The inferno barge from Illuminations is out for repairs for an undetermined length of time. The show will be running without its signature plumes of fire and brimstone for at least a few weeks. Earliest estimates are saying late March, others are saying mid-April before its return.
The Earth Barge has finished its refurbishment and is back in the show at Epcot’s Illuminations. The quality of the globe is much improved and we can actually make out the images now. Video is from wdwmagic.com via youtube.
The massive Earth Barge from Illuminations Reflections of Earth is currently scheduled to start a refurbishment and LED-lighting system replacement on August 13th. This date has changed several times in the past, and the end date is currently unknown.
Illuminations will continue to be shown nightly at Epcot during it’s absence but in a modified and slightly shortened form.
We’ve previously reported that the Earth Globe was set to be absent from Illuminations: Reflections of earth at Epcot several times in the past year so that it could undergo upgrades and enhancements. We’ve gotten word that the newest date to try and bring it out of the show for the needed repairs will be at the end of the Food and Wine Festival. Will it happen? Who knows, but know that it could.
There have been strong rumors that the Earth Barge from Illuminations: Reflections of Earth will not be featured in the show from September 5th to September 23rd, 2007.
This refurbishment is said to improve the image quality on the globe and has been rumored to occur several times this year. Notably, guests have witnessed pyrotechnic testing for replacement effects during the globe’s main sequence in the show.
Dates could change or the project could be completely delayed again, in short, do not expect to see the Earth in Illuminations for most of September though. Rather, enjoy that you’re seeing Illuminations with more pyrotechnics then most people ever experience.
As an added benefit for guests of official Walt Disney World Resorts, Illuminations: Relfections of Earth (the nightly fireworks at Epcot) will be shown a second time on nights with Extra Magic Hours. The second show will occur at 11:30pm. The 9pm show will still occur for all guests of the park.
Epcot is currently scheduled to have EMH evenings on April 3, 5, 10, 12, 20, and 27.
After being removed because of an accidental detonation prior to show time many months ago, the air-launch fireworks system has returned to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot.
The “ALF” system as it is know uses compressed air to launch a fireworks shell into the air and then a computer chip to detonate the shell. This works to create very precise and controlled explosions, moreso then the typical powder charge that would propell the shell from a launch tube. Below you can check out our video of the newly redesigned ALF system at work at Epcot, launching the opening comet from the American Adventure and meeting with a large explosion fired from the lagoon.
Previously, the system launched from the UK pavilion and required walkways to be shut down during its use for safety reasons. After the accident, the opening fireworks functioned on regular launch charges creating less accuracy in placement and the typical “thud” heard as they launched.