The well known – yet much-maligned – sorcerer’s hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will come down early next year.
Disney confirmed the giant hat’s impending demise Friday. The company said it is “reimagining” the area where it stands. Disney would not provide details about what will replace the hat.
Compared with other theme-park landmarks, the hat mimicking the one Mickey wore in Disney’s “Fantasia” had a short life. Disney installed it in 2001 as a focal point. From the beginning, many people didn’t like it. They complained it blocked the view of the Chinese Theatre and ruined the ambience of the park’s section dedicated to Hollywood’s “golden age” of the 1920s, 30s and 40s.
“A 122-foot tall hat at the end of the street just kind of threw off the story that the studio was trying to tell,” said Jim Hill, an industry blogger.
“To have it removed, to have Hollywood Boulevard return to its old golden days of Hollywood, that means a lot to the theme-park community,” he said.
Still, the hat has appeared in many tourists’ photographs.
“There is a generation of people who think the hat’s always been there,” said Robert Niles, publisher of ThemeParkInsider.com. “They don’t remember looking down Hollywood Boulevard and seeing the Chinese Theatre.”
Much of Disney’s Hollywood Studios getting an overhaul. American Idol Experience and the Studio Backlot Tour recently closed there. The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow will close Nov. 6.
Disney has talked about Star Wars playing a larger role in its parks, and the expectation is that Hollywood Studios will get more attractions based on the science-fiction series.
Theme parks are concentrating on creating lands that make visitors feel like they have stepped inside scenes from movies or books. Disney is aware, Hill said, that the hat could mar the view from a new Star Wars area.