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Thread: WDW Park Icons

  1. #1

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    WDW Park Icons

    I just returned from a trip to WDW, and was wondering something. Has Disney succeeded in making that huge Sorcerer hat an icon for the Studios? What I mean has the general audience "bought" it? I know how the nerds feel. I'm one of them. I hate that it blocks the Chinese Theater. I wish that was their icon. I'd even take the Earful Tower, that's pretty iconic. I'd even take Tower of Terror over that hat. But I'm guessing most people don't care and just go for it. But it's always bugged me.

    My only guess is the Hat was made the icon just so people could take their picture in front of it, and that's it. To be like the rest of the parks. Kind of gimmicky. What really bothers me is that it is just a pin shop undernieth. Uuugh. I know it's old news but after just going again, I was wondering if almost a decade later what people thought. Have we just learned to deal with it? ( not like we have a choice, i know )

    And by the way, it really looks stupid as a balloon on all of their WWYC decor. But not as bad as the green Brocolli balloon for AK.

    And why isn't the Chinese Theater the icon? Seems to me like the "castle" of DHS. Does it have something to do with the MGM contract? Nothing says Hollywood more than that thing, talk about an Icon.

  2. #2

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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    OMG I still to this day do not see why people have a problem with a hat as an icon. This type of stuff must make the execs literally sigh followed by a hardcore rolling of the eye hence annoyed by the hatred of the hat.

    It literally is just a thing sitting there and could very well get changed or taken away at any point. I personally don't care why it wasn't there from the beginning, that it is there now and if it ever gets taken away in the near future. To me it is just an icon that could stay around forever or one day get taken away. I'll be shocked if an announcment comes with the dismantling of it but I won't be surprised. I'd laugh if a huge directing chair is erected in front of the theatre or another movie prop is larger than life. Oh I'll laugh the hell out loud at that change but learn to just enjoy it and not look at it with hatred, disgust or annoyance.

    I personally love the hat. I love that it is giant and huge and has a pin shop underneath. I personally don't need it to have anything special underneath. Pins are fine with me. If you really want something "special" underneath it then wouldn't the fear be put in you that it will stay around for much much longer?

    I do see and accept how it represents a moment from a Disney film that they themselves can market the hell out of it without legal worries. The hat comes from cinema and it works for me. It fits and it works.

    I know I'm in the miniority here when it comes to MC fans loving/hating the hat but the general non MC public is pretty much where I stand, most really don't care if one day the hat leaves but most are just happy to enjoy it while it is in the park today.

    That's how I view it and that is my opinion on the whole matter.
    Last edited by Micoofy Duck; 10-19-2009 at 10:11 AM.
    Micoofy Duck
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  3. #3

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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    I don't remember when the hat wasn't there, but I've seen pictures.

    The hat gone = amazing. The theater can and should be the parks icon. If you ever find yourself near the GMR, look at the trashcan to see the theater on it (it sorta looks like the icon)

    small pic-

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_1FttH0vwQ8...h+Can+Logo.jpg

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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    Quote Originally Posted by Imagineer Scott View Post
    I don't remember when the hat wasn't there, but I've seen pictures.

    The hat gone = amazing. The theater can and should be the parks icon. If you ever find yourself near the GMR, look at the trashcan to see the theater on it (it sorta looks like the icon)

    small pic-

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_1FttH0vwQ8...h+Can+Logo.jpg
    I agree it's also very humourous that they use it as the symbol on 90%(it seems) of the trashcans in the park but it's not the symbol allaround...looks like Disney is still trying to decide for themselves what the park icon should be
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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    The original icon of the Studios was not the Chinese Theatre. It was the Earful Tower (the water tower with the Mickey ears).

  6. #6

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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    I think even the Earfull Tower is better than that hat. Although, I'd like to see it moved inside the park maybe on top of a building

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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    yea, the location of the earful tower ended up being pretty lousy. Maybe it was ok when the tram tour was actually worth riding for the first few years. But now it's almost like it's not even there.

    At least you can see it from the main two roads outside the park, but inside the park i don't remember seeing it at all.

    That logo on the trash can rocks.

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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Stoan View Post
    I just returned from a trip to WDW, and was wondering something. Has Disney succeeded in making that huge Sorcerer hat an icon for the Studios? What I mean has the general audience "bought" it? I know how the nerds feel. I'm one of them. I hate that it blocks the Chinese Theater. I wish that was their icon. I'd even take the Earful Tower, that's pretty iconic. I'd even take Tower of Terror over that hat. But I'm guessing most people don't care and just go for it. But it's always bugged me.

    My only guess is the Hat was made the icon just so people could take their picture in front of it, and that's it. To be like the rest of the parks. Kind of gimmicky. What really bothers me is that it is just a pin shop undernieth. Uuugh. I know it's old news but after just going again, I was wondering if almost a decade later what people thought. Have we just learned to deal with it? ( not like we have a choice, i know )

    And by the way, it really looks stupid as a balloon on all of their WWYC decor. But not as bad as the green Brocolli balloon for AK.

