The area of Disney's Hollywood Studios that is today known as Sunset Boulevard, was initially earmarked to be a land based on the 1989 Disney film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”. Known as “Roger Rabbit’s Hollywood Land” or “Maroon Studios” during its development, this new area would feature three new Roger Rabbit attractions: Baby Herman's Runaway Baby Buggy, Toontown Trolley, and a Benny the Cab ride (which would eventually open in Disneyland as Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin) . As plans continued to develop, Imagineers also pitched the idea of creating a recreation of Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard, with the Roger Rabbit attractions located at the end of the street (roughly where Rock n Roller Coaster is located today). This incarnation of Sunset Boulevard would have also included a working Red Car trolley that would transport guests down street .
Despite the fairly elaborate plans that Disney had for their Roger Rabbit area, problems quickly arose with the film's character rights between Disney and Amblin Entertainment (who had partnered with Disney to create Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) . These disagreements caused Disney to change gears when looking at a Disney- MGM Studios expansion. Instead of a Roger Rabbit area, Disney decided to focus on creating Sunset Boulevard .
Sunset Boulevard officially opened on June 12, 1994. Set mostly in the 1940s, Sunset Boulevard is meant to represent Hollywood's theater district . When the expansion first opened, the new land featured a relocated Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage as its only attraction . Besides the popular stage show, in June 1994, the Sunset Ranch Market could also be found on Sunset Boulevard. This food area housed various quick service stands including: Rosie’s Red Hot Dogs (later Rosie’s All-American Café) , Anaheim Produce, and Catalina Eddies . Later additions to the Sunset Ranch Market would include: Sunset Ranch Turkey Legs in 1998 , Fairfax Fries (a McDonald’s fry stand) in 2001 , and Hollywood Scoops, an ice cream parlor that opened in late 1999 . Finally, Sunset Boulevard also housed the shops: Mouse About Town, Once Upon a Time, Sunset Club Couture, and Legends of Hollywood .
The Tower of Terror (left) and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (right) can both be found on Sunset Boulevard.
On July 22, 1994, Disney-MGM Studio’s newest E-Ticket attraction- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror also opened on Sunset Boulevard . Housed in the Hollywood Tower Hotel, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror takes guests into The Twilight Zone, where they drop down thirteen stories in the hotel’s haunted elevator. Also opening with the Tower of Terror, was the Tower Hotel Gifts shop.
The next addition to Sunset Boulevard came on October 15, 1998, when Fantasmic! opened to guests . This nighttime spectacular and firework show had originally opened in Disneyland to rave revues in 1992. Although the show had to be altered for the Disney-MGM Studios, the show still proved to be hit with guests. In order to house Fantasmic!, the The Hollywood Hills Amphitheater, a 6,900 seat amphitheater, was constructed .
On July 29, 1999 Sunset Boulevard's newest attraction,Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Staring Aerosmith, opened to guests . This steel roller coaster takes guests on a hide speed journey through downtown Los Angeles. Set to the music of Aerosmith, Rock n Roller Coaster gave Sunset Boulevard a second E-Ticket attraction.
Since the addition of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Sunset Boulevard has seen a relatively few number of changes. In 2001, Toluca Legs Turkey Company replaced Sunset Ranch Turkey Legs . Subsequently, on March 14, 2009 Fairfax Fries closed due the termination of the agreement between Disney and McDonald's . Following Fairfax Fries closure, a relocated Toluca Legs Turkey Company opened in its place.Next, a new stand named Fairfax Faire then opened in the former Toluca Legs Turkey Company location .
On August 1, 2016 Toluca Legs Turkey Company closed. Two days later, on August 3, a new snack stand called Sunshine Day Cafe opened in Toluca's former location .
In April 2018, Sweet Spells permanently closed . The quick service dining location will be replaced with a Pixar themed store.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror- A thrill ride which drops guests up to 13 stories. Guests arrive at the Hollywood Tower Hotel in the Twilight Zone, before entering "a most uncommon elevator."
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Staring Aerosmith- A road trip through Hollywood featuring twists, turns, loops and even a corkscrew. Set to the music of Aerosmith, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster is one of the fastest rides in Disney World. The ride starts by accelerating from 0 to 57 miles per hour in an astonishing 2.8 seconds.
The Sunset Ranch Market on Sunset Boulevard houses various quick service dining locations
Sunset Boulevard is home to the Sunset Ranch Market, which houses various quick service stands. The Sunset Ranch Market is based on the famous Farmers Market at the corner of Fairfax and Third in Los Angeles . The Farmers Market was founded in 1939 and it is known for its permanent food stands that can be rented . Stands located in the Sunset Ranch Market in Disney's Hollywood Studios include:
Fairfax Fare-This quick service stand features a barbecue menu. The restaurant was known as Fairfax Fries from 2001-2007, during which time it was sponsored by McDonald's.
One corner of Sunset Boulevard, guests can find an imprint in the concrete that reads "Mortimer & Co. Contractors, 1928". This is a reference to Mickey Mouse's original name, Mortimer, as well as the year that Steamboat Willie debuted .
The window about Reel Vogue has an advertisement for the "International Brotherhood of Second Assistant Directors" which is also shortened to the acronym "IBSAD"