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IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

IllumiNations has been around for a long time, and most people don't even remember that Epcot began without it. It has gone through several permutations over the years to its current form that uses fireworks, lasers, fire, and a giant globe in the middle of the lagoon that displays images where the continents are. Even after more than 20 years, IllumiNations remains a must see for every trip to Epcot.

General Information - Hide Section
  • Location: On the water of World Showcase Lagoon and can be viewed from anywhere with a clear view of the lagoon.
  • Date Opened: 1/30/1988
  • Capacity: Many thousands can watch from around World Showcase.
  • # of Shows: One show per night
  • Characters: None
  • Photos and Autographs: No
 
Time Commitment Information - Hide Section
  • Wait Times: On low attendance days, decent views can be found near showtime. On crowded days, you will probably want to stake out spots 30 minutes before showtime and the best spots will have people waiting in them even earlier.
  • Length of Show: 15 minutes
  • FastPass: No
  • Queue Description: None
Access Information - Hide Section
  • Health Restriction:
  • Ride Access: Anywhere you can get to that has a view of the lagoon. If you need to sit through the show you may want to claim a spot well before showtime to ensure a front row view. Speak to a cast member about designated wheelchair and ECV locations, but be warned they generally fill up very early. Visual acuity is important for seeing the projection on the Earth Globe.
  • Wheelchair Transfer:
  • Service Animals: Yes
  • Audio: No assistive devices are available for this show, though audio is mostly instrumental music.
  • Weight and Size Issues:
Parenting Information - Hide Section
  • Height Restriction: No
  • Child Swap: No
  • Other Issues: Park lights around World Showcase are dimmed for the performance. The show makes extensive use of flames and fireworks which can be a problem for some children. This is made worse by several cannons located right at the edge of the water around the lagoon creating unusually loud explosions. If your child is sensitive to noise you may want to sacrifice view in favor of a spot farther away from the railings.
History and Trivia - Hide Section
  • At this location: Several water shows were held in World Showcase Lagoon in the years before IllumiNations. The first debuted October 23, 1982, just weeks after the park opened, and was called Carnival de Lumiere. It showcased festivals from around the world with water fountains, film, and music. A New World Fantasy was a similar show that played during the summer of 1983. Laserphonic Fantasy debuted June 9, 1984, and was in many ways a primitive version of IllumiNations, though it did not focus on individual countries. Music for the show was created by Don Dorsey, who also created the synthesized music for Main Street Electrical Parade.
  • The Attraction's History: IllumiNations remained unchanged for its first eight years. Starting with the holiday season of 1994, a special holiday version of the show was created called Holiday IllumiNations and showcased holidays from around the world.

    For Walt Disney World's 20th anniversary celebration in 1996 a new version of the show was created called IllumiNations 25. The new show had elements about the celebration as well as world cultures. Halfway through the celebration, it was decided that the show's new, non-classical music was working and a new classical score was created. When the celebration was over in February 1998, the show didn't change but the name reverted back to IllumiNations.

    For the millennium celebrations, the show again had a new version designed and the Earth Globe was added to the show. The new show was renamed IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, and this is still the version being shown nightly.
  • Other Trivia:
    • Sponsors: General Electric sponsored the show from its opening in 1988 through December 31, 2002. On March 8, 2005, a 12-year sponsorship deal with Siemens AG was announced.
    • The Globe: The Earth Globe is 28 feet in diameter, has 15,000 LEDs in its screen, and weighs 350 tons.
    • The Inferno: The inferno barge shoots balls of fire more than 40 feet into the air, weighs 50 tons, and uses more than 300 gallons of propane per show.


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