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Fans Can Rejoice as EPCOT Removes Controversial Park Addition

EPCOT was home to one of the most hated additions to Walt Disney World for the last three years, and now it seems as though it’s finally listened to fans.

During the 2019 D23 Expo, it was announced that EPCOT would be receiving a major park-wide update, referred to as the EPCOT Overhaul. This announcement originally promised the changing of Future World into three separate pavilions (World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery), an all-new Mary Poppins-themed attraction coming to the UK Pavilion, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure would be coming to France, Space 220 would be a brand new dining experience, and Harmonious would be the new nighttime spectacular.

A look at Future World including Spaceship Earth from the entrance to World Showcase
Credit: Jonathan (IceNineJon), Flickr

Originally, these plans were expected to be completed within a few short years…but then the COVID pandemic hit, shutting down the parks and delaying all construction indefinitely. Eventually, once the parks reopened and work started up again, there were changes made to these announcements. The Mary Poppins teacup-style ride would no longer be pursued and work on the park has continued to this day.

While many guests have expressed outrage and upset over the last few years about having their EPCOT experience ruined by the amount of construction walls placed around the park and the inconvenience of having to walk all the way around the edges of the park to traverse back and forth between World Showcase and the front of the park, there was one attraction that guests hated even more.

View of Spaceship Earth from World Showcase with buildings and trees in the foreground
Credit: Reinhard Link, Flickr

Harmonious was described as

“Harmonious” will bring to World Showcase Lagoon an innovative toolkit of massive floating set pieces that house a variety of show effects, including custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, colorful lights, lasers, pyrotechnics and more.

However, Harmonious would end up being one of the most-hated fireworks shows at Walt Disney World for one major reason: the unsightly barges that were permanently placed inside the Showcase Lagoon. The barges were big, metal pieces that obscured the otherwise scenic imagery of EPCOT’s World Showcase Lagoon. The barges were so detested that they’ve been the source of hundreds of memes, complaints, and jokes. When the barges were finally removed after it was announced that Harmonious would be ending, fans rejoiced, with many pointing out that the metal pieces only lasted around 18 months.

epcot barges testing
Credit: ITM Kelly C.

With EPCOT being Walt Disney World Resort’s host park for the Disney100 celebrations, it was announced that the park would be receiving a new fireworks show, called “Luminous: The Symphony of Us.” The show “will feature fireworks, fountains, lasers, lighting effects and music and continue Disney’s long tradition of amazing nighttime entertainment at the park.”

As preparations for the new show are underway, it seems as though Disney Imagineering has learned from its Harmonious mistake of permanent barges. According to Disney insider Scott Gustin, the new Luminous barges are “designed to be brought in and out of the lagoon each day.”


Thankfully, the lagoon won’t be marred by the sight of the barges during the daytime, and will continue to be shuttled back and forth prior to and after the show each night. Whether due to the backlash from guests or other logistical reasons, Disney seems to have removed the permanent barges for good and moved back to a more mobile setup.

Luminous is expected to debut in December of this year!

What did you think about the Harmonious barges? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


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