Thursday, January 13, 2011
No, it's not a reprint. This is an honest-to-goodness, brand new Lost Imagineering post. It has been a long couple of years since we posted our last virtual trading card in the series (Chinatown in January 2009) but we have returned with not one, but two new cards.
Yet another lost dream of the Disney Decade, the Great Muppet Movie Ride was part of a larger Muppet Studios concept set to debut at the Disney-MGM Studios in the mid-1990s. The attraction would have been a clever and slapstick-filled riff on that park's Great Movie Ride. Early concept art showcased two proposed scenes, a mad scientist's laboratory inspired by early Hollywood horror films, and a spoof of Disney's own Peter Pan. Jim Henson was especially excited about evolving his Muppet creations into audio-animatronics; sadly his death and the subsequent collapse of the first proposed Disney-Muppet merger ultimately forced the project's cancellation.
The show building for the attraction would have been built adjacent to the existing Muppet*Vision 3-D theater and the surrounding area would have morphed into a Muppet Studios themed area. Part of that expansion would have been the Great Gonzo Pandemonium Pizza Parlor, a memento and ephemera-themed restaurant akin to Planet Hollywood and the Hard Rock Cafe. Its proposed location later became the Mama Melrose Ristorante Italiano.