5 Spectacular Ways to Enjoy the IllumiNations Fireworks Display at Epcot
In our opinion, one of the best ways to wind down your Disney days is by making plans to watch IllumiNations at Epcot. This nighttime fireworks display is guaranteed to be a stand-out moment of your visit to Walt Disney World. Taking place in the middle of the World Showcase Lagoon, it uses special effects, dazzling lights, a moving soundtrack and of course out-of-this-world pyrotechnics to tell the story of our amazing planet.
For an extra special end to your Epcot visit, there are a handful of fantastic ways to enjoy this breathtaking evening spectacular. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Frozen Ever After Dessert Party – This special evening offering combines two of our favorite things Frozen and IllumiNations! Taking place at the World Showplace Plaza East, guests can enjoy Frozen-themed sweet treats, speciality beverages and VIP seating along the World Showcase Lagoon which offers breathtaking views of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. The bountiful dessert buffet is heaving with delicious goodies like Elsa’s Blue Velvet Cupcakes, Olaf’s Warm Double Chocolate S’mores Pudding Cake, and Anna’s Warm Cottage Pudding with Salted Caramel Glaze. Non-alcoholic speciality drinks are on offer including the “Frozen Heart” while the grown-ups may want to tuck into cocktails, beer or wine. After IllumiNations guests are in for a special Frozen-themed treat as you’ll receive priority boarding on the incredibly popular Frozen Ever After Attraction.
The cost to attend this fun-filled event is $79 per adult and $47 per child (ages 3 to 9) including taxes and gratuity. Reservations are essential and can be made via My Disney Experience or by calling 407.WDW.DINE.
2. Dinner with a View – Because of its unique setting in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon, many of Epcot’s waterfront restaurants offer gorgeous views of this evening fireworks display. The key is all in the timing. We usually recommend making reservations around 8pm for a 9pm fireworks, giving you plenty of time to settle and to also request those window views (when possible.) Some of our go-to spots for IllumiNations dining are:
- La Hacienda de San Angel – (pictured above) This waterfront eatery in the Mexican pavilion is notable for their incredible Mexican dishes (we recommend the empanadas) as well as masterful margaritas (try the Avocado version). There are also massive picture windows offering wonderful views of World Showcase Lagoon making it the perfect night spot to watch IllumiNations.
- Monsieur Paul – This wonderful Fine/Signature Dining Restaurant conjures up the feeling of being in Paris. The second-floor dining room serves up classic French dishes like Beef Tenderloin and Roasted Duck Breast and also offers a pretty impressive wine list. Request a window view during the evening hours and you may be able to enjoy nice sightlines for IllumiNations.
- Rose and Crown – This British Pub serves up delicious British Fare including bangers and mash, cottage pies and more. There is limited patio seating which does offer nice views of IllumiNations while you sip on a pint of lager!
- Spice Road Table – One of our favorite Epcot haunted after the sun goes down has to be the Morocco pavilion. With lanterns casting a beautiful glow and the breathtaking architecture, you really do feel like you are in a different land. Add to this the incredible views and amazing tapas-style cuisine at Spice Road Table and you are in for a night to remember.
3. IllumiNations FastPass – If seeing IllumiNations is top of your Epcot priority list than you may want to consider using one of your Epcot FastPass allocations to take in the evening performance. Doing so eliminates the need for you to stake out your viewing location ages in advance. Rather you report to the designated IllumiNations view locations which is a roped-off area near the intersection of World Showcase Lagoon and Future World between the Tower Gift Shops. The sightlines from this location are pretty impressive and as FastPass allocations are limited you have a guarantee that crowds will be minimal.
4. Specialty Cruise – Looking for the ultimate VIP IllumiNations viewing experience for you and your family or group? These speciality cruises are just the ticket! From the comfort of a chartered boat, your party will set sail for the International Gateway near the World Showcase Lagoon to watch the skies light up over Epcot. The cruises depart from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort. Each cruise is accompanied by a captain and comes with assorted snacks and soft drinks. Additional private dining options are also available upon request. Pricing starts at $299 for a 21-foot pontoon boat that holds 8 guests. There’s also a 25-foot boat that holds up to 10 with prices starting at $349 or a Grand Yacht for a party of 18 or more for $399 (which includes a private butler.) Reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.
5. Best Standard Viewing Areas – If yachts or dessert parties are out of your price range and you can’t get those dining reservations fear not. There are still plenty of fantastic areas from which to enjoy Illuminations on a walk-up basis. Some of our favorite areas of the World Showcase offering fantastic sightlines are as follows:
- Along the waterfront in Italy
- Second floor of the Japan Pavilion
- Bridge between UK and France
These are just some of the many places to see the show. We encourage you to start strolling around the World Showcase about 60-minutes before the IllumiNations is supposed to take place to stake out your viewing spot. There are lots of peaceful intimate locations around the lagoon so you just may find your new favorite viewing location.
Want to see IllumiNations for yourself? Then it’s time to start planning that Walt Disney World getaway. There are still fantastic 2018 packages available and vacations can be booked through until the end of 2019. Simply fill out our form below and an agent from MickeyTravels will be in touch with your FREE no-obligation quote.
Image Credit: Disney.