More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Where at Disney Parks Can You Find… Aug 31, 2010

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Experiences

Where can you find this face?

Regular readers of the Disney Parks Blog know we like to get the week going with a puzzler. And this week, it’s an image that requires a keen eye to identify. Look closely — this face watches over guests as they begin a journey into the past at one of our parks. But do you know where? (answer after the jump)

Gong at Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Yes, look up and you’ll see the face on a special gong that hangs above the doors to the full-scale reproduction of Hollywood’s historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and home to The Great Movie Ride. The original theater in Hollywood, California opened in 1922, six years before movies would get sound.

The Great Movie Ride

The Great Movie Ride brings 11 timeless films to life. How many have you seen?


  • The hat is a nice piece of architecture, but its current location is dismaying to say the least. The most beautiful view in the entire park was obscured by it! I’d love to once again look down the park’s Hollywood Boulevard and see the Chinese Theater in all its glory at the end of the street!

  • I love the hat, and I think it’s beautiful at night, especially. Still, it would make so much more sense in the animation courtyard. It looks so strange blocking the Great Movie Ride (one of my family’s favorites). I always like to think, as a PR/Marketing professional, that blogs encourage a dialogue…I’d love to hear some feedback from the Disney Parks PR team over whether there’s any plans to fix the aesthetic of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and move the hat to a more proper place.

  • The hat needs to go. Move it where it does not block the theater. Like out front somewhere or the Animation Courtyard.

  • I hate the hat! I was dumbfounded when I saw them erecting that thing right in front of the gorgeous Chinese Theatre. The hat its self could be salvaged for use somewhere appropriate, but in its current location it is awkward and does not fit.

  • Hate the hat. Get rid of it.

  • Unless the magic of the great movie ride meets the up with current times, I really don’t see what the big concern is. While the iconic beauty of the theater is at the forefront of everyones concern, like everything else in the parks its importance is blurred the with the lack of new magical experiences. Before anyone takes on the idea of moving one of the things that I personally find very appealing and truthfully one of the most iconic images in the studios, the powers that be should perhaps entertain the idea that a new experience in the park may overshadow the current cries to change the current “status quo”.

  • I totally agree with the majority of the comments here. That is a beautiful picture of the Chinese Theater. Although we go to WDW several times a year, I’d forgotten what it really looks like because that huge (out of place) hat blocks it. You forget that you are supposed to be transported to Hollywood of yesterday with the hat as the focal point.

  • Disney is spending untold millions on California Adventure’s Buena Vista Street to create the same aesthetic that was killed at Hollywood Studios by the hat. Do you think they will put a big blue cone hat in front of the Carthay Circle Theater? Move the hat outside the front gate to keep it as the park icon or maybe over to the new Art of Animation Resort.

  • Remove the hat from Hollywood Studios.

  • Wow! What a great picture of the ORIGINAL icon of the Studios. Such a shame that hat is in the way…

  • I like the hat, but it’s such a shame that it’s covering THIS! It’s so beautiful! They totally need to let people see it. I agree, move it to the Animation Courtyard. Or maybe even to the front of the park just after the turn style?

  • I don’t mind the hat… but I do mind it’s location. It completely blocks the parks icon and ruins the feeling of Hollywood that you get when you enter the park. Please do something with the hat’s location, it’s clearly not liked among the fans.

    Club D23

  • Please restore Hollywood Boulevard to its former beauty and glory by removing the Sorcerer Mickey hat. Thank you!

  • This was a really good & hard one, so thanks for that!

    I will have to agree with all those voicing their dislike for the Hat. The Chinese Theater is such a beautiful piece of design, and the Hat not only hides it but destroys the entire theme of Hollywood Boulevard. It really is time for it to go.

  • Seen all the films — the B. Berkley only last summer.

    Please dump the hat – and bring bavk the fireworks show

  • I really miss the view of Hollywood Blvd. without the Sorcerer Mickey Hat in the way. The Chinese Theater is such a beautiful building. Any chance the hat will be removed?

  • The Chinese Theatre looks great. Too bad it is blocked by the hat. 🙁

  • I understood the reason why the hat was placed there in the first place. But I also understand that Disney solved that problem for future plans as well. While I like the hat I’d love to see it moved to a different location within the park.

  • Here is a plea to the powers that be at WDW.

    REMOVE THE HAT! The chinese thearter is a symbol of Hollywood at its finest. Hiding it behind the hat is despicable.

    I do Like the hat and all of its engineering marvel, however I feel it would be better suited at the entrance of DHS outside the front gate.

  • The theater is incredibly beautiful. The hat is tacky in the current location. It would be really wonderful to be able to sit and listen to the all-time great movie themes with the hat out of the way. The hat gives the impression that Mickey begrudges the Chinese Theater of its majesty. Is the Sorcerer jealous?

  • The hat just needs to go. It is not special like the castle. Get back to a real retro Hollywood look and feel. No one would miss the hat.

  • “Mr. Staggs, tear down that hat!”

    It just doesn’t belong in the park and it’s temporary assignment has been fulfilled. Every time I walk in the park now I curse that “stupid sorcerer’s hat” (and my wife just laughs at me). But to me — like many others — it’s an eye sore that disrupts the flow and magic of Hollywood Blvd.

    BTW Mr. Smith… Love the trivia questions, keep ’em coming! Didn’t think you would stir up such a hornet’s nest with this one did ya? 🙂

  • I love the original view of DHS when you walked into the park and looked up and saw the Chinese theater. That made me think I was in a movie themed park. The hat should not be completely removed, but either put outside the main gate or in the animation courtyard.

    Please Disney move the hat.

  • I would really like to see the hat go the way opf the wand at EPCOT. It has had it’s time and it needs to move on. Thanks!

  • The view was nice, but the “temp” hat thing (thought was going to be 18 months)needs to go!

  • The hat was fun for a little while, but has long overstayed it’s welcome much like the horrific EPCOT wand. I’d hate to see it completely demolished, but wouldn’t mind if it moved somewhere more appropriate (but where?)…

  • move it maybe to the entrance or animation courtyard

  • Seeing that horrific hat is one of the few unpleasant things about going to Walt Disney World. It’s a jarring detraction from the immersive feel that they indended when they built the park.

    I greatly cheapens the overall guest experience.

  • I am with the folk who say move the hat. Overall, I like the hat and don’t think it should be removed completely but it is in the wrong location. It blocks the view of the beautiful Chinese Theater with what is essentially a retail store. Move the hat to an another area and use it for meet and greets, pictures, etc.

  • The Hollywood Studios Chinese Theater is a beautiful piece of architecture. A wonderful example of Disney Imagineers really taking those little details and bringing them into the parks. The building is so perfect in its recreation of the real Chinese Theater. And the vistas down Hollywood Blvd were PERFECT (until…..) the hat was added.

    The Sorcerer Hat is a cool structure. However, I am not sure a structure in a Disney park has been more ill-placed than the Hat. It really destroys the coherent theme of the Hollywood Art Deco feel of the entire Sunset / Hollywood Blvd Area.

    I would love to see the Hat moved elsewhere (maybe outside the entrance gates) or at worst torn down. But restore the Chinese Theater as the focal point at the end of Hollywood Blvd at the Studios.

  • I totally agree, move the hat! Although, if the funds are between moving the hat and adding an attraction, let’s see the new attraction please!

  • The hat makes no sense. I really wish DHS would go back to it’s original theme of the place where the “Golden Age of Hollywood” never died. That was the charm and the draw of the park! Hollywood these days has no such charm, no razzle dazzle, no more magic of Hollywood. This park used to do such a good job of making the guest feel like they’re “on set” at all times. It brought back the charm and prestige of the cinema every time you walked down Hollywood Blvd.

    There’s so much they can do these days to show the guests the experience of making movies and keep it exciting! The interactive element of “the show” at DHS is almost non existent. With all the new technology available people are more interested than ever in creating their own films! Show them how it’s done and add some magic to it! Add a Mo-Cap studio, and get some guests to motion capture their movements into a CGI Disney Character, Update the Great Movie Ride (but not TOO much. keep the classics, they’re important), make every guest who walks through that gate feel like a principal performer, the famous director, or a coveted screenwriter.