    And why isn't the Chinese Theater the icon? Seems to me like the "castle" of DHS. Does it have something to do with the MGM contract? Nothing says Hollywood more than that thing, talk about an Icon.
    I think the Hat needs to go, just like Mickey's arm disappeared from the Epcot sphere. It looks intrusive and stupid. And is it really true that it's there to block the view of the Chinese Theater, because of a copyright dispute?

  9. #9

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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    If there was a copyright issue, then why do they display it on the trash cans all across the park?

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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    ^ They don't sell the trash cans. They do sell photographs of guests standing in the middle of Hollywood Blvd., with the Hat in the background. Maybe they had to pay a percentage when the Chinese Theater was still visible...
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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    Quote Originally Posted by Magenta Panther View Post
    I think the Hat needs to go, just like Mickey's arm disappeared from the Epcot sphere. It looks intrusive and stupid. And is it really true that it's there to block the view of the Chinese Theater, because of a copyright dispute?
    The copyright dispute is an internet myth. Think about it; the hat was placed in front of the theater, but doesn't really solve anything that could be the cause of a copyright dispute. The building is still there, guests can still get their picture in front of it, etc. The hat is simply part of a temporary promotion that's been allowed to stay far too long.

    Chinese Theater for DHS icon!!


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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    ^^ Nobody among us average fans seems to know for sure what the story was with the Chinese Theater and the Hat.

    There is the copyright story, but I've never heard that from any official source. For all we know it's one of those internet stories that got repeated so much that people started to believe it.

    At the risk of repeating myself...my feelings are summed up by looking at my sig pic and statement below.

    The Hat destroys one of the best sight-lines in any of the Disney parks. It destroys the ambience and thematic immersion of the architecture which surrounds it. It is a tacky Eisnerian monstrosity that needs to go.

    There was some hope - in fact the first real hope for those of us who dislike the Hat - earlier this year at a 20th anniversary speech when one of the imagineers mentioned the possiblity of taking it down. But nothing since.
    Down with the Hat


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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    Quote Originally Posted by tasman View Post
    ^^ Nobody among us average fans seems to know for sure what the story was with the Chinese Theater and the Hat.

    There is the copyright story, but I've never heard that from any official source. For all we know it's one of those internet stories that got repeated so much that people started to believe it.

    At the risk of repeating myself...my feelings are summed up by looking at my sig pic and statement below.

    The Hat destroys one of the best sight-lines in any of the Disney parks. It destroys the ambience and thematic immersion of the architecture which surrounds it. It is a tacky Eisnerian monstrosity that needs to go.

    There was some hope - in fact the first real hope for those of us who dislike the Hat - earlier this year at a 20th anniversary speech when one of the imagineers mentioned the possiblity of taking it down. But nothing since.
    Agreed with your opinion about the sightlines and ambience 100%.

    My source was Yesterland's article about the subject.

    Here's what Werner says:

    There must be a logical reason why Disney did such thing, right? Surely, they had no other choice, right? Why else would Disney block the impressive theater building with a cheap-looking hat?

    A story began circulating on the Internet. According to this story, Disney had to block the direct view of the Chinese Theatre in 2001 due to legal reasons.

    The Sorcerer’s Hat with swirly, starry, vaguely Mouse-ear-like things
    There are different versions of the story, but it goes something like this... After the Mann’s Theatres chain, which included the Chinese Theatre, was sold in 2000 to a partnership of Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures, Disney could no longer use the theater façade as a symbol for Disney-MGM Studios. They had to block the direct view. In one version of the story, Disney lost the rights to use the Chinese Theatre façade, but somehow didn’t have to remove it if they put something in front of it. In another version, Disney had to pay a royalty to the owners of the Chinese Theatre every time it was photographed, so Disney did something to limit the ability of guests to take photos.

    It’s an Internet legend—a story that’s repeated over and over, until a lot of people assume it to be true because they’ve seen the explanation so many times.
    I think it had to do with marketing more than anything. MGM-Studios kept having an identity crisis in marketing - the "icon" would change from the Earful Tower, to the Chinese Theater, to the Theater and the Earful Tower together, to even the Tower of Terror at times. But when the Hat was introduced as part of the 100 Years of Magic, what was promoted as a "temporary" icon quickly turned out to be more identifiable on merchandise than the other always-changing park symbols. Unfortunately, marketability doesn't equal good theme.

    What DHS needs is a single, centrally-located icon that matches the theme of the park - the Chinese Theater.


  14. #14

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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    I don't have a big problem with the hat, but I have a HUGE problem with its positioning. Move it to just outside the entrance, between the entry gates and the boat dock. It'd be a perfect spot to get pictures, while allowing Hollywood Blvd. to return to its proper thematic glory.

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    Re: WDW Park Icons

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    I don't have a big problem with the hat, but I have a HUGE problem with its positioning. Move it to just outside the entrance, between the entry gates and the boat dock. It'd be a perfect spot to get pictures, while allowing Hollywood Blvd. to return to its proper thematic glory.
    Very good idea. I think it does work as an icon, but the positioning is all wrong. I do like having The Hat in my set of 4 WDW wine markers.

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