|The Muppet Fountain serves as the focal point of Muppet Courtyard. Photo by Ben Piddington|
|Disney's Hollywood Studios|
|Theme||Modern Los Angeles|
|Opening date||March 21, 2016|
|Number of Attractions||1|
Grand Park is a land in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
The area that today makes up Grand Park was originally part of the Streets of America, before it was broken off into its own land- Muppet Courtyard.
The creation of Muppet Courtyard evolved out of a 26 year old idea that the Muppets should have their own land in the (then) Disney-MGM Studios. Following successful negotiations with Muppet creator Jim Henson, Disney had planned on making Kermit and the gang a staple of their newest theme park. To do this, Disney wanted to create a Muppet Studios are of the park which would feature attractions, restaurants, shopping and entertainment that all revolving around the Muppets. "Phase One" of the Muppet Studio plans called for the creation of a 3D Show, a parade, and some live entertainment . This would subsequently to be followed by "Phase Two", which was to consist of "The Great Gonzo's Pandemonium Pizza Parlor" (an interactive restaurant) and "The Great Muppet Movie Ride" (a spoof of the nearby Great Movie Ride).
With the untimely passing of Jim Henson in 1990, Disney’s relationship with the Muppets began to change. With no long term deal with Henson Studios in place, Disney began to scale back their Muppet plans. Despite this, "Here Come the Muppets" premiered on May 25, 1990, a mere seven days after Henson’s death . This live show featured walk-around versions of the Muppets, who performed various musical numbers. Here Come the Muppets and was housed in the Walt Disney Theater, which had previously been a part of the Backlot Tour . Although the first Muppet attraction in Disney-MGM Studios, Here Come the Muppet’s was always seen as a temporary placeholder for the 3D Muppet attraction that had been intended for Phase One of Muppet Studios . Despite the fact that it was now clear Muppet Studios would never come to fruition, Disney continued to work on Jim Henson’s Muppet Vision 3D. The attraction would eventually open to guests on the first anniversary of Henson’s death, May 16, 1991 .
Although not on the scale of the planned Muppet Studio, Disney did create a small Muppet area to surround Muppet Vision 3D on the Streets of America. This area was originally to include Lew Zealand's Boomerang Fish Market, however this became simply “Philo's Fish Co” . In the end, only the area’s Muppet Statue and the Fire Station No. 1 façade had a direct tie in to the Muppets.
The creation of Muppets Courtyard really took place on March 21, 2016, when Disney announced that the area encompassing Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italian and MuppetVision 3D would no longer be the Streets of America, but instead were designated as part of Muppets Courtyard . On November 18, 2016, PizzeRizzo, a Muppet themed pizza parlor (operated by Rizzo the Rat) opened in Muppets Courtyard .
On August 17, 2017, Disney announced that Muppet Courtyard would be rethemed to represent downtown Los Angeles, and renamed Grand Park. According to Disney, this new area will be "an urban square off Grand Avenue surrounded by shops and restaurants like PizzeRizzo and Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano" . The Grand Park area is directly tied in to the announced Grand Avenue area, which shares a Los Angeles theming .
Muppet Vision 3D-A film starring the Muppets, the show features a combination of 3D video and Audio Animatronics to bring the Muppets to life.
PizzeRizzo- This counter service restaurant serves individual pizzas and salads. The restaurant is "owned and operated" by Rizzo the Rat and his family.
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italian- This table service restaurant offers guests fine Italian cuisine.
BaseLine Tap House- This bar and lounge allows guests to experience the buzz of modern-day Downtown Los Angeles.
The Stage One Company Store- This shop sells Muppet and other Disney souvenirs. The Stage One Company Store also offers unique Disney cel art and sketches.
Fun Facts and Trivia
- The back-end of the firetruck that crashes into Muppet Vision 3D could formally be found in what is now Grand Park.
- The centerpiece of Grand Park is Muppet Fountain, which depicts Miss Piggy as "Ms. Liberty" and various other Muppets filming her for a movie .
- Gonzo's Royal Flush, bathrooms themed after Gonzo's toilet warehouse from the Muppets movie, can be found in Grand Park .