When Mickey Mouse declares that it's out with the old and in with the new, darn right the staff at Florida-based Epcot are going to respond. So it goes with Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon's fireworks display, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, which will finish its nearly 20-year run at the end of next summer.
The fiery spectacle will promptly be replaced by a new attraction that Disney is keeping mum about for now. Insiders are speculating that characters from Walt Disney's dreamchild, the Magic Kingdom or even some celluloid scenes and stars from the Hollywood Studios vault might take the place of Illuminations. One guarantee that's been promised is there won't be any empty skies between the finale of the current fireworks show and whatever's on the drawing board. The new light show will debut the following night.
No doubt it will coincide with a couple new ride attractions, namely Mickey Mouse's First Ride, which will see an amusement involving the famed rodent for the first time ever. Don't worry if you didn't notice. Mickey's branded on pretty well everything else Disney.
The other ride, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, is also slated for operation sometime in the fall at Epcot, featuring characters from the famous sci-fi franchise. Down the road, and slated to debut in 2021, just time for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary, are rides based on box-office smashes like Ratatouille and Guardians of the Galaxy.
As for the future fireworks, whatever Disney technology comes up with will definitely be a very tough act to follow. IllumiNations has been such a highly-lauded display of pyrotechnics it has won the coveted Golden Ticket Award issued by the international theme park industry for 11 consecutive years. Much of it has to do with the eye-popping appearance of a globe 28 feet tall and weighing in at 320 tons. The creation which enters on a barge opens up to reveal high-tech spherical projection of a wide variety of videos visible to spectators from nearly a mile away.
Other Disney wags are hinting that the powers that be in the night-time attractions department might be dreaming up a show involving drones, which made an appearance at Epcot during December in 2016. Whatever they decide, it'll definitely need to be the ultimate show-stopper.