Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Little Spark-- The Muppet Studios Tour

Muppet Studios Logo

Nearly 2 years ago now, I was in an Imagineering contest over at the WDWmagic forums, in which players would be given tasks to create attractions to improve Walt Disney World. There was one idea in particular that I was extremely proud of, and so, seeing as how this is my strongest idea to date, I think it's perfect to have this attraction be the first fully developed and detailed project posted on this blog. For the contest, we were to create a brand new Dark Ride for Disney's Hollywood Studios, and immediately I knew I wanted my ride to be Muppet-themed. The Great Muppet Movie Ride was off limits (this had to be a 100% original idea) but that was ok, because I actually had been developing a new Muppet attraction called The Muppet's Take New York, a whimsical and crazy tour through the streets of NYC, Muppet-Style (think DCA's SuperStar Limo + Muppet characters). Although that attraction probably would've fit perfectly into the "Streets of America" section of DHS, after developing the ride further I somehow wound up with The Muppet Studios Tours. What follows is my description of the ride from WDWmagic:

Backstory: The Muppet Studios is now open to all guests wishing to catch a glimpse of how the Muppet's create their movie magic through the Muppet Studios Tour!

List of Show Scenes:

1. Introductions/Studio Gate

2. Muppet Studios Lounge

3. Sweedish Chef's Kitchen

4. The Great Gonzo and Bean Bunny

5. Muppet Sound Studio

6. Muppet FX Labs

7. Miss Piggy's Trailer

8. Finale/Rainbow Connection

Scene Descriptions

Introductions/Studio Gate-

Once you've boarded your tram, you begin your journey to the studio gate with the old familar, "Hi-Ho! Kermit the Frog here..." as Kermit (on a video screen), explains that he will be your tourguide. He also goes on to talk about a grand finale that the 'ole gang has been preparing for the grand opening of the tours. Nearing the gate, you'll notice the rats are selling discounted tickets to their own version of the studio tour (a gag that will continue throughout the attraction), along with merchandise that they've "borrowed" from the stars. Nearing the gate, Bobo the Bear stops your vehicle, being the noble and good studio guard he is. He and Kermit would have a humours spat until finally Kermit convinces Bobo to let you through.

Muppet Studios Lounge-

Kermit would begin appologizing for the inconvience caused by Bobo back at the gate as you'd enter your first stop on the tour, the Cast Lounge/Commisary. As Kermit would go about his dialouge talking about the lounge, Fozzy Bear would stop him, as he just HAS to try out his new material on the passing tour group. Of course, no Fozzy joke is complete without Statler and Waldorf heckling in the background. Saddly, before Fozzy has the opportunity to finish his jokes, he is interupted by a loud, "BANG!" coming form the direction of the kitchen, which leads us to our next scene...

Sweedish Chef's Kitchen-

As you enter the kitchen, it appears that the Chef is having quite some difficulty trying to cook a chicken...of course the problems come from the fact that the chicken is still alive. First trying to knock the chicken over the head with a sledge hammer, then grabbing a shotgun, Kermit is finally able to get the tram out just before the Sweedish Chef pulls out a cannon!

The Great Gonzo & Bean Bunny-

Quickly getting out of the kitchen, the trams enter a street near a soundstage labeled, "Stunt Arena", as Kermit again appologizes for all of the inconviences and begins to talk about the next stop on the tour. Up ahead, Bean Bunny can be seen strolling down the street, carrying buckets of paint and brushes and rollers, when suddenly, "KABLOOM!!!!", the Great Gonzo (on a weird Gonzo-Bike) comes crashing through the roof of the stunt arena, flies through the air and then, "THUD!", land right on top of Bean Bunny, sending the paint and rollers everywhere (as soon as Gonzo lands on Bean, smoke fills the air, allowing for the animatronics to switch out between the clean versions and the painty-messy versions). As Kermit began to ask Gonzo what on earth he was doing, Rizzo and Pepe would come running out of the stunt arena talking about how amazing that was, asking if Gonzo was alright, and totally neglecting Bean Bunny. Comedic dialouge between the characters would ensue, and then the tour would move on.

The Muppet Sound Studios-

The next stop on the tour is the Muppet Sound Studios, where you'll come accross Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem in the sound booth recording their next hit, with Scooter as their producer. After listening to a little bit of the song, Animal would begin to be distracted by the tour vehicles, getting excited by the guests, escaping, and chasing the tour vehicles into the next scene.

The Muppet FX Labs-

The place to find Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker. Good news is, you're just in time to chatch a glimpse of their latest and greatest invention, the FX Genor8tor. This device creates any kind of effect you need for the film being made in a matter of minutes. Against Kermit's better judgement, Dr. Honeydew insists on giving the audience a test run, and asks Beaker to push the lever onto the "Rainbow" icon. Suddenly, a Rainbow appears from the machine right over guest's heads. Dr Honeydew would then say something along the lines of, "That's right the FX Genor8tor can create litterally anything, whether it be peaceful, such as the rainbow you just saw, or explosive, such as...", just then Crazy Harry would pop up from out of nowhere and shout, "DID YOU SAY EXPLOSIVE?!?!?!". He'd then explode his TNT, causing Beaker to fly across the room and knocking the lever to "Tornado". With a gust of wind, machines and scientific items would begin flying around the room in a giant tornado, as Honeydew and Kermit urge guests to remain calm. Suddenly one of the items would crash into the tram, causing it to go haywire and immediately exit the FX Labs.

Miss Piggy's Trailer-

Crashing through a wall of the FX Labs, (with your vehicles jerking around quite a bit and moving a little faster), you make your way down a studio street with several Muppets dodging out of the way of the vehicles. Your vehicle then comes to a complete and sudden stop, after it's crashed into Ms. Piggy's trailer of course. Piggy infuriated (and in curlers in a robe), has been getting ready for the big finale, and threatens that if Kermit doesn't get the guests out of her trailer soon she'll be having frog legs for dinner with a side of melon...within seconds of the threat, Kermit and Dr Honeydew announce they've been able to get the trams up and running again.

Finale/Rainbow Connection-

Backing out of Piggy's trailer, Kermit tells everyone that it's almost time for the grand finale. You then enter a soundstage with all the lights completely shut off. Suddenly, one single spotlight shines on a Kermit AA, strummin on the banjo and sitting on a log (with a swamp facade behind him). He starts, "Why are there so many songs about rainbows..." The lights in the room then slowly begin to fade up as the entire Muppet cast joins him in the finale song from "The Muppet Movie" (in front of the "Magic Store" facade). Kermit then thanks you for taking the tour and then wishes everyone a Magical day at The Walt Disney Studios Themepark.

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