This is my first theme park-related blog post. It is about two defunct rides named Looney Tunes River Ride and Ice Age Adventure.
Looney Tunes River Ride was a dark boat ride that opened with Warner Brothers Movie World on 3 June 1991 as Looney Tunes Studio: Journey into Fantasy, and was sponsored by the Nine Network. It was one of four attractions in the Looney Tunes Land section of the park.
The ride began with guests queuing outside a white colourbond show building decorated as a film studio and labelled “STAGE 14”. They would then be led into a room (with well-known Looney Tunes characters and lesser-known Looney Tunes characters on its walls) where they were welcomed to Looney Tunes Studios in “Hollywood” by a cast member dressed as a tour guide holding a microphone. Guests were then informed that they would be taken on a tour of the studio where the latest Looney Tunes film (directed by Bugs Bunny) was being shot. However, Bugs had thrown a tantrum and dug a hole into the centre of the Earth down to Australia, resulting in the production to cease. The guests would then walk into the reception area (with Bugs outside a window holding a window blind labelled “NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY”) where the guide would show them a light that indicated the production status. Since production had been stopped, the guests would proceed through a door to the next room. This room was filled with goofy and creepy but lovable and amazing animatronic Looney Tunes characters. Foghorn Leghorn (voiced by Greg Burson) was standing under a studio light and standing next to a wooden house. The Tasmanian Devil (voiced by Greg Burson) was chewing on a piece of wood and was in a hole in the ground that was very close to the house. Yosemite Sam (voiced by Greg Burson), Pepé Le Pew (voiced by Greg Burson), who was wearing a red tuxedo, and Daffy Duck (voiced by Joe Alaskey) were standing on the front porch of the house (those animatronics were arranged in a manner similar to the animatronics in the Balcony Stages at Pizza Time Theatre). Speedy Gonzales (voiced by Joe Alaskey) was sitting on the roof of the house. Porky Pig (voiced by Bob Bergen), Elmer Fudd (voiced by Joe Alaskey), whose hat and rifle were lying on the ground nearby, behind him or next to him, and Wile E. Coyote were looking down the hole in the ground that Bugs Bunny had dug through the middle of the Earth to Australia. Sylvester the Cat (voiced by Joe Alaskey) was licking his lips and rubbing his tummy, and Sylvester Junior was rubbing his tummy; both were looking up at Tweety Bird (voiced by Bob Bergen), who was balancing on the branch of a cardboard tree prop, which Marc Antony (voiced by Frank Welker) was sleeping against. The tour guide would say, “Where is Bugs Bunny?”, and after that the Road Runner (voiced by Paul Julian) would pop his head out of a hole in the roof of the house saying, “Beep, beep!” Then the tour guide would ask Foghorn, “How are we gonna get him back? You have got to start all the way again, Foghorn. Where is he going?” A light would shine on Foghorn, after which his left arm would raise, and when it was around shoulder height he would begin to talk. Foghorn would respond to the tour guide by telling him or her, “Well, darn… ah say, that darn rabbit dug dahn in the dark rivah. In this heah hole, an’ he’s gone!” It was up to the tour guide to keep up with the animatronics, as Elmer would say, “I’ww bet he’s heading fow Austwawia.” The tour guide would say, “Australia?” Foghorn would say, “We got… ah say, we gotta trah an’ get him back.” This was how the guests were told that Bugs Bunny had dug a hole through the middle of the Earth to Australia. They were then moved into a giant earth drill from a set from and old film set on the Moon, and would be transported through the Earth to come out at Australia in one of its forests (the earth drill going through the Earth was simulated by a vibrating floor, and four cathode ray tube video monitors indicated the earth drill going through the Earth).
Guests would exit the earth drill and find themselves in the Australian forest, and were welcomed to Australia by Snowy River Sam (played by a cast member). Guests would get on 14 boats, each with 4 rows of 4 seats each, before being taken through the ride. Sylvester the Cat tells Tweety Bird (who is standing on a branch and says, “I tawt I taw a puddy tat!” twice) to keep his eyes peeled for Bugs Bunny, while he makes a snack out of him. He then tries to get Tweety, but misses and falls off a giant rock that he was standing on in order to get Tweety. Porky Pig and Pepé Le Pew are on a raft that is on the shell of an eastern long-necked turtle. Porky is fishing, and believes that he has caught a fish, but Bugs Bunny (voiced by Greg Burson) is tugging on the fishing line from behind the giant rock that Sylvester was standing on in order to get Tweety.
Guests then go past a scene where Elmer Fudd (who says, “Awwight, wabbit, time to pway wough!”) and Yosemite Sam are attempting to shoot Bugs Bunny, who pops up out from behind a wall and a wall made from four rocks (when the ride first opened, Elmer’s rifle would emit a blast of air when fired; in later years, the effect was changed to a red light to simulate gunfire; Sam’s pistols utilised smoke and red lights). They eventually shoot at Bugs and believe that they have got him. Elmer says, “We got the wabbit!” Sam says, “Yee-ha! We got the varmint.” However, Bug is be heard saying, “What’s up, doc?”, revealing that he survived. A displeased Elmer says, “Dwat! We’ww meet again, and I’m out of buwwets!”
Guests then go past a scene where Foghorn Leghorn is sawing a tree (made out of foam) with Sylvester Junior. Foghorn tells the guests, “Y’all got strong eahs for a rabbit.” The tree begins to fall, and Foghorn says, “Oh, well, too late. GANGWAY!!!” The tree falls down above the guests, but doesn’t hurt them. Guests then go past a scene where Foghorn is on a cliff looking for Bugs Bunny, who references the previous scene in the ride where Foghorn saws the tree with Sylvester Junior by saying, “Oh, brudder. I thought dat you’d tell me where I’ve got to, and dey still t’ink I’m gonna fall for de ol’ ‘tree across the river’ trick!” After that, guests go past a scene with Daffy Duck, Speedy Gonzales, the Tasmanian Devil and Foghorn with some boxes of dynamite, one of which has smoke pouring out of it (in later years, this effect was removed). Foghorn tells Daffy, “Ah say, Daffy, the Tasmanian Devil’s a-chewin’ on the wiah!” Daffy pushes down on a detonator that is partially hidden behind a giant rock, and Speedy yells, “¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!”, before hiding behind a tree stump, after Daffy hides behind the giant rock, while Taz falls backwards, and an explosion occurs.
