfect for a theme park ride! Now, please, if you will step into the cannon.

STATLER: Wha-- You want us to go into the cannon?

GONZO: Please, I'm running on a schedule.

With that, we are ushered into the back of the cannon. It’s dark inside. We can see a small bit of light above, obviously looking out of the cannon.

GONZO: Now. Get ready in 5...4…


GONZO: Not now, darling.

Amid the clucks, we feel a short bounce. Gonzo yells.

GONZO: No! Don’t adjust the cannon. It’s already been lit.

The elevator begins sending us up as we are shot from the cannon and sent through the clouds. We stop with a thud. The doors open to a bright light.

STATLER: Are we dead?

WALDORF: Oh, I hope so.


In an open area that appears to be somewhere on Main Street USA, we come to a snack cart. The vehicles form a line side by side in front of a large countertop covered with food. On the right is a popcorn kettle. On the left is a large pot with steam coming from the top. The smell of baked bread fills the air as we see Pops the doorman run from behind the cart with a huge basket of baguettes. All of a sudden a Muppet with a red mustache and a chef's hat much too big for his head pops up behind the counter.

SWEDISH CHEF: Halooo. Her da shmerda floopy dor?

WALDORF: What did he say?

STATLER: No clue, was that English?

CHEF: Bork a florda da bork, ba doo. Floopy Dor?

WALDORF: I think he’s asking if we’d like anything to eat?

STATLER: I think everyone here would love a cheeseburger.

At this request the chef stops moving about and slowly looks at Statler. A small tomato on the table begins to speak.

TOMATO: Oh, now you did it. Take cover everyone.

All of a sudden, the chef goes crazy. He begins to grab popcorn, candy apples, and turkey legs and throws them everywhere. He’s yelling and banging on the table. During this time a small lobster begins to move across the table as if to try and get away. The Chef seems him, grabs him and throws him back into the pot on his left that splashes. Small squirts of water fly at us along with more items in the chef’s rampage.

TOMATO: You guys had better get out of here.

WALDORF: You don’t have to tell me twice.

STATLER: Lets blow this chicken coop.

The Vehicles begin to move again into a single line. The table moves to the right and out of our way while the chef pushes his cart away, still ranting in understandable Swedish and throwing food everywhere.

The vehicle rotates 45 degrees to the right but keeps moving slowly in the same direction. We see a grand pirate ship, two-masted, with sails tattered and ripped. The ramparts are scuffed and charred from battles past. We see cannons sticking out and firing across our path. As we move past, bursts of air blow as red light flashes from the cannons of the ship. At the helm is Dr. Teeth. Instead of his normal hat he is sporting a wide brimmed black hat with holes in the brim and a long green feather sticking straight back. He’s dressed in a black floor length coat with a white shirt, a cutlass in one hand and the helm in the other. He laughs and waves his sword. In the center of the main deck, we see 4 cannons fanning outward. As we move even with them, a scraggly pink and orange figure pops up behind them wearing an eye patch and sporting a bandanna and gold hoop earrings. He begins to bang on the cannons vigorously with drum sticks as he begins to shout.


A loud BOOM and a huge puff of smoke and red light flashes from each of the barrels. The smoke blocks our view of everything and all we hear is the music from Pirates of the Caribbean and distant cannon fire. The smoke clears as we pass the figurehead on the bow of the ship. Where there is usually a woman or animal of some kind we see Miss Piggy carved beautifully but chipped, scratched and showing signs of years at sea.

We move through to a dark room and hear spooky sounds in the dark as the vehicle turns back.


We find ourselves entering a room very reminiscent of the classic ballroom scene from The Haunted Mansion. Looking up a bit, we notice Wayne and Wanda as they dance on a balcony in front of a large set of windows. Completely wrapped in each other, they sing “Here I’ll Stay” from the musical Love Life. As Wanda sings the lyric “Here I’ll stay,” there is a sudden crash of thunder and lightning. The pair are startled by it, lose their balance and crash through the window they were dancing in front of.

