Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hat's All Folks!

If any of you have been following message boards recently (or read my last news update on my blog) you will have already notice what one of the biggest issues of this week is.

During last week's Disney's Hollywood Studios 20th Birthday bash, it was heard that 1. Imagineers really don't like the Sorcerer's Hat at the end of Hollywood Blvd. and 2. It may actually end up coming down...and soon.

It was heard that the comment was made when talking about the former view of the Grumman's Chinese Theater...that "You can't get that view anymore. I hope we will get this view sometime soon."

This of course makes most of us in the Disney community very happy. For what was said to be a temporary structure, it's sure been there a while.

(Of course, there are those rumors going around that it was built to block the Theater because of copyright issues...don't know the real story behind it...but I've been lead to believe recently that this rumor could be false...and it really was supposed to just be a temporary statue for the 100 Years of Magic promotion. I should watch the planning video I have from that time and see if anything about it was mentioned in there.)

I have known this area both ways. I visited the park as a kid, a few years after the park had opened. I believe sometime in 1991. (If my math and the year I went as a kid are correct.) And of course, when I went back then, I saw the view of the Chinese Theater as it was intended to see. And let me tell you, it really is impressive. (I've seen the real structure too in Hollywood! It really passes as the real deal!) Walking down Hollywood Blvd. and seeing that beautiful iconic structure is simply amazing. And of course, it fits into the whole theme of Hollywood Blvd. so nicely. It is such a beautiful recreation and it is a shame that it is blocked almost completely until you walk behind the Hat.

That being said...I honestly am one who doesn't mind the Hat.

I know....I should be shunned right now as a Disney fan. lol!

To me, the reason why I like it is because each park, as it stands right now, has a visable icon that represents that park's feel. Cinderella Castle, The Tree of Life, Spaceship Earth...each one of these larger than life structures is iconic. To me...the Sorcerer's Hat is just as iconic as those three are. It does fit with the "movie" feel of the park, as it does represent a structure from a movie. Marketing-wise, it just wouldn't make sense that there only be 3 icons for 4 parks.

I know that some claim that the Earful Tower is an icon...and they're is. However, it isn't as grand as the other structures are...and is why the Hat works as a better icon for me.

Now...I can understand the complaint of where the Hat is placed in the park. It doesn't fit with the flow of the story that they were trying to tell in the park. (Which I recently learned a lot more about by listening to Lou Mongello's recent podcast about DHS. It was fascinating! One of his best yet. I learned so much! Way to go Lou!)

However, I do offer this compromise that I read on another board. What if we moved the icon to another place in the park? Of course, there are several places that it could be moved to...but it's finding the right places. Here are two that I think could work. The first is in the Animation Courtyard. This area is built FOR animation...and the Hat is from Fantasia...I think it would fit better there than it would on Hollywood Blvd.

The second place I think it could work would be right out front, before you hit the gates. Now, this one might not work, since it is outside the main area...but it does keep the icon on property and at the park.

So, what do you think? Do you like the Hat? Hate it? Want to see them move it? Let me know what you think!


melissar2112 said...

They can string me up right next to you Rikki, because I love the hat!

I do totally agree that it belongs in the Animation Courtyard. But it should definitely stay.


Cozyflier said...

Rikki, I'm right there with you!!

I Love the hat too. I feel like it has become the icon, but should be moved. Maybe they should have planned better!!


Devin said...

I don't mind the hat, but I guess it's because I have never experienced the park before it was built.
I think it will be around for a while & those imagineers were just stating some wishful thinking. They JUST finished painting the hat during the middle of my Feb 09 trip & I have to say it looks great. I don't think they would be painting it after 8 years if they planned on removing it soon. But I guess ya never know. Just my 2 cents. GREAT Blog Rikki :)

Jennifer said...

I don't mind the hat per se, and I would probably like it better had I never seen the view before the hat. The view of the theater coming down the street was breathtaking whereas the hat seems out of place with the architecture leading up to it.

I would be thrilled if they remove it also because it seems to just clutter up what was once a nice open area and because with it there, not only don't you have the view looking down the street but you can't really see the theater at all because behind the hat you are essentially right up on the theater and can't appreciate it.