Work is continuing on Harmonious, one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park. Zach Riddley, Walt Disney World Site Portfolio Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, shares an update below.
Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Zach Riddley:
EPCOT has always been a special place where the world comes together to celebrate human achievement. Nothing has embodied this spirit more over the years than the park’s lineup of original nighttime spectaculars.
Although we have not yet determined when our next spectacular will debut, our Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Live Entertainment teams are hard at work building on that legacy with “Harmonious.” Early in our plans for the transformation of EPCOT, we recognized the power and potential this new show has to tell a story of global connection and celebration. This grand, original spectacular is a tribute to the power of story and song that unite us, leveraging music and visuals from across Disney and artists around the world.
“Harmonious” is a global effort, truly embracing the magic of possibility. In recent weeks, Disney Live Entertainment technical designers across the country have been programming various elements of the show, from media and fountains to lighting and pyrotechnics, working in a completely virtual environment. Our music producers at Walt Disney Imagineering have been remotely directing recording sessions with an incredibly diverse array of musical artists, performing in studios around the world.
Once complete, “Harmonious” will be one of the largest nighttime spectaculars we’ve ever produced. We’re busy setting the stage of this innovative toolkit, preparing each of the show’s five floating platforms to take its place on World Showcase Lagoon. Positioned like a compass, these platforms house the primary show equipment for “Harmonious,” and on the recently-placed center platform stands an iconic six-story-tall central ring structure, supporting a high-density water curtain, moving lights, fountains and more.
While the show is still in the early stages of development with more finishing details to come, I’m excited to share some recent progress.
We look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months.
RELATED ARTICLE: The NEW Epcot – Everything You Need to Know About the Transformation of Epcot
by Chad and Cindy Nykamp
In August 2019, Disney announced a major overhaul of EPCOT promising a bright new future for the park. With the global pandemic affecting construction timelines and budgets, Disney has altered plans for the transformation. Most promised projects are still in the works, while other projects have been confirmed to be postponed indefinitely, and others have an unknown status. Keep reading to learn what you can expect in the next several years at EPCOT.
1 – The Transformation Continues
Walt Disney once said EPCOT “would always be in a state of becoming” – it is a place that changes with the times. Over the next several years, the Walt Disney World Resort theme park will live up to that promise in a whole new way as it continues the biggest transformation of any Disney park in history, bringing the next generation of immersive storytelling to life through a plethora of new attractions and experiences.
2 – Four Neighborhoods
EPCOT will be unified with four neighborhoods that each speak to important aspects of the world and its people: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery. These neighborhoods will be filled with new experiences rooted in authenticity and innovation that take guests to new destinations, where the real is made fantastic in a celebration of curiosity, discovery and the magic of possibility.
3 – World Showcase
World Showcase will continue to be a celebration of culture, cuisine, architecture and traditions – infused with new magic.
The France pavilion will feature the much-anticipated attraction Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, where guests will shrink to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant on a wild adventure set to open sometime in 2021. Joining this family-friendly experience in the France pavilion will be a delicious new restaurant, La Crêperie de Paris, offering both table- and quick-service options and a menu from celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse. We got a sneak peek inside this coming attraction! Learn more by clicking here.
Also in the France pavilion, the classic “Impressions de France” film is now joined by the new “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along,” directed by Don Hahn, producer of both the animated and live-action versions of this tale as old as time.
“Harmonious” will be one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park. It will celebrate the way Disney music inspires people the world over, carrying them away harmoniously on a stream of familiar songs reinterpreted by a culturally diverse group of artists from around the globe. “Harmonious” will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more. It will provide new energy to the park during the daytime, too, with fountains out on the lagoon.
“Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” is now playing in the Canada pavilion with new scenes, a new musical score by Canadian composer Andrew Lockington and new narration by award-winning actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy.
Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue, the new fast-casual restaurant at The American Adventure pavilion, serves classic American backyard barbecue and home-style craft brews. The restaurant takes its name from Sam Eagle; the beloved Muppet hosts a centennial cook-off – a salute to all cook-offs … but mostly barbecue. Read our Regal Eagle review by clicking here.
