This past trip to Disney World, Mark and I spent most of our time in EPCOT for the International Food and Wine Festival as I have mentioned in previous posts. With this being our favorite park, the one thing we looked forward to seeing each night was Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. In order for us to get the most out of our experience, we had to have to perfect viewing spot. We tried out a few and I would like to share them with you. Maybe some of you have tried these places for yourselves.
Our usual spot to watch Illuminations is in an area between the Norway and Mexico pavilions. In this spot, we found very little crowding, and we were able to enjoy a Cloudberry Horn from a snack cart in Norway (which by the way they are absolutely delicious and a must have). We find this area to be a prime spot because you can see clearly without having trees or anything else obstructing the view.
If you are coming from Via Napoli, or another restaurant in Italy and are looking for a place to view Illuminations, you can find a spot near the steps. From there, you can get a nice view of the globe moving across the lagoon. What is difficult about securing this spot is whether or not the stairs are open. When Mark and I were there in March of 2011, we were lucky enough to be able to watch from the stair area with some of our friends. That night, we all enjoyed a nice slice of pizza from the Via Napoli takeout window.
If you are in Germany and you have decided to go to Karamel Kuche for a sweet treat, then you can enjoy your snacks at the tables outside the shop and watch the show while you munch on caramel apples, strawberries, or caramel covered popcorn (one of my personal favorites). For me, I find it very enjoyable to have a snack covered in caramel pretty much anytime, but there is something about watching Illuminations with it that makes it all that much better.
One final place that we watched Illuminations from was in Canada. We had just finished watching Off Kilter perform for about the fourth time that day, and Illuminations was about to start. For those of you that may not know, in Canada, there is a roped off area that is generally reserved for people who are disabled and may have a wheelchair or other assistive device. As I was in my wheelchair that night, I was able to sit in that section and watch the show. We had the pleasure of meeting a cast member who had just started the Disney College Program (DCP) and was from back home in Kentucky. “It’s a small world after all…” I would say the only bad thing about sitting in that area is that when you are trying to video the fireworks, trees tend to be a problem because they block the higher fireworks, which as the show really gets going, they are something one does not want to miss.
Over all, each area has its positives and negatives as to what you can see while watching Illuminations. For me, I personally prefer to watch the show between Mexico and Norway. I love to feel the warmth of the fire from the torches on my face, and to feel the wind off the lagoon. I love the sound of the fireworks and how you can feel them with your entire body. The show just like everything else in Disney is pure magic. So, where do you prefer to watch Illuminations? Do you have a special spot, or a special snack? I would really be interested in hearing your thoughts.