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  1. #31

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    Quote Originally Posted by tasman View Post
    The appeal of the Earfel Tower eludes me. For me a metallic water tower, remarkable only for the two mouse ears on top, is not particularly inspiring. It's not that I dislike it...but I don't see how it could be considered an "icon."

    Since Hollywood is a real world, and very specific, location, I don't see any problem with having the representation of a real building as the DHS icon. I would also have no problem if they replaced the Chinese Theater with something like the Cathay Circle, a la DCA. But realistically, if Disney can't be bothered to remove a pin shop, then they certainly won't rebuild an existing facade. At any rate...I don't see the Chinese Theater as the first Disney icon representing a real buiding. Sleeping Beauty Castle is based on Neuschwanstein...and particularly from the Fantasyland (north) side, the similarities are quite obvious. In fact if you look at early concept artwork for Disneyland, the current north face of the castle was originally turned the other way around...facing Main Street.
    But surely a fantasy version of Hollywood could have a different icon -- a completely new theater, perhaps a glamourized amalgam of famous theaters, something in that direction. This is Disney, not Vegas. They should be able to do more than just Xerox famous landmarks. And I'm not saying the Earful Tower is fabuloso, but to me it does a better job representing the park than the Chinese Theater, which already has a day job representing Hollywood.

    You're right about Sleeping Beauty Castle, but then that's hardly anyone's favorite Disney castle anyway (no offense). At least not of anyone subjective enough to look at it as anything else than Walt's Sacred Monument. Disneyland Paris' castle, like Spaceship Earth, the Tree of Life, Mount Prometheus and even DCA's grizzly bear mountain structure is a product of WDI's imagination, putting it in a completely different ballpark than the real castles it was based on. That works.

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by pussnboots View Post
    But surely a fantasy version of Hollywood could have a different icon -- a completely new theater, perhaps a glamourized amalgam of famous theaters, something in that direction. This is Disney, not Vegas. They should be able to do more than just Xerox famous landmarks. And I'm not saying the Earful Tower is fabuloso, but to me it does a better job representing the park than the Chinese Theater, which already has a day job representing Hollywood.

    You're right about Sleeping Beauty Castle, but then that's hardly anyone's favorite Disney castle anyway (no offense). At least not of anyone subjective enough to look at it as anything else than Walt's Sacred Monument. Disneyland Paris' castle, like Spaceship Earth, the Tree of Life, Mount Prometheus and even DCA's grizzly bear mountain structure is a product of WDI's imagination, putting it in a completely different ballpark than the real castles it was based on. That works.

    I think you make a good point, however...

    If I remember correctly from the "Making of Disney MGM" TV special, there was a compare/contrast montage that showed that Disney MGM's version was not a complete Xerox of the original theater exterior.

    Also, Disney MGM's version is in the context of an idealized Golden Age Hollywood, whereas the real version is in real life modern day Hollywood. That makes a big difference to me.

    That said, I would still take a different, original icon that goes with Hollywood Boulevard over The Hat.

    As to Disneyland's castle "hardly being anyone's favorite" - I'm just curious what makes you think that. I was under the impression that the original Disney castle was quite popular amongst Disney castles.

    (It happens to be my favorite .)

    Despite the similarities, however, Sleeping Beauty Castle isn't supposed to be Neuschwanstein, it's supposed to be...Sleeping Beauty Castle . That is a little different than what they did with the Chinese Theater, where it is supposed to be the Chinese Theater. I still think it works as the park's icon, though .
    Last edited by animagusurreal; 05-23-2008 at 06:30 AM.

  3. #33

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    Quote Originally Posted by animagusurreal View Post
    I think you make a good point, however...

    If I remember correctly from the "Making of Disney MGM" TV special, there was a compare/contrast montage that showed that Disney MGM's version was not a complete Xerox of the original theater exterior.

    Also, Disney MGM's version is in the context of an idealized Golden Age Hollywood, whereas the real version is in real life modern day Hollywood. That makes a big difference to me.

    That said, I would still take a different, original icon that goes with Hollywood Boulevard over The Hat.

    As to Disneyland's castle "hardly being anyone's favorite" - I'm just curious what makes you think that. I was under the impression that the original Disney castle was quite popular amongst Disney castles.

