“IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” begins with a cosmic event that leads to a ballet of fire and “chaos” signifying the origins of the planet. That mayhem transforms into a sea of floating pyrotechnic stars on World Showcase Lagoon, setting the stage for the appearance of the show’s centerpiece, Earth Globe.
The dramatically spinning Earth Globe, a 28-foot diameter sphere, becomes a three-story video screen projecting vivid pictorial images that celebrate both human diversity and the unified spirit of humankind.
Covered with video screens in the shape of the continents, the twinkling, steel-ribbed Earth Globe rotates on a 350-ton floating island that houses six computer processors, 258 strobe lights and an infrared guidance system.
Using more than 180,000 Light Emitting Diodes, the electronic pictures depict primal seas and forest and the development of famous cultural landmarks including the Himalayas, the Sphynx, the Easter Island statues and Mount Rushmore. Diverse visages of famous people from around the world such as Martin Luther King, Dr. Jonas Salk, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Muhammad Ali and the Dalai Lama are captured on the Earth Globe sphere during the presentation.
A dazzling visual mix of leaping fountains of water, fire and fireworks is choreographed to a symphonic score crafted by British television and Hollywood motion-picture composer Gavin Greenaway. This powerful composition blends the melodies and rhythms of many regional cultures with an uplifting, unifying theme.
The inspiring performance concludes with the Earth Globe opening up like a lotus flower. From its heart emerges a giant fire torch rising 40 feet into the air. Nineteen additional torches ringing the lagoon combine with a confetti of fireworks creating color-rich reflections across the rippling waters.
The 13-minute show requires 67 computers in 40 locations, hundreds of special lighting fixtures, four fountain barges pumping 5,000 gallons per minute, a 150,000-pound inferno barge with 37 nozzles shooting propane flames into the air, and lasers delivering a kaleidoscope of colors.
Some 2,800 shells are exploded during the nightly display -- more than twice the number used in previous productions. Fireworks are launched from 750 mortar tubes and 56 firing modules at 34 locations.