Today in Disney History: January 30th, 1998

Walt Disney World’s EPCOT debuts IllumiNations January 30th, 1998 The nightly show includes 13 special-effects projectors, theme music, 12 wire/mesh grids, 180 nozzles which create the fountains and 783 fireworks pieces.

This show used most of the arrangements for “A New World Fantasy” and “Laserphonic Fantasy,” but instead of being arranged solely with¬†synthesizers, the resulting arrangements were rescored for full orchestra, mostly using the original orchestration by the composers. New music was created for the show’s theme by Don Dorsey and Bruce Healey. The “Great Parades and Pageants” section used in the previous installments was omitted and replaced with a celebration of all the individual countries of World Showcase (except Norway, which had just opened by the show’s premiere). This installment of IllumiNations began a radical new use for effects in fireworks shows. To add to the Pichel lights, fountains, laser barges, and laser graphics projected behind the fountains, the directors made the lights representing the different interactions with the music and the rest of the show. In another strange turn of events, they decided not to use fireworks until the very end of the second act, and then the third act would show the fireworks off at their best.

Opening dateJanuary 30, 1988
Closing dateSeptember 20, 1996
ReplacedLaserphonic Fantasy
Music“The Festival of Festivals” by Don Dorsey
SponsorGeneral Electric

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