Time's up for the 50-ton gloved Mickey Mouse hand that held a huge wand over 25,000 twinkle lights sprinkled atop Spaceship Earth at Epcot for seven years. Walt Disney World will start a three-month dismantling Monday that includes refreshing the dated Spaceship Earth ride inside the park's iconic geodesic globe.
Once sponsored by AT&T, time passed Spaceship Earth's vision of the future years ago. The ride will reopen in November with new scenes, costumes and lighting.
With German consumer electronics giant Siemens AG as sponsor, the vision of the future is being updated, too.
Disney erected the Mickey wand for the Millennium celebration in 2000, upsetting purists who preferred the simplicity of the original 1982 version.
Critics will get their wish. "We are restoring the sphere to the original classic look,'' said Zoraya Suarez, Disney spokeswoman.