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Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is closing in 2019. Good thing or bad?

by Dad
(The Office)

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Last month, Disney announced that in 2019 they are going to close “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” in EPCOT and replace it with a new show. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Mmmm…

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth

Illuminations from the Japan Pavilion

Illuminations fireworks are pretty cool – Photo by Matthew Cooper

For 20 years now, Illuminations has been the closing show at EPCOT. It’s probably the most technologically difficult evening show that Disney puts on at Walt Disney World. There is music coordinates with water projections, fireworks, moving objects and that big globe thingy with the display on it.

Dad’s Illuminations: Reflections of Earth page

Illuminations is really impressive technologically but I have never really understood the story. It’s not my favorite nighttime show.

It’s a Good Thing

In my humble (or not) opinion, Illuminations is getting a little long in the tooth. It’s time for a big update. When you look at some of the other new nighttime experiences at the Disney parks, Illuminations doesn’t quite measure up. Disney has made big leaps in display technology in the last few years. It’s time for EPCOT to benefit from some of that.

Shoot, last year they replaced Wishes (I cried) with Happily Ever After. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I like Happily Ever After better than Wishes. Crazy.

Hopefully the new show will take advantage of the new display technology that Disney has developed and become something special. That would be a good thing.

Not so Good

One problem I’ve always had with Illuminations is the story. What is it about? I had to look it up. Something about Chaos, Order and Meaning. It’s pretty obtuse (hard to understand). Oh, the fireworks are cool, the flames are awesome, but the story is…

If the new show is like Illuminations or Rivers of Light, that would be bad.

Hope for the Best

The best case would be to bring World of Color or something similar to Walt Disney World. World of Color at Disneyland is amazing. The way Disney uses color and water is really impressive. Hopefully something similar to World of Color with a clear story will come to EPCOT.

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

What do you think? Is replacing Illuminations a good thing? What would you like to see instead? Tell us below in the comments.


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Comments for

Jun 14, 2019 Good and Bad
by: Anonymous

As with anything that you could relate to memories in the park it is bad to lose something you care about. It has been good to have the memories. But there is no way that they will top this show. They will change it and I bet even if you ask them they would agree. Illuminations ROE is/was a masterpiece, if you don’t think so then you don’t understand it IMO. I know change is always going to happen, they will not make a show as good, but I’m sure it will be good on it’s own merits, just in a different way. When you can’t top something, you change it so it doesn’t compete with the original and I think that’s the path they are taking.

Jan 01, 2019 I agree with you, Dad.
by: Tony F.

Although the Illuminations show is cool, it has never been my favorite, even when I first saw it over a decade ago. I don’t have a preference as to what should replace it, but I’m hoping Disney can pull a technological rabbit out of the hat and wow us with a new show. I was also sad to see “Wishes” go, but I love the new “Happily Ever After” show that replaced it.

Keep up the good work, Dad.

Oct 20, 2018 Agree with most…
by: Erica

World. Of. Color! That would be an AWESOME option!!! I just hope they do replace it with something soon and not hold off forever. I’m still in shock there is no nighttime parade at MK. I wasn’t a huge fan of MSEP, but still mid it! But I LOVED Spectro!!! Just wish they could get that ball rolling! And sorry Wishes is much better! 😊

Oct 20, 2018 Exciting
by: Anonymous

I’m always excited to see what the I Imagineers come up with next. I am glad we took the time (and got my best pictures this month) of Illuminations.

Oct 19, 2018 Illuminations

good change it I also liked Happily Ever After better I like the real fire works going off at the castle and l cried when I saw tinker bell come down from the top. Just don’t forget where it all started from!!! (Mickey)

Oct 19, 2018 Illuminations is My Favorite
by: Anonymous

I couldn’t disagree more. Illuminations is the most masterful and moving light show at the park.
It has always been our family favorite. It’s one more strike for me against Disney. The prices rise and the quality declines.

Oct 19, 2018 The Original is Still the Best
by: Susan Palmer

I wish they would would bring back Illuminations from before 2000. The one with the classical music and Gershwin. That version was our favorite!

Oct 19, 2018 Saying goodbye to Illuminations
by: Dawn

Illuminations has never ‘wowed’ me or my family for that matter, Sure it’s neat, it’s something to see, absolutely. I too never understood the reasoning of those particular I agree with you Dad, it’s time for something new. I do not think that Disney needs to spend money on maintaining or cleaning the parks, they are always in pristine condition, no, I don’t go every year but when I DO go I find everything to be in great shape. SO, Yes! something new would be wonderful!! Something like ROL…not so much!!

Oct 19, 2018 FEA Party
by: MBW

We’re going on February for our first family trip and I e been checking daily for 6 weeks to get the Frozen Ever After Illuminations Desert party. Any insights on if/when this will open up? Thanks!!

Dad Answers

It will be a while. Like a year.

Oct 19, 2018 Story?
by: Dean

I rarely get any of the “stories” around Disney’s amazing fireworks displays. So what? It is not the story that attracts and impresses. If you are lucky enough to go to WDW every year or more, then maybe Illuminations is getting stale. But for those of us who can’t afford that, we can’t wait to see the show that amazed us the last time. Disney should quit making new attractions until they spend some money on maintenance and cleanliness in the parks.

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