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What Time Does the Epcot Ball Light Up?

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The Epcot Ball, also known as Spaceship Earth, is an iconic symbol of Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park. As the sun sets and night falls, the Epcot Ball transforms into a beacon of light, captivating guests with its mesmerizing display. But what time does the Epcot Ball light up? This article provides an in-depth look at the Epcot Ball’s lighting schedule, the technology behind it, and tips for first-time viewers.


The Epcot Ball, also known as Spaceship Earth, lights up at sunset and continues to display various light shows throughout the evening. The exact time varies depending on the season and sunset time. The lighting sequences play approximately every 20 to 30 minutes, with special shows like the Beacons of Light show mode occurring every 15 minutes and running until about 30 minutes after Epcot’s closing time.

When Does the Epcot Ball Light Up?

The exact time when Spaceship Earth lights up varies depending on the time of sunset. The lighting sequences on Spaceship Earth begin at sunset and are held nightly, with different shows rotating throughout the evening. The lighting sequences play approximately every 20 to 30 minutes. To catch the light show, it is recommended to be at Epcot around sunset and keep an eye on Spaceship Earth as the evening progresses.

How Long Does the Epcot Ball Light Show Last?

The illumination of the Epcot Ball features various light shows that occur throughout the evening. Performances typically begin at sunset and repeat approximately every 30 minutes. The Beacons of Light show mode, which showcases different color schemes and patterns, occurs every 15 minutes or so and runs until about 30 minutes after Epcot’s closing time. Other light shows, such as the EPCOT Anthem Show and the EPCOT 40th Anniversary show, have specific start times relative to sunset.

Does the Lighting Time Vary with Seasons or Events?

The lighting time of Spaceship Earth does vary with seasons and events. During special events like the 2022 EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival, unique lighting designs were featured, with the new “Colors of the Wind” sequence playing about three times per hour, approximately every 20 minutes. Spaceship Earth has also featured unique lighting designs for the 50th anniversary Beacons of Magic, the holiday season, and the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts.

The Technology Behind the Epcot Ball Lighting

The Epcot Ball uses a custom, first-of-its-kind programmable LED lighting system designed by Disney Imagineers. The system, known as Points of Light, consists of nearly 2,000 LEDs that are seamlessly integrated into the iconic Spaceship Earth façade. These LEDs are capable of generating more than 30 million lumens of light, equivalent to more than 35,000 standard light bulbs.

Special Light Shows and Effects

As part of Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, the Beacons of Magic light show was introduced, featuring new lights installed between the reflective panels of Spaceship Earth. These lights, resembling stars in a nighttime sky, are permanent and will continue beyond the celebration as a defining feature of the reimagined Epcot.

Tips for First-Time Viewers

If you’re planning to watch the Epcot Ball light up for the first time, here are a few tips:

  1. Arrive early: Secure a good viewing spot by arriving at Epcot well before sunset.
  2. Choose a strategic location: Locations like World Showcase Plaza and the bridge between France and United Kingdom Pavilions offer great views.
  3. Be patient: The light shows run from dusk until after the park’s closing time, giving you plenty of opportunities to catch the spectacle.
  4. Capture the moment: Don’t forget to take a few photos or videos to remember your experience.

With its stunning lighting display, the Epcot Ball offers a visual feast that is nothing short of magical. Whether you’re a first-time viewer or a seasoned Disney park-goer, the Epcot Ball light up is a sight to behold.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to arrive at Epcot to ensure a good viewing spot for the light show?

It’s best to arrive at Epcot a few hours before sunset. This allows you to secure a good viewing spot, and also gives you time to explore the park before the light show begins.

Are the light shows on Spaceship Earth affected by adverse weather conditions?

Yes, the light shows on Spaceship Earth may be delayed or canceled in the event of adverse weather conditions such as thunderstorms. Disney prioritizes the safety of its guests and employees.

Can you see the Epcot Ball light up from outside the park?

While you might catch a glimpse of Spaceship Earth’s light show from outside the park, the best views are definitely from within Epcot itself.

Is there an additional cost to see the Epcot Ball light up?

No, the light show is included with your admission to Epcot. You don’t need to pay any extra to see Spaceship Earth light up.

Are there any restrictions on photography or videography during the light shows?

No, there are no specific restrictions on photography or videography during the light shows. However, Disney encourages guests to be considerate of others when taking photos or videos, particularly when using flash or large equipment that could obstruct others’ views.

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