Two new fireworks shows are in development to replace Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Reflections of Earth is set to operate through September 30, 2019.
A new limited engagement Fireworks show called “Epcot Forever” will debut on October 1, 2019 as a replacement for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. The show will run for a limited time before being replaced by a new nighttime spectacular in 2020 called HarmonioUS.
Epcot Forever will feature classic Epcot music including Tomorrow’s Child, Magic Journeys and more. The show will begin with a spark of imagination that swells into an epic spectacle of fireworks, music, lighting, lasers, and special effects kites. The kites are expected to be controlled by two-man teams aboard Jet Ski-like watercraft. The show is also rumored to feature Dreamfinder and Figment with Dreamfinder serving as the show’s host.
September 18, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog posted the Epcot Forever preview video that was shared at the D23 Expo in August.
September 11, 2019: YouTube channel Disny CrayZ posted a video of fireworks testing at Epcot from the Boardwalk Resort. The video appears to feature the final 6 minutes of Epcot Forever without the accompanying music.
August 25, 2019: During the Parks and Resorts presentation at the 2019 D23 Expo, Bob Chapek shared music from Epcot Forever.
August 19, 2019: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the Parks and Resorts presentation at the D23 Expo (scheduled for August 25th) is expected to be Epcot heavy and include the following updates:
- Details on the Circle Vision films in China and Canada
- The United Kingdom attraction
- The update to Spaceship Earth
- The updates to Future World
- Updates and a name for the long term fireworks show that will follow Epcot Forever
July 19, 2019: WDWNT.com is reporting that the permanent Fireworks show for Epcot will debut in May 2020.
April 9, 2019: As part of the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth Live Stream on the Disney Parks Blog, Disney announced that the last day for Illuminations will be September 30, 2019.
Epcot Forever will debut October 1, 2019, the Disney Parks Blog shared a preview of the new interim show.
April 4, 2019: Blooloop.com is reporting that the special effects kites in Epcot Forever will be controlled by two-man teams aboard Jet Ski-like watercraft.
March 28, 2019: The Illuminations: Reflections of Earth livestream will be delayed until April 9th.
March 26, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog will play a livestream of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth on Friday March 28th beginning at 8:55 PM. As part of the livestream, additionald details on the Epcot Forever fireworks show are expected.
December 3, 2018: On Episode 190 of the Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill states that Epcot Forever is expected to debut October 1, 2019. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is expected to have it’s announced last day over Labor Day Weekend with room in the schedule to extend the show. There is expected to be a 7-10 day gap between the final Illuminations: Reflections of Earth performance and the first Epcot Forever performance.
Epcot Forever is expected to include Figment and Dreamfinder with Dreamfinder serving as the host. The water levels of World Showcase lagoon are also expected to be reduced in order to install infrastructure for the permanent Fireworks show opening in 2020.
November 17, 2018: WDWInfo.com has posted additional concept art of the 2020 Epcot show that features large floats that display characters.
November 17, 2018: At the D23 Destination D Event, Bob Chapek (Chairman of Disney Parks, Events, Consumer Products) announced that a new limited engagement Fireworks show called “Epcot Forever” will debut in Fall 2019 as a replacement for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. The show will run for a limited time before being replaced by a new nighttime spectacular in 2020.
Epcot Forever will feature classic Epcot music including Tomorrow’s Child, Magic Journeys and more. The show will begin with a spark of imagination that swells into an epic spectacle of fireworks, music, lighting, lasers, and special effects kites.
In 2020, a new show will debut that promises to celebrate how Disney music inspires people around the world, and will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers.
Epcot 2020 Nighttime Show
November 13, 2018: WDWMagic.com user BrianLo has indicated that the interim “Project Spark” will be inspired by Figment.
November 8, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the interim show, “Project Spark” may still be happening.
October 26, 2018: ThemeParkInsider.com (Robert Niles) is reporting that Disney has ordered the installation of LED panels for the South side exterior of Spaceship Earth to be used as part of the new nighttime show at Epcot.
October 23, 2018: The YouTube Channel Mickey Views reported that there will be an interim nighttime show at Epcot. There are two shows in development under the code names Project Spark (interim show) and Project Kappa (long term show). According to the report, Project Spark will debut in late Summer 2019 and have an 8 month run. This will reportedly allow for the necessary infrastructure changes required for Project Kappa.
A post by Mickey Views host Brayden on the WDWMagic.com forums described both shows as follows:
Honoring nations and cultures as one ‘global community’ is at the core of Epcot and will most definitely be a theme of both shows, albeit not the central focus of either show in their current states.
