Thursday, January 22, 2015

At the Drop of a Hat

Possibly one of the most iconic features of Disney's Hollywood Studios in Disney World, Florida has been disappearing bit by bit, and this well known structure is the Sorcerer's Apprentice Hat. Standing tall at 122 feet tall since 2001, the Disney crew revealed a clue of it's removal as fans recognized its absence in the Disney World brochure, which of course left park-goers curious. As the removal process has begun on January 7, 2015, the crew has claimed that the project will "take a while", possibly a few weeks. The hat represented Disney's Fantasia from the 1940's by showing "Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey" in a truly magical way that left Disney guests in aw at the sight.

Some Disney residents were surprisingly glad to hear that the hat will go, for it was blocking a separate replica of an attraction titled "Grauman's Chinese Theater" though is known as the "Great Movie Ride" for trademark precautions. There are several theories for the reasoning behind the demolition of the hat. Park residents speculate that the story is centered around the fact that Disney had to pay the true owners of the actual Grauman's Chinese Theater every time a guest at Disney World took a picture of the building, though if you indulge deeper into this theory, you would realize that guests continue to snap photos of the theater though from different angles. This theory can only be applied if the contract between Disney and Grauman allowed Disney to keep the theater but make it so that by passers cannot view it directly...not a very logical explanation. Though there is another way to look at things, it doesn't ensure the reason why the hat must be demolished, on the contrary, it gives people somewhat of an understanding about why it was installed in the first place. Disney fans are under the impression that the hat was placed for the "100 Years of Magic" marketing campaign for Walt Disney's 100th birthday as the timing between the two were compatible. The crew made it as though MGM Studios or "Hollywood Studios" as it is called now, is dressing in a Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey hat to celebrate with the supporters. The flaw here is that the hat was not removed after "100 Years of Magic" ended. No one is certain of the authentic reason of the removal of this feature, though we can safely assume that it has something to do with the "Great Movie Ride" embedded in the "Grauman's Chinese Theater" replica.

File:Grauman's Chinese Theater Panorama.jpgThe Sorcerer's Hat is not only used for decoration at the end of the street or for legal reasons to block the theatre, for it is also useful in Disney shows as a background for a celebration. It's main usage though is as a roof for a pin purchasing and trading area. Yep, this grand feature is/was a not-so-simple roof for Disney pins. On the more enticing side of the hat's career; it has been involved in shows such as "100 Years of Magic" marketing campaign, Spaceship Earth, Walt Disney's 25th Anniversary celebration, and the High School Musical live show. Most people consider the hat cheaply made and "cartoony" though I consider it a fantastic feature.

The wonderful hat will be missed by many, but there are other, less disruptive versions of the apprentice's hat. These can be found outside of Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, California, outside of the Art of Disney Animation exhibit in Walt Disney Studios in Paris, and finally, sitting perched on gold stars at the entrance of the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. In other words, the magic is not being killed, it is being reincarnated in different and better ways. What will replace the grand hat is unknown, so we'll leave it up to the Imagineers!


Picture Sources:
Grauman's Chinese Theater-'s_Chinese_Theater_Panorama.jpg

Sorcerer Mickey-

Half Demolished Sorcerer's Hat-

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