Ding Dong The Wicked Wand is Dead….

Although I never believe anything Disney announces until the day I see it open to the public, sometimes the day after, this removal of the wand from Spaceship Earth appears to be the real thing. I’ll be at Epcot on Sunday celebrating with a final ride on Spaceship Earth before it goes down for an extended rehab to load in the new show (I understand the exit area will remain open).

Scott Powers at The Orlando Sentinel has followed up on his lead story from yesterday with a look at how the Disney fan community is reacting.

Many of Disney’s more-critical observers have called for the arm’s removal
for several years. Independent Disney-forum Web logs such as TheDisneyBlog,
MiceAge, Re-imagineering and EpcotCentral have criticized it as tacky. John
Frost, editor of TheDisneyBlog, called it "clutter."

Indeed. Hopefully this is a trend and the new park administration has been empowered to deal with some of the mistakes made in the past. We shall see.

As is my habit. The full text of the email I sent to Scott is included in the cut below so you can see the context of my quote above.

Some early reports indicated that
the decision to pull down the arm was only made after Siemans
insisted. So it would be interesting to get ‘official’ confirmation on
that from either party.

The roots of Epcot lay in the significance of its symbols and their
connection to a better future. Imagination, Motion, Living Seas, The
Land, and the pavilions that followed all tied to the concept of one
planet, one Spaceship Earth upon which we live and must learn to share
to survive. The decorations and clutter foisted upon the Buckminster
Fuller inspired geodesic sphere became symbolic to Epcot’s fans of how
far The Walt Disney Company had strayed from the park’s original

It was easier to overlook the wand’s addition when it stood for world
unity during the Millennium Celebration, but when it became a simple
signpost and a marketing gimmick it lost that meaning. The removal of
it now, puts the meaning back on Spaceship Earth as symbol for the

Guests demand to see Mickey Mouse and other characters at Epcot.
That’s great for photo opportunities and events. But Mickey has his
place in the park, and it is not as Epcot’s central icon.
Spaceship Earth fills that role quite nicely thank you.

6 thoughts on “Ding Dong The Wicked Wand is Dead….”

  1. Best Disney news I’ve gotten in a while. I plan on returning to EPCOT this fall to try to photograph the scenes laid out in the original EPCOT souvenir book. I’m looking forward to comparing the original paintings to the photos to see how much has changed. Thumbing through that book and looking at the things that were supposed to open and never did (like the Israel Pavilion) reminds me just how much change and expansion EPCOT really deserves.

  2. Let’s hope that the “tombstones” with peoples faces on them that were haphazardly installed in front of Spacehip Earth are also scheduled to get removed (or at least moved).

    The thing I hate most about the tombstones are that there’s absolutely nothing pretty about them; they weren’t part of the original design, and so it just ends up being painfully obvious that it was just a moneymaking scam.

  3. Startled by the negative reaction to the wand.I and many more have come to love it as the true symbol that stands out and enhances the almost boring look to the Spaceship Earth.As for Leave a Legacy ,I’d say there are thousands of fans of that lovely tribute to what in many cases are lifetime vacations.I know, my family images are on the first stone and the first line.My elderly parents are there as well and they have both passed away.Every time we enter EPCOT I remember that last family vacation and “Millennium” family reunion the year before they both pased away.A reunion we have never been able to organise since then.My two sons have grown and moved thousands of miles away but there they are for us to look at each time.

    Like it or not, the wand and Leave a Legacy do offer a lot more to the millions of peole who have enjoyed them these last 7 years.

  4. The fact that you view the wand as the “True Symbol” shows exactly why the wand needs to go. The wand had subverted the true meaning and symbolism of spaceship earth with a crass bit of commercialism.

    The “Leave a Legacy” area though? I never had that much of a problem with it. I always thought that there might be a better place to have put them though.

  5. Goodbye Spaceship Earth wand

    Ding dong, the wand is dead. Finally!
    The hideous millennium wand and dismembered Mickey Mouse arm thats clung to the side of EPCOTs geodesic sphere for the last seven years is finally coming down. It has been reported that Siemens, the …

  6. The wand was erected as, and has always looked like, a temporary sign. It’s a tower of scaffolding with glittery facing slapped on two sides, failing to hide the structure even from its intended viewing angles.

    If you think a 180-foot silver geosphere is “boring,” well…the other parks have plenty to offer you, and I hope you enjoy them.

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