The results are in! Last week we asked you:
What is the best park icon at Walt Disney World?
No question at all, this was the most popular Ask It that we have run yet. With more than 2,200 votes (!), here are your results.
Tower of Terror
When it comes to icons, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a rough time. The Earful Tower was a great symbol for the Studios, but now that there’s no studio there anymore, it was no surprise that the Earful Tower got bulldozed. Fans of the replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre might love it as an icon for the park, but legal fun over its iconic image meant that a big ol’ Mickey hat got slapped in front of it. The giant Sorcerer Mickey hat was actually loved by a lot of people until it, too, was torn down. Not having any other really good options, the Studios picked the Tower of Terror as the park icon, largely as a placeholder until they can figure out what the new park’s name and focus will be. So yes, the icon of the Studios is something that used to be impressive in its heyday, but now attracts smaller crowds and lots of dust as it looks rough around the edges. Maybe it is the best icon for the Studios right now…
Tree of Life
Just as Spaceship Earth gets called the giant golf ball, even though it has nothing to do with golf, I wonder how long it will be before the Tree of Life gets called “That Avatar Tree”. In addition to being an engineering masterpiece, the Tree of Life really hits home the theme of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Unlike the other park icons, the Tree of Life (with all of its hidden animals) is something that reveals new aspects of itself every time you see it. From different angles and different locations, there always seems to be a new animal hiding in its trunk, branches, and roots. And now that it has become a backdrop for a beautiful Awakening ceremony every night, the Tree of Life has never looked better.
There is a certain wow factor that happens when you drive up to Epcot or arrive by monorail and see the enormous structure of Spaceship Earth. Even though it is decades old, it still manages to maintain that air of “the future is now” about it. At night, it becomes even more beautiful with the lighting effects that make it seem almost like it is painted onto the canvas of the night sky. From an engineering standpoint, Spaceship Earth is an impressive structure in so many ways, from its geodesic sphere shape to the way that rainwater is channeled away from it. It is truly a timeless icon that captures the essence of Epcot, whether from the innovations of Future World or the global community of World Showcase.
It probably comes as no surprise that Cinderella Castle takes top honors. When people say they are going to Disney World, they immediately think of the original Florida Disney theme park with its beautiful castle. Over the years, the castle has gone through some changes. Some have been subtle, like minor changes in the tone of the paint color. Some have been more pronounced, like additions for special anniversary years (and we won’t even mention the dramatic change for the birthday cake castle). No matter what changes happen (aside from those involving birthday cake themes), Cinderella Castle remains constant as something that sparks the imagination and brings out the child in everyone, which is why it is your choice for the best Disney park icon.