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Goodbye, Earffel Tower

April 29, 2016, 10:05 AM · The Walt Disney World Resort last night finished the task it'd previously said it would do... and tore down the Earffel Tower.

Earffel TowerThe Earffel Tower, with its topiary twin, back in the days of the old Backlot Studio Tour

If that "punny" name doesn't sound familiar, the sight surely looked familiar to millions of Disney fans. It was the water tower with Mickey ears that stood next to Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

Disney had announced that it would remove the iconic tower as part of its ongoing transformation of the park. The Earffel Tower was located in the backlot area that the old tram tour visited and that is now set to become Toy Story Land.

The Earffel Tower appeared as the studios park's symbol on many Disney promotional materials, along with the Magic Kingdom's castle, Epcot's geosphere, and the Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life. Sometimes Disney used the old Sorcerer's Hat that once stood in front of the Chinese Theater as the park's icon instead, but that's gone now, too. That leaves the Tower of Terror as the leading pick for the Studios' icon at the moment, though many sarcastic Disney fans might suggest that a construction wall would be the most appropriate icon for Disney's Hollywood Studios these days.

Disney closed the Backlot Studio Tour, Streets of America, and the Lights, Motors, Action stunt show theater to clear space for Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land, two new themed areas for Disney's Hollywood Studios that will open at some point after 2017.

Fans of Disney-themed water towers can rest assured that the company's original water tower, which inspired the Earffel Tower, remains at the Disney corporate headquarters in Burbank, Calif.

Disney studio water tower

And a copy of the Earffel Tower remains at Walt Disney Studios Park, about 50 km away from the "e-pun-ymous" Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Earffel Tower Paris

Replies (15)

April 29, 2016 at 11:05 AM · It was a water tower for an icon.... they would display it next to a Castle, a Geo-sphere, and the Tree of Life. Even though it was a poor park symbol by comparison... I will miss her.

... we keep moving forward.

April 29, 2016 at 12:21 PM · Is it (was it) an actual functioning water tower or just a prop?
April 29, 2016 at 3:46 PM · A new water tower has arrived at Disney Springs. Why the love for meaningless landmarks? They are a waste of money. Oh well.
April 29, 2016 at 3:08 PM · It's all about place making and creating a feeling of history and time gone by.
April 29, 2016 at 4:46 PM · RIP Disney-MGM Studios. Most of what made you so beautiful and unique is now gone. Hopefully what is in your future is even better than your past.
April 30, 2016 at 4:29 AM · I wonder if/hope Hollywood Studios changes the front entrance to the park. If I'm not mistaken, it's earily similar to DCA's entrance.

I see what I did there.

April 30, 2016 at 6:34 AM · I actually agree with Anon....GASP

Why not just put the Water Tower at Disney Springs. It would fit the theme.

April 30, 2016 at 8:00 AM · The water tower with mouse ears makes a lot more sense then an old empty elevated train track for a turn of the century FLORIDA town.

I would put it at all star movies but it probably cannot be moved very easily and might be falling apart or in disrepair already.

I feel like Disney changing the name of MGM/DHS every few years is to confuse uniformed tourists into thinking it's Universal Studios which is what it originally ripped off. If it becomes Hollywood Adventure they can confuse tourists into thinking its Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Has a major theme park ever had this many name changes?

April 30, 2016 at 12:12 PM · Anon Mouse you need to educate yourself before you make comments like "meaningless landmarks".

They're not meaningless. Water towers were commonly associated with Hollywood film studios. The main purpose of the water tower was for fire suppression efforts at the studio. The city water systems could not provide a sufficient supply of water to dose a large fire, which were not uncommon on the highly flammable wooden sets. Therefore, the studios installed these large water towers to have an amble supply.

These water towers could be seen at most of the studios and usually displayed the logo of the studio. Because of the number and prominence of these landmarks, the local population of Los Angeles associates water towers with Hollywood studios. Therefore, the the water tower was very appropriate for the theme of this Disney theme park. It was not meaningless!

April 30, 2016 at 7:15 PM · @70.114: Does its function give it meaning? Not really. Why would a studio park need to have a water tower in the first place? Disney's studio park opened well after the invent of modern irrigation systems. So it's a homage to the old times? Like when Disney covered up the Chinese Theater for 20 years with the Mickey Sorcerer's Hat. The water tower ceased to have any meaning within the studios conceit. It became a wienie that you can't even visit from within the park especially when the Backlot Tour was discontinued. You must see it from afar. Why didn't they save it for Disney Springs? Disney Springs got an entirely new one. What's its excuse?
April 30, 2016 at 8:12 PM · "...Into thinking that it's Universal Studios which is what it was trying to rip off."

