An incredible new fireworks show has debuted at World Showcase Lagoon at EPCOT. This dazzling new show is a treat for Disney fans. Luminous: The Symphony of Us, blends original storytelling with some of Disney's most loved songs, and all new visual elements. Here's what you need to know and expert tips for watching this fireworks show.
On December 5, 2023, guests enjoyed the debut of an all-new EPCOT nighttime spectacular. “Luminous: The Symphony of Us.” A dazzling display of music, pyrotechnics, lasers, and lighting, the show features an original composition and evocative selections from the Disney songbook – all woven together to remind us that we are more alike than different. It's one of the many things that make EPCOT one of the romantic spots at Walt Disney World.
At the start of the show, World Showcase comes to life as we hear voices from each pavilion welcoming us to this great gathering. With the tap of a conductor’s baton, our first movement begins with the original song, “Heartbeat Symphony.” For me, nothing says EPCOT nighttime spectacular like a sweeping ballad, and this one comes for you right out of the gate.
Now that Luminous is here, and we attended this first showing, here are some important tips for watching fireworks at EPCOT.
Expert Tip: For the ultimate date night at EPCOT, book a reservation at Shiki-Sai around the time of the EPCOT Fireworks so you can dine on delicious Japanese cuisine, sip a drink, and watch the fireworks.
EPCOT Fireworks – A brief history
Since Epcot’s inception in 1982, the vision of Walt’s idea for the park was to create a ‘community of tomorrow' that would never be completed. If you ask any recent park-goer, that is still the case. It seems like Epcot will be under construction for the foreseeable future. Something that underwent a huge change after 20 years was the end-of-the-night fireworks and light show around the World Showcase.
The previous fireworks show, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, ran from 1999 to 2019 and cost approximately $25,000 each night to show. It ran for 20 years as a part of The Walt Disney World Millenium Celebration and became a family favorite. In 2019 Illuminations was replaced with an extremely short run of Epcot Forever. It only lasted a year before being replaced by Harmonious.
Epcot Forever was definitely less of a production than both IllumiNations and Harmonious, but it had its moments. Now Luminous brings a fireworks show at Disney that tugs at your heartstrings while celebrating the beauty of life.
Luminous: The Symphony of Us – NEW EPCOT Fireworks Show
To make the most of your viewing experience you can discover the best viewing locations for Luminous, as well as important schedule information.
Where is the best location to see EPCOT Fireworks?
As showtime gets closer, most people will start to gather in between the Port of Entry Stores. This is right at the entrance to the World Showcase. Be mindful of the tape markings on the ground. The tape is there to show the areas where you can and can not sit for the show. If you select a spot outside of those tape marks a cast member will ask you to move for safety reasons.
Whereas Harmonious was centralized in the Lagoon and had viewing places that were better than others, Luminous covers the whole Lagoon and really can be seen from just about anywhere around the World Showcase. And, there are no longer any screens with visual elements like there were in Harminous, the previous show.
Luminous is colorful, bright, and can be seen from any angle.
I am not one to line up an hour or so before the Fireworks show but you will see people start around that time frame. They line the fences around World Showcase to claim their spot, but it did seem like less were doing it during Epcot Forever when we viewed it on a weeknight.
Two of my Favorite Spots to watch fireworks have always been the Japan Pavilion, which has a large open space and fewer trees, and the Germany Pavilion, as it also has some space and people kind of forget about it.
Both are on the back side of the park so it does mean a longer walk after the fireworks but it is calmer, and walking the countries at the park close when they are all lit up is always a nice experience.
Don't fret too much over finding the perfect spot for the show, it really is viewable all around.
How long does Luminous at EPCOT last?
The EPCOT fireworks showtime is usually 9:00pm or 9:30pm, every night. Luminous lasts 17 minutes which is the perfect length to feel like you're getting your money's worth and still be okay for tired families.
What characters or songs will I be able to see and hear in the light show?
Luminous: Symphony of Us is great for the true Disney Park and Epcot fan. While Harmonious was full of favorite Disney Songs from movies and characters on the LED screen barges, Luminous removes the screens and barges, but keeps some familiar Disney songs.
The show is a tribute to all things Epcot from the old rides, shows, and attractions. During the show you will hear sound clips of Walt Disney saying things like “We call it EPCOT and EPCOT will be an experimental prototype community of tomorrow”. You will also hear songs like “You'll Be in My Heart” and “Proud Corazón” in a segment dedicated to the bonds of family. Friendship follows, with classic songs like “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and “Friend Like Me.” Plus there are two new original songs!
The show does turn a little serious for a bit and pulls on the heartstrings, including themes of loss. This makes the finale all the more triumphant.
For the debut of Luminous: The Symphony of Us our Editor, Dani Meyering, attended a special panel with Disney Live Entertainment leadership.
“We decided to look at what the human connection really is, from the time that we are born to the idea of family, and from here friendship takes over, and then one day you perhaps meet the love of your life, and then probably encounter some challenges. But then the big ending of the show is about never giving up and just always sing out so others can hear you,”
– Steven Davison, Executive Creative Director
IS LUMINOUS: THE SYMPHONY OF US ONLY A FIREWORK SHOW?
The show is mostly centered around fireworks, and there are a lot of them in Luminous! Gone are the days of large lulls in the middle of the show like in previous EPCOT fireworks.
But there are other visual elements too. Fountains and lights create bold and colorful moments. And many classic EPCOT elements like the shooting star fireworks and torches around the lagoon remain an integral part of this new show.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the theme of hearts. The opening song is an original piece called “Heartbeat Symphony.” It is stirring and beautiful. And there are heart-themed elements to go along with it.
Can I order food and drinks during the show?
Not really. When Luminous starts, much like other shows, the lights around the pavilions will dim and many of the quick service locations will close for the evening. It is always best to order your last food and drink options a little before the official park hours end. This is why we like to hang out in Germany for the show, with easy access to snacks and drinks while waiting.
There are a few options if you want a dining experience during the show. Log into your MyDisneyApp to book advanced dining reservations at either Spice Table Road in Morocco or Rose & Crown in the United Kingdom Pavilion. Both locations are directly on the lagoon and have wonderful unobstructed views of the show.
The Spice Road Table Dining Package includes two small plates, a dessert platter, and unlimited beverages. The Rose & Crown Dining Package includes one appetizer, one entrée, a dessert platter, and unlimited beverages. While these dining options boast an amazing experience, they can be a bit pricey and start at around $70 per person.
When is the show?
On most days fireworks begin at 9:00 p.m. at EPCOT, or 9:30 pm. You will begin hearing announcements that the show will begin in 15 minutes and count down as it gets closer. Check your MyDisneyExperience app or a Disney Resort Front Desk agent for showtimes on the day of your visit. Because it is an outdoor show, it can be canceled due to extreme Florida weather. There are also occasional private events that can close EPCOT to the public before showtime.
If this is a must-see for you, make sure there are no private events the day you schedule your EPCOT ticket. Also, as of April 19, 2023 annual passholders no longer need park reservations after 2:00 p.m., so catching fireworks just became easier.
How to view Epcot fireworks without a park ticket…
Nothing beats seeing a Disney fireworks show inside the park itself. The music is better, the lighting effects are more impactful, and you are truly enveloped in the experience. However, if you'd like to see the fireworks without having to go into one of the theme parks, there are options. Our guide to viewing Disney fireworks outside of the parks gives you locations and tips.
Make time to catch the Beacons of Light show on Spaceship Earth, you won’t be disappointed!
Originally written by Jodi Caballero in 2021, updated 2023 by Dani Meyering