The fantastic Disney-fan website Yesterland, which is home to an impressive array of essays and photos of Disney attractions (mostly at Disneyland) that no longer exist, has been bit by the Epcot "what-if" bug.
Yesterland curator Werner Weiss has demonstrated impressive Photoshop abilities by reminding visitors how much worse it could get with the "dressing up" of Spaceship Earth. Spaceship Stitch, anyone? Capt. Jack Sphere-ow?
His imaginings are both hilarious and a bit scary -- if the wrong folks at Disney (so many of whom seem to have such a poor sense of humor) get a hold of these parodies, they could come to think of them as "conceptual designs," and might start getting ideas.
If they do, they'll hopefully spend most of their time looking at the final image on Werner's Spaceship Earth page. There, they'll find (reprinted above, with Werner's kind permission) the best possible concept of all:
No hand, arm, no wand, no stars, no curlicue "Epcot" -- just the 180-foot-tall geosphere of Spaceship Earth against a beautiful Florida sky ... "naked" and proud.
Werner's Photoshopped image leaves in the garish mauve awnings (what are they for? It can't be shade, as they provide little) that rise above Innoventions Plaza, and it's most interesting to note how they detract from the overall scale of an unadorned Spaceship Earth. Not that that's a reason to leave up the hand and wand, mind you! And not that today's Imagineers seem to care much about a sense of scale (see the Sorcerer's Hat at Disney-MGM Studios -- this link takes a minute to load, but it's worth it! While you're at it, check this out for an excellent proposal on what to do with the hat.).
It's a lovely image to consider ... Spaceship Earth, restored to the way it was meant to be. How many people, even wand supporters (if you're out there), can look at the image at the top of this article and think the wand should stay?