    (It happens to be my favorite .)

    Despite the similarities, however, Sleeping Beauty Castle isn't supposed to be Neuschwanstein, it's supposed to be...Sleeping Beauty Castle . That is a little different than what they did with the Chinese Theater, where it is supposed to be the Chinese Theater. I still think it works as the park's icon, though .
    SB Castle is popular, but nine out of ten trip reports from Americans who went to Disneyland Paris -- and in some cases, the Magic Kingdom -- involve the teeth-clenching conclusion that as they stood in the hub, DL's castle suddenly seemed a little pale in comparison. But that's a subject for a whole other thread.

    But you know, what are we even talking about here; what is an "icon" anyway? Is it about the little icons on the website? Pins? T-shirt designs? Maybe it isn't all that important. The point is that Hollywood Boulevard looked a heck of a lot better without the hat.

  4. #34

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    Quote Originally Posted by tasman View Post
    One of our other forumers...I forget now who it was...posted the pic below, which I think is the perfect solution. This way those who like the hat could still have it, and the hat would still be in a position of prominence, but at the same time Hollywood Boulevard could have its ambience restored.

    That would be me, over in this thread.
    These are the games that never end.

  5. #35

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    Quote Originally Posted by Ward View Post
    That would be me, over in this thread.
    See, I liked your pic so much, I saved it to my computer. You should apply to be head honcho of DHS.
    Down with the Hat


  6. #36

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    I like the idea of moving the hat away from where it is now — whether that means to a spot outside the DHS entry gates, to the All Star Movies Resort, or anywhere else where it makes some sense. The move suggested on Ward's picture makes a lot of sense, especially if Disney management would want to continue using the hat as the DHS park's symbol.

    However I wonder if the hat really can be moved. It's a 122-foot-tall structure that's designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. I've never studied the engineering of the hat, but I assume it's welded together, and it's very heavy, quite wide, and not designed to be portable.

    I don't think there's a simple way to lift it off its foundation, roll it down Hollywood Boulevard, and attach it to a new foundation. In fact, it's probably wider than Hollywood Boulevard.

    So, ultimately, it's probably a binary choice: Leave it where it is or cut it into pieces for the scrap heap. I vote for the scrap heap.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  7. #37

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    Werner, I too want this hat taken off the park. It's a horrible eyesore that is nothing but a freaking pin store, and nothing else. A reminder of where Disney's priorities are now a days... and it's certainly NOT in offering quality atmospheres in some of their parks.
    The situation worsened after the three huricanes that hit FL a few years ago. The glitter that used to adorn the hat's stars was blown away and the lighting for the hat on the right side of the street has been off for quite sometime due to an accident that cut the electricity lines to that area, as I was told by a CM.

    It's a disgrace. Especially when now, Spaceship Earth and it's surroundings look so nice and neat. I think the management at the Studios would consider doing the same and returning the park to it's former and original glory.. but NO. As long as there are dumb tourists coming to WDW in hordes... it probably won't happen. Much to my dismay.

  8. #38

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    Quote Originally Posted by Werner Weiss View Post
    I like the idea of moving the hat away from where it is now — whether that means to a spot outside the DHS entry gates, to the All Star Movies Resort, or anywhere else where it makes some sense. The move suggested on Ward's picture makes a lot of sense, especially if Disney management would want to continue using the hat as the DHS park's symbol.

    However I wonder if the hat really can be moved. It's a 122-foot-tall structure that's designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. I've never studied the engineering of the hat, but I assume it's welded together, and it's very heavy, quite wide, and not designed to be portable.

    I don't think there's a simple way to lift it off its foundation, roll it down Hollywood Boulevard, and attach it to a new foundation. In fact, it's probably wider than Hollywood Boulevard.

