This week Disney announced the closure of one of its longest running nighttime spectaculars, Illuminations. This also comes with it, the end of all meaning for living on God’s green Earth. But before I end up giving up on everything, let’s look at why.
Photo from Disney Parks Blog, so they can remind us of the greatness we are losing.
The closure of Illuminations will, in my mind, mark the end of what remained of Epcot Center as Disney focuses and displays more of the new Epcot theme of, “Not Quite Sure Yet, It’s Still Kind Of Unclear.” One of Illuminations biggest draws is the message of world peace, togetherness, using art as a global form of communication and how long a fireworks show can keep people engaged without using any fireworks. It was a wonderful show. With lasers, fireballs, water fountains and the world’s largest rotating television coming together to harmonize with fireworks and one of the greatest Disney scores ever created, it made a wonderful show that Disney could never top until World of Color came around and showed how long you can keep even more people engaged with even fewer fireworks.
The show starts with the creation of Earth, as narrated by Cat from CatDog. And like the actual creation of Earth, there is a big explosion of fire and debate on how it REALLY happens (I keep saying it’s a man pushing a button, but Craig says it just happens). It sets the mood for what is about to commence with high energy music and loud and bright pyrotechnics. Then the infamous “boring part” of the show, which is reserved to be called such by people with an IQ of room temperature, the beginning of life. Yes it is slower than the intro, but it allows people to breath after being slapped in the face by FIREWORKS!!! But it also allows us to see the progression of art and communication. And once we get to the part of history where it’s more complex and better understood on the different mediums we can communicate with, we get more fireworks. The show then goes into a highlight of how great fireworks are with how great some of the people of Earth and the things that they do are.
But then, the finale of the show, starting with a drumroll, we get a musical number. But with the absolute best song ever written for the Disney Parks, “We Go On.” If you don’t feel all the feels hearing this, you are either a robot or a jerk who kicks puppies. And then after a message of how we as a human race will always go forward with what moving our civilization towards progress, we get lots and lots of fireworks. So many, it becomes daytime for a few brief seconds. And if you thought that was the end of the show, you’d be right. At least for most of the year.
Let’s talk about the tags for Illuminations. First, the 4th of July Tag. The Heart Beat of Freedom. The real “Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America” show. The fireworks alone are loud enough to burst your ear drums. Probably from using twice as many fireworks in a 2 minute tag as a 12 minute show with 7 minutes of fireworks. Then you had “Peace on Earth” during the holidays, where Epcot showed coming together in unity for Earth, by also trying to end it with the amount of booms. With or with out Walter Cronkite, this tag is amazing and runs all holiday season long. But for the “I Don’t Care About Hearing Anything Ever Again” enthusiast, try the New Years Eve tag. With fireworks in the center of World Showcase Lagoon, on the side of it, on the tops of buildings on the countries and behind every country, you are unable to escape hearing A firework going off. It shakes buildings and I once saw it set off a car alarm with the rumble.
But this show sadly has run its course and does need to retire on top. The first version of the show started in 1999 and has ran for longer than most of the other attractions from Epcot Center. And while I will miss the greatest nighttime show Disney has ever created, I look forward to its replacement. Because behind all the, “I’m going to be so miserable about this leaving and life has no meaning,” mentality, I know that one thing will always happen: we go on.
Good night, sweet prince.