RUMOR: New EPCOT Nighttime Show to Feature Drones, Harmonious “Stargate & Taco” Barges to be Removed & Destroyed

At the D23 Expo, Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro made the surprise announcement that Harmonious, the nighttime spectacular that debuted at EPCOT for the start of the 50th anniversary celebration of Walt Disney World (but was supposed to debut in 2020 and be a long-standing offering), will be replaced next year by a new show.

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“The World’s Most Magical Celebration” will end on March 31, 2023, but an official end date for Harmonious has not been announced. No details have been released for the new show, but it is not expected to debut immediately after the last performance of Harmonious. Instead, EPCOT Forever is due to return (again) for the intermediary period. Disney had previously claimed that the show was permanently retired, but Harmonious failed to connect with guests on the level of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and its infrastructure also ruined views across the picturesque World Showcase Lagoon.

With the incredible success of Disney D-Light at Disneyland Paris for their 30th anniversary, rumor has it that Disney will bring drones stateside with EPCOT’s new nighttime show debuting towards the end of 2023. If you haven’t seen the stunning Paris drone offering, you can watch it here:

The use of drones would mark the second such occasion in Walt Disney World history, with the first being the short-lived Starbright Holidays show at Disney Springs which ran only for the 2016-17 holiday season.

Disneyland Paris has also run a stunning Avengers Campus drone show on a few special occasions that was said to have wowed Disney Parks upper management, leading them to pursue more widespread use of the technology.

In addition to this, it is also rumored that the giant Harmonious barges will be removed from World Showcase Lagoon and destroyed. Unaffectionately known by guests as “the Stargate and the taco barges”, the mess of oversized barges in the center of the body of water has been a point of ridicule for the show from the moment they were floated out. On top of that, the promised daytime fountains that would obscure the view of the behemoths never quite worked correctly.

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Concept art of what the daytime fountains were supposed to look like, but the actual results were far from what was envisioned.
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Disney has yet to confirm any of the above information, so it should be taken as speculation until that time.

So, are you hopeful for the removal of the Harmonious barges and the addition fo drones to EPCOT’s nighttime spectacular lineup?

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24 thoughts on “RUMOR: New EPCOT Nighttime Show to Feature Drones, Harmonious “Stargate & Taco” Barges to be Removed & Destroyed”

  1. Harmonious is fine enough, but the barges are an eyesore. Nice to see they’re owning up to the error and changing. Epcot deserves better!

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  2. Super excited to see what they will do with the drones, but it will be nearly impossible to top Harmonious which was easily the best show DisneyWorld has ever had. The barges can go, but i wish they would keep the music. A firework and drone show to the amazing Harmonious soundtrack would be incredible. I know it won’t happen, but it is such a shame that that music will not be used anymore.

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    • “Harmonious which was easily the best show DisneyWorld has ever had.”

      Rick,

      I’m sincerely glad you enjoyed Harmonius.

      For my spouse and me it was a loud and garish lashed together jumble of Disney IP that had no real story and that had no place in EPCOT.

      To us, it wasn’t even close to Illuminations in message, in theming, or in its ability to stir emotions.

      And those barges…

      Reply
  3. I look forward to the new show. Hope they can pull of something fun.

    Disney might want to hold onto the barges though, instead of outright destroying them. Maybe they could be worked into a new DAK show, which could benefit from the technology. DAK is really missed at night. It was fun. It might also be more tolerable there, not sure. It definitely isn’t as big of a deal as the WS lagoon is.

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  4. I pray this is true. Harmonious in a word is simply “chaos”. During the day it destroys the best views in WDW and during the show it’s all over the place.

    And I don’t get the soundtrack comment by Rick. It’s literally just excerpts from a Disney greatest movie hits album.

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  5. That Paris drone show was underwhelming and not a fan of them. Honestly the barges are eye-sores but how many people are really looking across the lake at the countries on the other side. The only country would be Italy and Japan looking back to Spaceship Earth

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  6. Illuminations was the best period! It left you with the feeling of that was an incredible show! The music for Illuminations also went perfect with it. I personally think it should have never been replaced! Updated yes, replaced no!

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  7. “…it is also rumored that the giant Harmonious barges will be removed from World Showcase Lagoon and destroyed.”

    I would pay Chapek real money for a dream “guest experience” of being allowed to participate in said destruction.

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  8. I think it is a waste to destroy the barges, I think they could serve a purpose elsewhere in lager bodies of water at WDW if they were motorized. The tacos can easily make a good standalone show with no pyro, maybe even be floated out into rivers of America for Happily Ever After to expand the show viewing and relieve the hub.

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  9. I didn’t find Harmonious appealing. Curious what the new show will bring. EPCOT deserves better. Un Monde Qui s’Illumine at Disneyland Paris is AMAZING!

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  10. I kind of liked Harmonious, at least the projections and music. The barges are def. annoying during the day though. I’m not a fan of drones though so really hope that doesn’t come to be,to me it’s just like looking at a light brite toy in the sky 🙄. I am a sucker for good music and touching projections though, which is why I loved IllumiNations and didn’t hate Harmonious.

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  11. Considering the massive expense those barges probably cost, I highly doubt they’d just trash them after a couple years without finding a way to use them in something new. It happens, but rarely.

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  12. Drones are a great technology however I’m not sure how they would cope in world showcase lagoon where the key challenge is having a show that looks great from all around the lagoon. They look amazing over the castle in Paris with everyone looking from the same direction. I also think the lagoon is so large that they will need something physical on the lake as well. That’s why the globe worked so well as a key focus point of reflections out in the centre of the lake and spinning to be visible to everyone.

    Reply

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