It’s becoming pretty clear that Disney is paving the way for a new era at Hollywood Studios. Just weeks after the Studio Backlot Tour, the park’s once marquee attraction, and The American Idol Experience shut down their queues for good, news broke that Disney will be removing Hollywood Studios’ current icon. That’s right: the Sorcerer’s Hat is going away.

Some Hollywood Studios history: The Hat was installed at Disney’s MGM Studios in 2001 for the 100 Years Of Magic celebration that honored what would have been Walt Disney’s 100th birthday. Before that, the park had two icons: the Earful Tower (located on the Backlot Tour) and the Chinese Theater, which served as the park’s castle to Hollywood Boulevard’s Main Street. Once the Sorcerer’s Hat was installed at its current location, it became the park’s icon and dominated the view down Hollywood Boulevard. Since then, it’s been a point of contention within the Disney World fan community. Some have been longing for its removal ever since the first day it was placed in front of the Chinese Theater. Today, they get their wish. Disney confirmed that Hollywood Studios will go hatless starting in early 2015. The current guide for Hollywood Studios has already removed the hat from the map.

The reaction to this news, as with almost any change at Disney World, has been mixed. The consensus I’ve seen on social media has been positive. The Hat blocked the original view once guests entered Hollywood Studios. The Chinese Theatre was an impressive and thematically appropriate park icon, and many are happy that its view will go unobstructed once more. Also, the removal of the Hat possibly signals a change in direction for Hollywood Studios, which could mean new lineup of attractions. However, there are some that do love the Sorcerer’s Hat and have bemoaned its removal.

Personally, I’m happy that the Hat is going away for the same reasons that others are. I never hated the Sorcerer’s Hat, but I preferred the view of the Chinese Theater as the park’s icon. Like the Wand over Spaceship Earth, the Sorcerer’s Hat was a fine temporary addition that overstayed its welcome. Maybe they’ll find a way to reuse the Hat, like placing it outside the Hollywood Studios entrance, which was its original planned location.

Jack Sparrow - Hollywood Studios

In further Hollywood Studios news, The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow will close down on November 6th. Remember when I said that reaction to almost any change at Disney World gets a mixed reaction? This is one of those rare times that there’s pretty much a consensus: no one will be losing any sleep over this attraction closing. The show was fine for what it was, but it was far from the best attractions at Disney World.

So, Hollywood Studios’ attraction lineup is getting pretty thin. What does this mean? Well, either Disney is planning on just slowly shutting down the whole park, or they’re clearing the way for a new slate of attractions to come into the park. Rumors have been swirling around Star Wars Land, Cars Land/ Pixar Land, and more coming to Hollywood Studios. Some of the signs are pointing to a 2012 Disney California Adventure style refresh, which would even include a new name (rumored to be Disney’s Hollywood Adventure, according to the Disney Dish with Jim Hill). Disney has not officially announced anything, but hopefully that will change soon.

What do you think about the changes happening at Hollywood Studios?

Tip of the hat to the good folks at Intercot for this news.