Leaving that disaster behind, we find ourselves in the middle of the ballroom, surrounded by pairs of dancers perpetually waltzing. In the distance, we hear an organ playing the iconic “At the Dance” theme from the Muppet Show. Here, the vehicles separate and twist and turn through the ballroom, stopping at two sets of dancers each. For simplicity’s sake, here’s a list of what these dancers will say

Ghost 1: I’m getting into the moving business
Ghost 2: Local?
Ghost 1: No. Ghost to ghost.

Bat: You drive me absolutely batty.


Ghost 1: Why don’t we stop and have a drink
Ghost 2: We can’t. They don’t serve spirits here.

Date: Can you keep a secret?
Mummy: Of course. I’m great at keeping things under wraps.

Ghost 1: I’ve started collecting rocks.
Ghost 2: Oh yeah? What kind?
Ghost 1: Tombstones.

Monster 1: I’ve been reading a lot of Shakespeare.
Monster 2: Oh yeah? What’s your favorite?
Monster 1: Romeo and Ghouliet.

We reconvene at the other end of the ballroom, and see that the organ is being played by none other than Rowlf. As we pass, Rowlf turns his head and says:

ROWLF: Heh. How’s that for a sprited dance routine?


We enter a theater that looks much like the Muppet Theater, but much smaller. The vehicles line up side-by-side and the lights go dark. A Dixie style piano kicks in and a small curtain to the left of the main stage opens, and there stands a rather shabby looking bear with a pink and white bow tie and brown hat, holding a guitar.

FOZZIE: Howdy everyone, and welcome to the Fozzie Bear Jamboree. You know we always start the show with a joke, and I’ve got a great one for you tonight. In our house we use paper plates. At the end of the meal my wife erases the dishes…Wocka Wocka!

WALDORF: Hey, you remind me of Edger Allen Poe.

FOZZIE: Edger Allen Poe wasn’t funny.

WALDORF: Yeah, and neither are you!

Both laugh.

FOZZIE: Hm…Tough ride. Now folks, we have a real treat for you. A beauty beyond anything you could possibly imagine. She comes from a small town in upstate New York, but she’s as country as a coyote on a moon lit night. A voice with angelic qualities…

MISS PIGGY: (shrieking from off-stage) Hurry it up, will ya!

FOZZIE: Okay, okay…The Beautiful Miss Piggy!

Our vehicles move into the next room, an almost identical theater. The tune of “Many Happy Hangovers to You” begins as Fozzie begins to strum. From the ceiling, a swing slowly lowers with Miss Piggy sitting on it. Wearing a pink dress and matching hat with flowers, she begins to sing. Come the chorus, she begins to swing faster and faster. In her excitement she falls off the swing and out of sight, screaming into the orchestra pit at the front of the stage. The music awkwardly stops.

STATLER: Encore, Encore!

WALDORF: Not so loud. They may hear you and start it all over again.

FOZZIE: Sorry folks it looks like we need a few more rehearsals.

WALDORF: A few? I wouldn’t quit your day jobs.

Both laugh.

In the style of Dumbo the Flying Elephant, we see a spinner ride before us. But instead of ride vehicles; the penguins are strapped to the arms of the spinner. They are going crazy, controlling the arms of the ride to go up and down. We hear Kermit’s voice:

KERMIT: Looks like they can finally fly!

Our ride vehicles arrange themselves into a circular formation around the spinner ride, each of them lining up with and facing one of the penguins. We begin to rotate at the same speed as the penguins, which eventually gets even faster, until we break off and keep spinning into the next scene.

WALDORF: Penguins flying? Now I've seen everything.

STATLER: No you haven't.

WALDORF: I haven't?

STATLER: You can't see 3 feet in front of you without your glasses!

We move into a new room, which is an elevator with combined physical sets and screens. It is clear to see that the Muppets have gone a little overboard. It seems that they all are trying so hard to impress that they are falling over each other: Pigs on our left with a cotton candy stand, rats to the right running a variety of midway games (basketball shot, a dunk tank, and ring toss, among others). At the end of the row we see a rather small rat attempting to carry a giant stuffed Mickey, rather unsuccessfully as she is struggling to lift it.

