Walt Disney World’s Epcot will retire its nighttime fireworks-and-laser show, “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth,” in 2019, Orlando Business Journal is reporting. The show, which is over two decades old, will be replaced by an all-new “nighttime spectacular.”
Since 1999, guests at Epcot have been treated to the show, set to stirring music from the countries represented by World Showcase as well as a giant LED globe floating in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon, every night at park closing time. However, all good things must come to an end.
And considering that the rest of Epcot is in the midst of a much-needed upgrade, it only seems fitting that the two-decade-old show will be moved to make way for something new.
As of this writing, details about the new show, including its name and what will take place, haven’t been revealed. However, in a statement on the Disney Parks Blog, the theme park promises big things.
“We’ve got big plans for our multi-year transformation of Epcot, with new experiences that will ‘Wow!’ guests while keeping true to the original vision of the park. And the all-new nighttime fireworks spectacular coming to Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon will be part of the park’s exciting evolution.”
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) September 17, 2018
The introduction of a new nighttime show comes as Epcot undergoes some desperately-needed sprucing up. A new Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction is currently being installed in the building formerly housing Ellen’s Energy Adventure (and the Universe of Energy before that). Over in World Showcase, France will soon be getting a Ratatouille-themed attraction; and a new restaurant is set to open adjacent to the Mission: Space attraction.
The changes to Epcot come as the Florida vacation destination as a whole undergoes some dramatic changes. Already the Magic Kingdom has introduced its own new nighttime fireworks show, “Happily Ever After,” while construction of a Tron-themed roller coaster takes place in Tomorrowland. Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land has opened to wide acclaim, while construction continues on the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge section of the park. And Animal Kingdom has expanded into nighttime hours, bringing on board light shows with muted sound effects (so as not to frighten the park’s animals).
Outside of the theme parks, a resort-wide gondola system is under construction, with plans to shuttle guests from certain resorts to and from via cables in the sky. And in the next few years, guests will be able to stay the night at a Star Wars-themed resort hotel.