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Big EPCOT Rumor UPDATED 6/12/18

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https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2018/03/26/it-looks-like-a-replacement-for-epcots-illuminations-might-happen-very-soon

It looks like a replacement for Epcot's IllumiNations might happen very soon

After nearly two decades, Epcot’s IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth might be getting a major overhaul. Rumors of a new nighttime show at Epcot have been around for years now, but in recent weeks details on the new show have been leaking out at a rapid pace. 

The new show may keep the IllumiNations part of the name, but few other aspects of the current show will remain. On the WDWMagic forums one inside who goes by the username Marni1971 reports that the new show will be called “Illuminations: Windows on the World.” In a separate post Marni1971 also reports that the new show will feature intellectual properties. 

YouTuber Jack Kendall of DSNY Newscast reports that other insiders have confirmed these intellectual properties will represent the countries of World Showcase, including clips of Frozen to represent Norway, Coco to represent Mexico, Mary Poppins for the United Kingdom, and Ratatouille for France. Though not mentioned, Kendall hinted that other Disney characters in the show may include Mulan, Aladdin, and Belle. As he points out in a video this would keep with the mission of the Epcot overhaul; “More Timeless, More Relevant, and More Disney. 

Numerous rumors point to the new show featuring drones similar to the ones used for a 2016 Christmas show at Disney Springs. That show was part of a broader test by Intel. Since then the company has used its Shooting Star drones at the Winter Olympics and numerous other events around the globe. Disney has been busy filing patents for its own drones, so it’s not clear if the rumored IllumiNations drones will be the Intel ones, or custom-built ones Disney designs itself. It’s also not clear what type of drone technology the new show will use. Disney has filed patents for drones equipped with large LED screens and ones that control massive puppets.
 

Jim Hill, known for his early reporting on many Disney projects, has stated that these drones may instead be used as part of a new lagoon show that is slated to replace or accent the Electric Water Pageant. There are also questions on where the Epcot drones may be located since they are unable to fly directly over guest areas. This may be fixed by bringing the drones into the World Showcase lagoon via a barge, or it may mean that the drones might actually be located in another area, such as the backstage areas behind the World Showcase Pavilions. 

In late February, WDW News Today reported that the new show was nearing completion with the score and vocals for it being recorded that month. Since then, other insiders have refuted the claims that we could see the show in a matter of months, instead pointing to a 2019 or 2020 opening.

Originally the new show was rumored for the 50th Anniversary in 2021 but with Animal Kingdom’s less than popular nighttime show Rivers of Light expecting to get an overhaul sometime in 2020 (which will also include the introduction of Disney characters), the Epcot show now looks to be fast-tracked with a planned opening date before the Animal Kingdom closure. 

Steven Davison, Vice President Parades and Spectaculars, is reportedly taking a very hands-on approach with the new show. Davison is credited with creating some of Disney Parks most popular nighttime shows, including Wishes, World of Color, Disneyland Paris’s Disney Illuminations, and the Tokyo DisneySea version of the Fantasmic! show. The Tokyo Fantasmic! might give us a good indication of what to expect at Epcot. Similar to Epcot that show takes place in a central lagoon that offers nearly 360-degree viewing. It also has boats and other activities that take place on it during the day. 

The new IllumiNations at Epcot is rumored to feature the very latest in hydrotechnic technology, well beyond the fountains used in Animal Kingdom’s Rivers of Light. Disney has been relying more heavily on fountains in its shows, featuring them in at least one nighttime show at every Disney resort except for Disneyland Hong Kong. However, a show featuring them is currently under construction there.

In artwork released last year, fountains can be seen throughout the updated Future World. These fountains were thought to be part of this new show, but with the sped-up timeline, those aspects now look to be delayed or removed altogether. 

A separate projection mapping show, which would use various buildings in Future World and interact with other lighting in the area, is rumored to be part of the updates. Few details on this show have been leaked. 

The Future World projection mapping show is expected to be similar to Animal Kingdom’s nightly Tree of Life Nighttime Awakenings that takes place at various times throughout the evening, mostly unannounced and are only a few minutes in length. 

No word on when Disney plans to announce the rumored new IllumiNations, with most of this year’s focus on the new Toy Story Land opening at Hollywood Studios. 

