On October 1, 1999 IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth opened at Epcot as part of Walt Disney World Resort’s Millennium Celebration. After the Millennium Celebration ended, “200” was dropped. On September 30, 2019 Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was presented to thousands in attendance for the last time. This show was beloved by millions over the years as it was presented nightly.
For the closing night, thousands showed up to pay their last respects. People could be seen staking out their favorite places in the morning. As the afternoon continued, more and more fans took prime places around World Showcase. By 5:00 PM, most of the front row locations had been spoken for. By 7:00 PM, many areas around World Showcase were multiple levels deep with fans.
As they waited for the show, the weather went from perfect to rainy to perfect again. During the wait, there was a fantastic sunset. Friends were made as people settled in for the evening. Every time a boat of techs sped by, people cheered. This happened multiple times throughout the night. Just moments before the final show began the rain returned yet again. It was almost as if the sky opened up and cried for the end of Illuminations.
With the beginning of the narration, the rain let up and the show went off without hitch. The emotion of those attending could be felt as the music swelled. Throughout the performance, the highs felt even higher, and during the quiet sections, the crowd was silent. As the show came to an end, the crowd could be heard singing “we go on.”
With the end of the show, a giant cheer could be heard erupting. Then as the exit song played, many people stood around the banks of the World Showcase Lagoon. It was almost as if people couldn’t quite let go. As the lights went down and the music faded away, the remaining guests trickled out to the exit.
Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was a beautiful show that went out on a high note. It will be replaced on October 1, 2019, by Epcot Forever!. With the end of this show is the end of an era. Epcot Forever!, and then HarmonioUS will have big shoes to fill. For now, we will continue to go on.
Each night Jim Cummings opened the show with the following statement:
Good evening. On behalf of Walt Disney World, the place where dreams come true, we welcome all of you to Epcot and World Showcase. We’re gathered here tonight around the fire as people of all lands have gathered for thousands and thousands of years before us… to share the light… and to share a story. An amazing story as old as time itself, but still being written. And though each of us has our own individual stories to tell, a true adventure emerges when we bring them all together as one. We hope you enjoy our story tonight: Reflections of Earth.
We at DAPS MAGIC definitely enjoyed the final presentation of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. We hope you did as well!