Walt Disney World Announces End Date for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth

A while ago Disney had announced that “Illuinations: Reflections of Earth” would be ending sometime this fall.  Today Walt Disney World finally announced that the final performance of the long running Epcot nighttime show would be September 30, 2019.

The show “Epcot Forever” will be replacing “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” and will debut on October 1, 2019.

According to Disney –

“Epcot Forever” will be an all-new, limited-time spectacle of fireworks, music, lighting, lasers and choreographed, special effects kites. The show will take us on a journey through the past, present and future of Epcot. Featuring a stirring collection of songs that paint a colorful picture of the park, this nighttime extravaganza will offer both a trip down memory lane and a look towards the future and all the magical possibilities still to come.”

“Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” has been a long time fan favorite.  I personally loved the show.  I’m sad to see it finally end, but it’s had a good run.  It’s been going for twenty years!  Can you believe it?

“Epcot Forever” will continue into 2020, when the next epic nighttime extravaganza makes its debut.  So, this new show is just a placeholder until the “real” replacement takes over sometime in 2020.

While I’m sad to see the show finally end, I’m really excited to see the new show that will debut in 2020.  Based on what Disney has done with “Happily Ever After” at the Magic Kingdom, I’m excited to see what they come up with.

FAA Approves Disney’s Request for Drone Flights Over US Theme Parks

The Federal Aviation Administration has accepted Disney’s application for drone flights.  This clears the way for their use in nighttime spectaculars at the theme parks.

Disney has been working on drone technology for use in the parks for the last couple of years, and although the technology itself is now ready, a number of FAA rules and restrictions had stood in the way.

An application for the FAA waiver was filed back in October of 2015 which has now been granted.

Specifically, Disney can operate drones during nighttime, in multiples, and over Special Security Notice Flight Restriction Areas and Class G airspace. The waiver is effective from November 1 2016 to November 30 2020.

Although Disney has not made any announcements about drone use in the parks, all of the existing nighttime shows could be enhanced with their inclusion. And of course, entirely new shows could be developed with the technology, perhaps bringing night shows to locations that were previously unsuitable.