First light fixture in place on EPCOT'S Spaceship Earth for 'Beacon of Magic' lighting effects

24 days ago in "Spaceship Earth"

Imagineer Zach Riddley has today shared a look at overnight work on Spaceship Earth where the Imagineering team tested the install of one of the new exterior lighting fixtures that will be part of the 'Beacon of Magic' lighting effects at EPCOT.

Debuting as part of the 50th anniversary celebration on October 1, the new lighting at Spaceship Earth is a permanent addition and will live on beyond the 18 month 50th event.

The fixtures, mounted between the triangular exterior panels, appears to be high-output LED's with a silver enclosure to match the alucobond finish. The central main light that will project light outward is surrounded by smaller lights that will shine onto the surface of Spaceship Earth. Following this test fit, crews will begin adding the lights from the top, then moving down the exterior of the structure.

Concept art of the lighting shows what we can expect when the effect goes live later this year. According to Riddley, "Her classic look will be maintained and accentuated through new colors and intensity in programmed expressions that extend into the new main entrance fountain and the entire World Celebration area."

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Article Posted: Mar 17, 2021 / 3:51pm ET
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artvandelay59 minutes ago

I would think these are reprogrammable. These lights should be networked to a lighting console. A lighting designer and a programmer will create multiple looks that can be changed with a couple of keystrokes. It should be simple.

RSoxNo14 hours ago

They're called pew pews.

Father Robinson7 hours ago

As much as I feel projection is totally overused, this is one case where I feel (since it's supposedly permanent) it could've definitely benefited from projection mapping. For one, just the installation of these little dudes is ridiculously laborious. And when one goes out does that ruin the effect all around it? I for one am a Disney purist. I don't like them messing with things like the exterior of SSE. I know a lot of you have said you need to be really close to see them..not if you know they're there, then they become obvious quick. I don't want SSE looking like it's the New Years Eve ball. Keep it as is and project your light show on it. And is this light effect programmable or once it's programmed that's it? Just my opinion. Again, this is coming from a Disney purist for things like park icons. And also, these are NOT "seamless".

Horizons114 hours ago


CastAStone22 hours ago

A fun thing about opinions is that we get to have different ones. I think these are unsightly and that the Harmonous barges will probably look fine and perhaps even pleasant once switched on. The consensus opinion here is the opposite on both counts. Oh well sometimes we disagree, but don’t presume to tell me what I should or shouldn’t get annoyed about. It’s my damn opinions.

MisterPenguin1 day ago

There is a lot... *a lot*... of infrastructure that one can see by getting up close to stuff. Get up close to a copse of bushes and trees? One gets to see speakers, pipes, access hatches galore. It's not just a nice bit of landscaping. Every bit of lighting looks like... light installations... when seen up close. This isn't an argument for sloppy or lazy attempts to hide infrastructure that fails obviously. But if anyone wants to find fault because they can see light fixtures by getting up real close to them, then they will be continually disappointed. I'd hate to point out to them the joints in the concrete walkways...

The Rocketeer1 day ago

I know they might look more obvious if they're placed on the bottom, but so far this actually doesn't look bad. I can't wait to see them at night. Going in about 10 days, I'm excited to see the new entrance in person!

BasiltheBatLord1 day ago

Guys. Deep breaths. This is really not something worth getting annoyed about.

jt041 day ago

If they were there from day 1 and they removed them people would say SSE looks like Swiss cheese. I think the look cool. Almost like back in the day they knew there would be programmable lights they could control by computer in the future and they left cut outs for them. Probably Joe's idea.

GrandCanyonConcourse1 day ago


CastAStone1 day ago

(I know)

UNCgolf1 day ago

He laughs at most posts that are remotely critical of anything Disney is doing.

CastAStone1 day ago

Nope. I am not concerned with the ones on the roof.

GrandCanyonConcourse1 day ago

Because you can’t see them unless you zoom in on pics of them. I assumed it was a joke....