Sorcerer Hat to be removed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as Walt Disney World prepares park transformation

in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Today Walt Disney World made many fans happy with the announcement that the massive Sorcerer Mickey Hat will be removed from Disney’s Hollywood Studios in early 2015. No replacement has been named.

Installed as the park’s new icon in 2001 as part of the 100 Years of Magic celebration, the giant blue hat has blocked the view of the Great Movie Ride’s famous Chinese theater facade for more than 10 years. Now, the park’s original view down Hollywood Boulevard will be restored.

The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow show will also be closing soon, on November 6.

Recently, Disney also closed the Backlot Tour, leaving fans wondering what’s in store for the park. Rumors of Cars Land, more Toy Story attractions, or even a Star Wars themed area still swirl.

But Disney hasn’t addressed those just yet, only noting today that the hat is going away.

71 Comments

  1. joanne torchia

    Can you tell me when they are going to begin changing over Soarin’. This is my favorite and would like to know the dates it will be closed. Thank you.

    1. Dustin

      You have a while, The new Sorian won’t be at WDW until 2016 at the earliest

    2. And the original will probably continue to be at California Adventure bc the ride originated there and Epcot simply copied and pasted the screen to FL. Everything is CA in it including Disneyland (not Magic Kingdom) at the end so it isn’t completely going to go away.

      1. Tammy

        What is happening with Soarin???? Our family hasn’t heard anything about that????

  2. Monty

    Oh thank goodness… that Hat is/was worse then the wand on Spaceship Earth.

    1. KJ

      EXACTLY!

  3. Eric Ramocki

    Does this mean The Great Movie Ride is on the chopping block now?

    1. Alex

      No, actually this will make it visible and more people will want to ride it. That ride is too classic for them to take it away. They may update it though. Just adding on to it, hopefully.

      1. Mel

        The Hat is classic, people have gotten accustomed seeing the hat. It shouldn’t be taken out.

        1. NC Josh

          The hat is NOT a classic. The studios opened in 1989 and the view of the theater was a fundamental aspect of what the theme park was conveying – Hollywood and iconic images of Hollywood, something that the “hat” had nothing to do with. Originally, an amazing firework show took place over and behind the Chinese Theater and it was beautiful. Not that that show will return, but blocking that amazing view with what amounted to a gigantic (albeit cool) eyesore of a RETAIL STORE is anything but classic. I’m glad it’s going away and hopefully they won’t erect anything in it’s place.

          1. John

            What about the water tower that’s the SYMBOL OF MAGIC KINGDOM AND BACKLOT TOUR IS SO FUN

      2. Tammy

        For the theater they are changing what is inside for the ride. It’s on the website entertaining Orlando, and has a pic of the hat and a title regarding removing the hat. Within that article it talks about what they will do inside the ride. Some changes are good with Disney, but what they are doing by removing the hat along with everything else I disagree…and a third change in the name of the park!!! Why???? What is the purpose of that?? Whatever!!!

    2. Marc Morini

      If they do than they loose all the movies in the ride that are non-disney, like Allien and the original Wizard of Oz because of the original agreement. I doubt it but they could update it to just include Disney/Lucas/Pixar/Muppets/Marvel films.

    3. Mimi

      No! But GMR will be under going refurbishment soon! 🙂

  4. Emmilou

    Wow!!. A lot is changing at WDW! I’m going in December and feel that there is a lot I’ll miss out in this year!

  5. betsey

    i have never seen the park with out it. that being said yes I agree it blocked the view to the so so movie ride er uh I mean the great movie ride (that one could use an update I think) but where will they put it. it has become something that we associate with that park some love it some hate it. I would like to see it moved maybe to area outside the park where they put the Christmas tree during the holidays and maybe putting that tree inside the park somewhere.

  6. WHAT?! Am I the only one that LOVES the hat?? I’m so sad about this! I didn’t expect the Jack Sparrow show to last, though.

    1. Gareth

      Nope, I love it too, this upsets me! Just hope something better will go there!

    2. Morrgan

      You are not the only one upset by this. I actually cried when I heard the news. I’m starting a petition to save this hat. Disney cannot get rid of this icon just because it “blocks the view of stuff”. It sickens me that they are actually doing this.

      1. Mel

        I love the hat! It shouldn’t go away, if anything it should get retouched, in my opinion, Walt would be utterly disappointed to see it leave.

        1. jake

          most likely glad its going because it wasnt there in the first place go back to tradition and it blocks the iconic view of the theater people forget about this big blue hat lol

      2. EricJ

        They’re not removing it because it “blocks a view” (although it does), they’re reportedly removing it to revamp the entire central theme of the Studios now that the Backlot is officially gone.
        Even rumors of one more name change–as they’ve clearly got California Adventure’s successful revamp on their minds–but that’s unconfirmed.

