Advertisement
  1. Travel

Disney will close Epcot's popular fireworks show IllumiNations after nearly 20 years

Disney World IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, which debuted Oct. 1, 1999, will close in late summer 2019, Disney said. A new nighttime show will replace it.
Published Sep. 21, 2018

After nearly 20 years, the popular Epcot fireworks show, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, will go dark next summer.

The Disney Parks Blog announced this week that the award-winning complex show that incorporates fire, water and video effects will be departing in late summer 2019.

There's still plenty of time to say goodbye to the show that debuted at Epcot on Oct. 1, 1999, to glowing reviews. It features elaborate pyrotechnics and a 28-foot-tall globe floating atop a barge that makes its way to the center of the World Showcase Lagoon as it projects video images from around the world.

The change comes as Epcot reinvents itself.

A Ratatouille-themed ride is coming to the park's France pavilion and a roller coaster based on Guardians of the Galaxy is set to open by 2021. And a new table-service restaurant is planned to open adjacent to Mission: Space.

In the announcement, Disney also said a new nighttime show would "immediately follow" the close of Illuminations late next summer. Earlier this year Reedy Creek Improvement District, which oversees Walt Disney World, approved a $2 million budget to allow for upgrades to Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. A scene from a balcony cabin on a 2017 Alaskan cruise. BOYZELL HOSEY  |  Tampa Bay Times
    You can have the trip of a lifetime without paying for it for the rest of your life.
  2. Visitors ride the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster at Tampa theme park Busch Gardens, which has put its 2020 Fun Card on sale early. AP/Busch Gardens
    Buy your 2020 Busch Gardens or SeaWorld Fun Card and get a few months free, plus more sales for Florida residents.
  3. Tampa theme park Busch Gardens has announced a new hybrid wooden and steel coaster coming in 2020: Iron Gwazi. At more than 200 feet tall, the under-construction ride will become North America's tallest hybrid coaster, and the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    The parks revealed a slate of new attractions aimed to steady the company’s future.
  4. "Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle," the new light projection show at Universal Orlando, will open this weekend, running on select nights through Nov. 15. Universal Orlando
    Death Eaters, Voldemort and other creepy creatures from the world of Harry Potter star in the nighttime display.
  5. Actors emerge from a simulated farmhouse at the center of the Infected haunted house at Scream-A-Geddon in Dade City in 2015. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    You can also catch a talk from Dick Vitale at St. Petersburg theater the Palladium.
  6. Chewbacca stands in front of the Millennium Falcon at the Black Spire Outpost at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019 at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios in Orlando. ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times
    Social media was awash this week with Disney and Star Wars fans breezing through Galaxy’s Edge as Hurricane Dorian pushed many from theme parks.
  7. Sand sharks swim around the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. As a Hurricane Dorian stress reliever, the Channel District aquarium will provide $15 admission through Friday. JULIETTE LYNCH  |  Tampa Bay Times (2011)
    The $15 ticket deal aims to be a stress reliever after a week of hurricane preparation.
  8. A ghost orchid can be seen, near the center of the frame, on a tree in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Monday, Aug. 12, 2019 in Naples. The ghost orchid spends most of the year looking like a nondescript green lump on the side of a tree. CHRIS URSO   |   Times CHRIS URSO  |  Times
    To see this “super ghost orchid” you don’t even need to get your feet wet.
  9. Lauren and Steven Keys at the entrance sign to Haleakala National Park in Maui. Keys Photography
    Lauren and Steven Keys finished before the 103rd anniversary of the National Park Service last week.
  10. Key West Rapids, a waterside at Tampa water park Adventure Island since 1995, will close after Oct. 1. ANTHONY ALLRED  |  Tampa Bay Times (2011)
    The water park next to Busch Gardens plans to replace the inner-tube attraction in 2020. Its last day of operation is Oct. 1.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement