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Who is that masked mouse?

Nothing, it seems, is off limits to the design gurus at Walt Disney World _ even a water tower.

Disney crews spent five hours this week decking out the 130-foot-tall water tower at the Disney/MGM Studios Theme park for Halloween.

Made of 1,300 square yards of lightweight nylon-reinforced vinyl, the ghostly shroud weighs 900 pounds and has eyes 11 feet tall. Sewing together its five pieces in a downtown Orlando industrial park consumed 235 hours.

Disney has been decorating the tower with a 500-pound Santa Claus hat for years to nurture the park's festive nature during the holidays. But it has gotten so much customer comment and publicity from the annual costuming that officials are talking now about decorating it for St. Patrick's Day, Easter, the Fourth of July and the park's fifth anniversary in May.

This should come as no surprise.

Known as the Earful Tower because it has Mickey Mouse ears, the empty water tower itself has no other purpose. It was built as a prop to make the theme park look like a 1940s-style Hollywood studio lot.

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