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  • Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

    As far as nighttime entertainment goes, I would rank WDW's offerings in this order:

    1. Fantasmic! (Not as good as DL's, but, hey, it's still Fantasmic!)
    2. Wishes (Sorry, but everything pales in comparison to DL's Remember...Dreams Come True.)
    3. Illuminations

    My mom was telling me that, as part of Illuminations, every country used to be lit up at a different time, and music from that country was placed. Now, the countries light up, well most of them, as the lights seem sporatically placed. I think the storyline of the show is a bit hard to follow - the formation of the Earth and such. I do, however, think that Illuminations has a fantastic score - I love the main theme song! Sadly, this music only lasts for a short part of the show.

    World Showcase Lagoon is a fantastic facility that, IMHO, has not yet reached it's true potential. What do you think....can Epcot do better?

  • #2
    Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

    I:RoE is my favorite. Of course it can be better. Everything can be better, but for me its the best thing going.

    At least for me, it does not lag, and I love the transistion from the dark brooding music and the globe display to the sparks of life as civilization "awakens" as the various lands illuminate as they come out of the "dark ages".

    You know, now that I think about it, when I am there next week I will have the check out the ORDER that they light back up in.

    -dave
    "I'm gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers!" - Bender
    "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity." - Bullet Tooth Tony

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    • #3
      Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

      Originally posted by DisneyPrincess4590 View Post
      My mom was telling me that, as part of Illuminations, every country used to be lit up at a different time, and music from that country was placed. Now, the countries light up, well most of them, as the lights seem sporatically placed. I think the storyline of the show is a bit hard to follow - the formation of the Earth and such. I do, however, think that Illuminations has a fantastic score - I love the main theme song! Sadly, this music only lasts for a short part of the show.

      World Showcase Lagoon is a fantastic facility that, IMHO, has not yet reached it's true potential. What do you think....can Epcot do better?
      IllumiNations... the original one, was an amazing show. Classical Music from each respective country. It was very cool. And, my personal favorite rendition of "it's a small world" was the exit music. Hee hee. I'd love to hear that again! (I don't know what I'm saying, I have the soundtrack, so I can listen to it anytime I like. But I just want to hear it in Epcot again. But I can do that too with my iPod. Umm, what am I talking about? Back to what I was saying.)

      The original IllumiNations never did illuminate all the nations though. Norway and Morocco, as well as the International Gateway, have never been lit up. Has nothing to do with each country, the budget just wasn't there for it. I always say that's something I'll fix someday.

      As far as the music for reflections and why you like it so much...

      As you might know, Ron Logan produced the show, Don Dorsey directed. Don loved the classical music for the shows as before. Ron and Don came to a disagreement of sorts for the music in Reflections. Ron of course won out, because Ron was the one who re-commissioned Dorsey for the project anyhow. Ron had worked with Hans Zimmer before on the Lion King, and he knew Hans would be the perfect composer for the project. Unfortunately, Hans wasn't available, as he had just taken a job at Dreamworks SKG. Well, Hans had the answer. Gavin Greenaway. And Gavin composed the music in the style of Hans. Did an amazing job too. Not sure what you mean about the "main theme" of the show. The music you hear is basically all that was composed. There isn't really a "main theme."

      And just for those of you following the story, Don ended up liking the music for the show that Gavin wrote anyway. But Don wrote the lyrics in the end. Hee hee.
      -Bill

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      • #4
        Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

        Now there's a big difference from "Can Epcot do better" and "Will Epcot do better." Personally, I love RoE and Disney will be hard-pressed to top it. But yes, it can be topped. Now will it be topped? I don't know. To be able to top it in my mind will be an extremely hard task, and I am almost positive that the show that comes right after RoE will not be the one. I just hope Disney waits until they have the right "topper" before they replace the show. RoE is still an immensely popular show even after 8 years of running, so they shouldn't rush (nor do they need to).
        “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

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        • #5
          Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

          Originally posted by Bill View Post
          IllumiNations... the original one, was an amazing show. Classical Music from each respective country. It was very cool. And, my personal favorite rendition of "it's a small world" was the exit music. Hee hee. I'd love to hear that again! (I don't know what I'm saying, I have the soundtrack, so I can listen to it anytime I like. But I just want to hear it in Epcot again. But I can do that too with my iPod. Umm, what am I talking about? Back to what I was saying.)