After witnessing the occurrence of a storm (the storm was achieved with a wind tunnel and lighting effects), guests go past a scene where Porky Pig and Sylvester the Cat tell Wile E. Coyote not to fire his cannons at the boats, as the guests are trying to help them find Bugs Bunny. Sylvester says, “Don’t fire both cannonsth at the boat, thesthe people are trying to help usth!” Wile E. doesn’t listen, and fires at the guests’ boats anyway (when the cannons were fired, they would emit smoke, followed by large splashes and a light from under the water to simulate cannon fire). Sylvester says, “Thso much for public relationsth,” and the Road Runner pops out saying, “Beep, beep!”
Guests then go past a scene where Bugs Bunny hangs from a vine and taunts a saltwater crocodile with carrots in his mouth, who snaps his jaws angrily. He says, “Eh, what’s up, croc? You get no carrot, and you won’t have em this winter!” An ACME Rabbit Trap with carrots is seen lying nearby. After that, guests go past a scene where Bugs rocks side to side on the branch of a tree and holds koalas in his hands and says, “When it comes ta havin’ fans, I’ll pick a koala over a croc any day, and… uh, dat’s no croc, doc,” and loudly sings, “La-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la!” Guests then go past Pepé Le Pew as the Road Runner pops out from two locations on their right saying, “Beep, beep!”, and encounter Wile E. Coyote, who levers a boulder off a cliff, intending to crush the guests with it, only for the boulder to land in a gap in between the cliff that Wile E. is on and another cliff.
Guests then enter a cave, and as they come close to a waterfall, the waterfall stops flowing, and the guests are taken up to a higher part of the cave. After that, the guests’ boats turn 90° to the left, and a surprising drop occurs. After that, guests go into the dark, and after doing so, the voice of Foghorn Leghorn is heard, and everything lights up, revealing a scene identical to the one with the Looney Tunes, but now Bugs Bunny has joined them and is directing the film and tells the guests, “Hi, folks. T’anks for comin’ Down Under, and I’m glad ya did, alone in Australia. We’re gonna stay here and finish da pitcher!”, Elmer Fudd is on a camera crane and is shooting the film with a camera, Speedy Gonzales is moving his feet side to side, the Tasmanian Devil has chewn through the piece of wood and bitten it in two, Foghorn’s beak is open, Wile E. Coyote is sadly hanging on the textless wooden sign on the roof of the wooden house, and the Road Runner pops out of a hole further away from the textless wooden sign in the roof of the house saying, “Beep, beep!” The boats stop at the unloading station where Porky Pig delivers his signature line, “Th-th-th-th-that’s all, folks!”, and the guests are unloaded.
Looney Tunes Studio: Journey into Fantasy was originally designed in-house by Warner Brothers Movie World. Sanderson Group was also involved in the ride’s development, as it designed the ride’s entrance, queue areas, theming and the earth drill, and were responsible for the ride’s special effects. Alan Griffith Architect Proprietary Limited formed a strong working relationship with Warner Brothers International Recreation Enterprises on the ride. Zeitgeist Design and Production’s Ryan Harmon served as the Director of Show Development for Warner Brothers International Recreation Enterprises, where he conceived, wrote, and managed the design team for Warner Brothers Movie World’s worth of rides, shows and attractions, including Looney Tunes Studio: Journey into Fantasy. Warner Brothers Movie World’s parent company, Village Roadshow Theme Parks Proprietary Limited, previously opened Lassiter’s Lost Mine at Sea World in 1987, which utilised the same in-house ride system used on Looney Tunes Studio: Journey into Fantasy. The ride made guests feel like they were part of a Looney Tunes cartoon. The ride system was designed by Australian Electric Vehicles and controlled by ASI systems from Anitech Systems Incorporated. The ride had easily-spotted sensors that would trigger the animatronics’ movements and voices in the ride when a boat passed them from below, and its fourteen boats catered for 16 guests distributed in rows of 4. The ride’s first pre-show room’s walls were themed after the 1981 jigsaw puzzle The Looney Tunes Characters. Village Roadshow Theme Parks Proprietary Limited approached many companies about designing animatronics for the ride. Each company was asked to produce a “test Bugs”, and then Village Roadshow Theme Parks Proprietary Limited would decide on the company to go with the Bugs Bunny animatronic that they produced. Greg McKee, Matt Ward, John Cox and Chris Chitty designed a Bugs Bunny animatronic in just a few weeks. This animatronic could sing the Warner Brothers Cartoon Cavalcade version of The Bugs Bunny Show‘s “This Is It”, followed by his catchphrase, “Eh, what’s up, doc?” (Bugs was voiced by Keith Scott when he said this; to compare, here is Scott as himself doing his Bugs voice on Hey Hey It’s Saturday in 1987, 1989 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvFusTozyNg#t=5m03s and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuGjbjhHfdQ&#t=5m01s; this was before 1990, in which he was appointed an official licensed voice of the Looney Tunes for Australia) and 1994 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P-Oqvdqgw0#t=0m24s), ICMI Speakers and Entertainers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibrinttWwms), WEB EXTRA: Keith Scott’s Impersonations (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx4OLhVIbYM#t=0m09s) and The Man Of A Thousand Voices: Keith Scott (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CxJcdf5Tsg#t=2m16s), and as Bugs in the 1990 Bugs Bunny’s 50th Anniversary song bumper (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdGrRsh0ErE#t=0m08s), a 1990 Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79vtFeYKlp8#t=0m22s), Hey Hey It’s Movie World (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T68Z91UfFDc&#t=0m33s), Looney Tunes Musical Revue (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCiTfZPNOYY#t=0m41s, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWxFyYtkbfA&#t=0m58s, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ25_4Hp-iE&#t=10m28s, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8IpqUhOsyE&#t=1m01s and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju7AEf4E6R4&#t=12m38s), Warner Brothers Movie World’s Spectacluar Light and Sound Show Illuminanza (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1636864629953777&id=1636258723347701&), Looney Rock (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmU-UgRg-Ck& and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF6jx7kWans&), a 1995 Qantas Airways commercial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM_gDnIYbEs), a 1996 Westfield commercial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ7NRPR-8bc#t=0m07s), a commercial for Looney Tunes Village (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RKxekv2V10#t=0m05s), a commercial for Looney Tunes Splash Zone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OGQc9_sYck), Looney Tunes: What’s Up Rock?! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czz_eV0cadQ&#t=0m34s and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbUGfXKZSG8#t=0m12s) and
Looney Tunes LIVE! Classroom Capers (https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3vgd0y)), and won McKee, Ward, Cox and Chitty the multi-$1,000,000 contract to design the animatronics for Warner Brothers Movie World, including the 91 audio-animatronics featured in Looney Tunes River Ride, which used actuators and pneumatics. Village Roadshow Theme Parks Proprietary Limited then did something sneaky: they decided to use all the prototype Bugs Bunny animatronics in the ride, which was why they all looked slightly different from each other. On 2 August 2018, Cox revealed this piece of information to me:
“Hi, Oliver. The fibreglass Bugs body that you see is the original sculpture I did that won myself, Greg McKee, Matt Ward and Chris Chitty the contract for the Warner Brothers Movie World job. It would have been made about 15 months before this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJNF0uis5Lw) was made. I believe we were competing with a German animatronic company named Heimo and one other company. A full-sized three-dimensional version of Bugs hadn’t been done before and getting the likeness was a real challenge as all of the available reference, including the style guide, was so varied. Getting Bugs in a neutral ‘T’ or ‘A’ pose was impossible. I still have that prototype and most of the other characters (or at least their heads) in my workshop.”
