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Giant Sorcerer Hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to be removed

by Banks Lee

Disney's Hollywood Studios Sorcerer's Hat

Today Walt Disney World officials confirmed the rumor that has been around for years, the large Sorcerer’s Hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is being removed from its current iconic location.

We recently reported on the hat being removed from the Hollywood Studios map in the “4 Parks of Fun Guide” that is distributed all around Central Florida. At the time, we weren’t sure if it was a printing error or on purpose. But Disney’s comment of “We have nothing to announce at this time,” led many to believe it wasn’t a printing error.

No date has been given to when the hat will be removed other than “early 2015.” There’s also no word if the hat will be replaced, destroyed or moved. Although many long-time fans of the park are happy about this news, other fans are still sad to see it go.

Also getting the axe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be The Legend of Jack Sparrow. The official Walt Disney World website lists the attraction as having its final day on Nov. 6, 2014.

Stay tuned to our blog and Orlando Attractions Magazine: The Show as we learn more details about this story.

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37 comments

Scott Balch October 24, 2014 - 7:16 pm

Words cannot come to my mind on why this is so. Either to be removed is just wrong. There are so many people that haven’t had the privilege of seeing the Hat and there are still many that never been able to see The Legend of Jack Sparrow. These are two things I was hoping my wife would be able to see when we make it down there for Christmas of 2015. Cost keeps going up while you take away things that made the park great. Yes new things get added but most of the time they suck. Thank God at least you have no affiliation with Harry freaking potter.

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Kathie Hughes October 24, 2014 - 7:55 pm

We haven’t gotten to go yet, and probably won’t until later on in 2015, if then. Kind of sad to have this go before I get to see it. We have never been to Disney World, for us it will be a literal once in a lifetime trip.

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Eric October 25, 2014 - 1:26 pm

There is so much to see that you will not be disappointed. The memories will still be magical. I have been a semi-regular goer since 1976 and haven’t been disappointed at all on any trip. Just go and embrace the Magic.

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Franklin October 24, 2014 - 9:27 pm

I am happy to see that hat go. They need something new 😀

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J. Fox October 24, 2014 - 10:59 pm

Guess you at Orlando Attractions Magazine have made a unilateral decision that “many long-time fans of the park are happy….” to see the Sorcerer’s Hat go. Have any of your staff ever heard more than a single comment or possible two about not liking the iconic symbol? I have probably been there more than all of your entire staff put together and have NEVER heard a single disparaging remark concerning the Disney Studios icon. Either you have decided to simply make up a story without the bother of actually researching the subject, or you are on the payroll of the large corporations in Orlando and therefore are no longer a credible source of information.

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Matt Roseboom October 24, 2014 - 11:20 pm

Check all the comments below the story on our Facebook page and you’ll see many people who are happy to hear the news: https://www.facebook.com/attractionsmagazine/posts/10152760044104330

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Mary I. October 24, 2014 - 11:26 pm

Count me as one of those people that have been saying ever since at least 2005 “when are they going to take that thing down?” It was put up for the millennial celebration just like the wand over Spaceship Earth. That came down. The hat needs to come down too. The original icon was the Earful Tower. The view down the entry boulevard to the theater is beautiful and enchanting. Now it can be seen again as it was designed. Bravo Disney (for once, lately)! All I can say is “Let [the hat] go!”

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Marie October 25, 2014 - 11:12 am

But if they are getting rid of the entire Backlot Tour, will they actually keep the Earful Tower? And for me, the hat has been there almost my whole life. And even though I love the Great Movie Ride, I’m not sure if that is strong enough to be a focal point of the entire park. I believe Disney is only doing this to change the park to a complete Star Wars park. I cringe to see what they are going to get rid of next.

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ChrisFL October 25, 2014 - 10:45 am

Perhaps you should do more research. The park currently know as Disney’s Hollywood Studios “survived” for nearly 12 years without this supposedly temporary hat icon, that was nothing more than a glorified pin trading station.

It ruined the viewpoint of a classic hollywood street, and completely removed you from the 1930’s golden age the original park was trying (successfully, IMO) to portray. Disney has made a lot of bad thematic decisions and the Hat was one of them. If they put it at the entrance gates, it would have been fine, if they put it out behind the Backlot area, it would have been fine.

Would you have been just as happy if it sat in front of Cinderella Castle? I mean it is Disney right, so it could go ANYWHERE! (sarcasm)

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E-ticket-lizabeth October 30, 2014 - 3:10 pm

I’m sorry you feel this way–I remember the magic of walking into Hollywood Studios and looking down the boulevard to the gorgeous Chinese Theatre building. I loved the look of the Sorcerer’s Hat, but I *hated* it’s placement right in front of the Great Movie Ride. I hope they’ll just move the hat to the plaza in front of the gates, but I am one regular WDW guest who is not sorry to see the hat go!

