In case it hasnt been said here yet, there is a reason that the wand is being removed.....that reason is SIEMENS!
As you may know, many Disney landmarks (i.e. the Castle, Everest, ToT) are barely under 200 feet to avoid having to put an obtrusive blinking red light on top per FAA regulations, but when wand originally went up, the FAA approached WDW officials and had a blinking light put on top as they wanted on blinking light somewhere on property. It was decided that it would be best to put it on the already sparkly wand.
Basically, the reason the wand stayed for so long is that it was the only FAA demanded blinking light on property.
Anyways, eventually Siemens took over sponsorship of SSE and they hated the wand. However, per the FAA, WDW still needed some kind of high structure to house a blinking light to warn aircrafts. Siemens, being a German company and not shy to spend money, decided to whip out the old checkbook and bulid WDW a tower somewhere out of general view to put a light on.....and this is why the wand is finally coming down.
After only a few years of discussion with Disney execs, Siemens made a proposal and it worked out in our favor!! Hooray!!