Watching IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is my favorite way to end a day at Epcot. The show takes place on the World Showcase Lagoon at the time of park closing and combines lights, fire, water, music, and fireworks into a spectacular show. The lagoon is beautiful at any time of day, but at night, the view is absolutely incredible! You can watch IllumiNations from just about anywhere around the lagoon, but there are some places that provide an optimal viewing experience.
If you are willing to give up one of your “group 1” FastPasses (these are for the more popular rides at Epcot), you can choose a FastPass for IllumiNations. Choosing this option means that you won’t be able to reserve a FastPass for some of the biggest attractions such as Soarin’ or Test Track. Since those rides always have the longest wait times, I can see why you may be reluctant to do this. (I recently visited Epcot during President’s Day weekend and saw a 160 minute wait time for Soarin’. Wow!) If you are visiting Epcot on more than one day or if you know you will be back soon, it may not be a big deal to give up a FastPass for one of those rides. The viewing areas dedicated to those with FastPasses do provide a really nice view, so if you can spare one of your passes, it can definitely be worth it.
Another really great option is to book a dinner reservation close to showtime at one of the restaurants that sits on the water. Be aware that not all of the restaurants have a clear view of the show or offer patio seating, so be sure to check before booking a reservation.
I recently had dinner on the patio of the Rose and Crown and the view was absolutely amazing. When we made the reservation, we included a request to sit on the patio. We also stopped by 2 hours before to make sure that our request had been received. The table where we were seated was in the perfect position to see the show (and the food was fantastic too!). Keep in mind that Disney cast members cannot guarantee that a table on the patio or by the windows will be available, but they always do their very best to accommodate your requests whenever possible. Your chances will be greater if you make reservations well in advance to ensure that the time you are requesting is available and if you avoid visiting during peak times.
The IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party is another fun way to secure a great view for the show. The party is $49 for adults and $29 for children. Reservations must be made in advance. You will view the show from a special VIP viewing area and you will enjoy delectable desserts as part of the experience. What an amazing finale to an exciting day at Epcot!
One thing to know is that you can see IllumiNations from anywhere around the lagoon, so even if you don’t try one of these options, you can still find a great spot to see the show. If you have children or if you are on the shorter side (like me), the best plan is to position yourself early so that you won’t have anyone obstructing your view of the lagoon. Enjoy the show!
Where is your favorite spot to watch IllumiNations from?
I am a Florida native and a life-long Disney fan. I have visited Walt Disney World more times than I can count, but I always find myself looking forward to my next trip! I also enjoy reading, baking, and kayaking in my spare time. Follow me on Twitter-@tinkerbellteeny