Thursday, July 05, 2012

Fourth of July at Epcot

Disney World is always patriotic, and all the parks jump into the spirit of Independence Day. The Magic Kingdom puts on an impressive fireworks display, too. 

Today we'll look at what Epcot does. The American Adventure pavilion gets dressed up with additional bunting, banners, and flags. They offer characters dressed up in colonial garb for photos, and in past years, there were walkaround characters of Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross (they didn't make an appearance this year... cutbacks?)

There is special merchandise available, such as Duffy and Vinylmations with Uncle Sam outfits.

The Voices of Liberty put on shows both in the Rotunda and at the outdoor amphitheater. I haven't yet seen the latter on July 4, but need to get out there early enough for it one year! The regular Cast Members are still in their period (colonial) garb, not yet moved over to the "new" costume.

The fireworks are a "tag" at the end of Illuminations, and wow do they exceed expectations. The final 15 seconds rival the New Year's Eve fireworks at Epcot, meaning the "World War III" barges are in use (this is the actual nickname used by Cast Members for the extra-fireworks barges), and there are hundreds (no exaggeration) of explosions packed into those fifteen seconds. It's mind-blowing. I have photos, but next time I'll need to take video.

Lasers painted a message on Spaceship Earth on the way out, wishing America a happy 236th birthday.

Here is a video of the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, as seen from the Polynesian Beach:

Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.