Illuminations: Reflections of Earth


Illuminations is the nighttime show at Epcot.  The title for this show is right on target. 


Illuminations begins with a glowing Earth in the middle of the lagoon in World Showcase.  During the show you will hear about the Earth from Creation to the Present time and will even have a look at the Future of Earth.  This story is told in just 13 minutes.


Lasers, fireworks, a multitude of colors, water fountains and the music for the show make Illuminations one of the most beloved shows at Walt Disney World.


Almost every night at Epcot, the day will end with a showing of Illuminations:  Reflections of Earth.


There are many wonderful places to view Illuminations from each night.  One of the prime locations is at the Rose and Crown Pub in the United Kingdom Pavilion.  In order to see the show from here though, you must be a dinner guest.  If you can make your advance dining reservations for about 30 minutes before the show is due to start you will have a good shot of getting one of these premier seats.


If you have an unobstructed view of the lagoon, you will have a great view of the show. 


Because Illuminations:  Reflections of Earth is so well known, and so well loved, good seats start filling up an hour to two hours before the show.  Since the bulk of this show takes place on the lagoon and not in the sky, it is important though that you do get a spot with a view of the lagoon.  I can't stress that enough.


We had heard amazing things about Illuminations.  We were told it was an absolute must-see for us, so we did the dinner package in order to get a good viewing location without having to scope out a seat two hours early.  Our spot was near the entrance into World Showcase and had a good view of the lagoon but we knew there had to be better spots.


Disney puts on the most amazing shows combining music and lasers, lights and fireworks to blend into a beautiful show.  Here, the color changing globe is absolutely beautiful.  It is magical as it reflects off of the lagoon.  The pavilions around the lagoon have white lights which can be seen as well, adding to the show.


For us, our expectations of the show did not live up to what we saw.  We had expected something totally different than what Illuminations really depicts.   I loved the message and I loved the music.  What we had expected was all fireworks.  A fanciful display.  We also expected different music, but the music follows the story Illuminations:  Reflections of Earth depicts, so while we didn't like the music very much, it is simply our opinion.  This show is not the typical 'happy' show Disney presents.  Instead it is a bit of reality and hope for the future.  Illuminations was not what we expected, but what we saw was a show that was simply beautiful, and unlike any other nighttime entertainment that Disney has to offer.


Amazingly enough though, a few nights later we were in World Showcase when Illuminations started.  We were by the America Pavilion and when we saw the globe and parts of the show from this view, we enjoyed it much more.  It seemed brighter and more colorful.  The amazing globe was much closer to us here.   Or maybe it was because we knew what to expect the second time.


If you get a chance to view Illuminations from the Germany Pavilion, you will be very close to the amazing globe that appears.  There are not a lot of benches here, but this is Disney and you know the ground is clean enough to sit on for a time.


We were also there during the special Holiday addition to Illuminations.  This was a three minute addition at the end of Illuminations.  As you listen to the strains of 'Let There Be Peace on Earth' you see beautiful fireworks over the skies of the lagoon.  The Holiday addition was definitely my favorite part of the show.


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