Often when theme parks change, references to old attractions go with them, but occasionally these references are not removed completely. While the Backlot Tour is a mere shell of its former self, it does still exist and you can find references to the old tour somewhere still in the Studios today. The Backlot Tour that this week's hidden gem references isn't anything recent, rather, it's from the very beginning of the Backlot Tour when it was nearly two hours long.
Near the entrance to the Backlot Tour today area set of restrooms that have inside them a series of photographs from the original Backlot Tour. These photos are just inside the entrance to the men's and women's restrooms and they are a relic from when the restrooms were part of the old Backlot Tour. Back in the early 90's when the Studios opened, much of the park was closed off to regular guests and these restrooms were one of the few on the tour and so Imagineers placed these photos inside the restrooms as a means of synergy between the stop on the Tour and the Tour itself.
This first photo is from the Residential Street portion of the Backlot Tour. Before Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show came to the Studios, there was a street filled with facades from houses that were used on many television shows and movies. These houses included the exterior facades to the Golden Girls and Ernest Saves Christmas, among others. The houses were merely facades that had no real interior and were used for exterior shots in the production. In the photo, we see a film shoot preparing to go.
This next photo is a shot from one of the few films to be shot on location at the Disney-MGM Studios. The 1989 film is called "The Lottery" and it starred Bette Middler as a music teacher that realizes she's won the lottery but loses the winning ticket out the window. It was the first real production to take place in the Studios and as you might be able to tell, it took place on what was then called New York Street.
Speaking of old productions, in the early days of the Backlot Tour, there was a tie-in to the new Dick Tracey film starring Warren Beaty and the Studios was involved in creating interest in the film.
The final photograph is simply a shot of the production crew back on Residential Street filming a scene. Like the other photos, this photo was meant to reinforce the idea that the Studios was a real working production lot in addition to being a world class theme park.
If you're interested in reading more about the old Backlot Tour, you can read a history of the Backlot Tour to get a better idea of how this attraction used to be.