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  1. #1

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    What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    First off, I apologize if this is really obvious to a lot of people but I had to ask it because I have literally spent probably 20 hours online trying to find an answer to this but I am just stumped: What's the big issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    Now, I have never been to HS...so I might not understand how things are setup...but as I understand it the "icon" for HS is the giant blue Mickey Sorcerer's Hat. The way I see it in my head, this seems to be the entrance to the HS park. I've never seen a good picture of the entrance to the park, so I might be assuming wrong so please correct my misunderstanding.

    I've read snipes taken at the hat from Imagineers who hate it. In one article I read on another Disney forum, they had a picture of Mann's Chinese Theater in HS and the article made it seem like they built this Sorcerer's Hat on top of it and covered it up. Is that true?

    Another article said that the hat was just for a celebration of some kind, but then they kept it up. I remember years ago when they made Cinderella's Castle look like a giant birthday cake and I remember being horrified by that. I thought, "Man, I would have hated to have saved up to go to the MK and then when I got there my pictures would be ruined because the castle was made to look ugly like that".

    I've seen the Socerer's Hat referred to as the "moon bounce hat" because it looks like those ugly moon bounces that rich kids get in their backyards for birthday parties in sitcoms.

    I'd love to know a few things if you can answer my questions:
    * Is the "hat" at the entrance to HS?
    * Did the hat cover up Mann's Chinese Theater at HS?
    * Is the hat no longer considered "temporary" and is it now there for good?
    * Do most people hate the hat?

    Thank you in advance for any help with this -- and once again, I'm sorry if I took up room in the forum asking something that might be obvious to some people but I am currently planning a trip to WDW for 2013 and I am definitely going to be visiting HS for the first time (mainly because of MiceChatters and how reading this site has made me want to see ALL the parks and not just MK and Typhoon Lagoon like I usually do).

    In planning my trip I keep encountering this negativity towards this giant hat and I want to understand it.

    THANK YOU

  2. #2

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    The Hat is smack dab in the middle of the park right in front of the Chinese theater. It completely destroys the whole "Old Hollywood" aesthetic of the front half of the park and hardly has anything to do with the park's theme beyond "Fantasia is a good movie". There is nothing of value under there, it's just a gargantuan Pin Stand. Even some of the execs think the Hat's an eyesore, but I suppose there's still the issue of funding a tear down.
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  3. #3

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    ^^Bingo! I hate that hat for ruining site lines more than I hated the Mickey hand on Spaceship Earth! It's ugly and doesn't reinforce the theme of the park t all, unlike the Chinese theater which is the original and perfect icon.
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  4. #4

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    The original Chinese Theater in California was sold from one company to another, and the new company did not want to continue the contract with Disney, so instead of tearing down their main Attraction, Disney chose to create a new icon for the park. The Hat is placed directly in front of the Chinese Theater, so it is now very difficult to get a picture of the Theater. This was also the point in time that they were required to stop doing the celebrity hand-print ceremonies in the courtyard. The Hat is at the end of Hollywood Boulevard, so it's like if something was placed in front of Cinderella Castle, and you could see it from the end of Main Street. The Hat currently houses a pin store, which is kind of a sad use of the space. Good news for Disney fans though, because the original company bought back the Chinese Theater, and is considering renewing the original contract, making the Theater the icon once again and returning the hand-print ceremony rights to the Great Movie Ride. If it goes through, I have no doubt Imagineering will happily rip down the Hat. If you look closely at the park maps for DHS, the hat covers the theater.
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  5. #5

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    If I understand this right, the Chinese Theater is the entrance to The Great Movie Ride.

    The reason the hat was really built was to hide the Chinese Theater because Disney lost the legal right to have this as an attraction when the real Chinese Theater was sold and the new owners probably didn't want to pay to continue the agreement (or wanted too much from Disney if Disney was the one doing the paying).

    So it feels like the ugly hat was created because they legally had to obscure the Chinese Theater somehow...and so it was even obscured on the maps.

