26 August 2009

Film busy street scenes

When people think back to the early days of Disney-MGM Studios, they are often of two minds. The two camps of thought is that the park felt incomplete or they speak to how this was the golden age of the park. A common, and correct, counter-argument to the fact that the Studios now has less of the mechanics of filmmaking is that, when the park opened, DVDs and their bonus features were still light-years away. Now, most of the features the early version of the park presented guests with would be considered old hat and common knowledge thanks to technology.However, the early years of the park also have some grant us with some of the most magnificent experiences and set pieces. Take, for instance, this aerial photograph of New York Street, as the Streets of America area was then known. Without digging too deeply it shows us everything on along the south side of the park, including the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, and the hot air balloon used for MuppetVision 3-D.

Pealing back the layers of the picture, however, reveals some of the truly unique experiences and most memorable scenes from the early years of the park. The gaggles of people clumped together midway along the right side of the photograph are clearly waiting for something. I may very well be in this grouping, as I too waiting countless times for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stage show which ran from June of 1990 until 1996.

Moving the microscope down to the bottom right of the image gives us a sliver of the Bulldog Cafe set from The Rocketeer. Though the movie was not the success Disney had hoped for, this fa├žade was one of the most memorable set pieces from the Backstage Studio Tour, along with the Golden Girls’ house.

No matter your thoughts on the first years of Disney-MGM Studios, one thing is for certain, a park that was built to celebrate the golden age and history of filmmaking has had a grand time in crafting its own history.

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