A follow up comment by WDWMagic.com user marni1971 acknowledge this post as “Very carefully put”.
October 14, 2018: On Episode 183 of the Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill and Len Testa discussed that one of the concepts for the updated Illuminations would result in a “Spine” of fountains that extend from Showcase Plaza into Future World. The idea would be to create a kinetic movement of water reminiscent to the jumping fountains at the Imagination Pavilion and/or World of Color.
As part of this discussion, they also mentioned that the “Windows on the World” name is being met with controversy because the name was also used for a restaurant inside the World Trade Center in New York City.
October 1, 2018: On Episode 181 of the Dish Dish Podcast, Jim Hill and Len Testa discuss a copyright filing in August for the name Skymosphere. They believe that Skymosphere will be the name of an interim nighttime show at Epcot while they prepare for Windows on the World.
September 28, 2018: WDWMagic.com user Magic Feather hinted that a new central barge would be used in the new show and indicated that there would be a compass component to the story telling aspect.
September 18, 2018: WDWMagic.com user wdw71fan is reporting that the torches around World Showcase are expected to be modified or removed for the new show.
September 17, 2018: The Disney Parks Blog announced that a new nighttime show will be coming to Epcot at the end of Summer 2019. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth will run through Summer 2019 and the new show is expected to debut shortly thereafter.
Additional details on the new show have not been announced.
WDWMagic.com user lentesta reported that Disney recently trademarked the name Skymosphere.
July 25, 2018: The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Disney is spending more than $2 million in electrical updates to World Showcase lagoon. the speculation is that this is connected to upcoming show changes.
June 6, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is indicating that updates on the new Illuminations show should be available soon. He also did not dismiss a possible interim show before the major update.
June 3, 2018: On Episode 165 of the Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill explains that the land clearing near the Japan Pavilion will be used for staging drones for the new Illuminations show.
May 19, 2018: Twitter user @bioreconstruct posted a photo of recent land clearing South of the Japan Pavilion at Epcot. It is unknown what this land clearing is for.
May 19, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 reported that there is a long term plan for a resort on this space but was uncertain if that’s the reason for the recent land clearing.
April 5, 2018: On Episode 155 of the Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill, Jim Hill mentions that the name for the new Illuminations show is Windows on the World.
April 2, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the updates/replacement to Illuminations will not take place in 2018. The expectation is that the show will debut in 2020 and will include movie based intellectual properties.
March 15, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that Imagineer Steve Davidson is working on the update to Illuminations.
March 14, 2018: WDWMagic.com user MagicFeather is reporting that the updates to Illuminations will include drones and is expected to open in 2019/2020
March 13, 2018: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the updates to Illuminations will include Intellectual Properties.
February 27, 2018: WDWNT.com is reporting that the final plans for updates to Illuminations have been fast tracked with the musical score and vocals being recorded this week.
December 6, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the new version of Illuminations is expected to be called Illuminations: Windows on the World.
June 29, 2017: BlogMickey.com is reporting that Siemens employees have been notified that their contract with Disney will not be renewed after it expires at the end of 2017. Siemens currently sponsors Spaceship Earth and Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot. It is unknown what change (if any) this will have on those attractions.
February 27, 2017: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that the replacement to Illuminations is expected to debut in late 2018 / early 2019.
February 1, 2017: On Episode 120 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Disn Podcast with Jim Hill, Jim mentioned the, “50th Anniversary version of Illuminations”. This was part of a discussion about the Caribbean Beach expansion so no additional details were given.
November 14, 2016: Orlando Attractions Magazine posted a preview video of the new show.
November 7, 2016: The Disney Parks Blog shared a teaser video of a new show coming to Disney Springs. The holiday show appears to feature the drone technology that Disney is rumored to also be considering for Epcot and Seven Seas Lagoon.
November 4, 2016: Disney filed a petition with the FAA on October 30, 2015 to operate small unmanned drones in a specific area (Walt Disney World). The petition has gained approval by the United States Department of Transportation as outlined in the following paragraph:
The FAA’s Flight Standards Service has reviewed your application to ensure compliance with the requirements of 14 CFR 107.200. The Administrator finds that the proposed sUAS operation can be conducted safely under the provisions of this Certificate of Waiver (Waiver) as listed below, because you have established adequate mitigations for risks involved with operating your sUAS in the manner you described. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc.’s application details the specifics of the company’s risk mitigations based on their prior flight testing, technology, operational history, and flight experience with these unique sUA and specific operations. This data ensures that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc.’s remote pilots in command and visual observers will always be able to see and scan the airspace encompassing the sUA operational area and assure safety of those not directly participating in the operation. Adherence to the provisions of this Waiver establishes the required level of safety within the national airspace system.
