Arguably, the best part of any day at Walt Disney World is what happens at the end. In Epcot, that’s IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. This spectacular nighttime show honors the past, present and future of Earth with stunning fireworks, lights and music that celebrate the spirit of humanity. This should be a “can’t-miss” moment on your next Disney vacation! Here are 10 amazing facts about Epcot’s splendid nighttime show.
1) The first World Showcase evening show was Carnival de Lumiere which debuted on October 23, 1982. It celebrated world festivals with fountains, film, music, and other effects. It was followed by A New World Fantasy in the summer of 1983. Laserphonic Fantasy debuted on June 9, 1984. What we now know as IllumiNations began as IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth on September 22, 1999 (although it did not officially debut until October 1, 1999). The show has remained the same after the Millennium Celebration, although the “2000” was removed from the show’s name.
2) Part one of the show is known as The Earth Is Born. Earth’s fiery birth begins with flames and fireworks erupting from the lagoon. Explosions, along with red and gold lights blaze across the waters. As these effects subside, a 350,000-pound Earth Globe, the world’s first spherical video display system, glides peacefully across the waters.
3) Part two of the show is called The Triumph of Life. Hundreds of video screens on the Earth Globe reveal the history of humanity and the achievements of our time, all set to a beautiful musical score.
4) Part three is Hope for the Future. Shooting lights race into the sky, before the globe blossoms like a flower, revealing a torch ablaze. A crescendo of voices rises as the entire lagoon dances with spectacular bursts of white light.
5) Sitting in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon is the Inferno Barge, where much of the fireworks originate. It is a liquid-propane mechanism that launches balls of fire as high as 60 feet into the air! Guests can feel the heat bursts from all around World Showcase.
6) Jim Cummings — the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and other Disney characters—narrates this nighttime spectacular.
7) During the holidays, this dazzling display reflects the spirit of the season and is narrated by Walter Cronkite. The musical finale features the song “Let There Be Peace On Earth.”
8) 1,105 shells are used for each show, originating from 34 firing positions. Shell types are comets, candles, mines, shells, tailed shells, crossettes, scattering bees, whistles, reports/salutes, ground effects and floaters.
9) The musical score was composed by Gavin Greenaway, who is also known for his work on The Hunger Games, How to Train Your Dragon and The Dark Knight.
10) The entire show is 12 minutes and 32 seconds long. At the end of the show, the song “Promise” is played, followed by music from “Tapestry of Nations”. Then laser images of the continents are projected onto Spaceship Earth, making it appear as a ‘spinning globe.’ The torches extinguish at the end of the music as the lights around Epcot come back up. Check out “Top 8 Places To View “Illuminations” At Epcot.”
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