You may know the park now as Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but when the park opened in 1989, it was called Disney MGM Studios. The Walt Disney Company had partnered with MGM Studios to create a theme park, film studio hybrid. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has had two main icons representing the park throughout the years; the Earffel Tower and the Sorcerer’s Hat. Today, though, they have both been removed.

The Earffel Tower

The Earffel Tower was 130 feet tall and 8.5 feet in diameter. It was a nonfunctional water tower that was generally used as the icon for Disney-MGM Studios. It was inspired by a real water tower located at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. The Earffel Tower was removed in 2016 to make room for Toy Story Land.

EARful Tower

MGM Studios Sorcerer Hat

In September 2001, a giant Sorcerer’s Hat was added to the hub of the park. The huge hat came complete with sparkling Mickey ears and glittering pixie dust. “Why was this added?” you may be asking yourself. Well, for Walt Disney’s 100th birthday celebration, obviously! Walt Disney was born in Marceline, Missouri on December 5, 1901. Adding to the celebration, informational kiosks about Walt’s life were placed underneath the hat. Sadly, these kiosks were removed two years later in 2003. The hat accidentally became the main icon for the park as it was a colossal structure in the middle of Disney MGM Studios.

The MGM Studios Sorcerer Hat was massive weighing approximately 150 tons, and being 122 feet tall. That is only about 70 feet smaller than Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom. It was painted with what Imagineers called, “chameleon paint.” When guests would walk around the hat, it appeared to change colours. While the change in colours was not drastic, it was enough to awe each guest who noticed it.

The Sorcerer’s Hat was originally planned to be outside the entrance to the park; with the ears being two functioning Ferris wheels, and the base of the hat being an art gallery.

Demolition of the MGM Studios' Sorcerers Hat

The problem was that the Sorcerer Mickey Hat blocked the Chinese Theatre, and since the Chinese Theatre was originally supposed to be like the castle at the end of Main Street U.S.A., this placement felt strange.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios does not really have an official icon anymore, but sometimes the Chinese Theatre and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror have been used as icons interchangeably in Walt Disney World Resort advertisements.

It is no secret that Disney’s Hollywood Studios is going through some big changes right now. With the additions of Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the park is and will be completely different from opening day. Heck, it is already a whole lot different than it was just a few years ago! Even though Disney’s Hollywood Studios may be drifting away from its initial “Hollywood” theme, we think these changes can be really beneficial.