Harmonious firework test shows more of what we can expect from EPCOT'S new nighttime spectacular

May 21, 2021 in "Harmonious"

Harmonious firework test May 20.2021
Posted: Friday May 21, 2021 7:10am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney's Harmonious project team carried out a firework test late last night at EPCOT which fired some of the pyrotechnic product that will be used in the new show.

Crews could be seen working in the lagoon throughout the evening preparing for the test which used all six of the smaller barges, the two main firework platforms, and the sea wall perimeter launchers.


After-hours and close to midnight, the test began and could be viewed by guests from the surrounding resort hotel area.

Here is a video of the 30 minute test, compressed into a 7 minute clip of the most visible firework launches. Some of the effects were low level and could not be seen above the tree lines.

Points of Interest

It appeared that all of the firework platforms were being used simultaneously for some shots, which indicates that testing has moved beyond simple launches and that the team has synchronized control of all the launchers.

Two shots were fired from what looked like the rooftop of the American Adventure theater, similar to the opening shot from Reflections of Earth.

The sea wall perimeter launchers were tested firing a synchronized shot towards the center of the lagoon.

Harmonious will debut later this year, although we still expect to see EPCOT Forever to make a brief return prior to the start of harmonious. Disney is yet to provide an opening date for Harmonious, but has given 2021 as an opening timeframe.

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SplashZander1 day ago

Got my second viewing today. Harmonious is a world class show that belongs in a world class theme-park. The Coco, Mulan, and Earth segments are clear highlights. The technology is absolutely incredible. I was bothered by the pacing and abrupt transitions when watching videos from my home, but most the segments can very strongly stand on their own, so the gaps provide a moment for applause that feels natural in person. I really like this show. I can’t be objective about Illuminations, that show simply holds a too significant place in my heart, but this show is great, in contrast Epcot Forever was laughably bad. Every time I ride MMRR I cannot fathom why they got rid of The Great Movie ride. It didn’t deserve a replacement, and MMRR is a fine ride, but nothing special in my eyes. Harmonious is different. Illuminations showed it age and needed a replacement (I think no one argues against that), and Harmonious is a fantastic show. Like I said earlier, I cannot be objective with Illuminations, but Harmonious definitely can stand on its own. Placement in Epcot ignored, Harmonious is a great show that I highly recommend checking out. The oil rigs during the day are not a large distraction. They’re not amazing, but they don’t really make your day any worse. Having them out there 24/7 is a definite mistake, but minimal impact at most.

waltography4 days ago

Granted, I'm biased against the show as is, but showing real people is what sold the thesis of the show to me more than whatever was happening in the lagoon. I have no interest in watching the show at Epcot anytime soon, but I may revisit this special again sometime.

Randall10284 days ago

All the more reason to focus more on the show itself and not the performers pantomiming what they achieved in a studio. Cutting to them from time to time is totally fine, but they were focusing far too much on the performers for me.

waltography5 days ago

This is my thought exactly. Too many factors already in a live production to fail, and you choose to add live audio to the mix? For a one-time only show that's been seemingly pulled together in a tight schedule for what essentially amounts to a business test on a larger scale, I don't think it would've been worth it. The gesture to live music was probably the most impactful here with least effort required. (And it's not like they expected this to be a gangbuster ratings powerhouse.) I only wish that the singers were better lip-syncers. The singer who stood in for an "American" voice was the most noticeable to me (taking breaths when she shouldn't, not mouthing consonants at the right time, etc.).

Corgi5 days ago

Harmonious live was awesome!

Cliff5 days ago

Curious to know your thoughts on why you thought it was....

tsaintc5 days ago

Just got back from WDW (June 8th through the 20th), and we saw Harmonious for the first time. It is awful. That is all.

Cliff5 days ago

Yeah....I initially scoffed and shook my head at the whole deal. But, now that I think about it, if they "had" done a 100% real live performance in the way it was produced? It would have been a nightmare that would have required WAY more setup and preperation and testing rehersal. This is an outdoor park, not an Academy Awards stage in Hollywood that you can close for a month. Doing a real live show "properly" with all the preperation needed would have trippled the budget of this show. It also would have opened it up to artist performance mistakes too. Im OK with the way they did it now. It makes sense and it was necessary.

Stevek5 days ago

I have zero issue with them lip syncing, just find funny that anyone could actually think that was live. I don’t think Disney does a lot of truly live performances on their shows.

brickbuilder7116 days ago

They must've seen Cliff's video and tried to one better him.

Cliff6 days ago

I think we can cut Disney some slack on the fake live lip syncing. Thinking more about it here....if this was a "true" live performance with everybody playing and singing in real-time, that would have been a really hard production to pull off. It would have required tons of sound checking, carefull mic setups and a nasty-hard mix job around the lands....all at once. The potential for error in a spread-out outdoor event like this and keeping it all tight with the live lagoon display and fireworks? Yeah...that would have been pure AV Hell and too risky for a live show. The way they did it was much more practicle. Lip syncing to a pre recorded, pre mixed studio track that was already playing in paralell with Harmonious itself was so much easier. Plus 90% of the viewers would not even look that closely to notice anyway. Faking the audio and making really nice visuals prolly was the best production choice after all.

CeciliaKy6 days ago

yes. Jamie played in the Brave segment.

Cmdr_Crimson6 days ago

That choir looked waaaay to excited to be singing this.

Cliff6 days ago

Well, I did own a recording studio in the Washington DC area for 20 years and made thousands of live and studio recordings myself.