On 27 February 2019, YouTuber Grommo (Greg McKee) revealed this piece of information to me:
“Heimo had nothing to do with Sally Corporation, nor did us guys who made the demo Bugs who was sufficient to strip an already existing animatronics contract away from Heimo. The one animatronic designed by Heimo was a Bugs Bunny animatronic lying on his side and resting his head in his hand like a beachgoer and was installed high up, mostly out of sight, slightly before you reach the very basic koala characters in a tree. I can’t remember if we reprogrammed him with any lines. Will have to track back some old videos. I remember he did seemingly angrily shout repeating on a loop, “Heraus aufgeben, heraus aufgeben, ich bin der Fledermaus von Ralitek!”, which was particularly weird as I think “Fledermaus” means “bat”.”
The animatronics had moving eye pupils, and one of the Porky Pig animatronics had moving eyelids. In later years, some of the animatronics were redesigned. For example, the Bugs Bunny animatronic at the end of the ride was given a different head with ears that moved back and forth. Looney Tunes Studio: Journey into Fantasy would later have its name changed to Looney Tunes Studio Tour.
In 1995, the Nine Network’s sponsorship of Looney Tunes Studio Tour ended.
On 30 June 1996, a dark boat ride named Looney Tunes Adventure opened with Warner Brothers Movie World Germany as Looney Tunes Studio Tour, and was sponsored by Langnese (Wall’s). The ride was very similar to the version that opened in Australia, with the primary difference being references to Australia were changed to Germany.
The ride began with guests queuing outside a light-beige corrugated iron show building decorated as a film studio. They would then be led into a room (with well-known Looney Tunes characters and lesser-known Looney Tunes characters on its walls) where they were welcomed to Looney Tunes Studios in “Hollywood” by a male cast member dressed as a tour guide holding a microphone. Guests were then informed that they would be taken on a tour of the studio where the latest Looney Tunes film (directed by Bugs Bunny) was being shot. The tour guide would look at a clock and tell the guests that the shooting of the film had just begun. The guests would then walk into the reception area (with Bugs Bunny at the door leading to Stage 4 holding a window blind labelled “Bitte kein Blitzlicht benutzen.” (“Please don’t use flash photography.”)), where the tour guide would show them a light that indicated the production status. The tour guide would press a button, look surprised because the button that he pressed was the wrong one, and tell the guests that they should be able to come into Stage 1. He then got out a phone, and was told by the person on the other end of the phone that Bugs had gone to Germany. After that, the guests would proceed through a door to the next room (Stage 1), which was filled with creepy but colorful animatronic Looney Tunes characters. Speedy Gonzales (voiced by Santiago Ziesmer) was standing on a small table that Foghorn Leghorn (voiced by Horst Lampe) was standing next to. Sylvester the Cat (who was licking his lips) was looking up at Tweety Bird, who was in a birdcage on a castle wall. Sylvester Junior was standing on top of the birdcage that Tweety was in and was licking his lips. The Tasmanian Devil was behind a pile of fireplace logs and film canisters, and was grunting, growling and rasping. Yosemite Sam (voiced by Tilo Schmitz), Pepé Le Pew and Daffy Duck (voiced by Gerald Schaale) were standing behind a castle wall. Wile E. Coyote was holding a stick of dynamite in one hand and the plunger of a detonator in the other. Elmer Fudd was sitting in a cameraman folding chair and was behind a camera. Porky Pig (voiced by Wilfried Herbst) was holding a baton and standing behind a conductor’s stand on what appeared to be a podium made of metal that Marc Antony was sleeping (with his eyes open for some reason) next to. Tied to the podium was a fishing rod with a microphone attached to the end. The tour guide would ask Foghorn where Bugs was. Foghorn would say, “Ich hab noch nie, also ehrlich, sowas hab ich ja noch nie gesehen! Da macht sich doch der vermaledeite Regisseur einfach nach Deutschland auf den Weg, und erwartet auch noch das wir mitkommen!” (“Ah’ve nevah… ah say, ah’ve nevah seen anythin’ lahke that. The rascally directah has gone to Gahmany, an’ is expecting us ta come, too.”) The tour guide would ask Foghorn if he said that Bugs was in Germany. It was up to the tour guide to keep up with the animatronics, as he would ask Speedy to tell the guests why Bugs Bunny had gone to Germany, and Speedy would say, “¡Ay, caramba! Bugs hat gesagt er ist ist leid mit falschen Dekoration, auch jetzt wähnt. Ist nach Deutschland gefahren und sucht dort ein richtiges Schloss für unser neu Film.” (“¡Ay, caramba! Bugs has said he’s tired of shooteen weeth fake aneemals an’ eemproper decorateeons. He’s gahne too Germany too look for a real castle for our new moovie.”) Porky would say, “Aber wo… aber wo… aber wo soll ich da Angeln gehen?” (“B-b-but where should I go fishing?”), while Daffy would yell, “Ich muss meine Agenten anrufen!” (“I have to call my agentsth!”) While Porky and Daffy were talking, the Road Runner would pop out from behind a castle wall saying, “Beep, beep!” Speedy would say, “Wo soll ich in Deutschland gute Tacos wir