Best night time show?

In planning for our June trip, I’m realizing that there is no way we’ll fit in every night time show. We’ll see Illumination at Epcot, but if I chose one or two more, what are your suggestions? Both DD11 & DD15 are artistically minded and love graphic design.

This is so subjective. However, my favorite is Rivers of Light. It’s just beautiful. It doesn’t get much love here, though.

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My preference is also Rivers of light. I just like it’s low-key vibe. It’s beautiful to look at and listen to.
Next is Illuminations. Then, Fantasmic is pretty great. Then HEA. Those 3 are all big production spectaculars.
That Star Wars thing at HS is a one & done.

Do make sure you see Illuminations since it’s going away. HEA is just an impressive spectacle - you have to see it at least once. Rivers of Light is beautiful but very subdued. If your girls are really artistically minded it might appeal to them, especially if they can appreciate more subdued, toned down performance art. Fantasmic is a classic but I’d rate HEA and Illuninations higher. Star Wars is really fun if you are a big Star Wars fan but I’d say it’s less impressive than the others.

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Awesome insight! Thank you! So, a couple questions…

  1. We have ADR for TH at 10:50…should I cancel that and get a dining package instead? Is it the same? DD11 is wanting to meet characters.

  2. We have ADR for Y&Y at 7:30 the same evening (mostly for the air conditioning)…should we cancel and aim for somewhere else earlier?

  3. Since DD11 is still into the princesses, I was leaning toward HEA. We have ADR at AP w/ Snow White at 7:20…would we be able to make it to HEA afterwards or is that a stretch?

Illuminations is a given since we are lucky enough to be attending a dinner/gala at Epcot from 5:30-8:30 one night and will be released into an area to see the show. I want to see Fantasmic so badly…So many things to cram into our trip :smile:


The dining package for Tusker House is the same as the regular meal, just with tickets for ROL. I would definitely switch to it.

I would check the time for ROL to decide about your Y&Y reservation. My guess is it would be way too close to the time for ROL.

HEA is awesome but the nice thing about Fantasmic (also a great show) is that you are seated for it. Something to consider with younger kids.

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Another thing you may want to consider - since your daughters are artistically inclined, you may want to read a little about each show you’re going to see and discuss it with them before hand. Tell them that these shows aren’t just fireworks displays, but shows that tell stories or celebrate certain themes with music, lights, water, pyrotechnics, and technology, all highly choreographed. Then for each show, discuss the story of the show beforehand. For example, Illuminations is the story of the Earth, told in three acts: Chaos, Order, and Meaning. It may help them appreciate the shows more, especially your DD15.


For me it’s HEA. That show moves me to tears every. single. time. (even just listening to the soundtrack will do it. I always make sure we see this show at LEAST once per trip, but more if possible and if so then one from up close and one from far away (ie poly beach or similar).


@paulasc answered for me. She often does.

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We’ll be at Artist Point for dinner at 7:20…is it feasible to make it back to MK for HEA?

What time is the show that night?

Now that AP is a character meal, I would allow a full 90 minutes. Take your time and enjoy it to its fullest!

So if it’s 9:00, no. If it’s 10, doable, though may run into a wall of people on Main Street upon re-entry waiting for the show.

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Thank you! We have reservations at Liberty Tree Tavern the next night at 7:20. Since it’s so close to Liberty Square, I’m guessing we’ll be able to finish dinner and head over to see HEA. Thanks so much for the feedback! We’ve never been to DW and may never be able to afford to go again, so I’m trying to make the most of this trip.

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That would be a better plan.

Happy to help!

We loved it when we went in Dec 2017 and are going to be seeing on March 11, 2019. We love it.

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This seems to me to be more a matter of personal taste than I thought.

HEA is an exceptional visual feast. You’d be insane to miss it. As @OBNurseNH rightly says, it’s also tremendously moving. Even for me, and I’m dead inside. I’ve seen HEA close-up four times and twice from a distance.

IllumiNations is good. I’ve seen it twice, the second time with the bonus Christmas ending, which was heart-stoppingly awesome.

ROL bored me. I saw it once and have never bothered to make time for it again. Maybe I’ll give it another go.

Fantastic! was OK. The ending is quite impressive. I found the seating uncomfortable. (I think ROL’s is similar, but I was at the back and stood up.) I’ve seen it once. Maybe I’ll give it another go.

The Star Wars one is a snoozefest. I have zero interest in seeing it again.

Of the remaining choices, I’m not deeply in love with any of them.

I guess I would choose Fantasmic! although I prefer the DL version.

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