Earffel Tower removed at Hollywood Studios

Posted Saturday, April 30, 2016 2:14 PM | Contributed by LostKause

The Earffel Tower, one of the original and iconic structures of Disney's Hollywood Studios, has been removed, a Walt Disney World official confirmed Friday morning. Hollywood Studios is undergoing a transformation with the closure of several attractions and preparing for lands devoted to the "Star Wars" and "Toy Story" franchises.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Saturday, April 30, 2016 5:21 PM

Good thing I got my pin.

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Saturday, April 30, 2016 6:51 PM

I'm no pin-trader, but proud of my Epcot Segway tour pin.

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Sunday, April 30, 2017 12:49 AM

Wow there wasn't too much particularly notable about that place, but this thing was one of them. They're going all out on this "makeover" of theirs, aren't they?

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Sunday, April 30, 2017 11:16 AM

Jeff said:

I'm no pin-trader, but proud of my Epcot Segway tour pin.

My wife has an Adventurer's Club pin---she was in the Radio Broadcast. I'm still incredibly jealous to this day.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Sunday, April 30, 2017 11:20 AM
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Sunday, April 30, 2017 6:52 PM

I would actually argue that this tower wasn't notable at all. In fact, that's been the issue with this park since its inception. There is absolutely nothing "iconic" about this park, and it's been around how long? MGM? Not iconic. Hollywood Studios? Not iconic. A fun time? I suppose, but also largely forgettable in the grand scheme of a Disney vacation. It just seems to have struggled out of the gate and remained a lap behind ever since.

This tower's removal is symbolic of Disney's issue with this place. It's never really had a cohesive element that sits in the hearts and minds of visitors. But it may also be Disney's need to have an iconic symbol in the first place. With the castle, the ball, and the tree, it's expected that a Disney park will have some kind of iconic image/structure that represents any given park.

Maybe this park just doesn't need one?

After all, it's about to become one of the most popular places on planet Earth; with or without a big hat, or a tower with ears.

Last edited by OhioStater, Sunday, April 30, 2017 7:06 PM
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Sunday, April 30, 2017 8:30 PM

The hat was more of an icon than the fake water tower ever was, but it also struck me as obnoxious. Really, that old Hollywood street when you come in is something lovely, but I guess people don't quite see it that way. To your point, it's not the castle, Spaceship Earth or the tree.

I never felt like it struggled or wasn't fun though. I went every vacation before moving here, and always enjoyed it. Now that my kid will ride Tower of Terror and Star Tours, it's a lot of fun.

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Sunday, April 30, 2017 9:00 PM

I always thought the Chinese Thrater replica was this park's 'castle'. But the ride inside the theater needs updated.

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Sunday, April 30, 2017 9:31 PM

The intended iconic centerpiece for the park was the nod to all that is the tourists' Hollywood, Grauman's Chinese. Is it an enourmous tree, a castle or a big ball? No. Does it work? I'd say it did until they decided the place needed something like a giant hat, pushing the theatre further into visual obscurity. Even today there's a stage there blocking any real view.
As far as the tower goes, where was it anyway? Oh yeah, I remember. The tram drove past it at the beginning of the back lot tour. And I remember thinking it was rather small, or certainly nothing that stood as a beacon over the entire park. Now that nobody goes back there anymore and Star Wars is on the way it serves even less purpose. Except maybe on the occasional trading pin. Time to go, I guess.

I've always been perfectly happy with Studios the way it is. I see it for what I always imagined was the intent- to provide a similar experience to what would soon be coming to Universal, keeping the visitors firmly seated on Disney property. And the park still offers what is one of my favorite Disney rides ever, HToT, so I'm good to go there anytime.
(I'm not much of a Star Wars fan, I'll certainly give it a look, but while y'all line up I'll be taking advantage of the rest of the place that I always enjoyed anyway.)

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Sunday, April 30, 2017 10:33 PM

OhioStater said:
I would actually argue that this tower wasn't notable at all. In fact, that's been the issue with this park since its inception. There is absolutely nothing "iconic" about this park, and it's been around how long? MGM? Not iconic. Hollywood Studios?

The park opened in 1989, which is hard to believe how time passes. I can remember my family visiting before MGM/Hollywood Studios opened, where Earful Tower was already popping above the trees as my Dad drove the big Chevy conversion van down World Drive. I thought the water tower was very iconic in the early years, being that the Disney property was still using the standard highway brown-colored recreational signs along the roadways. It seemed as if it made tourists aware they were now in WDW.

Today, with the flashy entrance arches and distinctive road signage among the more densely developed land, the artificial water tower is obsolete.

I never cared for the Hollywood Studios name, and wish it was simply Disney Studios after MGM was dropped from the title.

Last edited by jkpark, Sunday, April 30, 2017 10:40 PM
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Monday, May 1, 2017 9:00 AM

For Disneyness, I thought the hat was a better icon than the theatre. With the hat gone, I get a huge blah walking in the main entrance. I guess the theatre works for the old Hollywood image, but since they stopped making movies there, old Hollywood is more of land, one many people don't notice very much as they head for ToT.

If it really was about the view and making the icon visible, throwing yet another stage in front of it was yet another fail. I guess they tried a little harder this time, with most components dropping out of sight when not needed, but it still distracts from the overall scene.

All the other park icons here are visible above the tree line as well. From the upper floors at the taller resorts, you can spot the castle, the ball and the tree. Where is the theatre? I'm less than a mile from it, and this has been my view for the last few days.

Oh wait, there it is. As long as the wind doesn't push that one tree to the right you can almost kind of see it.

With Star Wars and Toy Story Lands coming, I just can't see the theatre's plight as an "eh" central hub improving.

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Monday, May 1, 2017 1:46 PM

This park is definitely not up to the standard of the other parks. Maybe it was intentional to imitate a movie studio, but the park has no master layout.

It just had random and even dead-end paths. It isn't really even a scenic park. No major body of water, etc. Universal Studios has a master layout built around a lake with city themed areas as the other half of the park...

I always felt this was a place to go because you were staying x amount of time and had park hopper tickets. They are making major additions, but they have removed a mass number of attractions in the meantime. It has to be very sparse entertainment these current days. I would probably skip this park entirely if I go to Disney this fall.

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Monday, May 1, 2017 5:14 PM

Disney-MGM Studios was kind of a "rush" job to beat the opening of Universal Orlando; it opened a year earlier. (I've read that the nice folks running RCID were a help in speeding the process along.) Seems likely niceties were overlooked in order to meed the deadline.

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Monday, May 1, 2017 6:16 PM

I believe The Great Movie Ride was originally planned for Epcot, then Disney officials got the idea to build an entire new park themed to film making.

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Monday, May 1, 2017 9:33 PM

It was, as the signature attraction of an entertainment pavilion. When Uni Orlando was announced, they decided to with a separate gate instead.

I don't think I 've ever spent more than a few hours at Studios.

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Monday, May 1, 2017 10:57 PM

DCA has never had a singular iconic centerpiece (unless it's Mickey's Fun Wheel), but I still think it's a fantastic park.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017 6:42 AM

But DCA was not such a great park when it did first open. It took Disney another billion $ to make it what it is today

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017 11:02 AM

And it sounds like that's about what it will cost to make Hollywood Studios into a great park.

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