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Vintage Walt Disney World: Holidays at the Earffel Tower at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Nate Rasmussen

by , Librarian, Walt Disney Archives

Another big icon here at Walt Disney World Resort used to get into the ho-ho-holiday spirit with a giant 342 3/8th sized Santa hat. I’m talking about the Earffel Tower at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Of course, when this photograph was taken in December 1989, it was Disney-MGM Studios. The ears on this icon weigh 5,000 lbs. – so it’s no wonder it takes a hat that is 28.5 feet in diameter to wrap around them!

The Earffel Tower During the Holidays at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The holidays weren’t the only time in the past that the Earffel Tower has been altered to celebrate a special event.

Earffel Tower at Disney's Hollywood Studios Altered to Celebrate the Opening of Walt Disney Pictures Live Action 101 Dalmatians

Back in 1996, spots were added for the opening of Walt Disney Pictures live-action “101 Dalmatians” (and the Backstage Pass attraction on Mickey Avenue).

Earffel Tower at Disney's Hollywood Studios Altered to Celebrate the Premiere of Fantasmic!

And in 1998, for the premiere of Fantasmic!, the ears were painted to look like the sorcerer’s hat.

The Earffel Tower at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

And while the Earffel Tower may not get into the holiday spirit any more, I’m pretty sure there are millions of lights nearby that make up for it during the holiday season. I hear they even dance nowadays.


  • I like the traditional black ears then decorating it for the holidays not that I have seen the holidays in person. Blue ears? nah!

  • Bring back the hat! : )

  • What’s that I see in the first picture? A Sorcerer-Hat-Less DHS (Or MGM)? Those were the good days. The days where there wasn’t that giant hat blocking the Beautiful Chinese Theater.

    Anyways, I wish they put the Santa hat on the Tower again. It was so… Disney!

    • Keen eyes, Chris.

  • I miss the Earful’s Halloween costume – it was a ghost!

    • Jennifer, after you wrote this we went to look for a picture. We found one! I’ll have to share it one day.

  • fantasmic was the best one

  • How come they don’t put the Santa hat on it any more? I think they should! I’ve never seen that in person and would love to. It would add a nice touch. I am sure its not the easiest to do tho!!

  • I seem to remember that during the mid-90’s when the Orlando Magic was in the NBA Finals the Earful Tower was adorned with Blue Eye Goggles in support.

    • Tim, you are correct. Those goggles were gigantic.

  • I think that you guys should put the santa hat back up for the holiday season

  • I miss the Santa hat to, if I am not mistaken, didn’t it used to get lights around the ears at Christmas as well?

    • They might have, but I can’t find any photographic evidence of lights being around the ears.

  • I miss the Earful Tower’s Santa Hat.

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