If you haven’t heard by now, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth will soon come to an end. As a result of illuminations ending, this got me thinking about the Tapestry of Nations parade. Illuminations and Tapestry of Nations were a part of the millennium celebration at Disney. They both debuted at EPCOT in October of 1999. Y2K anyone?
In the primitive year of 1999, I did not have a mobile phone or camera. Consequently, I scoured the internet for more information. I do believe I’ve spent more researching this than my English term paper back in 1999. lol
If you’ve seen Illuminations, undoubtedly you’ve heard some of my all-time favorite park music, the soundtrack for Tapestry of Nations. The music for Tapestry of Nations can be heard after the fireworks show, usually on when you’re headed back home for the night.
Above all, Tapestry of Nations was a celebration of all peoples and nations. The parade consisted of 120 puppets which were designed by Michael Curry. Interestingly enough, some of the puppets reached up to 18′ in height and width. Interestingly enough, Mr. Curry also designed the puppets for The Lion King on Broadway.
Due to the massive size of the puppets, the materials and fabrics had to be very light. Most importantly to make sure everything would hold up, the fabric and materials were tested in a special climate chamber with a lot of light exposure. Once again confirming the attention to detail at Disney is bar none. One of the many reasons I continue to be a frequent park guest!
You could see the parade from anywhere in the world showcase and it lasted around 30 minutes. The narrator of the parade was called “The Sage of Time”. While leading the procession, he was meant to represent all people at once. Interestingly enough, the Sage of Time reached an impressive 14′ tall.
There were 8 different types of other puppets. Among those were the aptly named bird man and hammer man.
One of my favorites was the reverse marionette. You can see just how larget these puppets were in the picture below.
In addition to the puppets, there were 15 rolling percussion “floats”. The percussion instruments on the floats were meant to be played by the performers.
The parade ran twice, once during the day and once in the evening. And finally, the Tapestry of Nations ended September 9, 2001. Illuminations: Reflections of earth is scheduled to end somewhere in the second half of 2019.
Did you get a chance to see the parade? Would you like to see another parade at EPCOT? Leave a comment below and let me know! Stay Magical, Y’all.
Information cited from Lampert-Greaux, Puppet Master, Entertainment Design, November 1999 pages 47-50 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapestry_of_Nations