Our Top 7 Tips For Viewing Epcot’s ‘Illuminations’

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is a beautiful nightly fireworks show and light display that takes place at the World Showcase Lagoon. This celebration of cultures and the globe will leave you feeling inspired and is the perfect way to end a night at Epcot. Here are the best ways to make sure you have the best seat in the house (or should we say the world?):

7. Book a later dining reservation: Many restaurants, including Toyko Dining and La Hacienda de San Angel, offer some stunning views of the World Showcase. This also means that these are some prime viewing spots for IllumiNations. This way, you not only get to enjoy the show, but also a delicious meal!

6. Avoid the crowds at Disney’s Boardwalk: If you don’t mind missing out on the pyrotechnics and lights, but are happy just seeing the fireworks, a different perspective of these fireworks is to watch it from Disney’s Boardwalk. There’s an overpass that takes you from the Boardwalk to the back entrance of Epcot, the International Gateway. For fireworks viewing alone, this is a great spot, especially since you then won’t have to worry about the park crowd surging out like a herd and you’ll have access to lots of cafes, shopping and restaurants after the snow if you want an after-fireworks snack!

5. Pick a country at the World Showcase that works best for your needs: Some pavilions at the World Showcase have better viewing options with seating than others, and others have more space in general that will allow for a good viewing of the show. Take note of the different layouts of the countries and pick one that will work best for you and your family/friends.

4. Remember that the non-fireworks part of the show happens in the center of the lagoon: There are lots of trees surrounding the World Showcase Lagoon, so make sure the spot you get won’t block your view of the show! The show has a lot of pyrotechnics and an earth with projections on it in the center of the lagoon, so make sure you can get a full view of the show rather than a tree branch!

3. Get there early: This might seem like a no-brainer, but getting to a fireworks spot ahead of time is something that you should include in your schedule. A lot of people end up scrambling to find a spot – don’t let that be you! Spots like Mexico Pavilion and the bridge between France and United Kingdom Pavilions get really crowded pretty quickly. Find a spot that works best for you and your family and get there at least thirty minutes before the show begins – but be aware that some people start to line up for the show as early as an hour or an hour and a half before IllumiNations begins, so have a plan B!

2. Rent out a boat for the IllumiNations Cruise: If you have about $350 to splurge with, you can take a pontoon boat out for what is, in my opinion, the most magical way to view IllumiNations! The price is for a maximum of ten people, so if you split the cost with your family and friends, this is definitely something that can be done without breaking the bank – just be sure to call in advance to reserve your spot! And if you’re celebrating anything special, like a birthday or anniversary, be sure to let them know when you book the cruise!

1. Get a FastPass: This also might seem like a no-brainer, but getting a FastPass for IllumiNations is one of the easiest ways to guarantee that you’ll have a great spot for the show. With the exception of super busy times of the year, it’s pretty easy to snag one of these FastPasses, and the space for it is large enough to accommodate everyone so you’ll definitely get a great view of IllumiNations.

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is a must-see at Walt Disney World! Whether you see it from a restaurant, from a pontoon boat, or from a country’s pavilion, it’s an absolutely beautiful experience that you cannot miss.

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Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper

About Jessica S.

Jessica is a multimedia journalist and lover of all things Disney, including Marvel and Star Wars. Jessica is an Annual Passholder at Walt Disney World and visits approximately once a month. She loves any excuse to Disney Bound or cosplay at the parks and you can probably find her on The Haunted Mansion.