Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, the long-running nighttime spectacular at Epcot, is beloved by many. But is it really that good? Let’s break it down.
Backstory: The first incarnation of an Epcot nighttime show premiered in the fall of 1982 and was called Carnival de Lumiere (no relation to the candelabra from the not yet conceived Beauty and the Beast film.) This small scale fountain show was replaced a year later by A New World Fantasy and that show was replaced yet another year later by Laserphonic Fantasy. Both of these shows used fireworks, lasers, lights, and projection screens on barges all set to classical music. The first version of the show actually titled IllumiNations began in 1988 and continued with some variations until 1999 when it was replaced by the current show Reflections of Earth. This version of the show was originally conceived as a signature attraction of the Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration but has been showed continuously ever since with the only variation being a special ending for the Christmas holiday season.
Touring Strategy: The show takes place at the center of World Showcase lagoon so it can be seen in full from anywhere around the lagoon, with the fireworks visible from many parts of Future World as well. The really good spots for IllumiNations do go early, however, especially in busier times of year. Without a reservation at a restaurant on the lagoon, your best walk-up locations to see IllumiNations are the raised area in front of the Italy pavilion and the area in front of the Yorkshire County Fish Shop in the United Kingdom pavilion. If these areas are being used for special events, consider the bridge between France and the United Kingdom and the area between Mexico and Norway. Just keep in mind that these locations can fill up by 45-minutes before showtime. If you don’t mind being partially blocked by a tree, a fence, or a guy taking selfies in front of you, then you can grab a location at pretty much any point before the show begins. (FastPass+ is not recommended but if you choose to use it, you will be positioned between the gift shops at the front of World Showcase and should arrive at least 20 minutes before showtime.)
Going to Disneyland next year is going to be a totally different experience, since the park will be going through one of its biggest expansions in history to add Star Wars Land (for which there is still no opening date). Even though Disneyland will be getting an amazing new addition, a ton of construction will be taking place and that results into a lot of construction around the park — including some major attractions being closed until mid-2017. So, if you are planning a trip to The Resort sometime next year, you may have to reconfigure the list of attractions you want to experience. No need to worry, because below I have created a list of attractions that you can replace with the ones that will be closed.
CLOSED — Disneyland Railroad
REPLACE WITH –– Main Street Vehicles
The Disneyland Railroad is one of the best ways to experience the park in a relaxing and different way. Even though the railroad will be closed, that does not mean you cannot travel in style throughout the park…well, at least through Main Street that is. Taking a ride on any, if not all, of the Main Street vehicles is a great way to experience Main Street. However, if you only have time to ride one of the three Main Street vehicles, I recommend jumping on the double-decker bus. Just make sure to get a seat on the second deck.
Hello, my darlings! It’s me, Daisy! Oh my goodness, I’ve missed you. Of course, I’ve been loving Seth’s posts so much that I almost feel guilty stepping back in this week. But I went to Disneyland for Halloween, how could I not share that with all of you?
I hope you’ll forgive me for just breezing in for the week. Seth will be back with his excellent posts next week. I’m hoping that my schedule will open up a little this fall and I’ll be able to write some daily park visit posts like I used to in the days before BWE. Would anyone like to see that? Let me know in the comments below! Plus don’t forget that you can follow me over on the Touring Plans Instagram account. I have so much fun interacting with you guys over there. We just hit 5,000 followers so come join the party! Now, let’s get going with the good stuff!
I know this isn’t the traditional view of the castle. I took so many photos, but this one where I “snuck up on it” was my favorite. The first day of our trip was unseasonably hot, but after that the weather mellowed out to a brisk perfection. The upside of the warmer temperatures were these crisp, blue skies. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten such pretty photos of Sleeping Beauty’s castle.
There’s so much more fun to be had! Please click the link below to read more.
I love Halloween (really, I put my decorations up September 1st), but I can’t justify buying a brand new costume every year.
Therefore, I feel it’s my duty to provide wearable costume alternatives that are not only comfortable, but are characters people can easily identify.
So today, I give you the emotions from the Disney Pixar film, Inside Out.
In my opinion, this costume is all about the make up. You can get away with a chartruese-colored top (I found mine at Savers), the eye look, and a yellow ball to serve as a core memory. Don’t forget a contagious smile and you’ve got yourself a completed costume.
I’ve provided a video make up tutorial below but if you don’t have the time, here’s the look.
Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort share a number of the same attractions, such as Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, “it’s a small world,” and many others. But if you think that these attractions are the same on both coasts, you would be mistaken.
One of the many things I love about Disney is that they never do the same thing twice; and while the attractions that can be found on both coasts may share the same names and themes, they do have differences too. Hey, who doesn’t like variety, right? But you have to wonder, which resort has the best version of a popular attraction? Which Disney Park has the bragging rights? Well, that’s what I’m going to find out beginning with an attraction that’s sure to bring out your competitive side in Disneyland vs. Disney World Attractions: Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.
What is Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin?
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin are dark rides where guests shoot at targets scattered throughout the attraction for points and to compete for high scores. The Magic Kingdom was the first to gain this type of Buzz Lightyear attraction back in 1998. There, it is known as Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Disneyland didn’t gain its version until quite some time later in 2005 and under a different name, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.
Disneyland’s Astro Blasters is just across from Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
Location: Tomorrowland is where both versions of this interactive Buzz Lightyear attraction can be found. At Disneyland, Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters is towards the front of Tomorrowland and on the left side, right across from Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. At Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is tucked a bit deeper into the land and has a bit more space around it than at Disneyland. The attraction can be found at the end of the main path from the hub into Tomorrowland and on the right, across the way from the Astro Orbiter attraction. Oftentimes, Buzz Lightyear is meeting and greeting with guests nearby, so keep an eye open!
As I write this, I am melancholy. One of my absolute favorite attractions in all of Walt Disney World is rumored to be in its last days, and there are plenty of signs to indicate this to be true. One Man’s Dream has been open for nearly 15 years and as new attractions appear on the horizon, it seems this small but mighty experience will close to make way. With that in mind I had to get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and visit this important attraction for a proper send off. I’d like to share with you the highlights of the incredible historical collection and the four reasons an attraction of this nature is oh so necessary at Walt Disney World.