Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Nightly Burnoff

As anyone who knows me well can tell you, I am a huge fan of the Inferno Barge - the floating platform used to burn over 400 gallons of propane in a fantastic display during the Chaos section of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

So much of a fan (read: geek) that I even went and designed a t-shirt:
Yet my favorite thing about the Inferno Barge is not what takes place during the show, but what happens afterwards. Roughly 75 minutes after the last firework has shone its light over the lagoon and the guests are making their way to their buses and cars, the Inferno Barge puts on a show of its own: the Burnoff.

The Burnoff occurs out of necessity: it is during this time that the excess propane is burned off in one gigantic fireball to allow for the Barge's safe return backstage. Originally, the Burnoff occurred without warning, as just another "post-show cleanup" event. Yet at this time of night, there are still guests in the park (mostly those leaving the restaurants). There was an incident of a woman calling 911 after witnessing the Burnoff thinking Epcot was under an attack. After that, an announcement was made over the speakers to warn guests that what they were about to see was both intentional and controlled.

In usual Disney fashion however, they take a normal event to a new level and actually have a countdown, in New Year's Eve fashion, to the explosion.

Next time you're in the park, you might want to find yourself around the lagoon to watch this fun event. It's worth the wait.