The third gate at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida has been working through some things the past few years. Really, the “show business” themed third gate has been in flux since May 1, 1989 when it opened as Disney – MGM Studios. January 2008 brought a new name; Disney’s Hollywood Studios, gone was the MGM baggage and a shift in the timeline began. The 2017 version of WDW’s third gate; currently DHS, is a Under Construction version of a “show business” themed park. Much of DHS has been shuttered, moved away by heavy machinery to make way for the future. Gone is the Golden Girls home and the Bull Dog Cafe from the Rocketeer, Catastrophe Canyon and Street of America leveled down to dirt, even the icons of DHS have been scraped and erased from the landscape.
The true and original icon of Disney – MGM Studios was the Earfull or Earffel Tower. At some point early on the fasade of the Chinese Theater became associated as being the icon of Disney World’s third gate; mostly because many guests could go the whole day in the park without noticing the tower. Then there was a period where a temporary Sorcerers Cap was put in front of the Chinese Theater and some people said that was the icon; yeah the Mickey Mouse Sorcerers Cap was never the icon of the Studio Park… maybe temporary misguided and lazy icon status can be given, but that is a very large maybe.
Who cares? The Sorcerers Cap finally came down 14 years later and so did the Mickey Mouse Ears Water Tower. These acts; the dismantling of the icons at Disney’s third gate, sent a clear message to anyone paying attention that things here will be different.
Everyone is waiting for what’s next at Disney World’s third gate, waiting for Star Wars Land and Pixarland; oh wait, Pixarland would have made sense, we are waiting on Toy Story Land. We are also waiting on a name… yes, even the name of the third theme park built at Walt Disney World will be changing. Remember, MGM/DHS/??? has been going through something and it’s been a long time in the making or remaking.