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January 1, 2001

Disney to Change Look of Epcot's Icon Spaceship Earth

Lake Buena Vista, FL -- Spaceship Earth the Epcot icon, is changing its look for the new millennium with new script. "Epcot," it will say, in simple, direct shimmering script letters as much as 36-feet tall in the fiery color of the Florida sunrise. The makeover of Spaceship Earth will turn the 15-month Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration icon into a new, lasting beacon to a magical Disney world.

According to Roger Holzberg, a senior show producer with Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), the intent of the icon design is "to wed a core Disney element -- the Sorcerer Mickey hand and wand -- with the futuristic vision of Spaceship Earth" in an effort to better identify the spherical entryway to Epcot.

During the highly successful millennium celebration, the whimsical, 25-story-high icon of Sorcerer Mickey's arm and hand holding a gigantic magical wand featured "starfetti" raining down over a giant "2000." Now the wand will "pixie-dust" the "Epcot" name spelled out in huge script letters created from a shimmering array of 250,000 metallic eye-catchers.

Altering the icon won't be as simple as running an eraser over a chalkboard and writing in the new characters. It is estimated the project will take almost five months, beginning with the removal of the huge "2000" numerals in January.
When completed in late-May, the steel structure will still weigh 500,000 pounds and extend 257 feet to become the tallest theme park structure at Walt Disney World Resort.