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Superstar Limo was a short-lived dark ride attraction at Disney California Adventure. Opening with the park, it closed almost a year afterwards due to negative reception and was eventually replaced by Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
Superstar Limo was originally planned as a high speed dark ride focused around avoiding the press and crazed fans.
This version would feature a facade based around the Theme Building at the Los Angeles International Airport, which Walt Disney Imagineering had recently helped renovate with "The Encounter" restaurant. From here, Michael Eisner himself would appear, asking you to get to the big premiere at the Chinese Theater to sign a contract for your next movie. He would also warn you of the paparazzi eager to get a scoop on you, with the ride taking the form of a high speed chase to get you to the Chinese Theater, which would serve as an unload area and gift shop. After the tragic limo crash death of Princess Diana of Wales in 1997, this concept was seen as being in very poor taste and was shelved.
With Hollywood Pictures Backlot still needing a headliner attraction after suggestions to clone an attraction from Disney MGM Studios were seen as too expensive, a tamer and slower version of Superstar Limo was put into development, putting a greater emphasis on celebrity cameos and Hollywood inside jokes. This appealed to Eisner's sensibilities and the attraction was greenlit. During development of this version though, a jab at Dreamworks in the form of a studio sign for "Dreamjerks" would end up removed. Additionally, the low budget for the attraction meant that celebrity choices would be mostly limited to those already contracted at Disney or cheap to get the rights for. The idea of Eisner himself greeting guests would be replaced with a new sleazy Hollywood agent character.
When the attraction opened, it was very poorly received and was promptly closed in less then a year. Before being replaced by Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, at least two overlay concepts were proposed. The first of these was Goofy's Superstar Limo, which would replace the celebrity cameos with Mickey and Friends and feature over 100 Disney characters. To achieve this goal on a low budget, figures from various Disney Store locations would be utilized to fill out the cast. A second proposal was Miss Piggy's Superstar Limo, focusing on the Muppets. This version was proposed to have a unique take on installation: The ride would re-open as it was, but scattered throughout the attraction would be Muppet construction workers working on new scenes and commenting on how terrible Superstar Limo was. Over the course of several weeks, Muppet characters would replace the celebrity figures until the attraction was finally completed.
Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! would open in January 2006. To save on installation costs, much of Superstar Limo's infrastructure and figures were reused. The Los Angeles cityscape facade would be repainted in the style of the opening credits of the film and most of the celebrities were re-dressed as CDA agents.
You began by "arriving" at the baggage claim at the Los Angeles International Airport. A pre-show with Joan Rivers was on a news broadcast, claiming that a new sensation in Hollywood was "going to be a big star" (referring to the audience).
Shortly after, you boarded your "limo" as the ride began. Your built-in "picturephone" then rang, and you were greeted by your agent, Swifty La Rue, who ordered you to come to Mann's Chinese Theatre for your movie premiere.
The rest of the ride was a scenic tour of Los Angeles, while spotting many celebrities, including:
- Regis Philbin, Melanie Griffith, Antonio Banderas, and Cindy Crawford at Rodeo Drive.
- Tim Allen, and Jackie Chan at the "world famous" Sunset Strip.
- Drew Carey in Bel Air
- Cher in Malibu
- Whoopi Goldberg at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre for the movie premiere