18 January 2013

No Toons

Once upon a time, Roger Rabbit and his compatriots of Toontown were the characters to see in Disney-MGM Studios. While they still have a presence in the park, now Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it is not nearly to same level of saturation it once was. Of course, if you want to harken back to those days, you could always stop by Backlot Express.

Sure, we all know that the Toon Patrol paddy wagon is sitting in the middle of the patio area, but I’m in search of some real old school nods to Disney-MGM Studios and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Once inside the restaurant, take a right and move up the ramp to the elevated seating area. You’ll see a cleverly hidden beverage and utensil stand, beyond that you’ll see a locked office. Luckily for all of us, some of the blinds are entirely closed. While this office may look like a functioning part of a backlot warehouse, it is simply set dressing for the restaurant. However, if you look hard enough through the window, you just might see a bulletin board with hints of what once resided in the park.

Most guests would assume that the weasels seen in front of the Toon Patrol vehicle had simply been removed over the years, but there is more to this story. The paddy wagon, pictured in the top left of this bulletin board actually comes from a time when the ACME Gagworks was recreated in Disney-MGM Studios. It was the pit-stop area between the tram and walking portions of the Backlot Studio Tour. Here guests could see gag props, take pictures with cutout character photo ops, see Judge Doom’s Dipmobile, and even play around with some crates filled with sounds.

Today, the weasels and the ACME Gagworks have vanished and the Toon Patrol paddy wagon has been transplanted, but there are still a few props that reside in the prop warehouse as you make your way to the trams of the Studio Backlot Tour. Even the elephant can be seen hanging from the rafters in the small shop across from the Studios Catering Company. Yet, these photos pinned  away on an office bulletin board in Backlot Express, show just a glimmer of what Roger Rabbit and the other toons once meant to the Studios theme park.

No comments: