Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! We’re kicking off 2015 with photos of the new Polynesian lobby, some Magic Kingdom photos, as well as saying Adios to the Sorcerer’s Hat at the Studios. We are very curious to hear your thoughts about some of today’s controversial images.
The Polynesian lobby looks quite a bit different now. Far more modern and open.
The lights hanging from the ceiling are tiki inspired.
The lobby is much more open now, with a lot more seating. But no real visual icon.
There is a very small water feature in the lobby which is a tiny homage to the former iconic falls which once took up the entire center of the lobby.
The lobby has certainly changed. Some think the hotel has lost its soul. Others like the openness. But what do YOU think?
Now, let’s move on to the Magic Kingdom.
Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!
The horseless carriages were parked like props.
Still Christmas here for now.
Much of the Co-Op merchandise has made it to the Emporium.
Character statuettes are still missing from the Hub. I’m thinking they’ll end up in new places after the remodel.
Some Hub photos from the Tomorrowland side.
Details on the new Hub lamps. We assume the cylinder hides speakers.
The view from the Crystal Palace side.
Refurbishment still happening in Adventureland.
Rumor has it that a Sunglasses Hut is going here. If so, meh.
Painting near Pirates.
Splash Mountain is down for its yearly nap.
Love the Rivers of America in the morning.
Some of the large trees along this walkway by Cinderella Castle have been cut down and replaced with new shrubs and tiny trees.
Royal Table is closed for a bit.
- Time to head to the Studios!
Welcome to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where a famous hat is soon to disappear.
When the park first opened, the icon at the end of Hollywood Blvd was the beautiful Chinese Theater. For a 2000 promotion, a giant sorcerer hat was installed in front of the theater facade as a temporary icon. But “temporary” became permanent as the millennium campaign came and went but the hat stayed behind.
Much of the walls are down at The Trolley Car Cafe, where Starbucks will be featured in this park.
The new sign is very Buena Vista Street in my opinion, which is a good thing.
Walls are still up on the Sunset Blvd side of the Cafe.
Starting today (1/7), the Sorcerer’s Hat that has been around since 2001 is being removed.
This pin shop will obviously be disappearing.
Walls are already up around the back of the Hat.
I love how the Earful Tower is being used here.
The Chinese Theater will be the icon again soon!
A beautiful day in Hollywood.
One last look down Hollywood Blvd with the Hat in place. By this time next week, this will once again look like an authentic street from Hollywood’s golden age.
There’s an entire generation of Disney fans who have grown up in the era of the hat. For them, the removal may be bittersweet. For many Disney fans, the hat never really seemed to fit the park and made for an awkward thematic element on a historical street. What are your feelings? Are you glad to see the hat go, or will you miss it?
2015 is off to an interesting start! What would you like to see at Walt Disney World in the year to come?
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