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Where's the Best Place to Watch Illuminations

Walt Disney World: Title basically says it all....

From Tim W
Posted September 3, 2008 at 10:08 AM
There are a number of good places to watch Illuminations, but its usually hard finding a seat or really good view. II've never watched it from the same space but I'm sure i will when i go next year. I've watched it from Mexico, Norway, China, the little part before enetering the World Showcase on Future World, Italy, and Canada. But by far my favorite so far has been that little area below France. It provides seating and a really good view. It's so close to the water, but spaces were filling up down there at least 1 1/2 hours before the show. By the time of the show, it was packed down there but it was a great viewing area. So any places that are your favorites? I've heard the boat view is really great from the hotels as well.....


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Karin S
Posted September 3, 2008 at 10:22 AM
We found a great spot quite accidently...IllumiNations was starting just as we were leaving the First Aid station in the Odyssey Center. You can get a great view from that walkway...and it's not usually terribly crowded.

From James Rao
Posted September 3, 2008 at 11:32 AM
The Unofficial Guide To Walt Disney World (the best guide for WDW, imho) offers these two tips:

1) The best place view IllumiNations is in a seat on the lakeside veranda of the Cantina de San Angel in Mexico. You'll need to arrive about 90 minutes ahead of time to get a seat (and buy a snack or two to keep you busy).

2) If you want to combine dinner with IllumiNations, the Rose & Crown Pub in the United Kingdom has lagoonside seating with a very nice view. If you aren’t able to obtain a table outside, eat inside, then when IllumiNations starts, you can join the diners outside to watch the show.

Personally, I like to get a Kaki Gori snack (Japan) and watch from that area as the larger crowds always seem to hang out on the Norway and Canada sides of the World Showcase (anxious to leave after the show, I guess?). I usually have plenty of room and don't have to grab a spot 90 minutes before the show.

From Tim W
Posted September 3, 2008 at 1:05 PM
yea ive watch it by oddesey before. I think 2 or three times ago... do u have to eat at the san angel inn to watch illuminations?

From James Rao
Posted September 3, 2008 at 5:19 PM
The cantina is a counter service restaurant across from the full service San Angel Inn Restaurante, right by the lake. Pick up some snacks (or drinks) and grab a table....it is the polite thing to do!

From Anthony Murphy
Posted September 3, 2008 at 7:52 PM
On the second floor of the Japan Pavillion on the outside

From J. Dana
Posted September 3, 2008 at 10:56 PM
I have never in my life staked out a place to watch Illuminations -- especially not 90 minutes ahead of time -- WHAT A WASTE! There's so much cool stuff to see in World Showcase. You can see Illuminations from ALMOST ANYWHERE in World Showcase. My advice: enjoy as much of Epcot and World Showcase as you can all the way up until the show....or, if that makes you nervous, just stake out a spot five minutes ahead of time. I don't understand people who wait over an hour for a parade or fireworks show (Fantasmic in Florida is the exception because of its design--and the reduced frequency now!!!!). Unless you just want to eat, relax and enjoy the sunset -- if so, then Mexico or Britain are perfect....and I may just try those out. But I'd rather be exploring Moracco, sailing Norway, boating through Mexico, or feeling a lump in my throat inside American Adventure. 90 MINUTES???!!!! At $75 per day, and $10 parking, that 90 minute sit is money wasted.

From Rob P
Posted September 4, 2008 at 1:09 AM
We have a favourite view of Illumninations but for a very special reason.

We were at EPCOT in Feb 1996 when Roseanne was being flmed there ( we met John Goodman ! ). When we went over to see the display we were standing next to the stars of the show and the film crew as they filmed it all. I believe it was on that bit in front of Italy on the World Showcase.

We still have the videos of the 2 episodes of Roseanne when they went to Disney. Still hilarious.

From Christina Horwitz
Posted September 4, 2008 at 6:42 AM
We love doing dinner at Rose and Crown and watching it from there. It's a wonderful spot and my 5 year old son has been picked twice for the special experience of the ceremonial starting of the fireworks. He got a certificate to commemorate the experience that was signed by the whole restaurant staff - VERY NICE touch for him!

From Tim W
Posted September 4, 2008 at 1:09 PM
thanks for all your feedback. As you read ive never had a permanent place to watch since the spaces ive been to have never gotten very good views. Honestly i think japan was the worst just because of that annoying watcha-macallit over looking the lake. It's beautiful and all but partially blocks views.

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