Goodbye IllumiNations, Hello Epcot Forever: Dates Announced!

It’s truly the end of an era — the last day for Epcot’s IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth was just announced during a Disney Parks Blog live stream of the long-time laser and fireworks show.

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

Along with announcing the end of IllumiNations, Disney also revealed the start date of its limited-time replacement show, “Epcot Forever”!

“IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” will end its 20-year run on September 30, 2019.

The new nighttime spectacular “Epcot Forever” will debut the very next night, on October 1, 2019, on World Showcase Lagoon at Epcot. The new show will be “a celebration of the past, present and future of Epcot, built around the magical soundtrack guests have come to know and love at the park.”

Epcot Forever Concept Art

In a behind-the-scenes interview that preceded the live stream of IllumiNations, Alan Bruun, show director for Disney Parks Live Entertainment, said that just like IllumiNations “Epcot Forever” will feature fireworks, lighting, and lasers. BUT it will also have choreographed, special effects KITES, which will be lit up, and much, much more.

Epcot Forever Concept Art

The show’s soundtrack will include all-new arrangements of classic Epcot tunes — familiar songs from the earliest days of Epcot, from attractions and other shows.

Epcot Forever Concept Art

“Epcot Forever” will continue into 2020. It will in turn by replaced by an all-new nighttime spectacular that will debut as part of Epcot’s big, multi-year transformation, which is currently underway. 

Epcot Forever Concept Art

Here’s a short video on the new “Epcot Forever” show:

Are you looking forward to this new nighttime show? And how much will you miss IllumiNations? Do you plan to be there to say a fond farewell on September 30? Let us know in the comments!


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Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

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10 Replies to “Goodbye IllumiNations, Hello Epcot Forever: Dates Announced!”

  1. I am sorry to see illuminations go. It was one of my favorite shows at Disney World. I am not sure how Epcot forever is going to compare will agree to watch it once.

  2. Is the the new show on every night? We are planing our trip and is trying to work out the best night to be in Epcot. X

  3. Incredibly disappointing. IllumiNations is the CD that’s always in my car & it’s my MUST do multiple nights during any trip there. It’s disappointing that it’s going away.

  4. Illuminations was my favorite attraction in all of WDW. I have been so disappointed of the new attractions which are so cheap compared to those previously. If this keeps up, I will probably sell my timeshare.

  5. Illuminations had grown tiring to me, so this is one change I will not complain about. Epcot Forever sounds like it could be exciting. I don’t understand the temporary replacement angle. I would have thought Disney would have the permanent replacement in place before retiring Illuminations.

  6. I must confess, the description sounds intriguing for something that is essentially a placeholder. I’ll probably fall in love with this show and the nostalgic soundtrack only to have it disappear within a year. Something tells me I’m gonna want a souvenir CD of the music, so I hope they offer one.

  7. While I loved Illuminations, I did think the part with the globe went on far too long and it was just lacking something. I’m glad they are doing something new there. It had a very long run.

  8. Epcot Forever is an oxymoron seeing as how Disney has destroyed its original concept and philosophy in their quest to turn Epcot into a children’s character park. Perhaps Epcot Gone Forever would be more fitting.

    1. I agree – i liked an educational more adult park which didn’t cater to kids. The current plans to dumb things down and add more kid friendly rides to attract more children into this oasis is not a decision I like but Disney is truly about the profit now. Walt would be so unhappy with the direction his vision has taken 🙁