Edited to add: It has been announced that IllumiNations will be ending this coming summer, so see it while you can!
The end of the night at Epcot means one thing, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. The show runs at park closing, which is usually at 9:00, except during the holidays and for special occasions. IllumiNations is the longest running nighttime show at any Disney Park. It officially opened on October 1, 1999, which was the park’s 17th Anniversary.
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth tells “The Story of Earth”. While it is a fireworks show, there is more to it than that. Lasers and fire help to tell the story, and there is a gigantic globe in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon that is a large part of the show. The music and the narration add to the experience. The story is told in three parts; The Earth Is Born, The Triumph of Life, and Hope for the Future. Even though some people say that IllumiNations is dated, it’s really a classic, and should be part of your Walt Disney World vacation.
Since IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth takes place in World Showcase Lagoon, you can find good viewing areas all along World Showcase. There really are no bad places to watch. If you want something truly special there are two options. Make a dinner reservation at one of the restaurants that is located near the water such as Rose & Crown. These spots are highly coveted, and reservations aren’t easy to get. Another choice is to book a reservation for the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party. Honestly, though, you don’t need to go out of your way to get a good spot. As long as you can see World Showcase Lagoon you’ll be able to experience it all.
Sometimes there is an extra bonus added onto IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth for a celebration. The 12 minute show has an additional ending during the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, and also to celebrate Independence Day. If another special occasion is taking place, there could be a couple of minutes added for that as well.