Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lost Imagineering: The Great Muppet Movie Ride

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.


Marcy Massura said...

I adore the Muppet 3D movie at Disney California Adventure...of course I am sure its days are numbered as it is never very busy. The movie is fun -but it the cleaver props and set dressing in the line that I love the most. Today I posted this pic of me by the 'stress testing department'. Love it. I think I want to change my home office door to look like this. :) here is link...

Unknown said...

Loved this series when it was a regular thing. Where do you find these?

You could do a lost Disney films companion series. Gremlins appear in Epic Mickey, and it could be a nice kick off. Keep up the great work.