    So, ultimately, it's probably a binary choice: Leave it where it is or cut it into pieces for the scrap heap. I vote for the scrap heap.
    I never thought about moving it in one piece...it would have to be dismantled first. At any rate, how expensive would it really be to build a new hat in front of the main entrance and tear down the existing one? Probably a lot less expensive than various gaffes on which Disney has wasted money in the past decade.
    Down with the Hat


  9. #39

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    Quote Originally Posted by tasman View Post
    I never thought about moving it in one piece...it would have to be dismantled first. At any rate, how expensive would it really be to build a new hat in front of the main entrance and tear down the existing one? Probably a lot less expensive than various gaffes on which Disney has wasted money in the past decade.
    I'm not a fan of oversized "icons," whether it's the hat at DHS or the jumbo decorations at the value resorts. To me, Disney Imagineering is all about putting you in other places and times. A 122-foot tall hat does nothing along those lines. (I realize there are some people who like the oversized objects, but I'm not one of them.)

    So I don't see the point of spending millions to rebuild the hat outside the DHS park gates. If it could be moved, that would be another thing — but I doubt there's any practical way to move it.

    In the unlikely case that it's bolted together rather than welded, it might be possible to dismantle and move it.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  10. #40

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    Quote Originally Posted by tasman View Post
    You should apply to be head honcho of DHS.
    They have that?
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  11. #41

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    Quote Originally Posted by KeepMovingForward View Post
    Having a huge castle at the end of Main Street doesn't make sense either if you're being that strict about a place's ambience. So why should a hat in Hollywood be any different?
    First, welcome to MiceChat!

    Actually, I think there's a big difference. A castle is a building. In small towns all over America, there are downtown streets that lead up to courthouses, city halls, train stations, and churches that have towers and all sorts of other fanciful architectural features.

    Disneyland's Main Street USA takes it one step further. The street leads to an even more fanciful building — a fairy tale castle. (That works for me.)

    If Main Street were to lead up to a 122-foot tall glass slipper covered with with stars, I don't think it would work. It would detract from Main Street, and it wouldn't work nearly as well as the entrance to Fantasyland.

    At least that's my opinion.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  12. #42

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    OK, wow. Though most of the time Werner is spot-on with awesome articles (I liked the DCA/DHS one with the facades), this one may need some supplemental information. Whoever made a comment about branding was the winner here. I actually had a lecture from a professor in college who had a lot to do with WDCE back then. On the surface, the hat was put there for the 100YoM celebration. IN reality it was 2 reasons:

    1. First and foremost, WDW wanted the icon of the park to be something Disney-branded. When MOST people think of the Chinese Theatre, they don't think WDW. RIghtfully so as there is no real connection.

    2. Kodak was the primary company in charge of photos at WDW (instead of DPI as it is now). The Kodak Theatre was just (or soon to be) opening and it would have been somewhat of a conflict of interest to have Kodak's name over a competitor's building (even though KT isn't a movie theatre).

    When you put these 2 points together, it's easy (or should be) to see where those urban myths came from.

    Had the Earful Tower been built in it's original location, then it could've been easier for it to be the icon/weenie.

    As far as the reason for the hat, it is a case of good idea with poor execution. Also, another example on how Disney has given up the idea of having each park with it's own identity (worst offender: Epcot) and just throwing some pixie dust everywhere b/c they think that's what people want.

  13. #43

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    By the way, here's that temporary structure created by Robert Stern for Euro Disney:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Espace.jpg

    The first "hat", I suppose.

  14. #44

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    Quote Originally Posted by bluntman View Post
    1. First and foremost, WDW wanted the icon of the park to be something Disney-branded. When MOST people think of the Chinese Theatre, they don't think WDW. RIghtfully so as there is no real connection.

    2. Kodak was the primary company in charge of photos at WDW (instead of DPI as it is now). The Kodak Theatre was just (or soon to be) opening and it would have been somewhat of a conflict of interest to have Kodak's name over a competitor's building (even though KT isn't a movie theatre).
    I can believe #1, but is there any evidence to support #2?

    Perosnally I don't why Disney didn't try to buy the Chinese Theater instead of El Capitan, since at the time they were thinking of making it an icon for two of their parks.
    Down with the Hat


  15. #45

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    Re: May 22, 2008: Please Remove Your Hat

    Quote Originally Posted by pussnboots View Post
    By the way, here's that temporary structure created by Robert Stern for Euro Disney:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Espace.jpg

    The first "hat", I suppose.
    Both this hat, the one in Burbank, and the one at WDS...all look considerably less tacky than the one at DHS.
    Down with the Hat


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