The final game we see is Break a Plate. Seemingly from nowhere, a fish is launched from across the room. Looking back where it came from, we see Lew Zealand celebrating as he has successfully broken a plate. We move foreword and we see 4 singing cacti dressed as the Dapper Dans, singing “You Are My Sunshine”. Muppets begin to move so fast in a giant whirlwind, that we can barely make out who they are anymore. Baskerville the hound takes pictures with Goofy, Annie Sue and Milred Huxetter run past as they jump in line for bumper cars; even Robin the Frog, Kermits little nephew, seems to be running amok. A loud bang is heard and the Flying Zucchini Brothers go flying overhead. Beauregard and George the Janitor try desperately to clean up after them. Dropping popcorn on the ground behind them is Waldo C. Graphic. He stops just in front of us and winks before moving on behind George.

STATLER: You think they've gone a bit overboard?

WALDORF: Nah, this is just the medium part of the ride.

STATLER: The medium part?

WALDORF: Well, it's certainly not well done.

Both laugh.

In the midst of all the chaos, we hear Walter’s voice yelling.

WALTER: Wait, everybody!

Suddenly, the hubbub stops. Our ride vehicles begin to turn around and proceed out of the elevator room, as dramatic music begins to play in the background. Walter gets our attention again, standing before us as an animatronic.

WALTER: Guys! The ride is just around the corner. It was here the whole time!

Turning the corner, we once again see an entrance with a large canvas over it that reads The Great Muppet Ride. This time, Kermit is sitting on top of the entrance. The rest of the Muppets all flock to the ride, as our vehicle moves steadily toward it. Fiber-optic fireworks shaped and colored like Muppets characters are set off in the background, framing the ride entrance beautifully. As the dramatic music builds up even further, the Muppets start another chorus of their theme song.

As soon as the canvas covering the entrance is lifted... a giant explosion lights up the entire scene, destroying everything. The lights go completely dark for a few seconds.

STATLER: That’s what they call a “brilliant” finale!

When the dust clears, we see Crazy Harry before us in the entrance of the ride, laughing maniacally. The Great Muppet Ride has been completely destroyed. Our vehicles move into what was the ride entrance, where we see the other Muppets turn to Kermit, covered in ash and soot from the explosion.

FOZZIE: Kermit, we didn’t mean to go completely crazy coming up with new rides.

PEPE: Yah, we were just trying to help, okay.

KERMIT: (sighs) I know. (turns in our direction) And even though you all didn’t get to experience the Great Muppet Ride… well, I think the search for it was a pretty good ride in itself!

The other Muppets nod their heads, murmuring in agreement. They break into song, singing one last musical number in the ruins of the Great Muppet Ride. The song they sing is, of course, "The Rainbow Connection." However, it won't be identical to it's former versions, but more of an adaptation that combines nostalgia with new energy. The song begins normally but as the song progresses, the tune and tone of the piece becomes more upbeat. This conveys the emotions of the Muppets as they realize that despite the fact that the ride has been destroyed, them being together is all that matters.

Why are there so many songs about rainbows

And what's on the other side...
Then the speed begins to pick up.
Rainbows are visions (visions)
But only illusions (illusions)
And rainbows have nothing to...

What's so amazing
That keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see
Someday we'll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

All of us under its spell, we know that it's probably magic

Have you been half asleep?
And have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name
Is this the sweet sound
That called the young sailors?
The voice might be one in the same

I've heard it too many times to ignore it
It's something that I'm supposed to be
Someday we'll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

La da da di da da dum da duh da da dum di da ohhh

Our ride vehicle turns to look back at them as it moves into the unloading platform.

STATLER: That was terrible!

WALDORF: Absolutely awful!

STATLER: Let’s ride it again!

I can easily see why this won the hearts of The Sorcerer's Apprentice a few years ago. It's an absolute treat, and one that would definitely be a must-do for any day at Disney's Hollywoodland!

~ ~ ~
Top Bottom