          The original IllumiNations never did illuminate all the nations though. Norway and Morocco, as well as the International Gateway, have never been lit up. Has nothing to do with each country, the budget just wasn't there for it. I always say that's something I'll fix someday.

          As far as the music for reflections and why you like it so much...

          As you might know, Ron Logan produced the show, Don Dorsey directed. Don loved the classical music for the shows as before. Ron and Don came to a disagreement of sorts for the music in Reflections. Ron of course won out, because Ron was the one who re-commissioned Dorsey for the project anyhow. Ron had worked with Hans Zimmer before on the Lion King, and he knew Hans would be the perfect composer for the project. Unfortunately, Hans wasn't available, as he had just taken a job at Dreamworks SKG. Well, Hans had the answer. Gavin Greenaway. And Gavin composed the music in the style of Hans. Did an amazing job too. Not sure what you mean about the "main theme" of the show. The music you hear is basically all that was composed. There isn't really a "main theme."

          And just for those of you following the story, Don ended up liking the music for the show that Gavin wrote anyway. But Don wrote the lyrics in the end. Hee hee.

          from what i understand morroco didnt light up for religious reasons. Norway, currently lights up in ROE but morroco doesnt.

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          • #6
            Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

            1. Fantasmic! (Not as good as DL's, but, hey, it's still Fantasmic!)
            2. Wishes (Sorry, but everything pales in comparison to DL's Remember...Dreams Come True.)
            3. Illuminations
            I'd almost flip that order. However I have a hard time putting illuminations above Wishes, but mainly due to sentimental reasons. In truth it's a close call for first between illuminations and wishes, and then fantasmic falls way behind. It has far too many boring water display portions, and if you want to compare something to DL, our fantasmic is awful compared to theirs.

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            • #7
              Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

              i get tired of watching the earth spin.....it's my least favorite show





              It's kind of fun to do the impossible- Walt Disney

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              • #8
                Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

                If one looks at RoE with a superficial analysis, one would never be able to realize the underlying meaning. It is much more than a fireowkrs show, infact, I don't consider it to be a fireworks show. It is a story told using fire, fireworks, water, light, and most importantly, music.

                I would like to see the implementation of more visible laser effects in the show. Also, lights attached to the sea wall around the lagoon with mybe a low level smoke screen would be neat and eerie.
                sigpic


                Originally posted by Phonedave
                Well, if your parents can't teach you, maybe you can learn from a taser.

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                • #9
                  Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

                  Originally posted by kcnole View Post
                  I'd almost flip that order. However I have a hard time putting illuminations above Wishes, but mainly due to sentimental reasons. In truth it's a close call for first between illuminations and wishes, and then fantasmic falls way behind. It has far too many boring water display portions, and if you want to compare something to DL, our fantasmic is awful compared to theirs.
                  Fantasmic! at the Studios is sadly lacking compared to DL's. Pocahontas storyline compared to Peter Pan in DL.....just weird; and there are too many water portions. HOWEVER, have you seen Remember...Dreams Come True?!!! It knocks the socks off of Wishes. The fantastic storyline relating to DL's history, the amazing castle projections, realistic, up-close looking Tinker Bell.... IMO, the margin between these two fireworks shows is greater than the margin between the two Fantasmics!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

                    I was fortunate to be there for the millennium and Reflections of Earth was a truly amazing spectacle. The score stands alone as modern classical music and the song "Promise" has great memories for me - it was used at my civil partnership. OK it has been adapted a little but it is still THE best show that Disney have ever produced IMHO. I will miss it but I gather the new show will involve the same team so let's wait and see.

                    As for Fantasmic - if there's one thing I love about Florida's version is that I don't have to wrestle, be jostled or contend with blankets holding spots for families all over the place. I get a seat. Granted the riverboat at MGM studios is a travesty (it's supposed to represent the one from "Steamboat Willie" bur for me, it doesn't work) and the Pocahontas sequence is bizarre - the only good bit is the Indians in their canoes. You have to remember that the auditorium was designed to hold a huge number - 6,500 seated plus 2,500 standing. I doubt you could get that many around the Rivers of America at DL. The Florida show was "enlarged" deliberately to hold such huge numbers. It proved totally impractical to try and stage a copy of Dlls show at WDW's MK so that's why they opted for the "Hollywood Hills ampitheatre. Big auditorium required big production.

