I bet you've seen this week's Why it's There a number of times if you've been to the Studios even just a few times. Sometimes attractions that are closed aren't demolished for a number of reasons and today's article focuses on a relic from a now long gone attraction from the Studios. Over near what is now Pixar Place, between the Backlot Tour and Toy Story Midway Mania, is a walkway that seems to go from no where to no where but this walkway once had a purpose for guests.
This walkway was once part of the original Backlot Tour, which was later cut into two different attractions and became part of the Backstage Pass attraction. This walkway offered guests a glimpse into the soundstages that used to line what was then Mickey Avenue where real Hollywood production would take place. You may remember walking through these walkways and seeing an episode of the New Mickey Mouse Clubhouse being filmed or another classic television show.
During Star Wars Weekend, the gate underneath this walkway was open and the sign on the gate indicates this was the first bridge in the walking tour of the soundstages. As you can tell from the first photo, there were a number of other shops in the area, including the Jim Henson Creature Shop and the Walt Disney Costume Department. The Disney costume department is still there and can be seen on the tram portion of the Backlot Tour.
The walkway and further down the tour would offer enormous windows for guests to peer into the working soundstages to observe Hollywood movie magic being created. After all, this was the premise of the Disney-MGM Studios as then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner envisioned it; a place where Disney could bring real Hollywood to guests. These enormous soundstages were large enough for most Hollywood productions that took place indoors.
Unfortunately Hollywood didn't want regular guests observing raw Hollywood production as many directors felt the process of creating a show or film was a work in progress and not suitable for outsiders to see until it was done. Despite Disney's best efforts, the soundstages never panned out and many of the soundstages have been converted over into attractions (Walt Disney: One Man's Dream, Journey into Narnia, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - Play It! and now Toy Story Midway Mania). This walkway remains intact still until DIsney can decide what to do with the area.