IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is a nighttime fireworks spectacular presented nightly (weather permitting) at the World Showcase lagoon in Epcot. It is one of the most popular entertainment shows in Walt Disney World and it is ending it’s 20 year run on September 30, 2019.
Our most recent visit to Epcot was going to be the last time our family would be able to see IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. So we thought, “Why not get a FastPass so we can have a great view?” Was a FastPass to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth worth it?
Using Up our FastPasses
We had Park Hopper tickets for this trip and started our day at Magic Kingdom with FastPasses for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train from 9:20-10:20 AM, Space Mountain from 10:25-11:25 AM, and Jungle Cruise from 11:35-12:35 AM.
After soaking up some air conditioning at Mickey’s Philharmagic and riding the PeopleMover for the 5th time we realized that there were no more FastPasses available in Magic Kingdom for any of the attractions we wanted to do. Looking on the My Disney Experience app we saw there were FastPasses available for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth so we though, why not? We hadn’t done a FastPass for it before and thought it would be great to get an unobstructed view! So we booked it and headed back to our resort for some much needed pool time!
Dinner and Then a Show
We had a dinner reservation at 50’s Prime Time Café in Hollywood Studios at 6:55 PM. After enjoying our dinner, we took the Friendship boat from Hollywood Studios to Epcot. We made it to Epcot with 20 minutes to spare before IllumiNations began.
We entered Epcot at the back, also known as the International Gateway, between France and the United Kingdom. The FastPass location for IllumiNations is towards the front of the World Showcase near the Port of Entry gift shop.
As we were running our way past Canada we passed a few prime spots that would have been perfect to watch IllumiNations. But alas, we had a FastPass and I was convinced that we would get even better views from there! I mean, isn’t that the point of a FastPass? In my mind there was going to be a small crowd and we would be able to get great views with little to no people! Boy, was I wrong!
Excuse me, sweetie, no!
The FastPass queue for IllumiNations opened at 8:30 PM and we knew we were a little bit late. After hurdling through the security checkpoint, entrance, and crowds, we arrived at the FastPass entrance at 8:50 PM. We thought we could still get a decent spot for the fireworks show.
After scanning our MagicBands, we entered the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth FastPass Viewing Area. There were people sitting down to our left and it looked pretty crowded. So we decided to make our way to the right. As we made our way behind the gift shop I saw what looked to be a good spot with almost no one in front of us.
Within a few minutes the lights dimmed, the show began, and everyone stood up. Suddenly I realized there were people holding that spot for family members who were about 6 feet tall! My little 9 year old, who is barely 4 feet tall, and I, at 5 feet tall, could not see anything in front of us.
I took 2 steps to my left so my daughter and I could see behind these two men who were now holding up their cellphones. We could see between their arms when I heard a woman in a ECV (Electric Conveyance Vehicles) pull up behind me and say, “Excuse me, sweetie, no!”
From what seemed promising at first turned into a can of sardines! We could barely move to see what was happening on the lagoon. We had to watch the show through the cell phones of the people in front of us. Fun, huh? We were kind of able to see the fireworks above us, which was fun, but it is not the full IllumiNations experience!
Is FastPass Worth It?
The short answer is no, absolutely not. If you are one of the very first people in line and are able to get a spot against the fence with no one in front of you then it may be worth it. Otherwise, it will be tough to find a spot with a great view of the show, especially if you’re not tall or have children with you.
There had to be more than 300 people packed in the little roped off area. Mostly everyone had an obstructed view (light/torch poles, people in front of them, etc). I thought a FastPass would give us a prime view with less people, but this was definitely not the case.
It was a disappointing end to an otherwise wonderful day. In the end, we were able to snap some good pictures and video. I still love IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. I even bought one of the commemorative T-shirts!
I’m sad to see IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth go, but can’t wait to see Epcot Forever when it debuts on October 1, 2019. And before you ask – No, I will not be booking a FastPass for the new show. I’ve definitely learned my lesson!
You may also like:
- Epcot Forever Will Debut Oct 1!
- The History of IllumiNations at Epcot
- 10 Reasons Why We Love the Mexico Pavilion in EPCOT!