RUMOR: Nighttime Replacement for IllumiNations at Epcot is Nearing Completion

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We may be a few short months away from the end of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot.

As part of the ongoing reimagining of the park, a new nighttime show was always expected, but the new show has apparently been fast-tracked (which is not a ride at Epcot, by the way) to debut sooner in the park’s expansion plans than originally envisioned. The score and vocals for the new show are being recorded this week, according to sources.

A still unannounced shakeup in the creative team working on the park’s overhaul seems to be the source of this major timeline shift. This may also be connected to the recent and sudden activity in the Wonders of Life pavilion, which will now not be the Festival center at the upcoming Flower and Garden Festival.

If true, this change would likely mean that the new show will not be connected to the area between Future World and World Showcase (that or Disney is about to put up a lot of construction walls at Epcot), as was seen in the concept art above for the park’s new vision. What the new show located solely on World Showcase Lagoon would entail is still unknown, but it’s coming sooner rather than later.

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth debuted in October 1999 and is the longest continually running fireworks show at the Walt Disney World Resort, and any Disney Park on earth for that matter.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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C
Guest
C

:-(

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

We LOVE illuminations. One of the very last shows or activities NOT all about selling or promoting more Disney sales, but about humanity, the world, opportunity. It’s a shame it will go away. No doubt it will be changed into something to generate income and advertisement.

Ray
Guest
Ray

Illuminations is one of the very last experiences NOT meant as a money grab or advertisement for further sales. It’s an end of an era. It’s not that newer isn’t better, it’s just that Disney newer means the experience of it does not matter at all for what they used to call ‘guests’ (Now called customers).

WedWay
Guest
WedWay

A new Epcot nighttime show would make this summer Incredible!

John
Guest
John

New doesn’t mean better. Anticipate this show to be much less expensive and primarily an advertisement for movie franchise. Illuminations really pushes the entire ‘theme’ of Epcot, world opportunity. The new show likely will push the new either “theme” of WDW…make more money off guests, they’ll pay to come either way, just ask WedWay…he’ll pay no matter how bad the experience!

ElToroDiablo
Guest
ElToroDiablo

So you not only criticized an upcoming new show (let’s wait until we have a little more info; TDO did a great job with HEA) but you also felt the need to insult the previous poster?

Melissa D Brown
Guest
Melissa D Brown

Rivers of Light is not guilty of this. I do not like Rivers of Light, but it’s not guilty of THIS sin.

WedWay
Guest
WedWay

My experience with your mother was bad and I didn’t pay. So you’re wrong!

paul Headley
Guest
paul Headley

I agree totally

Sofia
Guest
Sofia

Do you think the new nighttime show / fireworks will be here by the summer? Hopefully July?

Buck
Guest
Buck

I don’t think that it will include many fireworks. Expensive. I believe they’ll change over in summer. Same with way overdue construction and update. Their prime earnings season is Food and Wine festival, which they’ve basically expanded to over 250 days of the year with different ‘drinking festivals’.

Spectromagic
Guest
Spectromagic

A new nighttime parade would be a nice touch for the Magic Kingdom.

Heather
Guest
Heather

How about we not speculate about rumors for taking away one of my last nighttime loves. They already stole Wishes from me let’s not take IllumiNations too.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Wishes didn’t sell anything, so it’s gone. Chapek said a couple years back all the shows rides were going to be generating income (theme park admission doesn’t count) or promote a Disney franchise. Happily Ever After promotes their movies. Same with Studios shows and Star Wars. I anticipate Epcot will become a “Magic Kingdom 2” with a lot of movies franchise taking front stage in this show.

J in Orlando
Guest
J in Orlando

I hope it keeps the amount of fireworks of Illuminations and doensn’t become just another projection show of random Disney characters on the exterior of Spaceship Earth with just a handful of fireworks.

Melissa D Brown
Guest
Melissa D Brown

From the concept art for the new and improved Epcot it looks like they plan on incorporating more fountains ala World of Color. There was also that drone rumor a few years back; seeing what they did at the Olympics makes me hope that the drones are actually being used for a new show at Epcot.

progressivemusicloversdirtysecret
Guest
progressivemusicloversdirtysecret

Disney Springs did a christmas drone show a year or two back. Was very neat.

But.. this project was Disney hiring the Intel team that owns and operates the technology. They also did the olympics, but it was pre-filmed.

Either Disney would have to contract with Intel for the technology or pay a ridiculous amount of money to develop something like that in house.

I do see them contracting Intel again for special occasions or holidays, so keep and eye out for that. Looks up disney springs drone show on youtube, you can probably find it.

Tim K.
Guest
Tim K.

The day “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” ends will be a sad day, indeed. There is a reason it has lasted as long as it has. I am not encouraged that the new show will be better if it’s being “fast-tracked”.Beyond the new music, I wonder what new tech will be incorporated into the new show? Would it require draining the lagoon, like “World of Color”? Is a new, improved earth globe being created or will this show have an entirely different theme?

Tikiman
Guest
Tikiman

Hope it’s good, but that fast track is awesome!

Mary-Lynne
Guest
Mary-Lynne

If memory serves, Siemens, the same company that was sponsoring Spaceship Earth, is no longer a Disney corporate sponsor. This might have something to do with the change and the timing. Maybe Disney should have taken those monorail trains, after all.

Bob Chapek
Guest
Bob Chapek

Cry fanboys cry, your tears give me strength.

Mike H
Guest
Mike H

I’m praying for NO projections. It is being overused. Do something more original!

JFDisney
Guest
JFDisney

I loved that show! The music is great (I bought the CD years ago)! I will be sad to see it go away. But, for as long as we have YouTube, the show shall live on. Thanks to all that post their videos up there. :-)

Mike
Guest
Mike

I may be even n the minority, but it was time to change the nighttime show.

JEANNETTE SANCHEZ
Guest
JEANNETTE SANCHEZ

I love to see the new illuminations in Epcot and I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished!