The Sorcerer Hat at Disney Hollywood Studios [Updated June 2017]
The Sorcerer Hat – It's a Kind of Magic
I miss the Sorcerer Hat in Disney Hollywood Studios. Maybe it was only intended to be there temporarily, but it became an iconic part of the park.
Some people loved the Sorcerer Hat while others hated it.
The original design intent of Disney Hollywood Studios was set in Hollywood from the 1930's to the 1950's – the Golden Age of Hollywood. All the signs, building decor and even the Streetmosphere Performers were part of that era. It created a vibe from one end of the park to another.
Then in 2001, someone plopped down a giant version of the Sorcerer Hat from Fantasia. It was part of 100 Years of Magic celebration.
There were folks who didn't like it because it didn't fit the theme of the park. Yet others loved it both for its iconic status and graphical appeal. After all, this hat is a symbol of a classic Disney film from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Why shouldn't it belong there? After all, the Fantasmic Show was already running in the park with Mickey in the Sorcerer Hat on stage.
Walt Disney World is Always Changing
For most people, the Sorcerer Hat probably didn't matter one way or another. If you visited before it went up, then it was just in the way of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. If you first visited after it went up, it's something that was always there for you.
I think we have a tendency to take things around us for granted. I know it happens to me. The same scenes are always before me and I never give them much thought. Instead, I'm busy looking at photos from other parts of the world, wish I had something as interesting, unique or marvelous near where I live. The folks who get to travel to those beautiful places surely enjoy coming home with some prized photos. Sometimes I wonder if they're as bored with their surroundings as I am. Yet, there are things near me that cause millions of people to visit my home just to see it. The Sorcerer Hat was one of those things.
There are a few folks who follow my photography just for the Disney pictures. They count the days until their next vacation when they can return and experience the theme parks and attractions. Until then, they live vicariously through photos online. Sometimes a shot of an iconic scene transcends everything and takes them back to some childhood memories. I get some very cool notes from folks who are just happy to reminisce because my photo took them to a place they love. That's actually a great feeling for me, too.
Photographing Tourist Destinations Can Be Difficult
It's not always easy to get that iconic shot, though. For those of you who don't live here and visit regularly, you'd be amazed at how many times Walt Disney World screws up their centerpieces by placing a bunch of garbage in front of it. This shot of The Sorcerer's Hat wasn't easy to capture because Disney often had a stage in front of it.
At Epcot, they fill the foreground before Spaceship Earth with a plethora of large signs for the Food & Wine festival. Cinderella Castle has stage shows every day with set pieces in front, blocking the view of the castle. I think Animal Kingdom is the only place where Disney doesn't put something out to obstruct its centerpiece, the Tree of Life.
That means I end up going back to the parks every so often, just waiting for the time when these things get out of the way.
There's was a rumor for year that Disney was going to get rid of The Sorcerer's Hat in Hollywood Studios. I had no idea if it was true, and I couldn't imagine what they'd put in its place. Maybe a statue of Miley Cyrus.
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The Real Reason Why Disney Removed The Sorcerer Hat
Some people think that Walt Disney World removed the Sorcerer Hat as a return to the roots of Disney Hollywood Studios. Not likely. Disney management doesn't much care about roots these days. Instead, we now know that the reason the hat needed to go is because it would get in the way of the projection shows that Disney management seems to love.
In hindsight, we should have seen it coming. Cinderella Castle was already the stage for a projection show. They even turned the Tree of Life in Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom into a projection show. Of all the parks in Walt Disney World, the place that made the most sense to project movies was Disney's Hollywood Studios.