WDWMagic.com user marni1971 is reporting that this technology is expected to be used in the upcoming incarnation of Illuminations.
The assumption is that Disney will use these vehicles in conjunction with a patent filed on August 2, 2016 for “Projection assemblies for use with unmanned aerial vehicles”.
August 29, 2016: WDWMagic.com user marni1971 summarized all of the various proposals for Epcot’s Future World. These included:
- Guardians of the Galaxy inspired ride coming to Universe of Energy
- More eating options in Future World
- Innoventions mostly gutted and re-purposed. New interior layouts. Possible expansion here and there.
- New landscaping, place making and “feel” to Future World central spine – the area from the entrance, around Spaceship Earth, through the fountain area and out towards showcase.
- Proposals for The Land and Imagination, with nothing confirmed nor budgeted for as of yet. Proposals for additions and updates at various places around Showcase.
- Proposed new night time lagoon show in 2-3 years time.
August 2, 2016: Disney has filed a patent for “Projection assemblies for use with unmanned aerial vehicles”.
January 15, 2016: On Episode 95 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill, Jim mentions that the drone technology has been tested for Epcot, but also potentially for the Seven Seas Lagoon. Len Testa also referenced that a replacement for Illuminations has been in development for over a year.
January 8, 2016: Dewayne Bevil of the Orlando Sentinel has reported that Disney has asked the FAA for permission to use drone technology they refer to as “Flixels“.
January 1, 2016: On Episode 94 of The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill, Jim mentions that the drone technology originally rumored for Illuminations enhancements are now being considered for a new show on Seven Seas Lagoon that will be part of Disney World’s 50th anniversary.
July 12, 2015: WDWMagic.com user WDW1974 has reported that a new Illuminations show will be in place before Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary (2021).
June 15, 2015: On Episode #81 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill, Jim mentions that additional developments are coming to Illuminations. This would involve drones used as part of the show and potentially the patent filed in August 2014.
April 9, 2015: On Episode #79 of The Disney Nerds Podcast, Jim Hill has said that the Jerry Rees “mystery project” is Soarin‘.
April 2, 2015: WDWNT.com has reported that Jerry Rees has updated his website to indicate that the mystery project he is working on. The project is described as, “Mystery Attraction” / EPCOT -Next-gen larger-than-life interactive spectacle. Premiere planned for late 2015 or early 2016.”
December 9, 2014: AboutWorldDisneyWorld.com has issued a press release discussing the new environmentally friendly lasers being used during Illuminations.
November 14, 2014: WDWMagic.com user danlb_2000 has reported that a Notice of Commencement has been filed for a, “Communication System” that extends from behind the Japan Pavilion, across World Showcase hitting the three islands, and ending backstage behind the Norway Pavilion. The assumption is that this Notice of Commencement is related to Illuminations updates.
November 13, 2014: WDWMagic.com user marni71 has confirmed that the laser updates are underway and will hopefully be completed in the next week.
October 26, 2014: At a TouringPlans sponsored event in New Jersey as well as on the TouringPlans Twitter feed, Jim Hill reported that an Illuminations replacement would be coming within two years.
August 12, 2014: WDWMagic.com user marni71 has confirmed that the lasers used in Illuminations: Reflections of Earth will be updated before the end of the year. He also indicated that additional updates are also expected.
August 10, 2014: On Episode 62 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish podcast with Jim Hill, he mentioned that Steve Davidson (World of Color, Festival of Fantasy Parade) is working on updates to Illuminations that could debut as soon as 18 months from now.
August 4, 2013: wdw71fan has posted on WDWMagic.com that an update that a budget of $23.6 million is planned for enhancements to Reflections of Earth and a replacement for Wishes. The enhancements/new shows would include the next generation of the projection technology that has previously been used on Cinderella’s Castle for multiple shows.
July 25, 2013: OrlandoParkNews.com has posted a rumor about changes coming to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. The rumors are based on site balloon tests that were recently conducted.
March 9, 2013: On Episode 225 of The Season Pass Podcast, Imagineer Jerry Rees mentioned he was working on a mystery project at Epcot. It is expected that this is either the Soarin‘ project or updates to Illuminations.