Disney has experienced its share of controversies over the past years.
Within the parks alone, controversial changes have been made when it comes to rides (removing some and replacing them with new attractions), photos (adding in automated photo boxes at certain PhotoPass locations), and fireworks (removing fan-favorite fireworks shows much to the dismay of those loyal followers). But soon, some hugely controversial things in EPCOT will be going AWAY.
What is the one thing that nearly EVERYONE hates in EPCOT? We’ll give you a hint — it’s what some consider to have been the UGLIEST EPCOT transformation. If you guessed the Harmonious barges, you’d be…RIGHT!
But now we’ve got HUGE news about those barges!
During the D23 Expo in 2022, Disney announced that EPCOT would be getting a NEW nighttime spectacular in 2023. We now know that April 2nd, 2023 will be the LAST performance of Harmonious in the park, and EPCOT Forever will then return to the park on April 3rd while Disney prepares for the new show.
But what will happen with the Harmonious barges? Disney revealed that they would be conducting a phased removal of fireworks platforms following the end of Harmonious. And we were able to confirm that yes, this means the Harmonious barges are being REMOVED!
What exactly is a “Harmonious barge” you ask? Well, as part of the 50th Anniversary, EPCOT got a brand new fireworks show — Harmonious. Many of the show’s main elements come from the barges that were placed in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon.
These barges house special effects for the show including custom-built LED panels, moving fountains, lights and lasers, and some pyrotechnics. And yeah, the center one sort of looks like a weird alien spaceship.
Many fans have complained about these barges because they block the view across World Showcase Lagoon to the other countries.
The barges were set to have fountain effects during the day, which would have perhaps improved their appearance. While we saw the fountains testing, the fountain daytime look never became a true reality for these.
Instead, we mainly saw them feature 50th Anniversay displays or other things of the like.
But it seems like the barges will be disappearing in the near future, once Harmonious comes to an end. Remember this is set to be a phased removal, so it could take some time before these barges are fully removed. We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for more details on that and let you know what we find! Stay tuned for the latest news.
For more fireworks updates, check out the posts below:
Click here for more about the return of EPCOT Forever!
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What do you think about this change? Tell us in the comments!
Not a moment too soon! I’ll look forward to seeing the lagoon without the erector set in the middle of it!
This is Huge, I NEVER thought this would happen. The money they spent on those tacos, missile launch, stargate system, and now toss it to the curb. WOW.
I’m happy, and unsettled.
I loved Illuminations music.
I liked the idea of EPCOT Forever with its music and theming. However it felt cheap and unfinished.
Harmonious all though a great show didn’t do anything for me. Every night except 1 I’d usually reserve for Epcot Illuminations. We would leave early or not go at all for Harmonious.
Some of it started to grow on me. I was worried they would try to make it like Disneyland World of Color – projections on the water – sorry that is hard for me to make out on that canvas.
Now we are going back to EPCOT Forever – which now I’m realizing in my selfishness, it is not a great show for people who have never been to EPCOT, as I had been almost every year for the last 45 years. I knew what they were presenting – others will not pick up on what they are seeing/hearing and just think ugh this is old, it sounds like from the 80’s and 90’s. It will sound hokey to the non-previous visitors.
And how do I trust after the 2 shows they put out and now removing, the next show at EPCOT will be any good.
You know what was good – the New Years EVE Fireworks at EPCOT – that was EPIC and incorporated what makes up EPCOT, the countries and people around the WORLD.
Maybe they will move those contraptions to Animal Kingdom – now that is the perfect place and they could do a GREAT show with them there.
Oh this makes me so happy!! One of my favorite things to do as a photographer is take photos from various sides of the lagoon and those huge floating blockers have made it a bit of a bummer. I totally understand that they want to give us a wonderful evening spectacular, and I will always applaud the imagineers creative ways try and accomplish it; however, them announcing the removal so vocally also means they have been listening to us. Thank you Disney for listening!!
June W says
Wow! They finally did something right!
Jennifer Hulst says
So haven’t been to Epcot for quite a while but yeah those barges were huge and ugly! My idea for them is to not totally scrap them because so much money went into them. So what happens if they make adjustments to them and find a different use. What about using them for a part of the electric water parade? Or what about putting them into the lake that they did that Kite Tales thing in over at Animal Kingdom? They could make a night show over there and get some evening use out of that water and seating space. Just some random thoughts but thank God they are being removed from that lovely world showcase!
My husband and I have seen several different Epcot night shows and Harmonious is one of the best. I understand the unsightly barges but the end result is a heartfelt production that fills the heart with a love across the generations and world cultures. I thought it perfect for the world showcase and all people in this time of history. I cried. We won’t be back until June. I am sorry to miss it.
Harmonious was far superior to the (DIS) Enchantment at MK. Hopefully something will come along to the same standard.
Illuminations was very dated.
I feel bad for saying this but I didn’t care for the show. I never got to see the one before it. I usually took that time to do rides but I heard so many people say it was great and better than this one. The barges were ugly even when they were lit up with lights music and water. Just looked like strange transformers to me.
Jeff M says
I arrive May 1st and hope most if not all of those hideous barges are gone by then!
Boooyaaa… I have only been to Epcot once since seeing the floating disaster way back when, and even then I left before the show began. I could not bare to watch it again. Now if we loyal fans can redirect some energy into the learning aspect of what Future World once was vs. the thrill park it is becoming
Is it possible to move the barges to Animal Kingdom and have a show there?
Brett Pesce says
I thought the show was INCREDIBLE. My husband did too. We were amazed and impressed at the creativity and technology. I’m disappointed they are taking it out, I was looking forward to seeing it in person again.
Now, that awful castle show—that was TERRIBLE. Such a shame not to honor 50 years with Disney classics! I thought, “Surely they will do something with Julie Andrews or Dick Van Dyke doing narration.” Nope. Just horrible. So glad they’re bringing Happily Ever After back.