The Sorcerer’s Hat To Be Removed Next Week

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Sorcerer's Hat
As you can see, The Sorcerer’s Hat was in a bit of disrepair here at the end.

It’s here! The date is finally here! We now know that The Sorcerer’s Hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will begin to be dismantled starting on January 7. The park icon’s removal won’t happen overnight; instead it will happen in phases. This work will also include other important enhancements for the area as well.

For years, the Hat has also served as a pin store location. The merchandise from this shop will be relocated to Sunset Ranch. So for those of you looking for pins, make sure to head to Sunset Boulevard.

The iconic Hat which is located at the end of Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Chinese Theatre at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was introduced in 2001 as a part of the “100 Years of Magic” celebration, honoring Walt Disney’s 100th birthday and was initially supposed to be temporary.

It was officially announced that The Sorcerer’s Hat would be removed back in October.

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Rikki Niblett

I am a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and do lots of other fun Disney stuff all around the interwebs! You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram at @RikkiNibs or on Facebook at

11 thoughts on “The Sorcerer’s Hat To Be Removed Next Week

  • January 2, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Any idea what might replace the sorcerers hat as the new icon of Hollywood Studios? I’ve heard great arguments against the Chinese Theater since it’s already iconic of another famous place, but the backlot tour is surely dying so the water tower doesn’t seem like a good replacement.

    • January 2, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      I think the Water Tower is what’s being used currently for this year’s merchandise. But I guess we’ll see what happens as things change for Disney’s Hollywood Studios over the next few years.

    • January 2, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      No word on exactly how long it will take, but I would say based off of how long it took the Wand to come down, I would say a couple of months total. The Wand took approximately 3 months.

    • January 2, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      The view of the Chinese Theater was the problem which prompted the construction of the hat to obscure the view. Apparently, somebody else owned the trademark on the original theater’s appearance, so Disney could’t sell or otherwise use images of it in their products or advertising. Thus, the hat was placed to block the view for any promotional material shot on Hollywood Blvd.

      I wonder what changed to prompt the visual overhaul.

      • January 13, 2015 at 10:28 am

        There was never any issue with photographing the theatre. That’s a long-held rumor that isn’t true. Photographs of the theatre can be and still have been taken, even by Disney itself. The theatre was the original icon, and fits much better with the theme and the architecture of the park. I do think it could still be incorporated into the park somewhere, maybe near Fantasmic or at the entrance, but it was never in the right place. I’ll be so happy to see that view restored to its original intent, bringing all of Hollywood Boulevard back into focus, with the Theatre in its rightful place as the park icon.

        Here’s this from Yesterland:
        There are different versions of the story, but it goes something like this… After the Mann’s Theatres chain, which included the Chinese Theatre, was sold in 2000 to a partnership of Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures, Disney could no longer use the theater façade as a symbol for Disney-MGM Studios. They had to block the direct view. In one version of the story, Disney lost the rights to use the Chinese Theatre façade, but somehow didn’t have to remove it if they put something in front of it. In another version, Disney had to pay a royalty to the owners of the Chinese Theatre every time it was photographed, so Disney did something to limit the ability of guests to take photos.

        It’s an Internet legend—a story that’s repeated over and over, until a lot of people assume it to be true because they’ve seen the explanation so many times.

        The Internet legend doesn’t make much sense when you think about it. Guests can still see and photograph the Disney version of the Chinese Theatre—just not from as many angles as previously. To believe the legend, you would have to accept that Disney is stuck with a contract that allowed them to build a replica of the façade of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in 1989, but, if the theater were sold, would only allow guests to see it if they were looking from an angle or standing very close in front of it.

        The real Chinese Theatre opened in 1927. Architectural works from prior to 1976 are not protected by U.S. copyright law. In 1976, Congress changed the law for anything new since then.

        Trademarks are another matter. Disney might have a problem if it used the name Grauman’s Chinese Theatre without permission from its owners—but Disney doesn’t do so. The signs on the building all say Great Movie Ride, not Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

        There was a simpler explanation. Just as Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park broke out in pink birthday cake decorations for Walt Disney World’s 25th anniversary celebration and Spaceship Earth at Epcot grew a Sorcerer Mickey hand and magic wand for the Millennium Celebration, so Disney-MGM Studios would wear an oversized Sorcerer Mickey hat for the “100 Years of Magic” marketing campaign. This “celebration” officially commemorated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Walt Disney on December 5, 1901, although that wasn’t always clear to the casual guest.

        That still raises the question why any Imagineer would do something that would so grossly weaken the authenticity and “story” of this idealized Hollywood neighborhood. The answer is that Imagineers ultimately are not the people who make such decisions. Think of the hat as a Disney executive’s “brilliant” idea to infuse Disney-MGM Studios with more “Disney Magic.”


      • January 13, 2015 at 10:29 am

        Sorry to make such a long reply, but this myth needs to be busted! Help spread the word!

  • January 2, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    There are rumors a permanent stage is going to replace? Say it ain’t so?!


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