Much attention in recent months has been focused on the development of the Toy Story and Star Wars Lands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios plus rumors of a Guardians of the Galaxy and Ratatouille ride in Epcot. However, while many Disney fans have been focused on the future of Walt Disney World, Disney has been making some interesting changes to the current nighttime offerings around the resort.

This kicked off earlier this year with the long awaited debut of Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom, the surprise replacement of Wishes with Happily Ever After at the Magic Kingdom, and then most recently continued into the summer with the completely unexpected addition of the the new Disney Movie Magic nighttime projection show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And now that changes have come to nighttime entertainment at three of Walt Disney World's theme parks, it Disney may finally be turning their eye towards Epcot's nighttime offerings, as it looks like the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth nighttime fireworks spectacular may be coming to an end very soon.

Image: Disney

And while this (currently rumored) development may come as a shock to some, there is actually quite a bit of evidence to suggest that this popular show is indeed heading for retirement, including one development that was just confirmed earlier this week...

Siemens is ending all of its Epcot sponsorships, including IllumiNations

Image: Disney 

You might not initially think it, but sponsorships are incredibly important at Walt Disney World. A recent example of the power of sponsorships is the Innoventions hall, which has all but closed completely after several sponsors ended their contracts with Disney in 2015 and 2016. And now, another high-profile sponsor has decided not to renew their contract with Disney: Siemens

After a 12 year partnership, the company that sponsors both IllumiNations as well as Spaceship Earth, has announced the end of its partnership with The Walt Disney Company. According to an official press statement, the sponsorship will reach its mutually-agreed upon end date October 2017.

Image: Disney

While it is not particularly unusual for Disney sponsorships to change over time (IllumiNations was sponsored by GE over a decade ago), the timing here is important, as Siemens has sponsored this show for most of its life, and this break may be the impetus for the closing of this long-running show. However, its not the only contributing factor... 



Back in the 90's they did what was supposed to be a 2 week test with no IllumiNations. The park was deserted by 3pm and the restaurants and shops lost tons of money. They screamed and the test was cut short, Disney scrambling to get the show running again as quickly as possible. If they replace it, I'd think they would keep the downtime to a minimum to appease the restaurants and shops.

I love Epcot but agree it needs some up dating. But I still fund Illumination one of the all time most spectacular night time shows. Is hate to see it replaced

While I love Illuminations, I'm sure I could also love another show put in it's place. Disney is very imaginative with it's shows and use the technology to enhance them.

However - I'm disappointed in the direction Disney is going with EPCOT. This park wasn't meant to be full of Disney characters and rides. It was supposed to be real life - or glimpses into the future. Disney has Hollywood Studios (or whatever the names is!) and the Magic Kingdom to work with movies and characters. Keep EPCOT as it was meant to be. There are already 2 parks for movies and characters - use them!!!!

This is very old and tired. You can here the comments in the crowd, 'too slow' 'I hope it starts moving soon." It was also a big downgrade from the original show so I the sooner it is replaced the better.

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