The 257-foot-tall Mickey Mouse arm, glove and wand logo structure at Epcot is coming down.
Epcot Vice President Jim MacPhee announced this morning that the time has come to remove the structure, which has served both as a colorful, lighted Epcot sign since 2000, and as a lightning rod for criticism from Epcot purists who contended the image was out of character for Epcot's architecture.
The structure leans on Epcot's previous and future iconic figure, the Spaceship Earth Pavilion, a180-foot geodesic sphere that can be seen for miles.
The arm and glove went up for Walt Disney World's 2000 millennium celebration.
Now, with Epcot's 25th anniversary this fall, and the temporary closing of Spaceship Earth ride, MacPhee said, "We think the timing of the removal is right."
Deconstruction of the 50-ton structure begins Monday, and will be completed shortly before the park's 25th anniversary, October 1. Also coming down are the 36-foot-high "Epcot" letters and colored stars splashing across the sphere.
Also Monday, the Spaceship Earth ride will close to complete a refurbishing sponsored by Siemans AG. The work should be done by November, MacPhee said.
At 257 feet, the arm-glove-wand addition to the Epcot dome made the structure the tallest point in all of Walt Disney World.
Once it comes down, the tallest points according to Sentinel research will be two structures both estimated at 199 feet tall -- the Tower of Terror at MGM Studios and the new Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom.
The tallest point in the Magic Kingdom is Cinderella's Castle at 180 feet.
In terms of park centerpieces, Epcot's dome and Magic Kingdom's castle will both be the tallest, followed by Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life at 145 feet and then the sorcerer's hat at MGM standing at 100 feet tall.