Preview show report

Sep 23, 1999 in "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth"

Posted: Thursday September 23, 1999 by WDWMAGIC Staff
WDWGUY has sent us this great review of the first night of the show.

Well...the verdict is in everyone...Walt Disney World Entertainment has my opinion....another QUALITY production here on property.

As I write this, the show got over about 45 minutes ago and I am still trying to take it all in. I mean there was so much to see and experience that an additional viewing (or two or three...ehehe) will definitely be necessary.

Here we go!! Before my review...a couple of things to say:

1) You will not recognize the show. The show is COMPLETELY different from any other previous versions of any lagoon show seen here at Epcot. Its that good folks.

2) This was a SOFT OPEN performance. As we know, the 28th and 29th of this month are the press events here on property...and October 1st and after is what REALLY counts.....but after you read this, I think you will agree that tonight could have been the grand opening.


We viewed..Shimer and I.... the show near the American Adventure Pavilion. and we couldn't have been more thrilled with the viewing location. Because they have shifted the way in which the barges sit in the lagoon, any viewing restrictions are light..if any...but the traditional good spots....on the Italy Bridge, in Canada, In Mexico....are all still VERY good.

8:45pm - FEMALE voice giving the fifteen minute introduction.....and it is only referred to as "Reflections of Earth"....At the beginning of the announce, all of the torches around World Showcase began to flame...very pretty effect...they remained that way until the start of show

8:50pm- 10 minute announce by same female

8:55pm - 5 minute announce by same female

9pm - Showtime! An incredible deep voiced gentleman...invites you all to gather around the fire for a story..the beginning of Earth...(this was chilling...he was very very good) Drums begin to rumble and beat...and beat...and beat and beat and beat.....until...BAM! a shooting star hurls into the lagoon from a far and ignites gorgeous pyro in the center of the lagoon and sets the inferno barge on fire! This is amazing...When the inferno barge lights illuminates the entire center of the lagoon and just explodes with firery orange....hurling flames everywhere...and then more fireworks begin.....with all NEW fireworks mind you..these pieces were beautiful

and then the most awesome thing happens...I loved this part...The Earth Globe....Lights see all of the continents on the barge light up (video Screens)...the globe begins to spin..and then it that again MOVES...the entire earth globe starts slowly moving towards the center of the lagoon..(I should tell you it begins at a dock right next to the American Gardens Theatre)...while the ball itself is spinning and video images are displayed on it. It looks like Earth traveling through space...and then this gorgous video sequence happens on the ball..complete with re-programmed water fountains on the barges. Images of Earth, life, animals, famous people, water, are just some that I caught. then more celebrating occurs with lots more pyrotechnics and the torches also come
back on during the show.

The shows finale is one that will give you the globe is slowly opens up only to reveal a HUGE FLAMING TORCH in the center..and then Pyro shoots out of the barge to ignite the finale...with lots and lots of pyro....The music fit so well with the new fireworks programming...its is very tightly choreographed..I was very impressed by

Of course....the lasers and lights on the countries also were part of the show..and they were very good as well..but this spinning, moving, and pedal-opening earth globe was definitely some thing to see...when that thing started moving to the center of the lagoon..I practically peed my....well never mind...ehehe

All in all...I couldn't believe this was a soft open...For the Epcot Entertainment creative team and technicians to do the OLD version of IllumiNations last night, and to come out with this soft open of the new show tonight....was amazing....I will be back again and again to see it I am sure.

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