A pun on the Eiffel Tower, the tower is based on water towers commonly found on Hollywood studio backlots of the first half of the 1900s, which were originally a safety measure to douse fires on highly flammable wooden film sets; it, however, does not contain water.
The original 130-foot tower was located in the Studio Backlot Tour backstage area of Disney's Hollywood Studios. It was the park's original icon (then known as Disney-MGM Studios), from 1989 to 2001, along with the Chinese Theatre facade of The Great Movie Ride. Additionally, the hat was decorated for holidays and promotional purposes. From the 100 Years of Magic celebration onwards, The Sorcerer's Hat then served as the official icon until its removal in 2015. The Earful Tower was removed on April 29, 2016, to facilitate the construction of the park's Toy Story Land.