28 June 2015

Disney MGM Studios FL, USA

The first episode of the American comedy series THE GOLDEN GIRLS was broadcasted on 14 September 1985 by NBC. The show became very successful and would last seven seasons. Since the final episode aired on 9 May 1992, reruns of the series have been countless.

The Golden Girls, season 3, episode 14, 0:21:14
Rose Nylund (Betty White), Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan), Dorothy Zbornak (Beatrice Arthur) and her mother Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) share a home and their lives in sunny Miami, Florida.
The address of the house is mentioned on the show, 6151 Richmond Street, however it does not exist in real life. The show was filmed in front of a studio audience in Los Angeles with the exception of a few outdoor shoots to indicate where the next scene takes place. All episodes feature the house where the ‘girls’ are living.

The house is not located in Miami but at 245 N. Saltair Avenue in Brentwood, a neighbourhood in Los Angeles. From season three onwards a replica was also used for exterior shoots. The facade of the house was built at the Walt Disney Studio’s in Orlando, Florida. It was part of Residential Street, a street with only houses from films and television series.

Visitors of the Disney MGM Studios (nowadays Disney’s Hollywood Studios), one of the four theme parks of Disney World, were able to visit this street during the Studio Backlot Tour, a ride by tram. Getting off was not allowed unfortunately, but taking pictures was no problem. Compared to the images from the series trees and plants had grown quite large.
Residential Street was demolished in 2003 in favour of a new attraction.

The Golden Girls, season 3, episode 8, 0:01:14
Disney MGM Studios, Orlando, 9 September 1999
The Golden Girls, season 3, episode 9, 0:01:08
Disney MGM Studios, Orlando, 9 September 1999
The Golden Girls, season 3, episode 23, 0:00:56
Disney MGM Studios, Orlando, 9 September 1999

A special television programme was made to celebrate the opening of the Disney MGM Studios on 1 May 1989. Actor John Forsythe is seen walking through Residential Street. When he passes the house from The Golden Girls, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty (without her white Sophia-wig) step out and wave. During the series none of the actors were ever seen in front of the house.
The complete programme is on YouTube, the Residential Street segment starts at 1:04:23.

The Disney MGM Studios Grand Opening

Screenshots © Touchstone Television
Disney-MGM Grand Opening © The Walt Disney Company