Sorcerer’s Hat History

The History of the Sorcerer's Hat - DisneyDayByDay

The Sorcerer’s Hat, are you a lover or a hater?   Disney recently announced the removal of the hat from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.    The Sorcerer’s Hat will be removed in early 2015.   I’ve seen many posts and articles about this topic and you can definitely see the divide of those that visited the park before it existed and those that had a first visit afterword.    Let’s take a look at the history of the hat and the history behind it’s placement at MGM (Hollywood Studios).

We were introduced to Sorcerer Mickey in the 1940 film Fantasia, in a role originally intended for Dopey from Snow White.   The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is the third and most famous piece of this film.    Mickey was working for a sorcerer master named Yen Sid (Disney backwards) and was learning to perform magic.   Yen Sid went off to rest and Mickey “borrowed” the hat and became Sorcerer Mickey.    His first bit of magic ended up with a flooded tower and Yen Sid coming back in to help.

Since this film, Sorcerer Mickey has made many appearances in film/TV in The Mickey Mouse Club, Mickey’s 60th Birthday and House of Mouse.   He can also be found in video games including Kingdom Hearts , Epic Mickey, and Disney INFINITY.   And also theme parks including World of Color, FantasmicMickey’s Philharmagic, and the weenie at the end of Hollywood Boulevard.

Studio Backlot Tour 15The Sorcerer’s Hat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was erected in September of 2001 as part of the 100 Years of Magic celebration.   It replaced the parks previous icon the Earful Tower.   Under the hat you originally found kiosks you could go up to and learn more about Walt Disney’s life and career, today you find a gift shop.

Before the Sorcerer’s hat visitors has a clear view down Hollywood Boulevard to the front of The Chinese Theater.   Disney’s version of The Chinese Theater was an excellent copy of the actual theater in Hollywood which leads to the speculation on why the hat was put in front of it.   In 2000 the Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood changed hands and the rumor was that the new owners of the theater wanted Disney to pay royalty fees anytime they sold a picture to guests with the theater in the picture.  So Disney put the hat up in front of the theater to avoid these royalty fees and block the theater from any pictures being taken down Hollywood Boulevard.

So the hat will fall in early 2015.  I’m a pre-hat visitor so I’m excited to see the original view we had down Hollywood Boulevard.    Let us know if you will miss the hat in the comments below.

Posted in History and tagged , , .
  • I had heard the owner’s of the Chinese Theater were not happy about it being at Disney, but I did not know about them wanting royalties….interesting. I like the hat, just not where it is. I loved the view of Hollywood Blvd. with the Chinese Theater at the end. It made you feel as if you really were in Hollywood among the filmmaking and movie stars! I also loved the giant hidden Mickey on the ground which has been blocked by the sorcerer’s hat.

    • I agree – I wouldn’t mind it in another location. Thanks for stopping by today!

  • Chris

    I’m pretty bummed about the Hat going away. From our first trip to WDW in 2002, it was our favorite Icon. Mainly because we loved that park, so it represented where we wanted to return. Since then, it’s become my family’s favorite spot for photos – and the kids are not too happy about it going away either. Honestly, it’s the MOST Disney Icon of them all. What do you think of when you think of Disney? Mickey! And what is Mickey’s favorite and best-known character? Sorcerer Mickey. When you see that hat, you instantly know what it stands for: Disney. Not some castle that looks like a real one in Germany, not some Tree with carvings, and not a giant golf ball. No. The Hat is the Disney Icon. So let’s just go with a great idea and tear it all down for a view of a theater more known in Hollywood for the bums that are passed out in front of it all the time than it is for actual films.