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Movies inspire new Disney areas

Disney's movie division is providing inspiration for a new series of back lot "neighborhoods," rides and restaurants at Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando.The movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit, made by a Disney subsidiary, Touchstone Pictures, will serve as the source for an area called Roger Rabbit's Hollywood to be built in the mid-1990s as a kind of Toontown, where _ as in the movie _ only cartoon characters may live.

Visitors will meet the movie's cartoon hero, ride a Toontown trolley rocked by flight simulators, hop into Benny the cartoon cab and careen in Baby Herman's baby buggy through a Toontown hospital.

Another mid-1990s attraction will reconstruct the Depression-era gangster world of Disney's upcoming Dick Tracy: The Movie. (A Dick Tracy musical revue opens at the park this summer.)

Yet another attraction, the Muppet Studios, is being designed by Jim Henson, the creator of Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, who sold the floppy gang to Disney last year.

A third attraction, to open in December, will feature the giant blades of grass and oversized bugs of Disney's Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. It will be called the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Adventure Zone.

Among other changes to come at the studios: Visitors will soon be able to make up the studio audience for Let's Make A Deal, the television game show that is returning to NBC and will be taped at MGM. Visitors will also be allowed to audition for occasional appearances as entertainers on the Disney Channel.

In 1992 they will be able to see Noah's Ark, a stage musical created for Disney by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which is scheduled to premiere at the studios.

Walt Disney's chief executive, Michael Eisner, also has announced that the company is in preliminary negotiations with the Soviet Union for a Soviet pavilion at Epcot Center. A Swiss pavilion complete with a Matterhorn mountain ride is also planned.