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December 31, 1999 | December 31, 2000 | IllumiNations 2000 NYE Version


December 31, 1999

New Year's Eve 1999 was an eagerly awaited day by many around the world.  Epcot being the center of WDW's Millennium Celebration was a very popular choice for Disney guests that day.  Resort guests told of stories that there were three Disney Transport busses at their resort that morning taking people to Epcot and all three were full while there was only one for the Magic Kingdom. The Epcot Auto Plaza opened at 7:30 that morning and was closed within just a few minutes as they found that the International Gateway entrance to the park had a very long line building.  And the resort busses dropping guests off at the front of the park brought in even more crowds.  It was soon announced that the park was closed except to Annual Passholders and Resort Guests and then shortly thereafter, it was closed to Annual Passholders as well.  The line for the International Gateway entrance stretched all the way to the dock at the Yacht Club.  Even with long lines just to get in, the crowd was very festive.

Once inside the park, lines at the counter service restaurants were unbelievable and people cheered when anybody got food.  The line for Spaceship Earth early in the day wrapped around the entire Global Neighborhood building.  The wait for Test Track was hours long.  However, by around 11am, lines at most attractions were fairly manageable.  By mid-afternoon, the park seemed as crowded as any other day.  Lines at counter service restaurants around 4 to 5pm were fairly non-existent.  The reason for this was that Disney's policy is that the first park you enter that day as a resort guest, you are guaranteed readmittance if you should leave the park to go back to your resort or to another park.  However, if, for example, you left Epcot (the park you started in), went to the Disney/MGM Studios, left that park and then wanted to return to the Studios later, you may not get back in if the park is full.  But you could get back into Epcot even if it was full because you entered that park first.

Disney sent a letter to resort guests explaining this policy and suggesting that they return to their resort for rest in the afternoon before returning to the park in the evening.  This left the park much more manageable.  And, it made traversing World Showcase during Tapestry of Nations' 3:30 and 5:15 performances much easier.

Full service restaurants were 100% booked and even an extra full service dining area was set up just outside International Gateway to accommodate the crowds.  Most attractions ceased operation around 11:30 to allow everyone both guests and cast members a chance to see the spectacular fireworks display.  In addition, it allowed the attractions to be tested just after midnight to make sure they were working properly before guests got to ride in them.

Live entertainment could be found in Millennium Central and the Fountain Stage in Future World as well as at the America Gardens Theatre, MoRockin', Off Kilter, and the British Invasion in World Showcase.  A laser light disco party was held at the Italy courtyard and a video disco party was held at the Japan courtyard.  Noisemakers and party hats (featuring the 2000 logo) were handed out to guests starting at 6 at Germany, The American Adventure, island between UK and France, the Rosewalk, near the Magic Music Days stage, and near the Universe of Energy.

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December 31, 2000

Even though it had been technically pointed out that this was indeed the last day of the second millennium, crowds were not as intense this year.  Cold weather also kept some people away.  However, both Epcot and the Magic Kingdom filled to capacity during the day.  Entertainment was similar to that of the year before in the same locations mentioned above.  This year's hats had a colorful logo with the date 'December 31, 2000' written at the bottom.  More information on the two versions of IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth is described below.

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IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth Logo

December 31, 1999 & 2000

The information on this site may not be reproduced in any form on the Internet without express written permission from EDC.

Epcot went all out to celebrate New Year's Eve in style. On December 31, 1999, guests grabbed positions around the lagoon starting early in the morning for that evening's fireworks. On December 31, 2000, cold weather and an effort to reduce crowds leaving the theme parks, prompted the park to present two editions of IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth.

The first showing (which only included the normal show) was presented at 7:30pm. After the male announcer gave the closing narration hoping that we enjoyed the show, the Epcot female announcer gave this announcement.

Female Announcer: (2000) Thank you for being a part of this special New Year's Eve performance of IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth. For guests who may be leaving us at this time, the entire Epcot family wishes you and yours the happiest of New Year's and a safe journey home. Thank you.

 

New Year's Eve Tag

In both years, the normal IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth show started off the evening's celebration at 11:40pm.  The 2000 sign over Spaceship Earth remained lit during the entire show.  After the main show ended with "We Go On," the instrumental theme to "Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand" began and this announcement was heard replacing the usual closing narration by the male announcer.

