Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration has brought many new sources of magic to the Florida Resort.
From Disney Enchantment and the returning Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom, to Beacons of Magic and beautiful golden Fab 5o Character Collection sculptures, Guests have had a lot to look forward to on their next Disney World vacation.
One of these exciting entertainment offerings was the brand new nighttime show Harmonious at EPCOT.
Harmonious debuted on October 1 as part of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration, or “The World’s Most Magical Celebration”. The fireworks show is one of the largest ever created by Disney, and replaced the beloved Illuminations: Reflections of Earth that ran for 20 years at the theme park.
Harmonious celebrates beautifully the cultures and stories that have inspired classic Disney movies, with iconic Disney songs performed in various languages and remixes. But sometimes, a good view of the show can be hard to find.
Bob Chapek, then-chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products and now controversial Disney CEO, developed Harmonious to showcase the Disney stories and songs that have inspired and empowered the world.
We love the unique and reimagined Disney visuals and music – tracks that are sung by over 240 musicians, composers, arrangers, and vocalists from nine countries. Harmonious is divided into three chapters: “Gather”, “Celebrate”, and “Unite”, and features scenes from Moana (2016), Coco (2017), The Lion King (1994), and our personal favorite, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
The show uses pyrotechnics, water fountains, lasers, searchlights, and LED screens to present a 360° audio-visual experience on the theme park’s World Showcase Lagoon. Guests have debated the new addition of floating barges that are permanently moored at the center of the lagoon, with the previous barges of Illuminations being less prominent in the water.
These permanent moorings have led many Disney Guests to compare the two shows, with some commenting on how the fixed screens in the water prevent the nighttime spectacular from being truly a 360° experience.
These barges remain in the World Showcase Lagoon, and we’ve heard some Guests call them “eyesores” because they “block the view of the pavilions and aren’t in keeping with Imagineers’ work in EPCOT.”
You may know that because The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror building is so tall, you can see it when crossing the bridge that leads to Mexico in EPCOT’s World Showcase. Imagineers designed the attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to blend into the Moroccan theming, giving the Tower of Terror a paint job and style that wasn’t exactly accurate to 1930’s Hollywood just for the sake of blending into the background of this World Showcase.
The barges and screens mean that in certain spots around the lagoon, these tricks and visuals are not visible. Along with the vast number of trees and obstacles, finding a good spot to watch Harmonious can be tricky.
If you want one of the best spots to get a full and clear view of the nighttime show, head to EPCOT Landing between the United Kingdom and France Pavilions.
While crossing the bridge, head down the stairs towards the lower areas, and you’ll find an amazing panoramic view of the show (including Spaceship Earth), along with a – usually – quiet area.
We turned up to this lower seating area 10 minutes before Harmonious started, and managed to stand right behind the fencing. The views were spectacular, and definitely justified the rushed walk from Soarin’ to EPCOT Landing!
To the left of the landing, nearest to the U.K. Pavilion, is where the private fireworks cruises sit, so you know it’s a good view! Guests doing these private boat rides can enjoy a fireworks cruise aboard a 25-foot boat starting at $399 plus tax for up to 10 people.
The show’s primary equipment and barges are known as the “compass”, named due to its positioning on the World Showcase Lagoon. Four of these barges hold arc-shaped and double-sided LED screens that measure 25 feet high and 88 feet long – so pretty huge!
Fun fact: each Harmonious barge is named after the nearest intersecting World Showcase pavilion! There is Mexico (pointing northeast), Germany (southeast), Canada (northwest), and France (southwest). The centerpiece holds a six-story tall ring structure where a water curtain, moving lights, and several water fountains are installed.
So, next time you’re scrambling to find a good spot along the shores of World Showcase Lagoon to see Harmonious, head to EPCOT Landing between the U.K. and France Pavillions!
More on Harmonious at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World describes the nighttime spectacular below:
Watch the World Come Together
The heart of the Epcot transformation comes to life with Harmonious, one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for Disney Parks. The show is a beautifully crafted medley of classic Disney music and visuals reinterpreted by a culturally diverse group of 240 artists from all around the world. Come and be dazzled by all of it as you discover how Disney music and stories have the power to inspire and unite us all, overcoming any language or border.
This magnificent new show brings to World Showcase Lagoon an innovative combination of floating giant screens, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers in a 360-degree view. Enter amazing worlds inspired by Moana, Aladdin, Coco, Brave, The Lion King, Mulan, The Princess and the Frog and other classic stories. Colorful images and effects dance and change as Harmonious weaves familiar Disney music and stories together in brand-new ways. Through unique perspectives as diverse as the world itself, Disney songs hop from language to language as the show brings people from different parts of the world together to unlock the magic of possibility.
Harmonious is a brilliant centerpiece to The World’s Most Magical Celebration—celebrating the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort.