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January 2, 2001

Disney Extends Epcot's Millennium Celebration Shows

Lake Buena Vista, FL -- Walt Disney World has decided that some celebrations are too good to end. It's smash-hit, smile-making entertainment from the 10-month, record-breaking Millennium Celebration is being extended indefinetely at Epcot.

That means the moving spectacle of "Tapestry of Nations" and the sky-filling fireworks-and-laser dazzler, "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth," won't end when the year 2000 does. After entertaining millions of Epcot guests, both spectaculars will be continued so millions more can experience them, announced Karl Holz, vice president of Epcot.

"Response to these two shows has been phenomenal," Holz said. "Our guests told their friends who told other friends. Their message became clear: don't bring the curtain down on these smash hits.

"That's welcome news to those who weren't able to make our millennium celebration or for those guests who did attend and want to come back for an encore."

Tapestry of Nations

Performed to the sounds of an Emmy Award-winning musical score, "Tapestry of Nations" is performed twice daily around World Showcase Lagoon. Puppets soaring nearly 20 feet tall and maneuvered by performers dressed in elaborate costumes follow the World Showcase Promenade dancing, enchanting and interacting with Epcot guests. The colorful puppets are joined by gigantic percussion units, designed to resemble colossal timepieces in an unforgettable celebration of the diversity and splendor of our world.

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

This dazzling nightly finale on and above World Showcase Lagoon is filled with the fiery glow of torches, high-energy music, lasers and booming fireworks. The sky transforms into a kaleidoscope of colorful pyrotechnic bursts. Comets streak across the sky as video images are displayed on the giant Earth Globe, the floating centerpiece of "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth." Then, the sphere blossoms like a flower, revealing a brilliant ball of fire. Dreams of hope for a better tomorrow are cast as the music builds, lasers shoot skyward, fireworks light the night and flames leap across the surface of the lagoon.

That's not all. Starting Jan. 1, 2001, work begins on changing out the "2000" crowning the famed Epcot icon, Spaceship Earth. In its place: the gloved hand and star-topped magical wand of Sorcerer Mickey will hold an exciting new and more permanent symbol. The name "Epcot" will be dramatically spelled out, script-style, in 250,000 glittering eye-catchers, accompanied by "starfetti" crowning Spaceship Earth. Glowing at night in festive red lights, "Epcot" will be visible for miles. The makeover should be completed in spring 2001.

The popular Millennium Village, a pavilion created especially for the millennium celebration, ends its successful run on Jan. 1, 2001, after 15 months as a World Showcase celebration of countries and cultures. Guests were treated to exhibits from 24 countries ranging from a Brazilian rainforest to the four seasons of Sweden, as well as a marketplace of artisans from around the globe and stirring performances by more than 65 international groups. As planned, the space will become a convention and meeting facility opening in the spring of 2001.

"By any measure, our millennium celebration was a huge success," said Holz. "We will continue the fun and spirit of that celebration right into the new year.