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Jamie October 24, 2014 - 11:27 pm

Having gone to the parks my entire life (I’m 26), and my parents bringing my three older brothers (all in there 30s) their entire lives, and being a current seasonal cast member myself, we all are THRILLED the hat is finally going. So J. Fox, needs to do some research cause A LOT of people, and I mean A LOT, agree with my family and I. The hat is a major eye sore. If it was located somewhere else thats fine, but to have plopped it in front of the great movie ride, THAT was the iconic part of MGM back in the day. It’s the same as when Epcot had that horrid Mickey wand on spaceship earth. BLECK!

but alas, agree to disagree. everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. but 95% of the posts I’ve seen since the announcement have be of joy the hat is finally leaving.

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Lisa October 24, 2014 - 11:57 pm

Why would this wonderful icon be removed. One thing EVERYBODY should take into account is that all that the “Disney Franchise” is is due to the wonderful vision, imagination, talent and skills of one man, Walt Disney. Go ahead, argue that the man is dead. That doesn’t change the fact that all things “Disney” are a direct result of Walt himself. These were HIS dreams. Employees that don’t like the hat need to remember that they have been employed by Disney and owe their livelihood and their loyalty to the man and his dream. Everything “Disney” was HIS dream and just because he is deceased doesn’t give anyone the right to alter his dream. His wishes and ethics and values should be the basis of all additions, changes, etc. To me, this hat shows the tribute and honor he paid to the “mouse” that made all his dreams come true. In my opinion, removing this beloved icon shows nothing but disrespect. Some things should never change. Until the comments made here by some, I never heard anyone say they disliked the hat or wished to see it go. And to those patrons that do dislike it and are glad to see it go, I ask, “Why? What would you replace it with?” I see Disney’s dream fading into nothingness and mourn the loss. Perhaps a statue of some bimbo twerking is more appealing?

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Charles Schneider October 25, 2014 - 1:26 pm

Stated perfectly. Leave the hat alone.

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Ashlyn H October 26, 2014 - 2:21 pm

The hat was erected for a limited time celebration in the park. It is not part of Walt’s vision in the slightest. Like an ealier person commented all other displays have been removed ( i.e. The wand over spaceship earth)

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Tim October 25, 2014 - 4:47 am

Can I have the hat?

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matt October 27, 2014 - 7:30 pm

Lol put it in my front yard. Have fireworks over it.

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Rodrigo Barros October 25, 2014 - 5:16 am

I agree with Jamie and Mary I. From the comments I’ve been reading here in Brazil, I’d wager that only people who never knew the park in its original design thought that hat was a good idea.
Like I said, it’s not that the hat is bad and I love One Man’s Dream, but it was never supposed to be there. Everything at Disney tells a story and the hat is blocking the beginning of the story the Imagineers are telling at DHS. Now, if you wanna keep it, make it the new entrance to Fantasmic or something like that. But it’s been long past the time to get it out of the way of the Chinese Theater.

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Caryn October 25, 2014 - 8:04 am

Finally! Not only has the hat pulled you out of the illusion that you are in old time Hollywood, but it blocked the fireworks. Sorcery in the sky was the best fireworks on property. Recently the Star Wars Weekends ones were fantastic, but if fireworks will continue to be a feature of the park the hat has to go. It blocks the view of too much of the sky to truly enjoy the fireworks. If you go down Hollywood blvd the buildings are in the way. Can’t wait for a clear view and the ambiance to be restored.

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Matthew Doherty October 25, 2014 - 9:24 am

I never liked the hat as the symbol for the park anyway, the Earful Tower was always much more Hollywood to me.

As far as Captain Jack Sparrow, it was a great way to show off holographic technology which will hopefully be brought into the other parks, but other than that I went on it once when it opened and haven’t gone back since.

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Sean October 25, 2014 - 11:32 am

I am so glad to see this eyesore go! I wasn’t against it when it first went up because I thought it was just supposed to be temporary, but then it just never left. And to the people complaining that they’ve never seen it all I have to say is you’ve had 13 years! I understand Disney trips are expensive but still that’s 13 YEARS! And if it was really going to be such a highlight then you still got a couple months left to go.

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Jair October 25, 2014 - 11:37 am

I remember when the hat was installed. I was very lucky that my parents took me several times when I was a kid and at first when you saw the hat it was impressive… But after a couple of trips back you start to wonder “why is there nothing but a couple of pin kiosks under it?” I agree it should be removed from its current location but not destroyed so that new visitors can see it as long as the park exists… I remember when “Voyage to the bottom of the Sea” was removed from Magic Kingdom and I was very sad I would never ride it again… Specially for the memories I had of my mom in it.

Back to the Hat… Maybe the new Star Wars projects will have a place there… And I wouldn’t mind that at all.

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alex October 26, 2014 - 1:43 pm

the ride was called 20,000 leagues under the sea, not voyage to the bottom of the sea

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CeeCee Knight October 25, 2014 - 12:10 pm

Not happy with this bit of Disney news. While I can understand why some people dislike it, to me the Sorcerer Hat is inherently Disney.

Much that you see in the parks is new-school Disney and doesn’t really stand out from any other amusement park.

