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  1. #1

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    August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    This week, Yesterland is going East for a Yester Epcot entry.


    Please discuss Epcot's Icon Tower here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    I was there when the tower went up with the 2000 sign. Then a little over a year later I was there to see the 2000 come down and be replaced by EPCOT. I wish I could have been there to see the WAnd come down. Aw well.

  3. #3

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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    I'm just so pleased to see the pure unadorned Spaceship Earth again that I can't help but do the dance of joy in my office! There seems to be a bit of a problem with the math of the thing (500,000 pounds at one point (250 tons), and 350 tons at another point), but no matter - ding dong, the wand is DEAD!!!!

  4. #4

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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    I'm just so pleased to see the pure unadorned Spaceship Earth again that I can't help but do the dance of joy in my office!
    I'm looking forward to replacing the final picture in a few months with one that has no stars or brackets on Spaceship Earth, no crane, no construction fence, and no other remnants of the Icon Tower.

    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    There seems to be a bit of a problem with the math of the thing (500,000 pounds at one point (250 tons), and 350 tons at another point), but no matter - ding dong, the wand is DEAD!!!!
    I don't see where it says 350 tons. The numbers are all from the same Walt Disney World press release. In the text, it says "500,000 pounds," which is 250 tons, for "the steel structure." Then, in the list, it again says "250 tons" for the "weight of steel frame supporting the icon." Finally, in the list, it says "100,000 pounds," which is 50 tons, for the "weight of Mickey's gloved hand, the wand and the 'Epcot' lettering."

    So I read that as 250 tons for the supporting structure and an additional 50 tons for the items being supported.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  5. #5

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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    NOW only if they would get rid of those ugly monuments that they put in front of Spaceship Earth and put that entrance courtyard back to it's beautiful pristine beginnings.

  6. #6

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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    This is a happy day for me. Since I prefer the clean lines of mid-century architecture, I do prefer the wand down. However, I still could appreciate the flash and sparkle of the wand bringing it into the cartoon like atmosphere, but for that it was the wrong park. Thanks Werner for the speedy update on the wand(less)wonder
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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by mouseboy55 View Post
    NOW only if they would get rid of those ugly monuments that they put in front of Spaceship Earth and put that entrance courtyard back to it's beautiful pristine beginnings.
    I'm not a fan of those "tombstones" either.

    I think they were a mistake. The postage stamp-sized images were too small, and Disney was way too optimistic about how many people would want to buy such a "Leave a Legacy." There's a lot of unsold "real estate" on those monument walls. And the "Leave a Legacy" monuments don't make a particularly inviting entrance to Epcot.

    But now there's an obligation to the many people who spent money for "Leave a Legacy" images, and who expect to find them at the entrance to Epcot for many years to come.

    At least the "Leave a Legacy" walls have a sweeping, sculptural design. They're not simple, uniform, flat walls. If it's any consolation, they could have been much worse.

    In post #11 of another MiceChat thread, Nov. 17, 2006: Not-So-Temporary Epcot Hand & Wand, MickeyMania wrote, "People also seem to forget that it's the final Disney work of John Hench, who pretty much designed Future World. It's probably not the best requiem to his WDI career, but it ought to make people stop before they open their mouths and say LaL is 'ruining Future World' in the same way the tacky wand does."

    Unfortunately, designers have to do what the people who control the purse strings ask them to do. There were probably specifications for the number of square feet of wall space required by the business plan, so it became a matter of designing the best possible solution to comply with the business plan.
    Werner Weiss
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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by ragrobyn View Post
    However, I still could appreciate the flash and sparkle of the wand bringing it into the cartoon like atmosphere, but for that it was the wrong park.
    Actually, I'm not a fan of any oversized icons, even those at WDW value resorts.

    Having a European fairy tale castle at the end of an American Main Street may be incongruous, but it still works because the street is leading to a "real" destination. Now imagine if Main Street were to lead to a 100-foot tall glass slipper instead of a castle. Or imagine if World Showcase were to consist of giant "international icons" instead of beautifully designed little neighborhoods which capture the idealized essence of each country.

