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NEWS: Disney World Announces Closing of Major Nighttime Show

Huge news out of Disney! As part of the ongoing transformation of Disney World, Disney is ending a show that has delighted and inspired guests for almost two decades. A personal favorite of ours, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, will be coming to an end. Illuminations will be replaced by and new show. Read all the details below.


From Disney:

After nearly 20 years of delighting Epcot® Guests with the emotional story of humanity told through music, fireworks, light torches and more, we wanted to let you know that “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” will be ending in the second half of next year. The Disney Parks Live Entertainment team is already busy creating new thrills to debut immediately following the conclusion of “IllumiNations,” continuing the tradition of nightly entertainment on the World Showcase Lagoon.

“IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” which is currently planned to run to the end of summer 2019, has entertained millions of guests gathered around World Showcase Lagoon sharing the light and a story since it debuted in October 1999 as part of the Walt Disney World® Millennium Celebration. During the coming year, we’ll be celebrating this classic show, so guests still have plenty of time to experience it again and again, as excitement builds for what’s next.

As we’ve previously shared, we’ve got big plans for our multi-year transformation of Epcot, with new experiences that will “Wow!” guests while keeping true to the original vision of the park. And the all-new nighttime fireworks spectacular coming to Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon will be part of the park’s exciting evolution.

The new show joins several previously announced experiences coming to Epcot, including the highly-anticipated “Guardians of the Galaxy” roller coaster attraction, a “Ratatouille”-inspired attraction in World Showcase, a new table-service restaurant adjacent to Mission: SPACE and much more!

As of now there is no further information on the show that will be replacing Illuminations. We will share full details as they become available.

RELATED ARTICLE: Facts and Secrets About Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Disney’s Epcot

by Christy Cabby

Illuminations is the fireworks show that is performed nightly at Epcot.  This is a show that is very different from Wishes or other Disney shows you might have seen, but is just as incredible.  If you haven’t seen it you need to make sure it is a part of your next trip!  Even if you have seen it, here are 8 facts and secrets that you may not already know:


8 – There is a bridge that opens up to let all of the barges through.

Close to the Mexico pavilion is a bridge that completely opens up so that all or barges can make their way through.  The show consists of several barges with fireworks and effects that are perfectly placed in the lagoon.  These barges are stored each night and during the day and have to make their way to take their position hours before the show starts.  If this bridge didn’t open, the barges wouldn’t be able to clear under the bridge, so it had to be built in to accommodate!

7 – It cost how much?

It has been reported that to put on the show each evening it costs Disney around $25,000 per show.  This means that the cost per year for the show is around $9,125,000.  That is crazy to think that these are the costs for only one show.  It makes you appreciate the show more than we already did!


6 – You don’t have to watch it from inside the park.

Many guests don’t realize that there are other locations to watch Illuminations from than just within the park.  These haven’t been as publicized as many of the Magic Kingdom firework viewing locations, but they definitely exist.  You can watch Illuminations from Disney’s Boardwalk, which is a great location to watch from.  You can also enjoy one of the fireworks cruises which is a great way to watch the fireworks without actually being around the World Showcase.  You may not get to see the globe and all effects of the show, but the fireworks alone are still amazing!

5 – The globe is 3 stories tall.

I never realized just how tall the globe is that you see as part of the show.  It would make sense since it projects images for thousands of guests to see at once, but I just never realized it.  The globe does actually stand at 3 stories tall, which is exactly why it can’t clear any of the bridges in Epcot without the special bridge that was built to get it in place.


4 – There are variations to the show for holidays.

If you happen to be visiting during the 4th of July, Christmas or New Year’s then you actually get an extra treat.  There are variations and additions to the show during that time to help add to your holiday celebrations and enjoy themed fireworks for the holidays.  This is extra special and definitely a great way to end your day during these beloved seasons.

3 – The lights that outline the countries would be long enough to stretch the length of the Golden Gate Bridge 6 times.

Crazy, right?  The total length of the lights is around a full 26,000 feet of lights. The lights are turned on during the show to illuminate each of the pavilions during Illuminations one at a time.  That is a TON of lights and more than I would have guessed.  I could make an amazing Christmas display that would put the Griswold’s to shame if I could have that many lights!


2 – You could see multiple fireworks shows at once.

If you are standing out in the World Showcase, especially where you are facing the direction of Hollywood Studios, you are very likely to see fireworks from that park going on at the same time.  It could be the Star Wars fireworks that are now done nightly or the fireworks from the Fantasmic show that goes on each night.  It is pretty cool to watch a fireworks show and have extra fireworks going on in the background.  It is also very surprising to see just how close Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios actually are to each other.

1 – Key facts:

Here are a few key facts about the show:

  • Opening: October 1999, and been a popular event ever since
  • Duration: 12 minutes
  • Experience: Included torches, fire, fireworks, pyrotechnics, images, water and much more.

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Photo Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

About Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!