This hat, however, is Pure Disney. Walt-style Disney.

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Jennifer October 25, 2014 - 12:15 pm

They should keep the hat or move it somewhere else. I do not want to see it go

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Jeff D October 25, 2014 - 1:19 pm

For those that have been going to the park since it opened, they remember the original park icon was the theater behind the hat. The hat was put up to block the theater when Disney and MGM didn’t renew their contact. This made the hat the icon. I’ll be glad to see the hat go, I always thought it looked hideous because it didn’t fit the motif of the area. I would hope Disney and MGM have come to a new agreement making the theater the icon again, but if not I’ll wait and see what happens next before I formulate any further opinions.

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alex October 26, 2014 - 1:44 pm

the earful tower is the original icon!

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jeff October 25, 2014 - 2:56 pm

I think this is part of adding star wars to the park.

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JM Palacios October 25, 2014 - 3:13 pm

Clearly it is being removed to be replaced with a giant Death Star. Armed, and fully operational, of course! Hee Hee hee hee…

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BJ October 25, 2014 - 4:16 pm

Sad, the hat is an icon, it would be like removing the globe at Epcot or the castle at Magic Kingdom. Add on to the park if you need to add something new.

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Kristin November 10, 2014 - 8:36 am

It may be an Icon, but It is not an original, if they were willing to take down the Earful tower, the original icon, why not this one? I”ll be glad to see what new thing they bring in or how they repurpose it!

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Kathleen Seaman October 26, 2014 - 10:02 am

I, for one am kind of glad to see the changes coming to The Hollywood studios as well as the other Disney parks. It is about time for a change; to up-date and bring a fresh new look to things especially for the people who are Passholders, I think some of us like to see changes and experience new things when we go to The Parks!

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Rod October 27, 2014 - 7:30 pm

For those that think the hat represented what Walt envisioned and wanted in his parks, you are completely misguided. If you like the hat, that’s fine, but if you can’t tell why the hat doesn’t belong, you do not understand what disney parks are all about.

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George October 30, 2014 - 5:55 pm

The hat was originally put up to hide the Chinese Theater after a lawsuit from the current owners of the real theater in Hollywood for infringing on their icon. While they used a wonderful “excuse” of the turn of the century to put it up, that wasn’t the real reason it was there. And it was why many of us thought that it would never be able to actually be removed without destroying the theater behind it as well. Which likely means one of two things- either they’ve come to some sort of agreement with the owners of the real theater that it is modeled after, or as part of their major revamping of the park something is coming to change the facade of the theater as well. I’m sincerely hoping that it’s the former and not the latter.

I understand why some like the hat. I spent years taking photos of people in front of it. But it never should have been there to begin with. I certainly won’t miss it in that location. However I wouldn’t mind seeing it moved to a different location in the park- I just don’t have any idea where that would be that it would fit well.

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Jimmy November 2, 2014 - 10:02 am

Just remove it to another location in the park. Problem solved!

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ML November 3, 2014 - 1:35 am

Hat lovers, don’t despair! Do any of you remember the outraged cries of protest when the public got wind of Disney’s plans to close Carousel of Progress? Who knows, the Hat may escape it’s fate 🙂

KATIE HUGHS: Please don’t let this disappoint you. Your Disney experience will be filled with wonderful memories of the beautiful places and things you will see.

We have been every 2 to 3 years visitors since 1980. Things come and go, and while we are always sorry to see something removed, we are excited about whatever plans there are to take it’s place.

I agree with the other poster who reminded us that the Earful Tower is the real Icon of Hollywood Studios. The giant hat, while iconic and beautiful is really nothing more than a giant pavilion. It covers an area with kiosks that sell pins and various other small items. It has wide step walk ups on all sides, but is basically an area with a big grand hat for a cover. I’m sorry to see it go, but look forward to seeing what will take it’s place. We will be in there in early January, hopefully in time to get that last photo op of the hat.

The area where the Legend of Jack Sparrow now resides (other Disney enthusiasts please feel free to correct me if I am mistaken) once housed an exhibit/performance of Chronicles of Narnia, White Witch or something to that effect. As a whole is was rather disappointing and we were happy to see when were there in 2013 that it had been taken over by Captain Jack. We will miss him!

Take your time, make your own memories and as Eric so correctly stated.. go and embrace the magic!!

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ML November 3, 2014 - 1:43 am

Just some clarification… Because of a decrease in attendance following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress closed in October 2001. It was reopened soon afterwards on a seasonal basis, causing fans to become concerned for the attraction’s future. Although numerous “permanent closure” rumors still plague the attraction, Disney has consistently said that there are no plans for permanent closure or any closure at all. For various reasons, the attraction has had some minor refurbishments in recent years. Though it is still listed as a seasonal attraction, it has remained open nearly every day of the year and during the Magic Kingdom’s regular park hours since 2003.
Walt’s legacy lives on.

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Ken November 3, 2014 - 11:20 am

If this will open up the park a little bit, I’m all for it.

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