Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Where to find Roger Rabbit in Walt Disney World

Mitchell Stein- Many people complain that there is no Who Framed Roger Rabbit items or attractions to be found in Walt Disney World. Sure, he got a dark ride in Disneyland California, but why is Roger completely absent from the Orlando parks?

 After visiting the parks last week, I come to realize that you can find a lot of Roger Rabbit related locations in Disney’s Hollywood Studios itself! If you know where to look.
Today we’ll tour through the Hollywood Studios Park showcasing all the various different places you can find lots of hidden Roger Rabbi gems and secrets.

The first stop you might want to make is to see the Maroon Cartoons billboard just off of Hollywood Boulevard, across from Echo Lake and Hollywood & Vine. They usually set up a FP+ kiosk around there. On the sign (picture included) you’ll see Roger, Jessica and Baby Herman with the familiar Warner Bros. red back around. It seems to have faded throughout it’s time since it was put there in 1990’s and no one ever took care of it, but it’s still pretty cool and you should check it out.



While you’re there, do a 180-turn and face Hollywood & Vine. Above the restaurant, you see a window that reads “Valiant & Valiant Private Investigators” and right next to that, you’ll see a hole in the window that’s well…rabbit shaped, inspired by the scene where Roger emotionally breaks down and smashes through Eddie Valiant’s window!


Photos: StudioCentral.com

According to Disney historian Jim Korkis, if you follow the direct path from the window that leads to behind the Animation Courtyard, there’s a painting of Roger on the wall. It’s to be as if Roger ran out the window and headed straight for the courtyard. Sadly, you can only see that in the cast member section, so unless you happen to work there, you might not be able to see it.

You may have heard that after the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, many plans were pitched for a Roger Rabbit themed ride in the location where Rock N’ Roller Coaster stands today. As much as I love Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, a Roger Rabbit area would’ve been cool too. It’s unfortunate those never got made, as Disney (especially Michael Eisner) was very eager to make it.

They were so eager in fact, that they already started building it! As you walk down Sunset Blvd towards The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror! Pay attention to what you’re walking on. See those railroad tracks? That was intended for a Baby Herman inspired trolley that would go up and down Sunset Blvd leading in to this planned Roger themed area. Once the plans fell through, they ditched the area and painted over the tracks. The tracks remain there today, but they lead nowhere.

Turn around and head towards the recreation of the Grauman’s Chinese Theater (you know, the building behind the giant hat). There you’ll see the hand/foot prints of many famous celebrities, including Dick Van Dyke, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Jim Henson (and Kermit), Charlton Heston and Roger Rabbit! Look around for Roger’s print. He left quite an impression on the park (Wocka Wocka!)  It’s near the left side of the theater. If you can’t find it, ask one of the cast members in front of the ride, who are usually more than happy to help.

Now that you’ve seen his footprints, head towards the Backlot Tour.
The Backlot Tour is probably where you’ll see the most Roger Rabbit stuff in the parks. In the pre-boarding area, the room is filled with thousands of actual movie props. Sadly, they’re not labeled but rather just dumped into a big mess. The only props I currently found was above the Muppet car (you can’t miss it. It’s a giant car and has the word “Muppet Car” stamped on the side) and was several boxes of Acme Eye Balls which are in the Acme warehouse in the final scenes.



When you board the trams, be on the lookout for an Acme vehicle and the steamroller from the final scene. It’s the actual cars, so make sure you keep an eye out for those constantly. They’ll be found on both sides, so keep turning your head.



After the ride is over, you’ll be led into a gift shop (of course). This shop is actually designed to look exactly like the interior of Acme warehouse in the film. Keep an eye out for lots of hidden details and references.

When you walk out, continue in the park circle towards the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. Right in-between Indy and the Star Wars area, there’s a restaurant that most people don’t seem to notice (it’s directly across from the WDW Radio building, home of the former Sounds Dangerous with Drew Carey). 

When you enter, you’ll notice an outdoor eating area and an indoor eating area (Forgive me, as I forget the name of the restaurant. It might be known as the Backlot Express). On the outside you’ll easily spot the Toon Patrol Car. This is probably one of my favorite hidden gems in the whole park. It’s really cool and it makes a great photo op. You can’t go inside the car, but you can touch it, which was pretty amazing anyway.

After you’re done drooling over the vehicle, walk inside the restaurant and look around. What you’ll see in here is just as cool.
In this restaurant, you’ll be able to find Benny the Cab. No, not a constructed Benny statue, but rather the car that Bob Hoskins sat on before Benny was drawn over him in the movie. It’s really cool and the pictures surrounding it show how the animators drew over it and some before and after scenes. It’s a must see! Take a picture too!



That’s all the Roger Rabbit locations I could think of for Walt Disney World. There of course used to be Mickey’s Toontown, in the Magic Kingdom which was inspired by the Toontown from the movie, but that sadly no longer exists as it made way for the very exciting New Fantasyland expansion (which probably will just be called “Fantasyland” one day).

Another location is off Disney's Hollywood Studios and at Disney's Pop Century resort. They have a section based off Roger. See blow in this beautiful photo from James Brandon!
                                                         Photo: James Brandon

If you can think of any other locations that I left out, p-p-please let us know in an email at mickeymindset@gmail.com and we’ll feature it in the article! Feel free to include pictures as well. 

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