Female Announcer: We are together here at Epcot. Each of us a bold explorer - an individual marking a moment in a new millennium. And, before this special moment escapes us, here at the dawn of a new age, before we move on to pursue our separate paths of discovery, let us become a single spirit inspired by the innovations that have brought us to this moment, amazed by the promises of tomorrow, creating hope for a better world. Let us be brought closer together for all time by this single truth: that there is nothing we cannot accomplish hand in hand.

"Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand"

The song begins as fireworks are launched from behind Germany to Morocco in 1999 and in the lagoon in 2000.  This is the same version of the song as heard on track 18 of the 2000 Official Album CD from Walt Disney Records

  • Music by Ira Antelis
  • Lyrics by Cheryl Berman
  • 1999 Wonderland Music Co., Inc. (BMI)
  • Music Produced by Ted Ricketts
  • Music Arranged and Conducted by David T. Clydesdale
  • Vocal Solos by Michelle Lindahl and Jeff Smith
  • Music Mixed by Andy de Ganahl at Trans Continental Studios, Orlando, FL

 

Put your hand
On the future
Share a dream together
Around the world
With a voice from every country
A face from every land
We'll celebrate the future hand in hand
We'll celebrate the future hand in hand

The future is coming
We gotta catch it if we can
The magic's unfolding
And you can hold it in your hand?

We can touch tomorrow today
To make some memories
That will never fade away

Put your hand
On the future
Share a dream together
Around the world
With a voice from every country
And a face from every land
We'll celebrate the future hand in hand

Join the celebration
It's an invitation
Feel the inspiration
A dream we all share

From the very start of it
You can be a part of it
At the very heart of it
Everyone from everywhere

Put your hand
On the future
Share a dream together
Around the world
With a voice from every country
And a face from every land
We'll celebrate the future hand in hand
We'll celebrate the future hand in hand
We'll celebrate the future hand ... in

Hand in hand

Every land
Celebrate
Hand in... Hand!!

NYE '99 fireworks

By this point, the Earth Globe has closed again and images of clocks and time keeping devices (such as hour glasses) appear on the screens.  The sounds of clocks ticking are heard.  During the countdown, the numbers are flashed on the screen followed by "Happy 2000" and "Happy New Year!"

1999 Female Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the moment has arrived. Let us greet the new year hand in hand as we count down together to welcome the new millennium. 10 (dong with count) ... 9 ... 8 ... 7... 6 ... 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Happy New Year!!

2000 Female Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the moment has arrived. Let us greet the new year hand in hand as we count down together to welcome the new year. 10 (dong with count) ... 9 ... 8 ... 7... 6 ... 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Happy New Year!!

Auld Lang Syne plays for about a minute and a half while fireworks erupt from the middle of the lagoon and from behind the pavilions providing an astounding and breathtaking vista in 1999 and in 2000 the fireworks fill the lagoon area only.  Due to the noise of the screaming crowd, it was hard to hear the first part of this closing announcement in 1999.

1999 Female Announcer:  [Happy New Year everyone and thank you for being here at Epcot to share this celebration. We invite you to enjoy the remainder of the evening with us.] We wish you a safe journey home and on behalf of the entire Disney family, we extend to you and yours happy, prosperous, and fulfilling days ahead in the year 2000 - the dawn of a most promising new millennium. Thank you.

2000 Female Announcer:  Happy New Year everyone and thank you for being here at Epcot to share this celebration. We invite you to enjoy the remainder of the evening with us. We wish you a safe journey home and on behalf of the entire Disney family, we extend to you and yours a happy, prosperous, and fulfilling new year. Thank you.

Smoke filling the sky, the crowds to guests begin to leave the park or hang around until it closed at 2am in early 2000 and at 1am in early 2001.  The normal exit music played after the show the first year, but for the second year, IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth pre-show music played in the background until 1am.  A few minutes after the show ended that night in early 2001, the female announcer invited guests to stay in the park to continue celebrating until 1am.

Female Announcer: Walt Disney World [ ? ? ? ] ... would like to bring in the new year with style as Epcot celebrates the year 2001!

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EPCOT Discovery Center
Created June 24, 1999 / Last modified November 15, 2001

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