    THIS makes so much more sense now...because without this backstory it just felt like the Disney execs were morons who created this monstrosity for no good reason.

    THANKS to those who have written in to help me understand this.

  6. #6

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    Quote Originally Posted by DancinBelle View Post
    The original Chinese Theater in California was sold from one company to another, and the new company did not want to continue the contract with Disney, so instead of tearing down their main Attraction, Disney chose to create a new icon for the park. The Hat is placed directly in front of the Chinese Theater, so it is now very difficult to get a picture of the Theater.
    Yesterland covered this particular rumor before in the article Please Remove Your Hat. To paraphrase, Disney losing rights after the theater was sold is just a false rumor that popped up to try and explain the hat as something other than an ugly, ugly marketing gimmick that refuses to die. Unfortunately, unless a major revitalizing of Hollywood Studios happens, the hat is probably here to stay, and even then they may decide to keep it. It is pretty much the world's easiest-to-find pin selling station.
    Last edited by Disney Romantic; 04-05-2012 at 03:43 PM.
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  7. #7

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    The hat is referred to quite often as the BAH, or the Big A** Hat. I don't mind it for what it is, but it's most definitely in the wrong place. If it were say outside the main gates, maybe over by where the boats dock, then I think it'd be much more popular. As it is, and as others have said, it completely destroys the carefully crafted sightlines of Hollywood Blvd. leading up to the Chinese Theater. The icon for D/MGM used to be the Earful Tower, which I always thought was just fine. Someone in marketing thought differently, however, so we get the BAH.

  8. #8

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    1) The theater it covers/blocks is thematically appropriate and lovely and houses one of the park's signature attractions, plus symbolizes old Hollywood in a movie based park, which is why it was logical to be a centerpiece at all.

    2) The hat is a randomly placed cartoony item which houses a store underneath and obstructs/distracts from original designed architecture around it.

    3) The rumor of why the hat is 'needed', as linked in the Yesterland article above, is basically lies to cover up why some designer's pet project that not many people like is still there, when it actively detracts from the original design scheme of the park.

    That's pretty much why it is disliked and viewed as unwelcome

  9. #9

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    Since other have answered your questions, I'll answer only the last one ... Yes, I hate the hat.





  10. #10

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    Well there's now an even uglier metal stage structure in front of the hat that's in front of the Chinese Theatre.

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  11. #11

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    The BAH also destroyed what was left of what was probably the worlds largest hidden Mickey.
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  12. #12

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve2wdw View Post
    The BAH also destroyed what was left of what was probably the worlds largest hidden Mickey.
    There's nothing behind the hat that's bigger than Tokyo DisneySea's Fortress Explorations aka the fortress in front of the volcano. Look at the model in One Man's Dream from above backwards. The fortress itself is one giant hidden Mickey.

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  13. #13

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    The hat is a left over piece of the 100 years of magic celebration.

  14. #14

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    Quote Originally Posted by FigmentJedi View Post
    It completely destroys the whole "Old Hollywood" aesthetic of the front half of the park and hardly has anything to do with the park's theme beyond "Fantasia is a good movie".
    Actually, this isn't entirely true - I noticed in an old issue of D23 magazine that there was an article about the old Disney Hollywood studios - the black and white photos of the studios show that was the icon over the door - Since the park is called Disney Hollywood Studios and that section of the park is designed to recreate that old Hollywood era, it's not really so far-fetched that they would use that same icon in this park. Admittedly, it's flipping huge, but it's the smallest of the four park icons - maybe if they moved it off to the side to protect the view of the theater, people might not be so opposed to it. Personally, I've never understood why it incurs so much wrath from people - although I think they could have put a smaller (MUCH smaller) version of it over the front gates instead.

  15. #15

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    Re: What is the issue with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios?

    It's also frustrating as a cast member, because the other park icons have something more interesting inside them (Tough to be a Bug, Spaceship Earth, Cinderella's Royal Table). It also makes it difficult for some Guests to find the entrance to the Great Movie Ride, because it overlaps the theater on the map. All of the cast members who work at GMR hate the hat!
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