The first Harmonious barge has been removed from World Showcase Lagoon in EPCOT following the end of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration.
First Harmonious Barge Removed
We saw today that the first Harmonious barge has been disassembled and removed from the World Showcase Lagoon in EPCOT at Walt Disney World. Let’s take a closer look.
The barge closest to Germany and Italy is gone. Lights have been removed off the tops of the barges as well. Three of the four corner barges remain.
Two barges still float to the right of the center feature when facing The American Adventure.
Only one barge remains on the left side.
Lights have also been removed from the tops of the barges.
A Cast Member can be seen in a boat within World Showcase Lagoon today.
Visible from this shot is the Italy Pavilion. The wide, ornamental building and tall tower with two columns is a reproduction of the Doges Palace in Venice. It would be nearly impossible to find an exact duplicate of the marble used in the Italian construction, so Disney Imagineers created their own copy. The marble is made of fiberglass that has been painted and treated to resemble the material used in the original building.
The barge closest to Germany and Italy has been removed.
Harmonious Barges Sparked Controversy
The barges have had a tumultuous existence. Last October, one of the performance structures caught fire on World Showcase Lagoon.
This wasn’t an isolated incident. Previously, following a performance of Harmonious, part of the America Gardens Theater in The American Adventure caught fire. Scorch marks were briefly visible, but were quickly cleaned up by the next day. The theater was able to operate normally for scheduled Eat to the Beat concert performances during the 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival.
In addition to setting fires, the barges sparked controversy amongst guests. Many EPCOT fans found the structures to be an eyesore seated in the center of World Showcase Lagoon, blocking the view from one world pavilion to another. Often referred to as a “stargate and tacos,” the constructs featured digital screens on each side showcasing a rippling water graphic and the 50th Anniversary Celebration logo. Even so, many felt it wasn’t enough to hide the industrial look these structures brought to the center of the lagoon.
The Harmonious show itself received a mixed reception amongst park-goers, and many expressed relief when it was announced the production would be ending alongside the “World’s Most Magical Celebration.”
Harmonious’ final performance was April 2, 2023. The production has been replaced with EPCOT Forever as an interim show, which started April 3, 2023. Disney has confirmed a brand-new EPCOT fireworks show will premiere later in 2023. The barge being removed today is part of the planned, phased removal of the fireworks platform in World Showcase lagoon.
On April 1, before the last showing of Harmonious, the barges were removed from the EPCOT digital map found on the My Disney Experience App.
Are you glad to see the barges being dismantled? We’d love to see your opinions about it in the comments.