finden? Signores. Ich habe Märchen gelesen das in deutschen Schlössern Feuerspukende Drachen leben.” (“Where should I find good Tacos een Germany? Señores. I’ve read fairy tales about creatures dat leeve een German castles, an’ dose creatures are fire-breatheen dragons.”) Foghorn would say, “Drache?” (“Dragons?”) The Road Runner would pop out from behind a castle wall saying, “Beep, beep!” again, while Sam would say, “Drach… oh? Großwildjagd! Ich bin dabei,” (“Drag… oh? Big-gayme huntin’! Count me in.”) while Pepé (when the ride first opened) would say, “Was? Drachen ungeheuerlich.” (“What? Dragons are outrageous.”) Elmer would tell Sam, “Ohne mich findet Ihr die gefährlichen Drachen nie.” (“Without me, you won’t find the dangewous dwagon.”) Foghorn would tell Elmer and the guests, “Drachen oder keine Drachen, also ehrlich, ich brauche also ich brauche den Arbeit. Ich muss schließlich ein ganzes Hühnerhaus versorgen. Also wenn Ihr sehen wollt, wie wir einen Film drehen, dann werdet Ihr wohl mitkommen müssen.” (“Dragon or no dragon, ah nee… ah say, ah need the work. Aftah all, ah hafta feed a whole chickin coop. So if ya wanna to see how we make a movie, then you’ll probably hafta come along.”) Elmer would ask Foghorn, “Aber wie…wollen Sie dahin kommen? Die brauchen ja glatt eine Rakete, um die verflixten Hasen noch einzuholen.” (“But how awe they supposed to get there? They would have to catch a wocket to catch up with that wascawwy wabbit.”) Speedy would tell the guests, “Signores, Marvin der Marsmensch dreht im Atelier nebenan. Er nimmt euch ganz sicher in seiner Rakete mit.” (“Señores, Marveen de Marteean ees shooteen outside dees sound stage. He’ll take you safely een hees rocket.”) Foghorn would tell the guests, “Ja, wir folgen euch in unserem ACME Raketen-Schiff. Wir treffen uns also wir treffen uns dort.” (“Yes, we’ll follow you in ouah ACME rocket ship. We’ll all be in Gahmany an’ we’ll meet you there.”) The tour guide would tell the guests to go to the rocket, and after that Speedy would yell, “¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! Yeehaw! Yeehaw! Yeehaw!” Guests would then exit Stage 1 and come across the rocket named the Martian Mulluske, which was piloted by Marvin the Martian, who would say, “Oh, entzückend! Speedy hat mir gesagt, dass Ihr unterwegs seid. Ich bin bereit die Produktion meines neuesten Weltraumabenteuers zu stoppen um euch mit meiner Marsianischen Mulluske nach Deutschland zu bringen.” (“Oh, goody! Speedy told me you’re on the way. I am ready to stop the production of my latest space adventure to bring you in my Martian Mulluske to Germany.”) An alarm siren would start wailing, and Marivn would say, “Hoppla, das ist mein neues Hyperschall R-AR-67 Sicherheitsschutzsystem. Ist es nicht goldig? Das Universum ist auch nicht mehr das, was es mal früher nicht war. Aber nun hurtig an Bord, ich muss euch schnell nach Deutschland bringen.” (“Oops, this is my new Hypersonic R-AR-67 Security System. Isn’t it delightful? The universe isn’t what it used to be. But now that you’re here, I’ll have to bring you quickly to Germany.”) When the guests boarded the Martian Mulluske, Marvin would say, “Jetzt geht’s los!” (“Here we go!”) The Martian Mulluske would then fly to Germany (the flight was simulated by a vibrating floor, and four cathode ray tube video monitors indicated the flight). After the Martian Mulluske had landed in Germany, Marvin would say, “Wir sind in Deutschland. Ist das nicht entzückend, mmm?” (“We are in Germany. Isn’t that lovely, mmm?”)
Guests would exit the Martian Mulluske and enter the Black Forest in Germany, and are welcomed there by a cast member. The cast member would tell the guests that Bugs Bunny had invited them to join him in his search for a filming location, and would also warn them about the dragons that reside in Germany. Guests see the entrance to a castle. They would also see a missile from when the Martian Mullus landed, and get on 11 boats, each with 4 rows of 3 seats each, and they would see a deer named Illona, two buckets of fish, three mice in a basket (one mouse was nibbling through the basket), a squirrel standing on a small barrel and three frogs surrounding the barrel on their left and a woodpecker pecking on a tree and Bugs’ hand holding a sign saying, “DRACHEN” (“DRAGON”) far behind them before being taken through the ride. Guests meet Bugs (voiced by Uwe Büschken), who is hiding behind a tree. Bugs tells them, “Willkommen in Deutschland, Doc. Ich glaube dieser Drehort wird euch gefallen. Ist es hier nicht wunderschön? Ich glaube meinereiner hat hier den perfekten Hintergrund.” (“Welcome ta Goimany, doc. I t’ink you’ll like dis location. Ain’t it beautiful here? I t’ink I have da poifect backdrop here.”) After that, guests go past a scene were Porky Pig and Speedy Gonzales are on a rowboat that is on a rock. Porky is fishing, and says, “Oh! Aber…aber…aber, dass muss aber ‘ne dicke Forelle sein.” (“Oh! Th-th-th-that must be a big trout.”) Speedy says, “¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! Sieht itticht also haben auchen jolle!” (“¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! Dees doesn’t look like a deenghy!”) Bugs is tugging on the fishing line from behind a giant rock, while Tweety Bird stands on top of one of three smaller rocks in front of the giant rock. Bugs says, “Ah, bin ich nicht ein Schlitzohr?” (“Heh, ain’t I a stinker?”)