A large Epcot announcement, with new details on the Guardians of the Galaxyindoor roller coaster, the trackless Ratatouille ride, the rumored Mary Poppins attraction, and other additions is expected sometime before next year’s opening of the Star Wars land at Hollywood Studios. It's likely we'll know more about this new Epcot show before or as a part of that announcement. 

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It doesn't surprise me that they are keeping the Illuminations name.

Back when Reflections of Earth debuted, they tried to drop the Illuminations name, but fans cried out, so they kept it.

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First time I saw illuminations was last New Years Eve, very crowded and wasn't that impressed. Having had a very good view of the MK fireworks the day before may have affected my opinion slightly.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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I also really like Illuminations!

I also would not be opposed to a new show.

What I really like about Illuminations is the ease of watching it!  I have great memories of watching it from all these different places, and not being in a mob like Magic Kingdom or not having to line up and wait like Fantasmic.  We've also been very fortunate to get some pixie dust thrown our way a few times giving us access to special viewing areas.  But what other park can you be enjoying an adult cocktail inside a bar, walk outside and watch the fireworks the instant they start?

WBI

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1 hour ago, WannaBeImagineer said:

... what other park can you be enjoying an adult cocktail inside a bar, walk outside and watch the fireworks the instant they start?

THIS!!

I'm in the "I like Illuminations" camp, but admit that for a while now I kind of zone out during the globe part. The special holiday ending is flippin' amazing though.

I'd agree it's time for a new show and given how old this one is and what they can do now, I'm pretty excited to see what they come up with.

Just one caveat - has to have a good, hummable/singable song.  ;)

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Jim Hill, known for his early reporting on many Disney projects, has stated that these drones may instead be used as part of a new lagoon show that is slated to replace or accent the Electric Water Pageant
 

Now this I'm not too keen about.  If I can't hear the soundtrack blaring from inside my camper in the 300 loop, I may have to stage a protest.  ;)

 

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-Wishes is much better than the new show.

They could have added projections to that show.

 

-Illuminations is a favorite in this house.

 

-The EWP must always be heard from my camper bunk.

 

-The Star Wars fireworks show at DHS is now the best show at WDW.

 

-I have no desire to see any of the night shows at AK.

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Either more information or more rumors....

Looks like EPCOT bosses are worried about losing even more customers to the other parks...

 

https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2018/06/12/epcots-famous-nighttime-show-may-soon-be-replaced

 

Epcot's famous nighttime show may soon be replaced

 


Back in March, it looked like a replacement for Epcot’s Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was just around the corner. Now, less than three months later we have even more details regarding this yet to be announced replacement. 

With the recent TEA/AECOM numbers pointing to Animal Kingdom now surpassing Epcot as Walt Disney World’s second most visited theme park (it should be stated the TEA numbers are not official but are widely used within the industry) and with Star Wars land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios likely to pull even more guests away from Epcot the edutainment fair focused park is looking for new additions to help keep guests visiting. 

Two new rides, themed to Ratatouille and Guardians of the Galaxy, are both under construction at the park. But multiple insiders, including Tom Bricker of the Disney Tourist Blog, are saying resort leadership is now worried about the lengthy time it will take before those open, likely in late 2020 or early 2021 nearly a year to year and a half after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at DHS. Recognizing that the festivals, which in recent years have acted as an attendance band-aid for the aging park, are nearly maxed out of their potential leadership is rumored to be now looking to fast-track the new Illuminations show to fix the issue with the gap between the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and the opening of Epcot's new rides. 

In recent weeks numerous insiders have noted an increase in speed for the new nighttime show and new leaks, typically a sign of third-party contractors being involved, have begun happening more frequently. For the show to be at the level of outside contractors being involved means that this show is much further along in being realized than anyone expected in March. 
 

Initially planned for 2021, the rumored show was already pushed up once with most insiders reporting it was slated to open in 2020. Now it looks like Disney wants to shave another year off that timeline. 

Jim Hill, known for his inside knowledge of the Disney company, also pointed out in an episode of his Disney Dish podcast to the land clearing currently taking place behind the Japan pavilion. Some had thought that this was for theupcoming high-end restaurant announced for the pavilion but the clearing is beyond both the service road and a set of trees, so it’s apparently not the new restaurant. Hill hints at this area being the staging area for drones that will be used in the new show. 

