Disney World is a place where things are always changing, but it’s also a place where people go to feel nostalgic. Those two things frequently clash whenever something new arrives in the parks, especially when it replaces something that was beloved. Last night the much hyped Harmonious nighttime spectacular finally debuted at Epcot, and fans are quite strongly divided. Some loved the new show, while others really did not.
The first performance of Harmonious, was livestreamed, so you didn’t have to be at Epcot to see it, but that of course meant there were a lot more opinions regarding the show. To be sure. Many people thought it was a beautiful performance.
Harmonious is a technological marvel! An absolutely stunning mix of fireworks, video, lights and music. A simply amazing and beautiful show. The Coco segment was definitely the highlight for us!#DisneyWorld #Epcot #HARMONIOUS pic.twitter.com/6beTaGgP2qSeptember 30, 2021
The show is built around three large barges that have been setup inside World Showcase Lagoon for months. When they first arrived many called them an eye sore, because they are permanently in position, making them large black edifices that do nothing most of the day. However, now all is forgiven, because seeing them in action is worth it.
FOR EVERYBODY THAT COMPLAINED about the BARGES FOR HARMONIOUS, I DONT EVER WANT TO HEAR A WORD! IM IN LOVE WITH THIS SHOW & I need to SEE IT IN PERSON!September 30, 2021
Unfortunately, not everybody loved the show quite that much. Theme park journalist Carlye Wisel found Harmonious to be ultimately a disappointment with visuals that just didn’t live up to what we know Disney, and Disney World are capable of producing.
It PAINS me to say this, but Harmonious was so disappointing. Using massive barges to play computer graphics when Disney has the world’s best animation at its fingertips is jarring and strange. It doesn’t feel Epcot, it doesn’t really feel Disney and I’m…shocked, to be honest. pic.twitter.com/XE1kxx1WjqSeptember 30, 2021
Others found the show to have no coherent story. Considering how important story is to Disney in all things, Harmonious seemed to be simply a collection of Disney songs vaguely strung together.
So I’m watching #Harmonious and so far it’s just… a bunch of random Disney songs sung in different languages? No particular transitions. Just a bunch of songs. pic.twitter.com/w0WGtJ50KZSeptember 30, 2021
One of the biggest strikes against Harmonious out of the gate was that it was designed to replace Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, a nighttime spectacular that lasted two decades, and made many fans in that time. Harmonious is definitely a much more “Disney” show, and so in the eyes of many it misses what Illuminations had.
I’m being 100% serious: “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” made me excited to be a human being on this planet. I like EPCOT because I want to appreciate and be inspired by the worldwide human accomplishment and achievement.But Harmonious can’t even dream of fulfilling that.September 30, 2021
There were others who saw Harmonious as a very worthy successor to Illuminations. Harmonious contains a lot of popular Disney music, but in new arrangements, including much of it sung in multiple languages. This was the story of Harmonious.
...to solve some of the greatest challenges we face in this century. Our world is more divided than ever and it's never been more important for us to see our differences as our superpowers as people. Music is a universal language––heard, felt, and understood by people across...September 30, 2021
However, if there was one thing about Harmonious that most everybody was on board with last night, it was Spaceship Earth. The geodesic sphere was illuminated for the first time for the public last night as part of Harmonious and people fell in love with it.
The ball is lit!!!!!! #epcot #HARMONIOUS pic.twitter.com/ayABzvmRIoSeptember 30, 2021
Which is not to say that there wasn’t some constructive criticism regarding how the sphere could have been used, and honestly, this is a pretty awesome idea.
Disney missed a MASSIVE opportunity to have Spaceship Earth light up as the Earth with the new points of light at the end of Harmonious. Making it into a 180ft tall Illuminations globe for the finale. #HarmoniousNot too late to add it at some point! pic.twitter.com/AhD7aPeuvCSeptember 30, 2021
While the live stream was very well produced, there was certainly a feeling from some that “you had to be there” to really appreciate Harmonious, although some of those that didn’t love it were absolutely there. This was called a “preview” of the show, and the possibility of updates and running changes certainly exists. Sometimes these shows take time to grow on people. Maybe love for Harmonious will increase as time goes on.
Next up for Disney World is another big change to another much loved show. Tonight Disney World will livestream Enchantment, the new fireworks show replacing the popular Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom. Fans are sure to have feelings there as well.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.