Harmonious @ EPCOT officially premiered on Oct 1, 2021 as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Walt Disney World. The twenty minute show takes you around the world through Disney film and music. This multimedia show utilizing large LED screens, water projections, lasers, and fireworks. The show is a large large production on World Showcase Lagoon with viewing from around the entire perimeter. To give a sense of the scale of the show, the four two sided LED screens are 25 feet high by 88 feet long. The center projection screen is five stories tall. The eight arms that move around during the show are 54 feet long each.
Here are some clips of the show Disney Released:
During my December 2021 visit I stopped by EPCOT each evening to catch the show and I was able to view it from six different locations over the seven nights. I wanted to see how the show experience varied by location. On the park map below I indicated roughly where I watched each day with the D1-D7 labels.
The experience is slightly different in each location due to your distance from the screens and viewing angle. Also your audio experience can vary greatly. One of the highlights of the show is the impressive sound track. It features 15 songs representing 13 languages. It took 240 artists from around the world more then 110 recording sessions to creates. The Harmonious soundtrack is available for digital purchase. Unfortunately in most viewing locations the sound is blasted straight at you from outdoor speakers. You do not really get an immersive audio feel at all and cannot really pick up on the details of the tracks usually.
I waited no more than 20 minutes for any location, usually walking up and standing several rows back right about show time. I am just over six feet tall so this approach worked well but if you are shorter it may mean you want to wait longer to enhance your view.
A question I have been asked a number of times is where is the best spot to view Harmonious. Just as with the previous show, Illuminations, Reflections of Earth, there is no simple answer to this unfortunately. The top tip I give everyone is to pay attention to the wind. You always want to be upwind of the show. No matter how good your sight line is if you have smoke in your face or firework debris raining down on you it is not a pleasant experience. The second is be aware of your group. Do you have kids or shorter members? You want to make sure everyone can see the LED screens and fireworks. So be aware of your surroundings and look at the screens and trees/buildings that may obstruct your views of the screens and fireworks. The optimal angle to see most of the effects is between Port of Entry and Disney Traders shops. On the South side near Italy and between the American Adventure/Japan you can see the screens and center projections well.
Below are some thoughts, pictures and video clips from the locations I experienced in December 2021.
D1 – Between the Friendship dock and bridge to Mexico
From this angle you could see most of the center projections and an occasional laser/projection effect but most of the time you could not make out the enhancements.
D2 & D3 – The bridge near the International Gateway
You are 90 degrees off show center and about as far away as you can get from the screens. This led to a much wider field of view and experience. I found myself watching the fireworks more and looking at the overall effect of the fountains. You could still see the LED screens ok but you could not see the center projection screen at all nor any of the laser/projection effects.
D4 – Behind the reserved area near Italy on the American Adventure Side
A clear view of the backside of center projection screen but the laser effects were not visible. I had wanted to try the area closer to the water but there seems to be events held in that space more evenings than not. This evening there was a fairly small wedding reception so there was plenty of openings to see the show even from this distance back from the water.
After the show this evening I tried some other spots to view the show… here is a post show clip from near the American Garden Theater on the west side toward Japan.
D5 – Near the American Gardens Theater across from the Funnel Cake Stand
From this vantage point you have a clear view of the back of the center water screen. Fireworks are a mixed bag with trees in the area depending on where you are. The laser effects were not visible.
Here are some post show clips from this location –
D6 – Across from the Refreshment Port
From this angle I was able to see most of the effects but the audio was the worst of any location I watched from. The primary speaker in the torch was so loud and distorted it sounded like a car lot speaker at times. On the plus side this was the best view of most of the laser/projection effects I had during my visit.
D7 – Near Disney Traders
From this vantage point you could see many of the lasers/additional effects and the center projection screen was clear.
- Due to a stage being set up for the holidays the show center viewing area was basically unusable. You could see the center ring but that was about it from the location so I opted not to watch from there.
- The area I preferred to watch Illuminations from near the Port of Entry shop was roped off every night for an expanded area for guests with disabilities.
- A number of areas are not available around the lagoon due to merchandise kiosks and food marketplaces
- On the bridge near the International Gateway cast members were not allowing guests to stand along the far side of the bridge opposite the water. Some people liked to lean against that vs being in the crowd and that was not an option the two times I was there. You were asked to cross the center line to watch the show and the other half of the bridge was walkway only.
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