After nearly twenty years, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth ended its nightly run on September 30, 2019. Thankfully, the sky won’t be dark at Epcot as the new show, “Epcot Forever,” lights up the sky into 2020 until the new permanent show, “HarmoniUS” debuts. We were there to catch the premiere of “Epcot Forever” and really enjoyed it. Here is what you need to know about this new show at Epcot!
1 – A Time of Transition
Epcot is a park in transition. In recent months, construction has begun, and plans have been announced for an ambitious multi-year transformation of the park. (You can read everything about the New Epcot by clicking here). To help bridge the park through its time of transition, “Epcot Forever,” celebrates the past, present, and future of Epcot.
2 – It’s Temporary
Because it’s a transitional show, its run will be temporary. “Epcot Forever” is set to perform into 2020, leading to the park’s next nighttime spectacular, “HarmonioUS.” Disney has not announced just how long into 2020 the show will perform, but we expect that the show will run for at least a year.
3 – A World Showcase Tradition
“Epcot Forever” features soaring fireworks, inspiring music, lasers and colorful glowing kites flying above World Showcase Lagoon. Since the show continues the tradition of a nighttime spectacular over the lagoon, it means like Illuminations, you can watch the show from anywhere around World Showcase. This means you can go to your favorite viewing spot for Illuminations and get the same great experience. Even better, since there is not a central focal point, like the globe in Illuminations, you’ll be able to have a great view of the show really anywhere, because most of the fireworks are effects are high in the sky.
4 – Epcot Music
The show takes guests on an emotional journey set to stirring renditions of Epcot music that guests will recognize and love. It will stoke fond memories from the park’s history and spur excitement for the bright future of Epcot – a future filled with new attractions and experiences as part of a multiyear transformation already underway.
Disney cast member Shawn Slater shares that “from “Magic Journeys” and “Tomorrow’s Child” to “Listen to the Land” and “One Little Spark,” “Epcot Forever” features classic Epcot themes produced in fresh new arrangements. The music was recorded by the legendary London Symphony Orchestra at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios, with vocals performed by a talented choir of singers from across Central Florida.”
Here’s a look behind the scenes at how the music for “Epcot Forever” came together.
“Epcot Forever” highlights the park’s founding principles – innovation, exploration, imagination, and celebration. Children sing of “one little spark of inspiration” as guests gaze at fireworks that pinwheel, corkscrew and explode in giant aerial starbursts. As colorful pyrotechnics light up the sky, the Epcot story plays out to a grand orchestral soundtrack. Noted conductor and composer Don Harper produced new arrangements of classic Epcot tunes to thread through the show.
5 – Epcot Yesterday and Today
Future World pavilions past and present inspire familiar themes, building to Epcot’s grandest moments. In one sequence, uplifting music from Soarin’ Around the World cues dazzling LED kites to crisscross the sky in a kaleidoscopic effect. Guests also will recognize cherished music from Epcot spectacles of the past, including the “Tapestry of Nations” parade.
Here’s a video that highlights what went into the visual effects of the show:
6 – Epcot’s Future
Approaching its dramatic conclusion, the show pivots from the park’s familiar music to a new verse of “One Little Spark” celebrating the future of Epcot yet to come. As the music and fireworks build, “One Little Spark” transitions to a spectacular finale that brightens the sky one last time with fireworks and special effects.
7 – Overall Thoughts
Taking into account that this is a temporary, transitional show, we really enjoyed “Epcot Forever.” It includes a lot of nostalgia for Epcot, but really has us looking forward to the next chapter of the park and for “HarmoniUs.” The show runs about twelve minutes, which is much shorter than Illuminations, but the length feels about right with this format. If you’ll be visiting Epcot in the next year, you won’t want to miss the show. There are a lot of fireworks and the kites are really amazing.
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