Dancing flames, cascading fountains and eye-popping fireworks synchronized to a dramatic musical score light the skies and decorate the lagoon of Epcot World Showcase during “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.”
The nightly spectacle, created by Show Director Don Dorsey, is the grand finale each day at Epcot.
“IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” begins with a cosmic event that leads to a ballet of fire and “chaos” signifying the origins of the planet. That mayhem transforms into a sea of floating pyrotechnic stars on World Showcase Lagoon, setting the stage for the appearance of the show’s centerpiece, Earth Globe.
The dramatically spinning Earth Globe, a 28-foot diameter sphere, becomes a three-story video screen projecting vivid pictorial images that celebrate both human diversity and the unified spirit of humankind.
Covered with video screens in the shape of the continents, the twinkling, steel-ribbed Earth Globe rotates on a 350-ton floating island that houses six computer processors, 258 strobe lights and an infrared guidance system.
Using more than 180,000 Light Emitting Diodes, the electronic pictures depict primal seas and forest and the development of famous cultural landmarks including the Himalayas, the Sphynx, the Easter Island statues and Mount Rushmore. Diverse visages of famous people from around the world such as Martin Luther King, Dr. Jonas Salk, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Muhammad Ali and the Dalai Lama are captured on the Earth Globe sphere during the presentation.
A dazzling visual mix of leaping fountains of water, fire and fireworks is choreographed to a symphonic score crafted by British television and Hollywood motion-picture composer Gavin Greenaway. This powerful composition blends the melodies and rhythms of many regional cultures with an uplifting, unifying theme.
The inspiring performance concludes with the Earth Globe opening up like a lotus flower. From its heart emerges a giant fire torch rising 40 feet into the air. Nineteen additional torches ringing the lagoon combine with a confetti of fireworks creating color-rich reflections across the rippling waters.
The 13-minute show requires 67 computers in 40 locations, hundreds of special lighting fixtures, four fountain barges pumping 5,000 gallons per minute, a 150,000-pound inferno barge with 37 nozzles shooting propane flames into the air, and lasers delivering a kaleidoscope of colors.
Some 2,800 shells are exploded during the nightly display -- more than twice the number used in previous productions. Fireworks are launched from 750 mortar tubes and 56 firing modules at 34 locations.
|About this Attraction
Location: World Showcase Lagoon, Epcot
Type: Fireworks show
Tips & Fun Facts
IllumiNations can be viewed from anywhere where there is a view of the World Showcase Lagoon. The best spots sometimes get taken up to two hours prior to the show starting, although you should be able to get a good view 30 minutes to an hour before the show begins.
Recommended viewing locations are:
The bridge between France and United Kingdom.
Second floor deck of the Japan Pavilion.
Waterfront in Italy.
Waterfront in Canada.
World Showcase Plaza.
UK Lower Terrace (often used for private parties and may be closed).
Table outside at Rose and Crown Restaurant.
Seat on the verandah at Cantina de San Angel in Mexico.
Click here for a map showing best viewing locations.
Earth Globe, the world’s first spherical video display system, is three stories tall, 28-foot diameter sphere, and wrapped in more than 180,000 Light Emitting Diodes. The gigantic sphere rotates on a 350-ton floating island that houses six computer processors, 258 strobe lights and an infrared guidance system. It is covered with video screens in the shape of the continents, all of which project vivid images that celebrate both human diversity and the unified spirit of humankind.
British television and Hollywood motion-picture composer Gavin Greenaway created an original symphonic score to accompany the combination of cascading fountains of water, glowing flames and lively fireworks.
Some 2,800 shells are used for each show -- more than twice the number ever used in previous nighttime productions at Epcot.
Sixty-seven computers in 40 locations, hundreds of special lighting fixtures, four fountain barges pumping 5,000 gallons of water per minute, a 150,000-pound inferno barge with 37 nozzles to shoot propane flames skyward, and a full color spectrum of lasers in custom Disney shades are required to produce the brilliant 13-minute show.
In the grand finale, the Earth Globe opens up like a lotus flower as a giant fire torch emerges from the center and rises 40 feet into the air. Nineteen additional torches encircle the lagoon making a wall of flames that, when combined with the radiant explosion of fireworks, creates resplendent images across the lagoon.
Guests may remain in their Wheelchair/ECV or motorized scooter to experience the attraction/entertainment.
Locations: World Showcase Plaza, next to west boat dock; World Showcase Plaza, next to east boat dock; Canada; Germany.
Some of the loud bangs from the fireworks may be scary for small children.
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Nearby Dining & Shopping
Shops and restaurants are located right around the World Showcase.
Map of best viewing locations
Blog article: 10 of the Best… Places to View IllumiNations