The new nighttime spectacular, "Luminous The Symphony of Us" made its debut last night (December 5) at EPCOT. The show runs for approximately 16 minutes and features an array of fireworks, fountains, lasers, lighting effects and features songs from the popular Disney films; Tangled, Enchanted, Frozen, Coco, Tarzan, Coco, Toy Story and Aladdin.
You can see the full show for yourself in the video posted to YouTube by DIS which is embedded below. First reactions appear to be very positive, with many saying it is a step up from Harmonious and Walt Disney would approve. If asked, is it the best it could be? Many would say no but it is definitely impressing majority of Disney fans so far which is great to see.
Yesterday (December 4), Disney posted a new video showing a behind the scenes look at the new nighttime spectacular which includes footage of the 6 large barges being driven into place. All 6 barges will be movable and brought out each evening ready for the performance of “Luminous The Symphony of Us" leaving the lagoon free of barges in the day. The permanent fixture of the large barges used for Harmonious was one of the major criticisms of the show.
In an interesting photo posted to Twitter by Bioreconstruct at the beginning of November, we got to see the 6 barges in position in the middle of the World Showcase Lagoon ready for rehearsals after park closure. On one of the sides of the barges you can see a scrim showing a section of the earth on it.
Aerial look at the 6 Luminous barges staged for show rehearsal. Show rehearsals are after EPCOT has closed to park guests.— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) November 4, 2023
There's also sighting of a scrim on one of the barges. Scrim is printed with a portion of an Earth globe.
Seen at the dock in center of Showcase Lagoon. pic.twitter.com/n6EDuvNX9G
A couple of months ago, Disney released a video revealing a taster of the stunning music which is included in the new show.
At the end of September, we had been tracking the progress on the World Showcase Lagoon with the construction of new barges and a hexagonal platform. According to a new aerial photo posted to Twitter by Bioreconstruct, we can begin to see how these barges will likely appear on the lagoon for the new “Luminous The Symphony of Us".
Seems like the new blue barges for Luminous will be tied to the recently added hexagon platform in Showcase Lagoon.— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) September 25, 2023
1,2 barge end tied against pilings like these
3 barge tied at side against piling like this
4 platform for cast member transfer to hexagon pic.twitter.com/8ZtfuH1UGT
We already knew that these 6 barges would be movable so when they are not being used for “Luminous The Symphony of Us" they would be removed, leaving the World Showcase Lagoon free from the eyesore which hindered Harmonious.
Four barges had been constructed at the end of August as can be seen in the photo below.
Aerial look at 4 recently built movable barges. Each has a pair of outboard motors, at the ends of the U.— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) August 26, 2023
These are being developed for a new fireworks show in EPCOT.
As seen the EPCOT backstage marina. pic.twitter.com/YVDcGM9l2O
24 floating square platforms were also constructed, these are speculated to be used in a row at the center of 6 movable show barges. The key point to note is that these 6 barges will not be permanent and can be brought out daily.
Aerial look at the staging area for a collection of floating square platforms. There were 24 staged here earlier.— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) August 26, 2023
It seems like 4 of these squares will be in a row at center of 6 movable show barges of the EPCOT fireworks show in development. pic.twitter.com/e2snA4F3Wd
The photo below gives more context.
In this aerial photo of 4 recently built show barges:— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) August 26, 2023
1 Barge #5 being built
2 A floating square, seen being built earlier
3,4,5,6 Additional floating squares
24 squares seen earlier. Likely 4 per barge, 6 barges. pic.twitter.com/36DPWrFttd
The news of a new nighttime show to replace Harmonious was officially confirmed at D23 Expo’s Parks panel in September 2022 where it was also revealed that this new show is expected to debut in 2023 and will be part of the park-wide celebrations for Disney’s 100 Years of Wonder. Few other details were revealed about what this new nighttime show will entail, though as well as debuting as part of the 100th anniversary of the Disney brand, the show's expected release will see it also serve as a celebration of EPCOT’s 40th anniversary.
A photo and some further details were released regarding what we can expect from this new spectacular back in March. From the image embedded below in a tweet by reporter, Scott Gustin, we can see lights, fountains and fireworks and it is currently described as follows:
"The show will feature an original composition and evocative selections from the Disney songbook – all woven together to remind us that we are more alike than different."
NEW: Here's a first look at the all-new EPCOT nighttime spectacular coming later this year.— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) March 15, 2023
"The show will feature an original composition and evocative selections from the Disney songbook – all woven together to remind us that we are more alike than different." pic.twitter.com/YqqpRj6lSd
We are yet to hear if drones will be included. There has been speculation surrounding this after Disneyland Paris used over 500 drones in their new Avengers: Power The Night nighttime show which debuted on January 28 at Walt Disney Studios Park and ran through May 8 as part of the finale to Disneyland Paris' 30th celebrations.
Harmonious’ place among Walt Disney World’s ever-evolving entertainment line-up has been a notable topic of conversation amongst parks fans, with some feeling that the new show is not a worthy replacement for its predecessor, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, which had been enchanting guests at EPCOT since 1999.
However, Harmonious was, unfortunately, met with some apprehension and criticism before it even debuted, as its presence meant that World Showcase Lagoon was subsequently filled with a number of somewhat imposing barges that remain on full view even during the day-time.
This overall lacklustre feeling towards Harmonious has meant that parks fans are likely to be equal parts excited and cautious over the upcoming new nighttime spectacular coming to EPCOT later this year. It is not known whether Disney’s plans for Harmonious always meant that it would only run until 2023, or whether the disappointing response from guests has spurred on this swift change.
Harmonious had its last show on April 2. EPCOT Forever returned on April 3, to fill in the gap until the new nighttime spectacular debuts later this year. EPCOT Forever originally debuted on October 1, 2019 to bridge the gap between the closure of Reflections of Earth and opening of Harmonious on September 29, 2021.
Were you sad to see Harmonious go? Are you excited by the announcement of "Luminous The Symphony of Us"? What would you like to see from the new nighttime spectacular coming to EPCOT later this year? Let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.