Guests then go past a scene where Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam come across a cave with smoke coming out of it. Tweety Bird is in between Elmer and Sam. Sam asks Elmer, “Was ist denn da drüben in der Höhle?” (“Whut’s in that cayve?”) Elmer says, “Ich weiß nicht, aber es könnte ein Drache sein.” (“I don’t know, but it could be a dwagon.”) Sam says, “Ein Drache? Das Ungeziefer spreng ich in die Luft!” (“A dragon? Ah’ll blast that varmint!”) While he says this, Sam turns around to face the cave, and then shoots at the dragon twice. Elmer says, “Speedy hatte recht. Da hast du… böser Drache,” (“Speedy was wight. It is a dwagon. Bad dwagon.”) and shoots at the dragon. Tweety tells Elmer and Sam, “Ist doch nur ein kleiner Geysir,” (“It’s onwy a widdwe geysuh.”) and after that, Bugs Bunny pops out of a hole, telling the guests, “Die sind ganz schön aufgekratzt, nicht wahr? Sowas wie Drachen gibt es doch gar nicht, Doc,” (“Dose nimrods. Don’t they know? Dere ain’t no such t’ings as dragons, doc.”) and guests then go past a scene where Marc Antony is sleeping against a kennel labelled “Mein Traum” (“My Dream”), Speedy Gonzales is swinging from the sign of his own tortilla factory, saying, “¡Ay, caramba! Deutschland ist der perfekte Platz zum Tortillas machen. Ah? Che pasa?” (“¡Ay, caramba! Germany ees de perfect place for makeen tortillas. Ah? ¿Que pasa?”), and Foghorn Leghorn is sawing a tree with Tweety. Foghorn, having been told about the “dragon” in the cave that Elmer and Sam were shooting at by Tweety, tells him, “Ein Drache in der Höhle? Dann schneide, also ehrlich, da schneide ihm mit diesem Baum den Weg ab.” (“A dragon in the cave? Ah’ll blo.. ah say, ah’ll block his path with this heah tree.”) The tree begins to fall, and Tweety tells the guests, “Oh-oh, vorsicht, Leute, der Stamm trifft euer Boot!” (“Uh-oh, wook out, fowks, dis twee wiww faww on youw boat!”) Foghorn notices the tree falling and opens his beak in shock, sensing the guests’ presence and fearing for their safety, and looks at them. The tree falls down above the guests, but doesn’t hurt them. Guests then enter a cave with an owl hooting. Upon doing so, everything on the other side of the cave lights up, and Bugs pops out of a hole, laughing, and says, “Hey, sowas wie Drachen gibt es gar nicht!” (“Hey, dere ain’t no such t’ings as dragons!”) Guests then go past a scene where Foghorn is standing in front of a pile of dynamite, ACME crates and ACME detonators. Daffy Duck is under a bridge leading to two mine shaft tunnels, one that is blocked by a minecart filled with ACME crates, and one that is blocked by Tweety, who is standing on top of a birdhouse. Daffy says, “Ich spreng die Brücke und hab die Bestie in der Falle.” (“I’ll blow up the bridge and trap the beastht.”) While Daffy says this, the Tasmanian Devil pops out from behind the pile of dynamite, ACME crates and ACME detonators with the wire in his hands, grunting, growling and rasping. Tweety tells Daffy, “Nein, nein, ist doch nur der kleine Tweety.” (“No, no, it’s me, Tweety.”) Daffy yells, “Zu spät! Das Ding geht hoch!” (“Too late! 15 yearsth too late!”), and pushes down on a detonator, while Foghorn watches and opens his beak in surprise, and Taz goes back down behind the pile of dynamite, ACME crates and ACME detonators. Explosions occur in the mine shaft tunnels. One of the explosions causes the minecart to fall through the bridge (an effect similar to this had been used for the falling damaged tour vehicle in Universal Studios Hollywood’s Jurassic Park: The Ride, which opened on June 21, 1996, nine days before Looney Tunes Studio Tour‘s opening). Foghorn says, “Also ehrlich, sowas hab ich ja noch nie gesehen.” (“Ah say, ah’ve nevah seen anythin’ lahke it.”) (This line was actually part of Foghorn’s first line in the pre-show, albeit slightly sped up, and was added in 2000.) The minecart lands on Daffy, who groans in pain, and says, “Freizu nicht!” (“That’sth justht desthpicable!”) After that, guests go into the dark and see Bugs pop out of a hole and go back down into it.
Guests then go past Speedy Gonzales, who tells himself, “Oh-oh. Das ist entweder die größte Miezekato die ich je gesehen hab, oder…es ist ein Drache! Uno momento. Das ist kein Drache, das ist ein Baum!” (“Uh-oh. Dat’s de beegest pussygato I’ve ever seen. Or ees eet a dragon? Uno momento. Dat’s naht a pussygato or a dragon. Eet’s a tree!”), and encounter Wile E. Coyote. Not only does Wile E. fire his cannons at the guests’ boats, but he is attempting to fire them at the Road Runner as well, who pops out from behind a wall made of giant rocks saying, “Beep, beep!” (When the cannons were fired, they used bright lights and smoke came out of the pumps in the cannons when they were fired, followed by large splashes and lighting effects to simulate cannon fire. In later years, the pumps in the cannons stopped operating.) Upon hearing Wile E. firing his cannons at the guests’ boats and the Road Runner, Speedy tells him, “Nicht schießen! Nicht schießen!” (“Don’t fire! Don’t fire!”) After that, Bugs Bunny’ voice is heard calling, “Achtung an alle Drachen: kommt raus, kommt raus, egal wo Ihr seid! (“Attention dragons: come out, come out, no matter where you are!”), and Tweety Bird comes out of the window of a boathouse like a cuckoo bird, saying, “Kuckuck! Kuckuck! Dacht bin doch nen das Köder. Der hat ja ein Vogel,” (“Cuckoo! Cuckoo! I’m t’inking of getting dat bait, but da puddy tat has a buhd to eat: me.”) and the guests go to the side of the boathouse where Sylvester the Cat is turning a crank to pull up and lower a small sack (which is in front of the boathouse, above the window that Tweety came out of), using it as bait for Tweety. Sylvester says, “Wieso beißt kein auf diesen Köder an?” (“Why won’t that bird bite on thisth bait?”) Guests encounter Wile E. again, and while the Road Runner pops out on the guests’ left saying, “Beep, beep!”, Wile E. levers a boulder off a cliff, intending to crush the guests with it, only for the boulder to land in a gap in between the cliff that Wile E. is on and another cliff, and as the guests go away from the cliffs, the Road Runner pops out on the guests’ right and left saying, “Beep, beep!”
