Disney is preparing to finally do what it should have done long ago, remove a hat, Mickey’s Sorcerer Hat. While cute, practical and definitely photogenic it had largely worn out its welcome, in a theme park that has grown so stagnant it has allowed Disney’s Animal Kingdom, that Disney closes routinely around sunset, to surpass it in attendance. The hat naturally became the symbol for everyone’s frustrations with it and the theme park withering around it. Many have grown to despise its very existence for having covered up the heart and soul of the park, The Chinese Theater, itself the former icon of the park, home to The Great Movie Ride. But for however much rancor had been built up whether justly or because of passion, yesterday, the Sorcerer Hat and the people who came to pay their respects to it before it begins to be erased from the Disney’s Hollywood Studios‘ skyline, shared a moment. You could feel it. It was wonderful.
The Sorcerer Hat became the symbol for everyone’s frustrations with the theme park withering around it.
The Chinese Theater and The Great Movie Ride are set to take their rightful place.
Yes, there were selfies and more selfies. There were families, couples and friends surrounding the now dimmed hat making sure to grasp the last few feels of something that is part of Disney history. There were children running around unaware to the gravity of the moment, after all its just a big hat anyways. But what caught my attention were cast members who were also enjoying the event and pondering what life will be like without the giant hat. One cast member joyously proclaimed to another at The Great Movie Ride, “I’m just glad we (The Great Movie Ride) will take our rightful place.” And suddenly my mind saw this night through Lion King references. Rafiki would surely have felt, “It is time,” and there can be no doubt as to the rebirth of the Chinese Theater as the “one true king.” Whether it was cast members, guests, or the media, everyone knew this moment was important if subdued because the hat’s demolition is symbolic of a fresh start for a park that is in dire need of a restoration and then an infusion of new life. The night has fallen on Mickey’s Sorcerer Hat but a new day slowly approaches at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It is time for the Walt Disney Company to make it the theme park it should always be, something worthy of Walter Elias Disney whose name and history it is attached to and should honor.
For now, it is time to connect with the magic of this historic Disney evening the way you can only with Da Mouse.