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Fastpass To History: The Earful Tower

The Earful Tower

When Disney-MGM Studios opened in 1989, the Earful Tower served as the park’s icon. The Earful Tower is a water tower topped with a giant pair of Mickey ears. The water tower is best viewed from The Backlot Tour.

Now you might wonder what a water tower has to do with a park themed to film-making. The Earful Tower was based on the water towers which were commonly found on the backlots of Hollywood film studios during the first half of the 20th century. These water towers served as a safety precaution in case of fire on set. 

In 2001, the giant Sorcerer’s hat replaced the Earful Tower as the park icon for Disney-MGM Studios. Though the Earful Tower is no longer the official icon, it has remained in place and can still be seen by guests on The Backlot Tour. You can also find a topiary designed to look like the Earful Tower while on the tour.

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Photo credit: HarshLight / Foter / CC BY

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KimberlySean @DisneyDayByDay Recent comment authors
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Sean @DisneyDayByDay

I think I liked the tower over the hat, but I was disappointed to find out that the tower serves no function and doesn’t actually hold any water :). Thanks for the history today!


I like the tower over the hat too. My main problem with the hat is that it’s on top of one of the coolest hidden Mickey’s I’ve ever seen! I had no idea the water tower didn’t actually have water in it. That’s kind of disappointing. It looks just like a real water tower.

Sean @DisneyDayByDay

I agree – that Hidden Mickey is great – older park maps really showed it well.


They really did! It was always neat to see Mickey looking back at you anytime you looked at the map!


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