4 – World Celebration
World Celebration will offer new experiences that connect guests to one another and the world around them.
The EPCOT entrance plaza is transforming, welcoming guests with new pathways and sweeping green spaces that beautify the entryway. Bridging the past, present and future of EPCOT will be a new fountain at the base of Spaceship Earth featuring three majestic new pylons.
As guests pass Spaceship Earth, they will discover a breathtaking new view of World Showcase from Dreamers Point. World Celebration will also feature a new statue honoring the legacy of the original dreamer, Walt Disney, plus beautiful natural environments and global design elements filled with Disney magic and surprises, including a story fountain celebrating the power and music of iconic Disney storytelling.
Surrounding this enchanted garden will be new retail and dining locations, along with a newly reimagined festival area that will be home to ever-changing events in a unique new environment.
5 – World Nature
World Nature will be dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty, awe and balance of the natural world. It will include The Land and The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilions.
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana will be the first Disney Parks experience inspired by the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film. This lush exploration trail will invite guests to meet and play with magical, living water. Just like Moana’s friend the ocean, water will have a personality of its own, helping guests learn how to protect the natural water cycle in a fun and engaging way.
The Land pavilion’s new film, “Awesome Planet,” showcases the beauty, diversity and dynamic story of Earth. The 10-minute show features in-theater effects and an original musical score from Academy Award-winning® composer Steven Price.
6 – World Discovery
In World Discovery, stories about science, technology and intergalactic adventure come to life.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be the first “other-world” showcase pavilion at EPCOT. The adventure starts in the Galaxarium, a planetarium-like exhibition that explores the similarities and mysteries of the formation of Earth’s galaxy and Xandar. Guests will be invited to learn more about the treasures Xandar has to share – until the moment when the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive, and adventures across the cosmos ensue. The attraction will feature a new innovation from Walt Disney Imagineering – a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus guests on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster. Click here to see the testing video of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
In an expansion of the Mission: SPACE pavilion, the new restaurant Space 220 will be a culinary experience offering the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up. Guests will board a space elevator for a journey to the Centauri Space Station, home to an incredible dining experience. Along the way, viewports will give guests real-time perspective as they travel high above the planet. Once they arrive, guests will enjoy fantastic meals and drinks while taking in views that are truly out of this world. Space 220 will be operated by the Patina Restaurant Group.
7 – The EPCOT Experience
Guests can visualize these exciting plans for EPCOT at Walt Disney Imagineering presents the EPCOT Experience in the Odyssey Events Pavilion. Here they discover engaging and interactive exhibits that showcase the relentless innovation, energy and excitement driving the park’s future throughout this unprecedented period of transformation.
8 – Postponed Projects
Disney has confirmed that both Spaceship Earth’s scheduled reimagining (which had already been delayed) and the new Mary Poppins attraction, Cherry Tree Lane, has been postponed indefinitely. The Cherry Tree Lane project was to have guests enter the Banks home at Number 17 and be prepared to experience the first Mary Poppins-inspired attraction.
It is also notable that the preview film at the Epcot Experience preview center has been updated with both new attractions removed. This does not necessarily mean that the projects are cancelled, although there is no indication when, if ever, the projects will be put back on the construction calendar.
A Disney spokesperson confirmed, “As with most businesses during this period, we are further evaluating long-term project plans. The decision was made to postpone development of the “Mary Poppins”-inspired attraction and Spaceship Earth at this time.”
Two other projects that have questionable futures are the previously announced PLAY! Pavilion and the “three-level pavilion” that was to be used for live events for EPCOT festivals. The PLAY! Disney Pavilion was to be the first of its kind in the form of an innovative and interactive metropolis full of “interactive games, activities, and experiences.” The interactive aspect of this pavilion is likely now a challenge in the new global pandemic reality. As noted above Disney confirmed “a newly reimagined festival area that will be home to ever-changing events in a unique new environment,” but did not give details on what that will look like. We may see a pared-down version of the original idea that was announced.
Editor’s Note: Disney has stated that more information on other previously announced experiences coming to EPCOT will be provided at a later date. We will continue to update this article as new information is released.
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