    MGM used to force guests to get creative. Bring back that sense of discovery!

  • I have to agree, the hat blocks the view of this beautiful building! Maybe you could move the hat to where the Christmas tree is during Christmas and put the tree back where it belongs. Seriously, not a fan of the hat in it’s current location.

  • I think the Disney Studios “hat” and the Epcot “entrance legacy stones” should be moved to a yet to be built Historic area. An area that could include a Disney museum.

  • I pretty much agree with the hat being in the wrong place. Where is the right place? How about my back yard. I would take really good care of it, and you guys could come see it any time.

  • I don’t mind the hat… had it been in another location. It’s just kinda sad to cover The Great Movie Ride… Cause you can’t take a good picture of it, due to the hat being SOO close… At least the hat was painted 2 years ago… it was looking a little discolored for a while…

  • I hate the hat. Always have. The Chinese Theatre is blocked. The Earful Tower is a better icon.

  • Sadly the hat doesn’t fit the area and obscures the view of the theater. Move it out front or in the Fantasmic area.

  • Please move the hat to a different location.

  • Please get rid of the hat. The view down Hollywood Blvd. was wonderful pre-hat.

  • Please remove the “Temporary” Hat and Return the Real Aspect of a Hollywood that never was—and always will be.

  • Yeah, I agree that the theater would be a much better sight to see without the hat in front of it. How much did they spend on that architecture only to hide it?

  • I have to agree that the Sorcerer Hat should be in a different location as I remember what it looked like before it was there for Walt’s 100th anniversary. Was told then it was just temporary…oh well…they should have left the Catwalk Bar as part of the Brown Derby and removed/moved the hat because it’s not part of Hollywood, but the Catwalk Bar was. Maybe the “powers-that-be” now will move it to in front of the Animation Studio or out in front of the entrance where they put the Christmas tree up…The Chinese Theater is an iconic structure and you can no longer see it clearly any longer…

  • I visited the park before the hat was up and I must say the view was a whole lot better before it went up. They can keep it if they want, just move it somewhere else please.

  • The studios had always been my favorite park. THere was just something undeniably magical about walking into old Hollywood. The park was immersive in a fanstastical, pseudo-realistic way. It was as if the world you could only imagine met the world you knew to be. Unfortunately, the addition of the hat, a very commercial icon, destroyed that initial sense of wonder. It’s not that the hat isn’t a beautiful piece of construction, it just doesn’t belong in it’s currently location. I can understand why Disney would want the hat to be the park icon – ie. it is an icon that is truly Disney – but there’s no need to place it in a position that compromises the integrity of the imagineer’s wondrous design. It should be moved.

  • Unfortunately, I have never been on The Great Movie Ride. I’ve only seen it on YouTube. It looks like a fun ride to go on. I really enjoyed watching Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is my favorite movie. It’s too bad that the ride hasn’t been added to California Adventure.

  • Put me in the “Remove the Hat” list please.
    We wouldn’t put a Large Crown over the Hub at Magic Kingdom blocking the Castle, would we?
    Someone suggested moving it a few hundred feet to the right, over the Animation Courtyard, I feel this would be an excellant location for it.

  • I didn’t even know the theater was there! I thought there wasn’t anything behind the hat. I usually go right toward Tower of Terror. Then back left and leave. The hat blocks the entire back area of the park. Remove it.

  • Count me in as one who dislikes the hat’s current location. It completely ruins the magical feel of Hollywood Boulevard, not to mention ruins the biggest Hidden Mickey on property. Move it or send it away in the footsteps of the wand. Bring back the “Hollywood that never was – and always will be”.

  • I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Hat in the first place, but I really don’t mind it.

    However, I DO mind where it is. It needs to be moved to a new location. Hopefully the powers-that-be will read this and take note of our thoughts! 🙂

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