Disney debuted its first drone show two years ago with a temporary holiday show at Disney Springs featuring Intel designed drones. In the weeks prior to this show, Disney received special permission from the FAA for drone use across the resort, including inside official no-fly zones at the Magic Kingdom. That FAA approval is good through November 2020.  Since that test, the Intel drones have become much more sophisticated with impressive showings of the technology stretching across the globe from Coachella to the Olympics in PyeongChang. 

If this new area is the drone staging area that means the drones will have to fly over at least one guest area. With Disney having strict rules in place on how close drones can get to people this would mean part of the pathway, possibly between Morocco and Japan, would be closed at least at the beginning and end of each show while the drones fly into and out of the performance space at the center of the lake. Another possibility, as Hill suggested, could be flying the drones directly above The American Adventure pavilion, with outside pathways being closed to guests as the drones fly over. 

Bricker also stated that he has heard other effects, including some initially planned for Animal Kingdom’s Rivers of Light nighttime show, ill be included in the new Illuminations show. Rivers of Light was bogged down by numerous delays, pushing the show’s debut back by more than a year. Once it did open many of the effects announced for the original show had been pulled, including drown powered floating lanterns on the water. It’s unclear if this is the effect that Bricker was referring to though it's widely believed that even after Rivers of Light opened Disney continued researching this effect for future use within its parks. 

This lines up with the speculation reported on here in March about the show possibly including boats and other activities on the lagoon in a similar fashion to the Fantasmic! show at Tokyo DisneySea. That show, along with other Disney hits like World of Color and Disneyland Paris’s Illuminations, were designed under the leadership of Steven Davison, Vice President Parades and Spectaculars at Disney. Davison is rumored to be taking an extremely hands-on approach to the new Epcot show. 

As reported in March, the name still seems to be “Illuminations: Windows on the World” and Disney still looks interested in adding multiple Disney characters to the show. 

In a recent post regarding the new show, Bricker also stated that a temporary show might be used as Disney preps Epcot infrastructure for the new show. According to Bricker, this interim show would possibly include throwback music, from former Epcot shows and attractions. This model of adding a temporary show as Disney preps for a larger new show isn’t uncommon. Disney did a similar thing at Disneyland with their Fantasy in the Sky show and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 

If the currently rumored timelines are correct we may see the interim show opening by the end of this year and the new Illuminations: Windows on the World opening sometime next year. An announcement for the new show is expected sometime this summer, well ahead of Disney’s big Star Wars land push that will begin this winter. 

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48 minutes ago, BradyBzLyn...Mo said:

If they can do anything with drones even close to what they did for the Olympics, it would be amazing.

But those were pre-recorded right?  They didn't do the show in front of a crowd or live on tv because of fears of problems and weather. I wonder if they could really do drones every single night for years and years...

WBI

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1 hour ago, WannaBeImagineer said:

But those were pre-recorded right?  They didn't do the show in front of a crowd or live on tv because of fears of problems and weather. I wonder if they could really do drones every single night for years and years...

WBI

They will put up the secret retractable dome when the have the show to protect the drones!

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4 hours ago, WannaBeImagineer said:

But those were pre-recorded right?  They didn't do the show in front of a crowd or live on tv because of fears of problems and weather. I wonder if they could really do drones every single night for years and years...

WBI

I'd heard that they prerecorded because they didn't want to chance the weather the night of the live broadcast. Wind in particular sounds like it would be a problem (and the Olympics had plenty of that!)

Every single night is a good question.  

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6 hours ago, BradyBzLyn...Mo said:

If they can do anything with drones even close to what they did for the Olympics, it would be amazing.

Did you get to see the Christmas show they did with the drones at Disney Springs in 2016?  That wasn't as elaborate as the Super Bowl show, but it was still amazing. 

TCD 

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17 hours ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

Did you get to see the Christmas show they did with the drones at Disney Springs in 2016?  That wasn't as elaborate as the Super Bowl show, but it was still amazing. 

TCD 

I didn't, but gives me high hopes of what they might pull off for Epcot.

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