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Entertainment at the Speed of Light
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IllumiNations is EPCOT's popular nighttime extravaganza consisting of classical music, lasers, light, water, and fireworks. The first World Showcase evening show was Carnival de Lumiere which debuted on October 23, 1982. It celebrated world festivals with fountains, film, music, and other effects. It was followed by A New World Fantasy in the summer of 1983. Laserphonic Fantasy debuted on June 9, 1984. The show's music was synthesized by Don Dorsey of Main Street Electrical Parade fame. Unlike IllumiNations, these shows were not always presented nightly.
On January 30, 1988, General Electric teamed up with Disney and unveiled the original IllumiNations. With GE on board, lights were added to each pavilion (except Morocco and Norway [which was under construction]); enhancements to the lasers, fireworks, and fountains were made; and the show became a nightly event. The soundtrack consisted of classical music arranged by Don Dorsey, Steve Skorija, and Bruce Healey. During the holiday season each year (beginning in 1994), Holiday IllumiNations celebrates the season with traditional holiday music from around the world. For in-depth technical information on IllumiNations, visit WDW Sound & Image Site - IllumiNations.
To celebrate Walt Disney World's 25 Anniversary, a new show was created which celebrated the anniversary, world cultures, and discovery. IllumiNations 25 debuted on September 21, 1996, although it did have a few practice runs in the weeks before, some in the early morning (4-5am). A special press event celebrating all of Walt Disney World's 25th Anniversary culminated with IllumiNations 25 on October 2, 1996. The show officially debuted to the public on October 3, 1996.
The original IllumiNations 25's non-classical music didn't quite fit with EPCOT's theme. If you saw the show between October 1, 1996 and May 18, 1997, then you saw the original IllumiNations 25 show (referred to as 25 A). On May 19, 1997, a different IllumiNations 25 show (25 B) debuted with a return to classical music.
On February 1, 1998, the "25" was removed from IllumiNations 25's name since the 25th Anniversary was over. The show reverted back to the IllumiNations name and contained the exact same soundtrack as the 25 B show including the chorus singing "Remember the Magic!" at the beginning of the show. The narration was changed slightly to remove all 25th references.
Several years in development, IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth began on September 22, 1999 (although it did not officially debut until October 1, 1999). This new show reworked the entire IllumiNations concept creating an astounding show for EPCOT's Millennium Celebration ensuring that this show is once again the best in nighttime entertainment spectaculars. The show remains the same after the Millennium Celebration although the "2000" was removed from the show's name.
And now, let your imagination be your guide as EDC proudly takes you on a journey through the past and present of IllumiNations!
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internet performances of IllumiNations since August 1, 1998.
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© EPCOT Discovery Center
Created February 14, 1998 / Last modified November 19, 2001