Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A little Night Magic - Illuminations in Epcot

Each night around the World Showcase Lagoon, you can witness the beautiful music, dancing fountains and fireworks that is Illuminations.  Like so many things at Disney, there is actually a story to the show you are seeing - it's so much more than cool pyrotechnics!

It all begins with the lighting of the torches around the world showcase.  It's reminiscent of gathering around the fire to hear an epic story.  As the story is about to begin, the lights go out - including the lights on Spaceship Earth.

And it all begins with a bang!  Actually, it's Act I of the show: Chaos.  It's the beginning of things - and with that we have fire.

We quickly move into Act II: Order (or Life and adventure).  We have the cooling of the fires - and the movement of the Earth across the waters.  With the cooling, there are fountains and laser lights.  Then, on that globe, you can see images from around the world.  Of famous places.  Buildings.  People.  Then at the end of this act, all the buildings around the showcase light up and there are more fireworks.

And finally, Act III - Meaning (Finale).  The torches around the lagoon are re-lit and the globe itself blossoms like a flower to show that we are all one - and a torch of light comes forward.  And then there is the finale itself with white fireworks illuminating the entire area.

Where are the best spots to view Illuminations?

And actually - there are lots of really good spots - the key is to find a spot without trees - especially overhead as you won't be able to get clear views of the fireworks (quite a few spots with obstructed views like this near England and Canada) - and a spot without islands in your view.  Another key is to make sure that you pick a spot where the wind is not in your face!  (Otherwise you'll have both smoke and ashes from the fireworks headed towards you and it will not be a good experience.)

Here are some of my favorite places to watch:

1.  The above photos were taken from America - close to Italy. We had one obstruction - and you can see the fence post in most of my pictures.
2.  On the bridge between England and France.
3.  Between the two shops where future world meets the world showcase.  (This is great because it's now easy to leave the park from here!)
4.  In Mexico - you can see it from the restaurant La Hacienda - and there are lots of spots along the lagoon between Mexico and Norway.
5.  In Japan - from Tokyo dining
6.  At a patio table at the Rose And Crown in England.

If you want to see more pictures of Disney's night time shows, be sure to check out Deb's Focused on the Magic!

So...what about you?  Which Disney night time show is your favorite?  Do you have a favorite spot to view Illuminations?



  1. Love illuminations! Great shots as well. Love when it's just a wall of sparks.

  2. Oh, I'd really love to see the about I get you invited to the Disney Studios and you get my to Disney World? :)

  3. I love Illumination, we never miss a show when we visit! Great pictures!

  4. Great shots of Illuminations and great idea to add the sighting tips in there. Thanks for sharing BOTH!!

  5. Agreed- the photos are beautiful, and your viewing tips are such a nice bonus. (And our new favorite is sipping margaritas at La Hacienda and watching the show unfold from our comfy chair!)

  6. Love them, they are very beautiful and capture the magic

  7. I believe I like Act III best. We watched Illuminations this past week and I realized that it's been a very long time since I'd last seen the entire show. I forgot how much I really like it.

    Great photos and wonderful tips!

  8. Our viewing spot for Illuminations is always Rose & Crown Pub, on a patio table next to the water. In fact, we've never enjoyed Illuminations from any other location! This spot is best when you're staying at one of the Epcot resorts, obviously.

    Illuminations is our favorite night time show because it never gets old for us. Wishes, on the other hand...well, let's just say we'd rather be riding Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion while those fireworks are lighting the sky.


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