      3. Paul

        Do you have the petition link? I would like to sign it.

    3. Dan

      I agree Jenny. I have been going to Disneyworld since I was young (now 54) and have taken my family there more than 25 times since 2000. My sons (age 15 and 13) never have seen Hollywood Studios (formerly known as MGM) without it. While I can certainly understand some (many?) will not miss it. I will.

    4. Annie

      I am very upset. That hat is the icon for MGM or Hollywood Studios. Just like the Cinderella Castle for Magic Kingdom, The Tree of Life for Animal Kingdom, and the golf ball or whatever it is for Epcot. What will the icon for the park be now? When I go there again it will just be sad because the hat is not there. I mean I understand it is blocking the theater, but still. Don’t just get rid of it. I would be fine if they just moved it. Like in the part with the Indiana Jones thing. Since there isn’t anything really iconic over there. Just a thought.

    5. Montana Mills

      I’m a 17 year old girl who has being going to Disney World for 6 years straight with my mother and we are very disappointed in Disney. This place is my escape from reality. I go knowing at Disney Life is okay. But now that they are taking away the hat and making all of these changes makes me want to stay home because it won’t be the same. I go in March and I hope it won’t be as bad as it sounds. Please at least keep the hat and the back lot tour.

      1. Montana Mills

        I’m a 17 year old girl who has being going to Disney World for 6 years straight with my mother and we are very disappointed in Disney. This place is my escape from reality. I go knowing at Disney Life is okay. But now that they are taking away the hat and making all of these changes makes me want to stay home because it won’t be the same. I go in March and I hope it won’t be as bad as it sounds. Please at least keep the hat and the back lot tour. And America
        Idol.

  7. mitchjs

    WOOOOAHHH!!!

    while I don’t mind the hat, the view was better of the Chinese theater
    course they might change all that too!

  8. Tom Kenning

    For me this news is a little sad, as it has been there right from my first visit. But, I can understand why a lot of Disney fans don’t like it, and at least I’ll get to see it one last time later this year.

    I think the average tourist will be disappointed though, they won’t understand the significance of the chinese theater and will want something big and shiny to have their picture taken in front of.

    My main concern is what will be the park’s icon now. It needs something big. Magic Kingdom has the castle, Epcot has Spaceship Earth, Animal Kingdom has the tree of life. I don’t think the old Earful tower will do, it might even get demolished now that Backlot Tour is going. It sounds like Disney might have grand plans for the park so hopefully there will be a fantastic icon in a different location.

    1. Matt

      They changed the icon back to the earful tower this year

    2. Matt

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBTsFHtJtg8

      “its our castle at the end of main street, in our case Hollywood blvd and castle the chinese theater.”

  9. Kenny Kraly Jr

    Not shocked by this news at all it had to be done. While this is sad it opens the door for new attractions to come to WDW like Star Wars Land hopefully.

  10. Gray Houser

    MR. IGER TEAR DOWN THAT HAT!

    1. Frostysnowman

      LOL! That’s a good one.

    2. Marc Morini

      You sir just won the internet.

  11. EricJ

    If it weren’t for American Idol, I’d be thinking, “Oh, they’re going to make that stage PERMANENT now, aren’t they?”
    But yes, the Hat–under the alibi of “Millennium celebration”–was supposed to transition the park theme away from Movie Production to Movie Magic. (And pins were a lot more popular back then.)

    What they have planned now, I’ll wait and see.

  12. If I’m not mistaken, Michael Eisner had the hat installed when he/the company had a falling out with MGM. Disney Hollywood Studios used to be known as MGM Hollywood Studios until that time.

    1. Brian

      I think this had more to do with MGM going bust or something like that

      1. EricJ

        That was later–There was a limited-time partnership for both studios to use their name for the production facilities, and when that faded, MGM decided not to renew (although Eisner might’ve had something to do with it). Oz gets to stay in the Great Movie Ride, though.

        1. CW

          The Disney/MGM deal came about because MGM was in dire need of cash. MGM never expected the relationship to last forever. Disney probably figured that if MGM went belly up they were in a great position to fold MGM stuff into their own “family”. It was a licensing deal for cash. But, MGM regained solvency and thus did not renew the relationship.

  13. Tyson

    Loved The Hunchback show; it was the best show ever at a Disney park. One can dream…loved it!!!

    1. msles9293

      I’m so glad that someone feels the same as I do and I completely agree with you!! This show was amazing! The best show Disney had at ANY of their parks!

    2. frostysnowman

      Agree! I don’t usually like those types of shows, but I really enjoyed that one.

  14. Logan Jackson

    gosh! I loved the hat! I can’t Belive this!! Please tell me they aren’t getting rid of Fantasmic!?!?

  15. Eric B. Freeman

    My sister hates that hat at that park.

  16. Julia

    They need to demolish the Backlot Express restaurant, that place is pretty out of place and in dire need or repair.
    The hat was a nice touch but the earful tower was the icon of the park before the hat showed up. And all it served was a place for different merchandise to be sold.

  17. Jamie

    I am NOT happy about the big hat going away. I hoped to take my niece and nephew to WDW. And this is one of my favorite things. I will be sadly disappointed as will they.

  18. Trey

    I am saddened by the decision to do away with Sorcerers hat. I wish they would keep it!

  19. Lawrence

    May I have the hat?

    1. Robby

      I like this guy.

  20. Anderson

    Well this is peculiar, Backlot is closed so The Earful Tower is unseeable, and this is going too. What new developments will arise?

    I liked Backlot… but I wonder where the new pin store will be.

  21. cher

    I love the hat!! I find my way around with it…i do think they need to add more with cars!! I can think of more movies too.

  22. James

    Thank goodness! Disney Studios lacks a weanie and the hat always felt crammed in there.

  23. Tif

    Thank god they’re getting rid of the Jack Sparrow show. It was horrible and I love the movie! The hat I don’t care much about u wasn’t impressed with it.

  24. Lisa

    BOOOOO!!! I happen to LOVE that hat, it’s iconic!!

  25. Frostysnowman

    I am so happy they are FINALLY getting rid of that hat. It was never supposed to be up for such a long time. Now the park’s icon can go back to being the Earful Tower.

    But I do think the hat is cool and hope Disney will use it somewhere else, maybe at Downtown Disney or elsewhere. Just not in front of Cinderella Castle! 😉

  26. Apocalypse Pooh

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  27. EricJ

    I remember on Usenet, when it was first built (under its 100 Years alibi, so they could have a place to sell those bulky light-up 100 Years of Magic pins that were like wearing iPhones on your lapel), we all referred to it as the BAH: The Big @$$ Hat.
    (Also because we joked that whoever BUILT it was likely a…) 😉

  28. Marc Morini

    It was never wanted or meant to stay as long as it did. Glad it is gone, good too see things are happening in the Florida parks again.

  29. Tom A

    Do they go back to the earful tower as the park icon? The only way you could really see the tower is if you went on the backlot tour which is now gone. Curious as to what logo starts showing up on the tshirts and brochures. Maybe the fantasmic mountain? I always loved the facade of the chinese theatre. I am glad it will be present again. Although I never hated the hat it just belonged somewhere else in the park. Perhaps they could throw it somewhere in the backlot/motor action area that will soon be reinvented into something new. It could act as a transition piece into the new area like how they incorporated the castle walls into the new fantasyland entrance.

  30. anthony

    I don’t agree with a lot of things WDW has been doing, removing Pirates, Maelstrom, Backlot Tour, and the hat. I read that the Maelstrom in Norway Epcot will be replaced by a Frozen ride, and that’s just…. no.

  31. Alex

    Bye bye hat I will not miss you.

  32. Nathaniel Dominguez

    The hat may be removed, but Disney has a knack for keeping everything they’ve ever used in a warehouse…the hat may possibly be used for other celebrations…like the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland, in California

  33. Stephen L

    The hat should be moved somewhere else, but removing it completely will make the park feel like something is missing for a lot of people. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what they have planned.

  34. Louie G

    They should have never put the hat up in the first place, but I get Disney’s point of license agreements, same reason why MGM was gone. Glad to know my homepark is getting a renovation, I miss working there. And hopefully they’ll get a better name, keeping Studios of course. Never liked the change to “Hollywood Studios”, too plain. In my opinion, they need to turn it into a real working studios facility, and bring all that ABCTV has to offer, even change it to Disney/ABC Studios.

  35. Mike

    So with the hat going away, what do you think the new icon will be in its place?

  36. Melody

    MGM or Hollywood Studios…it doesn’t matter the name of this particular park, it is part of Walt Disney World which is all about The Mouse (remember what Walt himself said, “it all started with a mouse”)… So, Mickey’s Sorcerer Hat should stay!! The hat is more of an icon for Disney than the Chinese Movie Theater or Great Movie Ride (I have nothing against these things…I enjoy the Great Movie Ride as it is), but again, this is DISNEY world!!

  37. barbara

    I love that hat….One of my favorite mickey adventures…..
    Very symbolic to Hollywood studios. It will be missed.
    I am glad we got to see it one more time the summer of 2014 before it came down….Can’t wait to see what is in store for the future of Disney….

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