Theme Park of the Day: Islands of Adventure

Why The Hate For The Hat?

Walt Disney World: Why so so many regular Disney visitors dislike the Sorcerer's Hat?

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 22, 2012 at 10:05 AM
In the ongoing discussion about DHS on the main page/Blog Flume, something made me curious, even though I'm not really following the discussion.

Why is there so much hate for the hat? Referring, of course, to the clamor for removal of the giant Sorcerer's Hat from Fantasia.

Why does that structure trigger such strong feelings? Even our esteemed moderator calls for its ouster.

What's the story, boys and girls?

From Robert Niles
Posted August 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM
It kills the view. The entry plaza should transport me back to a classic Hollywood, with a street of iconic buildings leading my eye back to the big "weenie" of the Chinese Theater. Instead, the sorcerer's hat - not part of classic Hollywood - blocks the view.

Look, if you want a big hat on a classic Hollywood boulevard, give me the Brown Derby. The sorcerer's hat doesn't fit in this environment. Placemaking is all about details, and this fits about as well as... a monorail on Buena Vista Street.

(Don't get me started on that one, either.)

From Dominick D
Posted August 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM
Due to the fact Disney can't display the Chinese Theater anymore, they built it. Here's why we hate it: IT'S A PIN STORE. Granted, I love Disney pins, but the icon of DHS is a pin store? They should of stocked with the earful tower.

From Tony Duda
Posted August 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM
A recent podcast, Unofficial Guide with Jim Hill talks about Disney Hollywood Studios and the history of the hat is discussed. iTunes has it.

I was at MGM/DHS before the hat and after, it really does screw up the overall effect of classic Hollywood.

From Rob Pastor
Posted August 22, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Yes, it ruins the view of the park. It makes the opening area cluttered. Then, when they put that monstrosity stage in front of it before, during and after Star Wars weekends, the park entrance becomes quite ugly. They really need to keep that area as a plaza, without any large accoutrements. Maybe a statue or fountain, but that's it. The concept of a false front Carthay Theatre replacing Grauman's Chinese would work.

From Rob Pastor
Posted August 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Mike: Enjoy your trip to Kennywood. My niece & nephew tells me the new ride in Lost Kennywood is excellent. We may stop there this weekend for a few hours.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM
Thanks, Rob. Little ways off, though. I'm looking forward to it..I like Kennywood a lot, but don't get there often. I love their flume, Exterminator, the Woodies, Phantom, Noah's Ark, and especially Bayern Kurve. Haven't been on SkyRocket, but I'm going into that with low expectations.

Not sure what new ride you're referring to. The only new one I know of is Black Widow, but that's on Pitt Fall's old spot..I didn't know that was considered part of Lost Kennywood.

From Rob Pastor
Posted August 22, 2012 at 2:23 PM
We enjoyed Sky Rocket when we rode it last year. Kind of short but pretty smooth. Yes, Pitfall was part of Lost Kennywood and the new ride is called the Black Widow, but it's not similar to the former Black Widow ride near the carousel. Also, try Ghostwood Estates, kind of a secondary shooter, but it's done pretty well. They do an entrance mimicking the Haunted Mansion. For those unfamiliar with the park,Kennywood is appreciated greatly by the coaster associations, is a registered historical landmark and gets a very large attendance even though it's really only open about 4 months a year and is quite small in area.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 22, 2012 at 5:19 PM
I did Ghostwood on my last visit in '09..It's the the only shoot-em-up I not only really enjoyed, I did really well scoring..not normally my forte.

From Rob Pastor
Posted August 22, 2012 at 5:24 PM
My girlfriend did 999,999 on Buzz Lightyear at the Magic Kingdom in April and I still hear about it once a week.

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted August 22, 2012 at 8:01 PM
Rob I hit 999,999 on Buzz too. It's not that hard.

From Rob Pastor
Posted August 22, 2012 at 8:24 PM
Yeah, but it's tough on the guy when a girl does it. Every now & then, we'll be out and she goes, "999,999" with a real big grin.

From James Rao
Posted August 22, 2012 at 8:37 PM
Mike, the biggest problem with the hat at DHS is that it blocks one of the best Hidden Mickeys of all time....
Great Hidden Mickey - now gone. on Twitpic

From Sean Huckel
Posted August 23, 2012 at 5:32 AM
@Dom, the "Disney can't display the theater" rumor is an internet myth. There are no rights issues with displaying the theater.

The hat destroys the placemaking and theming of the entrance to the park, plain and simple.

Posted August 23, 2012 at 10:31 AM
I agree with what a lot of people are saying, it ruins the view of the park, I don't hate the hat I just wish it was elsewhere!

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted August 23, 2012 at 7:59 PM
Ya, I vote to move the hat .

From Karly Tenney
Posted August 23, 2012 at 8:18 PM
Well, I have not been to Hollywood studios but I have seen many pictures with the sorcerer's hat. And I do firmly believe they should remove it. It would be cool somewhere else in the park, but not in the entrance. I really do think Disney needs to do tons of work on almost everything in their parks.

Posted August 24, 2012 at 4:00 AM
I think they should put it outside the park somewhere, near to the entrance, there's that area to the right of the turnstiles that is just grass at the moment, put it there, it's better than its current location!

From Marie-Eve Landry
Posted August 24, 2012 at 8:26 AM
I love it and I don't care where it is. :)

From Scott B
Posted August 24, 2012 at 11:34 AM
I agree with Dominick D, when it comes down to is a pin store. As much of a Disney fan that I am, I have never understood pin trading mania. So to see "the hat" as just an elaborate pin trading store baffles me.

From Dominick D
Posted August 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Scott, Pin Trading gets addicting once you start. Same goes with Vinylmation.

From Rob Pastor
Posted August 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM
Drugs get addicting too. That doesn't make them good.

From Robert Niles
Posted August 24, 2012 at 1:45 PM
There is one, and only one, good use for the hat:

From Rob Pastor
Posted August 24, 2012 at 2:23 PM
Robert: Very clever.

From Dominick D
Posted August 24, 2012 at 2:52 PM
Robert has listed one of two reasons. The other reason is to sell merchandise, both of the hat and in the hat. This one mostly applies to Disney.

From Anthony Weilhamer
Posted August 25, 2012 at 11:06 AM
I know some photopass cast members at DHS and they are not allowed to photograph the Chinese Theater or anything that says The Great Movie Ride. So there is some validity with them not being able to display the Chinese Theater.

From Anthony Weilhamer
Posted August 25, 2012 at 11:06 AM
It totally ruins the atmosphere though

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 26, 2012 at 7:45 PM
I think because it blocks the Chinese Theater, something they worked hard on to make pretty authentic. It would be like if they were to put something on the EPCOT ball.....oh wait...

From N B
Posted August 27, 2012 at 3:18 AM
Just for the record, I like the hat. It represents Fantasia, which is in fact, a movie.

From Dominick D
Posted August 27, 2012 at 7:33 AM
N B, you're telling me you like the hat the way it is?

From Eric Malone
Posted August 29, 2012 at 10:48 AM
I LIKE the hat. I just don't LIKE where it's been placed.

From O T
Posted August 29, 2012 at 12:32 PM
The had should go, it takes you out of the theme of the hollywood that never was. They could put the get somewhere in the Fantasmic show grounds where it's a nice token for the show (but not vieweble from the ToT street).
There is a beautiful car doing a great job beeing a pin shop and thats how it should be, complementing to the theme not cheaping the look of the place.
I wish the hat was the only problem for that park.

From Ty Mullins
Posted August 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Saying that the hat doesn't fit a Hollywood street is no different than Cinderella's Castle being at the end of Main Street. In "real life", would we see it? No, of course not. But we're talking about Disney here, so there's no harm in an unrealistic touch.

I've grown up with the hat and enjoy it - it adds a lot more color and interests to a street which would otherwise be bland and boring. It represents the cinematic magic that has built the Disney Company as a whole, and it's a fitting icon for a park about movies.

Also, its function as a pin trading spot - last time I checked, the former "icon" (the water tower) serves no purpose whatsoever. So I don't see a reason to complain about the hat not serving a large purpose. And if you don't like pins, don't buy them.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 29, 2012 at 1:06 PM
How does a water tower serve no purpose? It holds water, doesn't it? Hee Hee! At least the tower's not covered with a Geico ad, ala the one at Great Adventure (not sure if that ad is still present...when I'm on Nitro, I'm focusing on other things :))

From Brian L
Posted August 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM
The hat is just such a lazy attempt at an icon. The other icons have at least some aura of "awe" attached to them. Cinderella Castle is the promise of fantasy and escape; Spaceship Earth is a monument to our shared human heritage; the Tree of Life represents the beauty and diversity of nature. The hat....well it goes on your head, duh! Plus, we cut off Mickey's hand to help put a pin store underneath. Think about it, the ONLY reason why the hand is under the hat is for a merchandise opportunity! Yeesh! So no, I am not a fan of the hat.

From Doug Jenkins
Posted August 30, 2012 at 7:54 PM
Nothing wrong with the hat. This post was made to give you guys something to talk about.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 31, 2012 at 4:31 AM
No, it was made because I genuinely wondered why many dislike the hat.

From Rob P
Posted August 31, 2012 at 4:50 AM
The hat, in itself, has the potential to be as iconic as any other major design at WDW.
I think the siting issue is something else. It could, and probably should, be moved to another area within the Studios. The view line as you enter the Park has certainly been compromised. But the hat has both relevance and impact. I actually like it despite it's negative publicity. Some of this negativity may be from those who are naturally resistant to change. Oddly enough I might even put myself in that category most of the time.
But the hat has slowly grown on me ( possibly what the designers set out to achieve in their original brief - who knows ?).
So I'd like to see it re-sited. It's sufficiently high profile now so doesn't need that prime location any more. It might even act as draw to another area for photo opportunities.

From ANDI cordell
Posted August 31, 2012 at 2:23 PM
Because it hides the beautiful Chinese Theatre.
Like the hat... Hate the location.... Hate it being another shop.

From Tony Duda
Posted August 31, 2012 at 8:41 PM
I think everyone interested in this topic should really listen the iTunes podcast (free) "The Unofficial Guide's Disney Dish with Jim Hill" Episode 18: Jim Hill's Hollywood Studios Stories for the 2013 Unofficial Guide.

He lays out the history of the hat which is quite different than what most posters on this topic believes is the story. The only profit group at MGM/DHS that was willing to pay for the construction was the one selling pins. Early ideas for the hat had it to the right of the entrance but that would not have had the marketing potential of a location smack dab in the middle of the park. So there it was built. Remember, this was supposed to be a temporary Millennium structure but it makes money, so it stays. Very mundane dollar and cents decision making.

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