Walt Disney World Resort More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

All-New Nighttime Fireworks Spectacular to Replace ‘IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth’ as Part of the Transformation of Epcot

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

After nearly 20 years of delighting Epcot guests through music, fireworks, fire 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 you still have plenty of time to experience it again and again, as excitement builds for what’s next.

As regular readers know, 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!

Stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for updates on the new nighttime spectacular and everything else coming to Epcot, and share your favorite memories of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” with us in the comments.

Comments

  • I really, really wish they would give us a definite date. I would love to do Studios After Hours on my pre-cruise night in February, but I do not have solid confidence that “end of summer” means it will still be running in late July. 🙁

  • I am shocked, but it was kind of expected this would happen. How many times have we, my husband and I, just driven down to the Boardwalk to catch the show at 9? It’s the most-run music at our home. Change is not always good. Sometimes traditions are important. Illumnations was one. Sad to not have it anymore….

  • Truly the perfect nighttime show for Epcot, and has truly stood the test of time. Again, I would love to see a new nighttime show that offers the same togetherness and emphasis on the World Showcase!

  • We were at WDW for the Millennium celebration, and were absolutely brought to tears by Illuminations, Reflections of Earth. If memory serves correctly, there was an amazing parade that accompanied the show. Following the show, we bought our first Disney Park CD just for the music that played. We’re sitting outside France right now awaiting the show, to be sure we see it at least 1 more time before it ends.

  • I have to agree that the current show is dated but I wish they could recycle for the holidays the Walter Cronkite narration with the Harlem Boy’s Choir singing carols. That was the most moving I have ever seen at Epcot.

  • So very sad! By far, this has been my favorite nighttime show. I would say that change is good, but…I’m still waiting for a replacement for Tapestry of Nations (best parade ever!)

  • Very sad to see this show go… How about a special “good by” tag for next summer?

  • Sad to see it go, but can’t wait for the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster.

  • If we already signed up for fast pass for the Illuminations show in November of 2018… what will happen to our fast pass? Will it automatically switch to be used for the new show?

  • This is fantastic news. While I understand that many guests have an attachment to this show for sentimental reasons, the fact is Illuminations as it is now is quite dated and technically obsolete. EPCOT Center of all parks need to stay abreast of what other parks are doing technically and be cutting edge. I look forward to seeing what evolves into this new and very well needed lagoon spectacular at EPCOT Center.

  • My favorite is still the older version of Illuminations where each country lit up individually. I liked this one as well, and I am sure that I will like the next version!

  • Noooo! Our favorite thing in all the parks! The meaning is so important, especially right now. Hoping whatever comes next will be in the same vein.

    Thanks for the early heads up.

  • Now if we could only get a night time parade at MK…🤨

  • I also will be disappointed if the new show is heavily IP based but I have the feeling it will be. That is not the message that Epcot is meant to impart but of course WE GO ON…

  • I know it’s time for a change but I’m still very sad. I think I’ll miss the music more than the show itself. Lots of memories go through my head when I hear that music. I’m very glad that we will be able to see the holiday version this coming December for the last time.

  • I am sad to see it go, but I am very excited for what will replace it. Perhaps something with drones

  • As others have said, I really hope the new show lives up to the emotional resonance and depth of meaning that IllumiNations contains. The message of viewing humankind as a global community is as important now as it ever was. Moreover, to be honest, I really hope the new show remains free of Disney characters / movie references – but if it is considered absolutely necessary to feature them, I hope they are at least included as tastefully as possible.

    Although IllumiNations will be a tough act to follow, Disney’s creative teams are extraordinarily talented, as well as dedicated to crating powerful, meaningful experiences that move their audiences deeply. I am looking forward to what they will be able to accomplish with this new show, and I have faith that they will be able to create something that is fully in keeping with the important purpose of Epcot.

  • I can’t wait for the new show! I go to Epcot every year and I just think it’s time for something new. I still miss the old fireworks display with the lasers that used to highlight each country and I was hoping Disney would do something with drones like what was done at the Olympics.

  • IllumiNations is about all of us coming together as one, and that message is something I will miss the most. It’s a fireworks show that doesn’t need characters or pixie dust to be magical and moving. I’ve cried watching it with family and I’ve cried watching it with friends. It gives us a story of hope and serves as a reminder that people from all nations can come together to share a story and share light in the world. I’ve loved it since I first saw it and it is still my favorite fireworks show at Walt Disney World. I hope whatever is to come still ties together World Showcase and provides an illuminating reminder that all of our individual stories can come together as one.

  • I’m going to make sure I see one last time before it is replaced. I’m also very excited for all the new experiences coming to EPCOT! Greetings fron Argentina.

  • It’s nice that we have some advance notice, so thanks very much for that!

    Along with some of the other concerns above, I would suggest that I hope the new show is not (or does not become if it’s still being developed) too dependent on projection technology.

    I am all for it as a novel thing for part of a show, but it sort of seems everything new lately is heavily dependent on it. I understand the tech was probably very costly to develop, but it seems a little overdone across all the new offerings, IMO.

  • First, kudos are due to Disney for announcing the closing of this attraction well in advance. I (and others) have previously lamented the closing of attractions with very little notice. It’s appreciated that Disney notifies guests of closures as soon as possible ahead of time so we can make plans to see the attraction one last time (and, let’s be honest, mourn the loss as well).

    Second, it’s sad to see IllumiNations go! IllumiNations is one of those shows that defines its park, Epcot is what it is b/c of IllumiNations. Its music is transcendent, its message timeless, and though I agree it has seen better days with the strides made with technology and nighttime show improvements, I will miss IllumiNations and all its iterations over the years. Thank you Disney for IllumiNations, and looking forward to what’s next to come! (P.S. I agree with others that say, in a place like Epcot, the new show does not/should not be tied to a specific IP).

  • While I love the message of the show, I will agree that I think it’s time to be updated. The globe is very hard to see on the lake and the firework smoke usually doesn’t clear as well as it does in the sky. Sad it’s going, and I hope the message stays the same, but I was devastated about wishes until I saw the new show (can’t remember the name but LOVE it!!). I feel like these shows are being updated for social media picture/video sharing age

  • The best, most moving nighttime show ever! The score is still fantastic and sentiment is perfect for words showcase!! Please keep the spirit of the current show i to the new show – and we don’t need it to be based on a movie.

  • I feel like this a moment in our culture when we need the message of IllumiNations more than ever, so this is a really sad announcement. I hope what you replace it with is a worthy successor, and not just another way to insert brands into the park.

    I want to head over to see the final show, so please make sure you announce that date well ahead of time! Booking international trips requires some notice.

  • This has been my favorite night time show for the past 19 years. I’ll be sad to see it go, and I can’t wait to see the new one! Just please, get a worthy replacement for the best music in WDW and please, please, don’t make it about IP.

  • I can´t wait to see the new show.