    I can't stand the hat at Disney-MGM Studios. It substantially reduces the charm of the park's Hollywood Boulevard.

    Giant icons aren't "magical." They don't make you feel as if you're in another place or time. That requires immersive environments that seem real in an unreal sort way.
    Last edited by Werner Weiss; 08-24-2007 at 09:43 AM.
    Werner Weiss
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  9. #9

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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    As a former employee of Disney, a current employee of MGM Studios, a former WDW College Program Intern, and a resident of Los Angeles...it really disgusts me that they put that Sorcerer's hat in from of the Chinese Theater at Disney-MGM Studios.

    Part of the charm in walking down Hollywood Boulevard through a "time and place that never really was" is to enjoy the wonders of a magical, fictional Hollywood where all its visitors can be part of the movies.

    In my imagination as well as my memory, the center of Hollywood has always been and always will be the Mann;s Chinese Theatre. What compares to the cement prints at the vestibule or the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Adding it to the Studios park was a stroke of genius, and a source of inspiration

    How does a gaudy hat accomplish this?

    The original "weenie" or centerpiece of the Studios park was the theater. In my mind, it was always so awesome becasue it was like walking into the Sleeping Beauty diorama, but so much better. The Great Movie Ride, despite its overt cheesyness, is I think one of the better rides at Walt Disney World because it sets the theme so well for the park.

    Down went that disgusting and revolting EPCOT icon tower.

    Next in line, that cheap looking sorcerer's hat at Disney-MGM (Disney-Pixar) Studios
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  10. #10

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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    Great article, as always, Werner!

    I noticed one tiny grammatical error; at one point in your article you said:

    "And that’s how remained until early 1999 when the Walt Disney Company began to build a structure for the Millennium Celebration."

    It should read:

    "And that’s how IT [emphasis added] remained until early 1999 when the Walt Disney Company began to build a structure for the Millennium Celebration."

    Dan

  11. #11

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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by dgmoran View Post
    I noticed one tiny grammatical error;
    Thank you for bringing the missing word to my attention. I just fixed it.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  12. #12

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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    Are all those sprinkles going to come off the thing too? It's a golf ball, not a donut.

    And in all seriousness, wow, that thing looks a million times better and more futuristic than it did with the wand. How in the world did it take these people that long to realize their million-dollar structure was nothing more than a CM guide to the bathrooms, and an eye sore at that. The Sorcerer's Hat and all that related crap we have here at the Disneyland Hotel is worthless because it doesn't help the CMs direct guests towards anywhere useful like the Wand. I'd rather have a yellow sign with red letters to help CMs than to have one more of those marketing-department "Disney" props. But I better not mention that because the Disney marketing execs might think red on yellow is a good idea. Argh, Marketeers (Disney Marketers) are about as dense as a human being can get.

  13. #13

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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    LOL, just about the ONLY people on the planet who thought the Wand looked good were the ones who thought of the idea in the first place, I haven't seen such a universally panned structure since the Freedom Tower. This is what us normal people call "being insulated from the real world". Their little think tanks in Burbank don't really go much past their inane comments by their yes-men and MBAs. If they had actually bothered to ask ONE single person outside their small think tanks at Burbank, I'm sure they would've discovered the error in their thinking...that is, assuming they'd ever *acknowledge* they made a mistake in the first place.

  14. #14

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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Athlonacon View Post
    How in the world did it take these people that long to realize their million-dollar structure was nothing more than a guide to the bathrooms, and an eye sore at that.
    There seem to have been one or more clueless executives who felt that giant Sorcerer Mickey props somehow represented "Disney magic" at its finest. The optimist in me would like to think they're no longer working for Disney.

    Sure, the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" is a great scene in Fantasia, but, as I noted earlier in this thread, oversized icons are not the way to transport guests to another place and time at a theme park or resort. That takes real vision and art.

    Some day, I'll do a Yesterland story about the sorcerer hats that have popped up various places.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  15. #15

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    Re: August 24, 2007: Epcot's Icon Tower at Spaceship Earth

    Does this mean there will be Yesterland articles about Epcot now as well? You know, like for Journey Into Imagination or Horizons?

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