I was lucky enough to spend Independence Day at Epcot this year. Due to Disney’s Limited Time Magic promotion, I was able to see the Magic Kingdom’s “Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky” earlier in the week as well as the other festivities available. Today, though, I ventured to Epcot, and boy was I in for a treat!
Image: The Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps Celebrating America in Epcot
Epcot just seems like the right place to celebrate America’s birthday. The American pavilion in World Showcase was dressed up in stars and stripes and even more stunning than usual. Patriotic awnings and beautiful red, white, and blue flowers were everywhere. I spent a good amount of my time here due to all of the special events.
Image: The American Adventure in Epcot
One of the first spots I visited was The American Adventure. The building itself is a colonial-style mansion reminiscent of Independence Hall, Boston’s Old State House, Monticello, and Colonial Williamsburg. Inside, guests will find inspiring quotes from famous Americans lining the halls; Walt Disney is one of them. Leading upstairs to the theater is a collection of flags representing the United States over time.
Image: Flags representing America’s history hang proudly inside The American Adventure.
The show itself tells the story of our country and all that has gone into its progress. Audio-animatronics representing Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, Susan B. Anthony, and more are featured. Similarly, a 72″ projection screen shares images of historic American events. Some of the film is even combined with more animatronic figures to tell the stories of The Boston Tea Party, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, and so on. This was a great reminder of all our country has gone through since its birth and definitely a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday.
Images: Scenes of America’s Heritage
Another highlight of the day was seeing a concert by Voices of Liberty, an a capella group that regularly performs just inside The American Adventure lobby. Today though, they held special performances in The American Gardens Theater during the day. Instead of their typical colonial attire, the group wore more modern outfits in red, white, and blue. As usual, they were inspiring to all those in attendance. Songs performed included “America the Beautiful,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and more. At many times during the show, the entire audience stood and saluted the flag, sang along, and clapped for veterans in attendance. I saw many tears shed by those overcome with emotion during the group’s concert. However, the audience was all smiles at the end of the show when Mickey and the gang surprised us all!
Images: Voices of Liberty Concert
The show led into a processional of Epcot’s Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps. The group sang a few more songs and spoke about the greatness of our nation. They even asked for some young volunteers to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Images: A crowd gathers to celebrate America and salute the flag.
In addition to the official entertainment provided by Disney, it was fun to see everyone dressed in a variety of patriotic outfits. I hadn’t noticed this at Disney’s Hollywood Studios last Fourth of July, so this was nice to view. Many park guests had red, white, and blue t-shirts. Others had star necklaces, hats, and the like on. Still, a few went a bit more extreme…
Image: A park guest shows off his patriotic spirit and even poses with others as he travels the World Showcase.
All in all, Epcot has an amazing line-up for July 4th, and I’m glad that I picked this park to celebrate in. While Magic Kingdom is currently filled to capacity, Epcot has plenty of room to absorb the crowds plus a lot to offer for entertainment. Check back here later for my coverage of the nighttime activities including Illuminations: Reflections of Earth featuring The Heartbeat of Freedom finale!
Tonight’s Fourth of July entertainment was wonderful! As a part of the Sounds Like Summer concert series this year, a well-known Bon Jovi tribute band called Slippery When Wet performed. I was stunned at the likeness of the band’s lead singer when compared to Jovi himself. His clothing, voice, and mannerisms were very similar; he even chewed gum during the show just like the true star! The audience packed in to see the band, and I enjoyed hearing fan favorites. Rock ‘n’ Roll is a part of America’s history after all!
Images: Slippery When Wet Performs at Epcot
After the show, guests began searching for spots around the World Showcase lagoon to watch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Fireworks are traditional for this holiday, and Disney definitely did it right tonight. The original show was extended tonight to include patriotic hymns and lots of red, white, and blue. The infamous LED globe that appears nightly during Illuminations was even decked out in stars and stripes.
If you’re wondering where to spend Independence Day next year, definitely consider Epcot. The entertainment, atmosphere, and nightly shows are worth a trip. I know I am definitely glad that I made this decision and think you will be too. Happy Fourth of July!
Category: Disney World