                    Wishes is a good firework show and, yes, Remember is spectacular. It was deliberately produced with DL in mind. Each show is designed to fit its venue. I get irritated that people try and compare DL against WDW all the time. The two places are completely different. They each cater for a different "kind" of guest. That's why DCA isn't popular with So Cals. It wasn't designed for them - they have the real thing on their doorsteps. It was meant to appeal to those of us who don't know California that well and was also an excuse to squeeze in attractions that wouldn't fit into Disneyland. But for me it has the Aladdin show and, boy, do I wish they'd export that to WDW - it's broadway quality.
                    Last edited by geoffa; 06-20-2007, 11:00 AM.
                    Now I'll turn that little mouse's dream into a nightmare Fantasmic !


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                    • #11
                      Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

                      Originally posted by met19 View Post
                      from what i understand morroco didnt light up for religious reasons. Norway, currently lights up in ROE but morroco doesnt.
                      No, that is entirely wrong. That's all myth and rumor. And Norway doesn't light up during RoE.
                      -Bill

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                      • #12
                        Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

                        My goodness, I'd rank Disney's nighttime shows entirely in reverse. Wishes - Holiday version notwithstanding - has always left me nonplussed, and on this past trip, Fantasmic was curiously lacking a third of its E-ticket quality show elements (i.e. the dragon, scattered missing fireworks, and missed cues here and there). As for what was "working", the Jafar-cobra sat alarmingly comatose during the battle sequence.

                        Illuminations, on the other hand, is still perfect, mostly due to its delicious pacing. I'm a whore for well-written three-act stories, be it literature, songs, musical theater, a painting deconstructed by Sister Wendy Becket, or the gold standard Disney Dark Ride experience. Wishes and Fantasmic's attempts at such structure seem artificial to me, whilst RoE just works... maintaining its momentum even during the silences.
                        Last edited by Flaming Monkey; 06-20-2007, 02:46 PM.
                        - Bill

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                        • #13
                          Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

                          Originally posted by DisneyPrincess4590 View Post
                          1. Fantasmic! (Not as good as DL's, but, hey, it's still Fantasmic!)
                          2. Wishes (Sorry, but everything pales in comparison to DL's Remember...Dreams Come True.)
                          3. Illuminations
                          Really? Like most people who replied I switched them around... I would say:

                          1. Illuminations
                          2. Fantasmic!
                          3. Local 4th of July Fireworks
                          4. Wishes


                          Illuminations is great! Almost as good as Remember IMO. I don't think that they really need to make any changes to it. Wishes, on the other hand, was a huge disappointment. The story is inane and stupid.

                          Why are they trying to do a fake Fantasmic-style battle between good and evil? Why, after the line "Let me see they face!" does a happy face explode in the sky? Did they want people to burst out laughing? The heart and star-shaped fireworks are cool, but the little face is hilarious. The Hercules part is good, but the rest is a bore.

                          And yes, you can compare DL's and WDW's fireworks... there is essentially nothing that DL's fireworks do that couldn't be done at WDW except for DL's treatment of Tinkerbell and maybe the Pirates scene (no Matterhorn).
                          Last edited by jett; 06-20-2007, 08:43 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Illuminations: Can Epcot Do Better?

                            I would put Spectromagic ahead of any of those other nightime shows. Although I did tell my girls last week to enjoy the fireworks that we did see at the Magic Kingdom and during Illuminations, as they'll be better than anything we get for the 4th of July in Tucson!

                            I understand why they don't have the Peter Pan sequence in Fantasmic because they're not going to build a ship on the scale of Columbia just for the show. But it does make a big difference to have the Columbia and Mark Twain used in the show. The boat in WDW's Fantasmic just pales in comparison. Still a very good show overall.

                            I like Illuminations, although I don't like the middle of the show where it slows down and shows horses running around the revolving globe. I loved the original show where the countries lighted up. I can't be sure but isn't part of the reason Norway and Morocco didn't light up because neither country was open when the show was created and Disney just didn't change the soundtrack or the show after they were opened?

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