Ya'know, if you're really so desperate to get a rise out of Disney fans, the very least you can do is do a little bit of research.(Then again, the fact that I'm responding to you probably means you were successful, but I don't care the bait was just too damn tasty)

If you're talking about USH, then yeah, I wouldn't doubt that's where Eisner and Co. got the idea. But if you're talking about USF, then I'm not so sure. DHS opened in 1989, USF opened in 1990. And I'm pretty sure that USF was officially announced after DHS was.

And even if Disney has stolen some things from Universal (which I bet they have) Universal has stolen a fair deal of things from Disney as well. The whole concept of a theme park themed to famous movies and TV shows, and is it really a coincidence that they decided to build their East Coast park in the exact same city where WDW had been stationed for over a decade at that point? I don't really think so.

And so far, the park has only had one name change: from Disney-MGM Studios to Disney's Hollywood Studios, and that was because Disney lost the deal with MGM due to some sort of corporate crap.

Epcot's also had just one name change. It was originally called Epcot Center, but now it's just Epcot. Dollywood's had several name changes throughout the years from what I've heard, as well as a couple Six Flags parks. And if you really want a name that's eerily similar to the name of a Universal park, try BGT's water park. It's called (I kid you not!) Adventure Island. Yup. I don't know the date that it first opened, but if said date is IOA's debut, I'd get a little suspicious.

I suppose I should also talk about the Earful Tower, since it is supposed to be the main topic of this thread.

First off, to the poster who asked if it was an actual water tower, yes it was. I remember on the Backlot Tours they would say that it pumped hundreds of gallons of water per day, though I forgot what they specifically used that water for. I don't remember if it was drinking water, if it was only for DHS or if it supplied the entire resort, (probably the former since the latter would mean all kinds of trouble for the resort)but basically, yes, it was a real, functioning water tower.

Second,while I will kinda miss the Earful Tower, I'm not exactly upset. Growing up, I always saw the Sorceror Hat as the park's symbol, so that loss was much more devestating for me.

May 1, 2016 at 2:04 PM · I don't get it, a whole article and a bunch of sad people for a prop. All in a park that is old and tired and is going to get a different theme. No more "this is a working studio and we explain how we make movies" but "ride the movies". They'll keep the nice looking part of the small park and replaces a lot of badly used space with at best something decent. Maybe they even add a villain area and expand on the muppets. It's a good thing so put your big boy or girl diapers on and be happy stuff finally is changing. Maybe they even replace those tired old shows in the process like Beauty and the Beast and Indiana Jones.
May 2, 2016 at 8:40 AM · Well, OT, while we can all agree that these changes are definitely for the better, but just because it's better doesn't mean that it's not gonna leave an emotional impact.

To you it may have been just a "prop," but to a lot of other people it stood for something bigger, and represented everything they loved about the park. And by that logic, why do we hold such such as the Eiffel Tower or the Pyramids of Giza to such importance? One's just a really tall tower that looks like the architect just completely abandoned it after finishing the scaffolding, and the other's just a bunch of big stone triangles with some dead guys inside.

And just because something's old doesn't mean it's bad. In a lot cases, the old stuff can be a lot better than the new stuff. (This is especially true when it comes to music) And, yes, like I've said before, the new DHS will definitely be better than the old one. But the old DHS was still a really good park, Indiana Jones and Beauty and the Beast are amazing shows, and the park as a whole was still very well-themed. No, it wasn't perfect by any stretch, but compared to 75% of every other park in the world, it was pretty solid. And I really liked learning about movies instead of being in the movies. Everyone else tries to put you in different worlds, so why not do something.

Furthermore, why would you criticize people for being sad? Obviously we can't mope over it for too long, but people need to be sad sometimes; it's what keeps us from becoming emotionless sociopaths.

May 2, 2016 at 8:47 AM · "though many sarcastic Disney fans might suggest that a construction wall would be the most appropriate icon for Disney's Hollywood Studios these days."

That TOTALLY made my day!!! :D

May 4, 2016 at 4:20 AM · is there anything left i n this park:>(

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