Guests then go past a scene with Pepé Le Pew standing under a cherry blossom tree with two butterflies on one of the tree’s branches and holding some flowers and saying, “Die Drache liebt mich, liebt mich nicht, liebt mich, liebt mich nicht…Ich weiß nicht.” (“Ze dragon loves me, loves me not, loves me, loves me not… I don’t know.”) A small log with three butterflies on it is seen lying near Pepé. After that, guests go past a scene where Speedy Gonzales and Tweety Bird are standing behind two egg cartons, and Foghorn Leghorn is standing next to a big egg that is cracked. Tweety asks Foghorn, “Denken Sie dass ist ein Hühnerei, Mister Foghorn?” (“Do you t’ink dat’s a chicken egg, Mistuh Foghown?”), to which Foghorn replies, “Wenn es eins ist dann möchte ich, also ehrlich, dann möchte ich nicht den Weg der Henne kreuzen, die es gelegt hat.” (“If it is one, then ah don… ah say, ah don’t wanna cross the path of the hen that laid it.”)
Guests then go past Bugs Bunny, who says, “Junge, vielleicht haben sie doch was gewisses wahres diese Drachengeschichten. Also wenn ich ein Drache wäre, wo würde ich mich verstecken?” (“Boy, maybe dere’s something real about dem dragons, so if I were a dragon, where would I hide?”) The guests are then lifted up a bridge (with Warner Brothers Entertainment Incorporated shields on its front walls) and the drawbridge of a dilapidated castle (with Bugs’ face on its Warner Brothers Entertainment Incorporated shield-shaped keystone) as Speedy Gonzales tells them, “Habt Ihr diese grande Fußspuren gesehen? Ich hab in laune mut scho wenn deckt in Haus. Ich hab alle gewarnt. Es gibt Drachen in Deutschland. Und was ist ein besserer Platz für einen Drachen zu verstecken als ein altes Verlies von einem Schloss? Ihr seid tapfere, Amigos. Ihr geht zuerst, ich kommt.” (“Have you seen dese beeg footpreents? I’m normally een great speereets, but I warned everyone. Dere are dragons een Germany. An’ what better place for a dragon too hide dan een an old dungeon een a castle? You are brave, amigos. You go first, I come.”) When the guests enter the castle, the roar of a dragon is heard. While this happens, lights shine on the dragon, who is revealed to be a baby dragon. The baby dragon says, “Huch! Ich erschrecke mich immer so wenn ich das mache!” (“Yikes! I always frighten myself when I do that!”), and roars again. The guests see Speedy with a clapperboard on their left as their boats turn 90° to the left, and a surprising drop occurs. Then guests go past a scene identical to the one with the Looney Tunes, but now Bugs has joined them and is directing the film, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Sylvester Junior, Marc Antony and the squirrel (from the ride’s loading station) in a wagon are on the left of the guests, Elmer Fudd is on a camera crane and is shooting the film with a camera; Tweety is standing on top of his birdcage, with Sylvester Junior trapped inside, which was how Tweety replaced him when he was sawing the tree with Foghorn Leghorn earlier; Sylvester is looking up at Sylvester Junior, Speedy is wearing a director’s hat (despite the fact that Bugs is the director of the film) and holding the clapperboard, the Tasmanian Devil is holding pieces of wood in his hands and moving his arms, Foghorn is absent, Wile E. Coyote is hanging on a castle wall similar to the one that the Road Runner pops out from behind in the pre-show, only that the Road Runner doesn’t pop out from behind it; Marc Antony’s eyes are closed, and the baby dragon is sticking his head out of a window in the castle. Bugs says, “Licht! Hey, du Ganzen. Dieser Film wird ein riesen Hit!” (“Lights! Hey, you guys. Dis pitcher will be a big hit!”) Speedy says, “¡Sí! ¡Jetzt es mucho grande!” (“¡Sí, Señor Bunny! ¡Mucho grande!”) Bugs says, “Ist dieses Schloss nicht wunderschön? Ruhe bitte! Klappe 1: Drache!” (“Ain’t dis castle beautiful? Quiet, please! Take 1: Dragon!”), and Speedy clamps down on the clapperboard. Bugs laughs and tells the baby dragon, “Ich mach ein riesen Star aus dir! Gib mir mal ein richtiges brüllen.” (“I’ll make you a big star! Give me a real roar.”) The baby dragon tells Bugs, “Aber ich hab so ein Lampenfieber.” (“But I have stage fright.”) The boats stop at the unloading station where Porky Pig says, “Da-da-das war’s, Leute!” (“Th-th-that’s all, folks!”), and the guests are unloaded.
