With a perimeter of about 1.2 miles, you would think that there are plenty of excellent spots around the World Showcase lagoon to watch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. After all, this nighttime fireworks and laser spectacular is presented on a huge scale.
While quite a lot of the show takes place up in the air, some takes place on the water too. Most spots around the lagoon are acceptable for getting a general sense of the show, but some are better than others. After all, there are buildings, walls, islands, trees, and other obstructions along the way.
Let’s take a look at the top seven locations for viewing Illuminations, touring the lagoon clockwise:
1 – World Showcase Plaza
This is one of my favorite spots. It is where the walkway from Future World connects with World Showcase. What is great about this spot is that there is plenty of room and most people sit down, which means that you can sit down too and still get a great view. There aren’t many obstructions in this area, so you will be able to see the lasers and fireworks in the sky as well as the globe and effects on the water. Another bonus is that this is a public area, so you don’t have to pay for a meal or a drink to enjoy it.
2 – La Hacienda de San Angel
This restaurant on the lake side of the Mexico pavilion has very tall windows that allow you to see the show. It sits right on the water, so there aren’t any obstructions. Plus, Disney pipes in the music from the show, which you can enjoy in air-conditioned comfort while sipping a margarita. Nice.
3 – Isola West Plaza
This open air plaza is located directly on the water near the Italy pavilion. It features antique lampposts and a beautiful bridge. Since it is on the water, there are no obstructions, and you don’t have to buy anything to enter this public space. Note that sometimes this area is closed for private parties.
4 – Tokyo Dining
This restaurant, located on the second floor of the Japan pavilion, is elevated above the trees and crowds and offers a great view of World Showcase Lagoon. You can enjoy the show, complete with music, in air conditioned comfort as you try Japanese delicacies like tuna sashimi, beef teriyaki, and tempura vegetables.
5 – Monsieur Paul
For those who enjoy the finer things in life and have the budget to support it, Monsieur Paul is a great place to watch Illuminations. In this second-story restaurant, you can enjoy gourmet French dining including Black truffle soup, Herb-crusted rack of lamb, and (wait for it) an incredible Grand Marnier soufflé. White table cloths, air conditioning, and piped-in music for the show make this an upscale location for finishing your day at Epcot.
6 – Between The UK and France Pavilions
There is a bridge connecting the UK and France pavilions that goes up and over the water that connects World Showcase Lagoon to the International Gateway and Crescent Lake near Disney’s BoardWalk. It offers a very nice spot to see Illuminations. People do tend to gather here early, and if you don’t get a spot along the wall, you might not be able to see the effects on the water very well.
7 – Rose & Crown Dining Room
The Rose and Crown is located on the water near the United Kingdom pavilion. In addition to watching Illuminations from your table, you can also step up to the water to get a better view. Like the other restaurants, this one is air conditioned and offers English fair like Corned Beef and Cabbage, Vegetable Curry, and the ever-famous Fish and Chips.
What is your favorite spot for watching Illuminations?