The spectacular cosmic explosion which begins the show is made possible through the use of Disney’s patented Air Launch Fireworks (ALF) technology. 1,105 shells are fired during each show. Two special floating fireworks effects were created specifically for the show: Starfield Effect and Floating Torches. The effects in the show include a unique palette of colors featuring: mint green, pumpkin orange, lagoon blue and lavender.
Shell types: comets, candles, mines, shells, tailed shells, crossettes, scattering bees, whistles, reports/salutes, ground effects, floaters.
The three photos from China fireworks companies are from home videos recorded during a trip to three of China’s most famous fireworks manufacturers in February 1999: Hop Kee Pyrotechnics Ltd. on February 9, 1999; Mantsuna Fireworks on February 10, 1999, and SUNNY Fireworks on February 11, 1999. Workers in China assemble aerial firework shells for delivery to Disney in Orlando, Florida to be used in Epcot’s Illumination: Reflections of Earth.
The first photograph, below, shows workers in China assembling aerial firework shells.
The second photograph shows racks of firework shells awaiting packaging and shipment to Disney in Orlando, Florida for EPCOT’s Illumination: Reflections of Earth.
The third photo shows firework shells headed to the U.S. One of thousands of boxes of fireworks headed for Disney in Orlando. The reverse of the box reads: “Keep flame away.”.
Don Dorsey is currently in his twenty-eighth year as audio production consultant, and seventeenth year as a designer and director of fireworks and night time spectacular shows (including Laserphonic Fantasy, IllumiNations and Sorcery in the Sky) for Disney theme parks. For seventeen years he served as the main audio recording and post-production engineer for the Entertainment Division of the Disneyland Park, manning console knobs and faders for recording sessions with Mickey and his cohorts, and for musical groups which ran the gamut from bagpipes, steel drums and accordion to marching band, 100-voice choir and symphony orchestra. His electronic arrangements and performances for Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade have been heard by an estimated 100 million Disney park guests around the world. Don continues to develop new entertainment projects and technology for Disney parks around the world, and in 1999 created and directed the new nighttime show for Epcot, Reflections of Earth, to celebrate the new Millennium.
ABOVE: Individuals who played roles in the creation of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth Millennium reunited at EPCOT on September 30, 2009, for a 10 year reunion of the premiere of Reflections of Earth on September 30, 1999. This is the group photo of all those present.
To the dismay of all who have been touched by Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, the final performance was on September 30, 2019. Thirty eight members of the team who created and produced this spectacular nightly event gathered one last time to watch the final showing together.
Back Row: Martin Collins, David Connelly, Norm Lesmerises, Rich Taylor, Jerold Kaplan, Doug Dixon, Scott Stephan, Jay Neal, Steve Felder, Frank Alberson, Steve Eckwielen, Bill Wiedefeld, David Hynds, Brian Evans.
Middle Row: Tamara Frost, Ed Glowacki, Joe Kivett, Kyle Poor, Syme Jago, John Haupt, Eric Tucker, Gavin Greenaway, Don Dorsey, Steve Skorija, Phil Baker, Oliver Peters, Laurie Padden Jordan, Bettina Buckley, Ron Logan.
Front Row: Bernie Durgin, Kellie Coffey, Jimmy Wallace, Craig Jenest, Steve Zimmerman, Craig Stickler, Kenneth Montgomery, Lori LaFrance, David Stephens.
Left to right: Don Dorsey (Dorsey Productions, Inc.), Frank and Diane Alberson, Oliver Peters, Allison and Ken Montgomery, Craig Stickler.
One of the most touching aspects of Reflections of Earth is the song, “Promise,” lyrics by Don Dorsey, music by Gavin Greenaway, sung by Kellie Coffey. This song spoke to the future of our world as we began “another thousand circles round the sun” in the new Millennium. It immediately found it’s way into wedding ceremonies and the hearts of all who heard it in the stillness of the night at EPCOT. A copy of the sheet music was signed by all those who worked on the production gathering together for the last time at the 2019 reunion.