Looney Tunes Studio Tour was manufactured by Intamin and Australian Electric Vehicles, and like Warner Brothers Movie World’s Looney Tunes Studio Tour, it made guests feel like they were part of a Looney Tunes cartoon, and its ride system was controlled by ASI systems from Anitech Systems Incorporated, and it had easily-spotted sensors that would trigger the animatronics’ movements and voices in the ride when a boat passed them from below. Looney Tunes Studio Tour and another Warner Brothers Movie World Germany attraction, Bermuda Dreieck (now Bermuda Triangle: Alien Encounter), utilised the same in-house ride system. The ride’s eleven boats catered for 12 riders distributed in rows of 4, and offered a capacity of 1,000 guests per hour. Zeitgeist Design and Production’s Ryan Harmon conceived, wrote, and managed the design team for Warner Brothers Movie World Germany’s worth of rides, shows and attractions, including Looney Tunes Studio Tour. Alan Griffith Architect Proprietary Limited and Alder Constructions were also involved in the ride’s development. The ride’s theming was designed by Botticelli’s: Atelier der angewandten Malerei and Sanderson Group. Like Warner Brothers Movie World’s Looney Tunes Studio Tour, Warner Brothers Movie World Germany’s Looney Tunes Studio Tour‘s first pre-show room’s walls were themed after The Looney Tunes Characters. The pre-show rooms were painted by Botticelli’s: Atelier der angewandten Malerei. The audio-animatronics featured in the ride used actuators and pneumatics and were designed by Sally Corporation. Warner Brothers Movie World Germany’s Looney Tunes Studio Tour had more animatronics with moving eye pupils than Warner Brothers Movie World’s Looney Tunes Studio Tour. The Pepé Le Pew animatronics featured in the ride had moving eyelids. The ride shared its water, maintenance pools and exit with Die Unendliche Geschichte: Auf der Suche nach Phantasien (now Excalibur: Secrets of the Dark Forest).
In 1997, Langnese’s sponsorship of Warner Brothers Movie World Germany’s Looney Tunes Studio Tour ended. In December 1997, Warner Brothers Movie World’s Looney Tunes Studio Tour‘s name was changed to Looney Tunes River Ride alongside the launch of Looney Tunes Village. In 1998, Warner Brothers Movie World Germany’s Looney Tunes Studio Tour‘s name was changed to Looney Tunes Adventure.
In 2003, the Speedy Gonzales animatronic in the pre-show was given a different head with an open mouth, which made him even creepier than before. On 3 April 2004, Warner Brothers Movie World Germany was acquired by StarParks Europe. This acquisition resulted in Looney Tunes Adventure‘s closure on 31 October 2004. On 19 March 2005, Movie Park Germany opened with Looney Tunes Adventure being rethemed to Ice Age Adventure and located in a section hidden behind Wonderland Studios (now Nickland) named Adventure Lagoon, and one of the boats used in the ride was put away in one of the five studios behind Movie Park Germany for storage. Thinkwell Group, Incorporated was contacted by StarParks Europe because of their expertise in creating intellectual property-based attractions. Thinkwell brokered the relationship between Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and StarParks Europe to bring Ice Age to Movie Park Germany. StarParks Europe was worried about the cost of licensing a blockbuster intellectual property. Thinkwell Group, Incorporated convinced StarParks Europe that it wouldn’t cost as much as they feared. The project was less than nine months from start to finish, which was about a third of the amount of time it would typically take to complete such an attraction. Fortunately, Thinkwell Group, Incorporated kept the existing ride system and reworked much of the existing theming from Looney Tunes Adventure to work with the new intellectual property. Unbeknownst to Thinkwell Group, Incorporated, their storyline was very similar to what Blue Sky Studios, Incorporated was developing for Ice Age‘s sequel, Ice Age: The Meltdown. Thinkwell Group, Incorporated worked closely with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Blue Sky Studios, Incorporated to develop the story, got their approvals quickly and went to work completing the design and fabrication to make opening day for the new season as Movie Park Germany.
Blue Sky Studios, Incorporated helpfully provided their three-dimensional computer models of the characters to Thinkwell Group, Incorporated. This allowed Thinkwell Group, Incorporated to do computer numerical control carvings for 51 animatronics rather than traditional hand sculpting, which saved weeks, if not months, in development. Craig Hanna, Thinkwell Group, Incorporated’s Chief Creative Officer and co-founder, flew to New York and met with Lori Forte, John C. Donkin, Chris Meledandri and Chris Wedge, the producers and director of the films, and got to meet the animators and understand the essence of the intellectual property. Later, Thinkwell Group, Incorporated’s designers worked with Blue Sky Studios’ animators to pose the characters from the film for the ride. It was a great process. In the beginning, to save time, Thinkwell Group, Incorporated sent a team to Movie Park Germany, where they worked on-site in temporary offices that they provided for Thinkwell Group, Incorporated. They quickly developed the initial concept and full presentation to executive management, complete with layout, storyboards, scene descriptions and script in one week. On the night before opening, the last shipment of animatronics arrived from the United States and Thinkwell were in waders walking through the filled trough carrying animatronics through the ride to get them loaded in, installed and wired in place of the animatronics featured in Looney Tunes Adventure in time for Movie Park Germany’s opening on 19 March 2005.
The cost to license the soundtrack from Ice Age was prohibitive, so Thinkwell Group, Incorporated hired Jean-Francois Cote, a composer from Cirque du Soleil, and created their own that was reminiscent of the film’s theme song, but it was actually a whole new piece. Thinkwell Group, Incorporated also had to hire German voice actors to do the voices of the characters in the ride. The voice actors from the German release of Ice Age, such as Otto Waalkes, who voices Sid, were too expensive, so Thinkwell Group, Incorporated hired other sound-alike voice actors. Those actors were famous German comedians that were more popular than the people who did the voices in the film. The ride had a multitude of immersive special effects, including a real snow flurry, explosive steam geysers, smoldering fissure eruptions, and intense blasts of heat and cold. The audio, special effects and lighting system vendors were project managed by Thinkwell’s Europian Technical Director, Philip Hartley, who was working alongside Philip Hartley Assosiates’ technical co-ordinator Annika Oetken.
Ice Age Adventure began with guests queuing outside a show building, and entering a room with drawings of Scrat, Sid, Manny and Diego on its walls. The guests would slowly be introduced to the ancient time, and find themselves in a cave with a campfire and two televisions displaying cave paintings that come to life and told the backstory of each character in the ride on their screens; sometimes there would be a cast member who would tell the ride’s story to the guests in the pre-show (when the ride first opened, there was a video projection screen displaying the cave paintings coming to life and telling the backstory of each character in the ride; this was later replaced with the campfire and televisions). After leaving the cave, the path would lead into the freezing cold, directly into a huge iceberg, which lead to the loading station.
