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Florida Guide > Epcot

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at Christmas

Our favourite firework and laser show has to be Disney’s Illuminations at Epcot. In our opinion nothing surpasses it and despite having seen it many times, it still gives me goose bumps, and sends me home with a feeling of elation. It is incredibly moving and a triumph of timing. Whilst we love the fireworks at Magic Kingdom, and Spectromagic is simply wonderful, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is utterly magical.

However, there is just one thing which makes it even better – that is the Christmas performances. Even if you have already seen Illuminations, then try to go at Christmas when they add on an extra bit to the finale. Just as you think it is all over and the awe-inspiring finale has finished in a blaze of sound and lights, there is more to come.

I get a lump in my throat just thinking about the beautiful words and music:

' And now, at this special time, as we embrace a promise of a new year, we would like to offer one final message. '

The song ' Let There Be Peace On Earth' is played as the Earth Barge closes, and then there are messages of ' Peace on Earth, good will to men' in several languages. As each message is spoken the relevant pavilion lights up, one at a time, with thousands of twinkling white lights outlining each pavilion – it is a powerful image, set as it is against a velvety black sky.

But, for me, the most moving bit is when Walter Cronkite says:

' During this glorious time of year there is one message that rings out around the world in every language. Peace on earth, Goodwill to men is a wish to hold in our hearts throughout each passing year. A gift of immeasurable value. A treasure being handed down with care, from generation to generation. And so our holiday wish is that everyone, everywhere share in the spirit of the season. Peace on earth, goodwill to men. '

As the display is brought to a final end there is an uninterrupted display of fireworks, lighting up the sky all around, concluding with huge explosions that echo around the park. Then there is silence.

I always find that as we walk out of the park there is a spring in our step and an almost tangible feeling of fellowship with our fellow man. It is at that moment that Christmas truly begins for our family.

My one wish would be to capture some of the fireworks on camera. . . maybe one day I will learn how to do it.

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Page added on: 31 December 2009
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