Update: I originally published a longer version of this article on November 17, 2006.

The Epcot Icon Tower—the hand-and-wand structure at Spaceship Earth—lasted from the Millenium Celebration until mid-2007. For more information, please read Epcot’s Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth.
— Werner Weiss

The Not-So-Temporary
Epcot Hand and Wand

Photo of the Millennium Celebration Icon
The Millennium Celebration Icon

There have been numerous Internet bulletin board postings and blog articles lamenting how the 25-story growth on the side of Spaceship Earth detracted from the magnificent sphere.

But enough of this negativity! Let’s take a positive look at the hand and wand…

Photo of Spaceship Earth at Epcot
The hand and wand, still there in 2006

Maybe the Sorcerer Mickey hand and wand weren’t that bad. Things could be much worse. I repeat, things could be much worse. For example…

Photo of Spaceship Earth at Epcot
How about a Mike Wazowski makeover?

Pixar has created a bunch of unforgettable characters, which are now part of numerous Disney theme park rides and shows. Perhaps Mike Wazowski from the 2001 Disney/Pixar movie Monsters, Inc. is more relevant to today’s audiences than Sorcerer Mickey.

But having Spaceship Wazowski looming over Future World would be a bit much.

Spaceship Captain Captain Jack Sparrow
Captain Jack Sparrow strikes again!

Considering the success of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) and the even greater success of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), it’s no surprise that Audio-Animatronic Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow now makes three appearances in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom.

Fortunately, Captain Jack Sparrow hasn’t been added to the Spaceship Earth ride. Otherwise, the narration might go like this: “Phoenician merchants established the earliest commercial highways, trading goods and information at distant ports of call—and there’s Captain Jack Sparrow trading with them. Watch out, Phoenicians!”

Photo of Stichified Spaceship Earth
Everyone loves Stitch, right?

Disney’s Lilo & Stitch (2002) added a highly marketable new character to Disney’s roster. Stitch’s popularity on tee shirts, pins, beach towels, and other merchandise rivals that of the classic Disney characters.

However, we can be glad that there’s not a 25-story Stitch head (to the top of the ears) at Epcot.

Photo of Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth with the tower Photoshopped away away

Hmmmmm… Spaceship Earth doesn’t need to be dressed up. It looks great all by itself.

Wining and Dining
Disney’s Magical Express

© 2007-2022 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks
Updated January 7, 2022
Photograph of the Millennium Celebration icon (wand with 2000): 2001 by Allen Huffman.
Photograph of Spaceship Earth with wand and “Epcot”: 2006 by Werner Weiss.
“Photoshopped” Spaceship Earth with Mike Wazowski makeover: 2006 by Werner Weiss.
“Photoshopped” Spaceship Earth with Captain Jack Sparrow hat: 2006 by Werner Weiss.
“Photoshopped” Spaceship Earth with Stitch makeover: 2006 by Werner Weiss.
“Photoshopped” Spaceship Earth with grandeur restored: 2006 by Werner Weiss.
Characters © Disney/Pixar and Disney