Guests would get on 11 boats, each with 4 rows of 3 seats each, and they would see the Human Tribe’s village (complete with saber-tooth tiger pelts) on their left before being taken through the ride. Guests go past a scene in which Scrat (voiced by Chris Wedge) is desperately trying to bury an acorn in his collection and accidentally causes a crack that runs throughout the ride as a trail of red light-emitting diodes (this is also found in the pattern on the path from the exit from Adventure Lagoon to Nickland). After that, guests meet Sid (voiced by Rainer Doering), who is sleeping and hanging from to a tree trunk. Sid slips off the trunk in his sleep, wakes up, sees the guests and greets them. He then notices the crack, and as the guests approach Sid, he makes way for them by climbing back onto the trunk. Guests then go past a scene in which Sid has missed his flock and joins Manny (voiced by Tom Deininger) and Diego (voiced by Michael Telloke) to escape the oncoming ice age. Guests then go past another scene with Sid, Manny and Diego, in which Sid pushes a tree, which falls down above the guests and covers up a hole filled with lava. After that, guests go past a scene in which Scrat attempts to stop the crack by using a boulder, but to no avail, while a snow flurry occurs from above. Guests then go past a scene with the Dodos (voiced by Rainer Fritzsche and Gerald Schaale, the latter of whom voiced Daffy Duck in Looney Tunes Adventure) fighting for the last watermelon, while Sid watches and says, “Das ist das merkwürdigste was ich je gesehen habe.” (“That’s the strangest thing that I’ve ever seen.”) After that, guests meet Scrat, who is in a somewhat unfortunate situation, and go past a third scene with Sid, Manny and Diego, in which Sid is finally no longer sure about the right path. The crack ends, and suddenly, two fissure eruptions occur, scaring Sid, Manny and Diego (the fissure eruptions were achieved with erupting steam geysers and red lights from under the water). This also causes lava from an active volcano behind Sid, Manny and Diego to flow down. Guests then go past a scene where the lava burns Scrat’s butt, causing him to pop out screaming. This happens three times (when the ride first opened, one of the Tweety Bird animatronics from Looney Tunes Adventure could be found above Scrat during the third time he got his butt burned by the lava and popped out screaming), and a light shines on Sid, who is trying to get Manny through a hole. After that, Sid, Manny and Diego run up three hills, and the guests’ boats are then lifted up a bridge leading to an ice palace (actually the dilapidated castle from Looney Tunes Adventure, albeit remodelled) with Sid (who is pulling Manny by the trunk), Manny and Diego (who is pushing Manny from behind) atop it; as the guests approach the entrance of the ice palace, the ice palace’s color goes from ice-colored to lava-colored (the ice palace’s color change was achieved with a lighting effects). The guests enter the ice palace and their boats turn 90° to the left, and a surprising drop occurs, and after the drop, the guests go past a scene where Sid, Manny and Diego have safely arrived at a tropical island on the Southern Ocean. The boats stop at the unloading station where Scrat is frozen in a block of ice, and the guests are unloaded. After the ride, guests entered a souvenir shop (Ice Age Adventure used to share this shop with Mystery River) to buy various articles of Ice Age merchandise, as well as on-ride photographs that were taken when the guests went past the scene where Sid, Manny and Diego have arrived at the island.
It was announced at the 12th Annual Thea Awards, at IAAPA 2005, that Ice Age Adventure had won the outstanding achievement award in the category of “Limited Budget/Refurbishment”. The award’s presentation to Thinkwell Group, Incorporated was made at the Thea Awards Gala on 18 March 2006.
In early January 2011, because of Looney Tunes River Ride having many ongoing technical problems and being quite dated, Warner Brothers Movie World announced that the ride would close on 14 February 2011 until further notice. The ride was also closing because of Looney Tunes Adventure‘s closure. Towards the end of the month, the closing date was re-announced to be 1 February 2011. On 1 February 2011, the ride was permanently closed, and its queue area was converted into a viewing area for Road Runner Roller Coaster, and the Speedy Gonzales animatronic featured at the end of the ride can be found in Speedy Gonzales Tijuana Taxis. It was later confirmed that on 12 September 2014, Looney Tunes River Ride would be replaced with Junior Driving School. On 10 December 2012, the boats, electric steam boilers, colourbond slimline tanks and sawed tree used in Looney Tunes River Ride were put up for auction at Village Roadshow Studios, with the boats located in one of Village Roadshow Studios’ production areas.
In later years, Ice Age Adventure was not received well by guests. Many of the ride’s animatronics were broken and the special effects weren’t operating anymore. In 2012, Movie Park Germany promised that a major refurbishment in 2013 would be planned, with characters (like Crash, Eddie, Ellie, Peaches and Buck) and scenes from Ice Age, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Ice Age: Continental Drift. However, the refurbishment was cancelled since the ride didn’t quite fit the theme of Nickland. On 1 November 2016, Ice Age Adventure performed its last run, and a wreath was deposited at the ride. On 6 December 2016, it was announced that Ice Age Adventure would not reopen in 2017, because Movie Park Germany’s 10-year licensing of the ride had expired at the end of 2016. The ride’s closure was also due to the cancellation of its refurbishment, and it resulted in the retirement of the Scrat, Sid, Diego and Scratte walk-around characters. However, the show building that enclosed Ice Age Adventure does not remain unused, as there are already plans for the future, and the ride’s queue area was converted into a picnic area, and the souvenir shop still exists, albeit used for Excalibur: Secrets of the Dark Forest, and the boats used in the ride are used as additional boats for Bermuda Triangle: Alien Encounter, and Ice Age: No Time For Nuts Four-Dimensional was still shown at the Roxy Vierdimensional-Kino until 2018, and one of Ice Age Adventure‘s Diego animatronics could be found in the Roxy Vierdimensional-Kino’s entrance lobby, and another Diego animatronic and a Manny animatronic can be found as circus animals in Circus of Freaks during the Halloween Horror Festival. Since 6 October 2018, the ride is used for the Halloween Horror Festival
as Wrong Turn. On 29 March 2019, Looney Tunes Four-Dimensional starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote was shown at the Roxy Vierdimensional-Kino. The film had previously been shown at the Roxy Theatre at Warner Brothers Movie World from September 2015 to 2018. The Wile E. Coyote animatronic featured at the end of Looney Tunes Adventure can be found in the Roxy Vierdimensional-Kino’s entrance lobby.