Will Harmonious Be Worth It?
When the closure of Illuminations Reflections of Earth was announced, long-time EPCOT fans were sad and worried about the new show. The show was still popular after its 20 year run nightly on the World Showcase lagoon and although the new show Harmonious was promised to be a huge spectacle, there was concern.
At that time, nobody would have expected a global pandemic and all of the changes to Walt Disney World (and indeed, our world) that comes with it.
Now that the barges are starting to clog up the lagoon and testing is well underway, we get to see it take shape. The question is will the show be worth it? And by it, I mean the "stargate" and "space tacos" (the barges) on permanent display in the lagoon.
The truth is, we don't know.
For those who missed out on the announcements, Harmonious is a new nightly show at EPCOT, that was expected to have large barges floated in each afternoon (now they are permanently moored due to their size and the complexity in set-up). The show will have water displays (nicknamed the "stargate"), led projection screens (nicknamed the "space tacos"), and laser and fireworks displays re-telling stories (using Disney IP) from around the world.
The show itself sounds promising (although I'm also going to miss Illuminations), but, it's important to remember that it's 15-30 minutes long at the end of the day and we're now stuck with the large barges in the lagoon that block photos and sightlines of the World Showcase pavilions from the lagoon. Water displays set-up have failed to really block the view of the barges during the day thus far and may never solve the problem of large objects scattered in the lagoon that are unpleasing to the eye.
That said, we still have yet to see the show. It may be spectacular and well worth the eyesores. I think Disney deserves some credit with their ability to create really good nighttime shows. As well, I'm sure Disney Imagineers are hard at work trying to come with ways of "hiding" the barges with water displays, and may decide in the end to move some (if not all) of the barges from the lagoon if they prove too unsightly for guests.
With the expense of the show, competition in the theme park business increasing, and the need to come up with something that will work for guests, time will tell. If not, they may just need to have a short run of the show and work on something new that will please their guests. If you look at many of the changes happening as part of the EPCOT transformation, they've been fantastic so far so, we all need to be patient to see if they've whiffed or hit the ball out of the park.
Either way, it will be interesting to see what new nighttime magic the Imagineers have come up with.