Tips And Tricks For IllumiNations Viewing At Walt Disney World’s Epcot

Note: Illuminations’ last show will be September 30, 2019. “Epcot Forever”, a temporary fireworks spectacular, will begin on October 1, 2019. 

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is one of the best fireworks shows I have ever experienced. However, finding a good viewing location can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to get every spare second of ride time out of the day that you can. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks to getting the most out of your vacation AND getting a good view of the fireworks show.

The first way, obviously, is by securing a FastPASS+ reservation. These can be booked up to 60 days in advance, but can fill up VERY quickly. The second option, which takes the most time, is to sit out about an hour to an hour and a half before the fireworks and stake your spot. Both of these options have downsides, however, and should be thought of carefully before committing. By booking a FastPASS+ reservation, you are limiting the amount of rides you can book by one and keeping yourself from being able to book some of the more popular attractions, such as Frozen Ever After, Soarin’ and TestTrack (since EPCOT uses the tiered FP+ system, you can only book one attraction from Tier 1 and two from Tier 2. The more popular attractions are all on Tier 1).

However, if you’re like me and don’t want to do either of these options, there are a few pointers that will help you enjoy a breathtaking fireworks display without taking a chunk out of your day or FP reservations. Prime viewing locations for this display are directly behind Spaceship Earth and between the Mexico & Norway Pavilions. However, some lesser known, but equally as stunning, locations to view the fireworks can be found…if you know where to look. In the Japan Pavilion, there is an amazing restaurant with a water view above the shops. This restaurant is sheathed by an almost wraparound deck, complete with a perfect spot for watching the show. There are a few smaller trees that will dampen the view just a tad, but seeing the Pavilion light up during the show is wonderful. The next location is directly to either side of the American Gardens Pavilion (where the Candlelight Processional, Eat To The Beat Concert Series, and Flower Power Concert Series are held each year). If you are on the Japan side of the pavilion, you get to enjoy watching the globe float come to life and drift to the center of the lake. This area is a little closer to the fireworks, so beware of smoke and loud noises that may bother smaller children.

A third option (although one that gets taken up by private parties quite often) is the terraced area in front of the Italy Pavilion. This is the closest location to the actual fireworks, so families with children that are scared of loud noises should think twice about this one. However, nothing obstructs the gorgeous view of the entire show. Once again, however, keep in mind that this area is often blocked off for private parties.

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A fourth option, formerly known as the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party, Frozen Ever After Sparkling Dessert Party now lets all things Frozen take center stage of this party! Still serving desserts, alcohol and non-alcohol beverages, and offering a reserved viewing area for IllumNations, everything has shifted to a Frozen-inspired theme. The treats even feature favorite Frozen characters! Plus, a new addition – guests will be escorted to the very popular Frozen Ever After attraction for an included ride. Reserve your spot well in advance and expect to pay around $79 per adult and $47 per child.

You can also see the fireworks from outside the park, however as most of the action is at ground level, it is a bit more difficult to see everything. There are nice views from the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin hotels, but these usually fill up quickly.

I hope you enjoy your next viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

About Krista Joy

Krista Joy is an Orlando native and former Disney cast member. She is also the owner of and founder of the Living The Dream online radio show. Krista was born and raised in the heart of Orlando Florida – where she still lives. Krista’s Disney dream is to bring magic and fun to the every day lives of her fellow Disney fans – while sharing some laughs along the way. She is very grateful to Rick and the team at for helping her to make this dream a reality. Contact information for Krista can be found at