Saturday, February 2, 2013

Roger Rabbit's Hollywood

Here is a small glimpse at the land that never was in the Disney-MGM Studios park. Roger Rabbit's Hollywood was a proposed section of the park, and was all ready to go until plans changed for whatever reason. Here we can see a replica of the Acme warehouse and Maroon Cartoons building doubling as "Maroon Studios" from the description in the photo. We can't tell what this building was going to serve as but it would have been large and served a great purpose if only to bring us that much more into the movie. The other is of concept art for the Roger Rabbit Toontown Trolley ride, which was to be a motion simulation ride much like Star Tours. There were also plans for Baby Herman's Runaway Baby Buggy, another dark-light ride much like Car Toon Spin, that takes you careening through the hospital hallways seen in Tummy Trouble. A Toontown Diner was also planned as the main restaurant.

A recreation of The Terminal Bar where Dolores worked would have been another eatery, and would have connected to the Red Car Trolley, as seen in the film. There's never been any information on how much of a role Jessica Rabbit would have played if this section of the park was created (merchandise, a costumed character, etc) but it has been said that Roger was going to be included in the original gang (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald and Goofy) and was being pushed to be as famous and recognizable as Goofy.

While Roger Rabbit's Hollywood only made it to concept stage, the area it was to be located in was around the newer Sunset Boulevard (the street leading to the Tower of Terror) during its second phase of construction/expansion in the 90's. The Rock 'n' Roller Coaster is roughly one spot the land would have been. A scale model for that area of the park (photo left courtesy shows how invested Disney was with Roger Rabbit. The section was to include what might have been the parks first roller coaster, based on the cartoon short Roller Coaster Rabbit. According to a New York Times article:

Movies Provide Themes For Disney World Attractions
February 18, 1990 | By New York Times News Service

Disney's movie division is providing inspiration for a new series of back lot "neighborhoods," rides and restaurants at Disney-MGM Studios in Florida. According to plans for the theme park announced recently, the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?," made by a Disney subsidiary, Touchstone Pictures, will be the source for an area called Roger Rabbit's Hollywood to be built in the mid-1990s.

This will be a kind of Toontown, where-as in the movie-only cartoon characters may live.

Visitors will meet the movie's eponymous cartoon hero, ride a Toontown trolley rocked by flight simulators, hop into Benny the cartoon cab, and careen in overaged Baby Herman's baby buggy through a Toontown hospital.

While plans for a grand Roger Rabbit Land were unfortunately scrapped, a small Roger Rabbit-themed area was created in Disney-MGM Studios where you could buy merchandise, take photos with standees, and play amongst many props - some of which were from the actual movie. (photo right via 2719 Hyperion)

Aside from some presence in the early days of the Disney-MGM Studios, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin was a ride created in the Toontown area of Disneyland, and there was a Jessica Rabbit Store that briefly existed in Disney World's Pleasure Island.