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.