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.
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 Follow @SharonKWn.


  1. Paella and other seafood offerings will be offered at the SunWest Crab and Shrimp Festival this weekend in Hudson. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times (2018)]
  2. The Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival will return to Tampa on Feb. 29, running weekends through April 26. [Courtesy of Busch Gardens]
  3. Feb. 24• Arts & Entertainment
    Strawberry shortcake is among the attractions at Plant City's Florida Strawberry Festival, which will kick off on Feb. 27. [Tampa Bay Times (2016)]
  4. New '47 brand caps featuring spring training designs are on display as the Phillies reveal what's new at Spectrum Field in Clearwater. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  5. Four-time Latin Grammy winner Alex Cuba will play the Jaeb Theater at Tampa's Straz Center on June 5. [Straz Center for Performing Arts]
  6. Expect to see lots of traditional Mardi Gras masks like this during the annual Mardi Gras parade in downtown Dunedin on Feb. 22. [Tampa Bay Times (2018)]
  7. Plant City's Fancy Farms off County Line Road will host its annual U-pick event on Feb. 22. [Tampa Bay Times (2011)]
  8. Daily recreations like this Bible scene at the Holy Land Experience in Orlando will end at the Christian theme park, which has been suffering from low attendance and debt for years. [Tampa Bay Times (2004)]
  9. Mickey and Minnie Mouse perform in a parade on Jan. 15 as they pass by the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista. [JOHN RAOUX  |  AP]
  10. Feb. 10• Arts & Entertainment
    The Florida State Fair continues in Tampa through Feb. 17. [Courtesy of the Florida State Fair]
  11. "Parasite" stars, from left, Woo-sik Choi, Kang-ho Song, Hye-jin Jang and So-dam Park. [Neon via AP]
  12. Universal Orlando Resort's Mardi Gras celebration features Cajun cuisine, elaborate parade and concerts starting Feb. 1. [Universal Orlando]