By Matt Roseboom
A newly released version of a Walt Disney World brochure features a map of all of their theme parks. But there’s something missing from Disney’s Hollywood Studios map – something big. The giant Sorcerer’s Hat, which has served as the park’s icon since it was added in 2001, is missing.
The brochure entitled “Disney 4 Parks of Fun”, is available at many hotels, rest stops and other brochure racks around Florida. It has been distributed for many years, but only this newest version shows the map without the hat. We reached out to Disney officials for a comment and were told, “We have nothing to announce at this time.”
Many Disney fans have only known the park with the Sorcerer’s Hat at the end of Hollywood Boulevard, but many longtime fans haven’t been happy with its placement, and want the former view of the Chinese Theater facade (The Great Movie Ride) at the end of the street to return. Rumors say the Sorcerer’s Hat was added because when the real Chinese Theater in Hollywood changed hands, the new owners wanted a cut of any photos Disney sold to guests with the theater in the background.
Back in 2009 during a special celebration of Disney’s Hollywood Studios 20th anniversary, Imagineer Bob Weis commented on a photo of Graumann’s Chinese Theater, “And this is my favorite view of the Chinese Theater. You can’t get this view anymore. You may be aware of that. But I hope that we will get this view again sometime soon.” Loud applause and cheers then erupted from the Disney fan-filled audience.
Not only is the hat missing in the brochure, but there are a couple of other interesting things that aren’t as noticeable. The map has the new Frozen Sing Along listed, but it also still lists the recently closed Studio Backlot Tour. It doesn’t list The recently closed America Idol Experience. The map of the Magic Kingdom shows the new expanded hub area in front of Cinderella Castle, which is still under construction. It’s also worth noting that the brochure features the old style maps, not the new ones now being used in the park guidemaps.
You may notice a faint version of the hat on the right side of the map. That’s bleeding through from a picture of Mickey wearing the hat on the other side of the page.
So what do you think? Was this only a printing or graphic designer error? Or will the hat soon be removed or relocated and Disney was future-proofing their brochure, as they did by adding the newly expanded Magic Kingdom hub? Or were these maps released too soon?
UPDATE – Oct. 24, 2014: Disney officials have confirmed the hat will be going away in early 2015. More details here.
Hat tip to Aaron Wallace @aaronspod on Twitter for first pointing out the map.