“Terrible,” “Cheap” New Addition Divides Disney World Guests

in Walt Disney World

Guests watch the EPCOT Forever fireworks display at Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Disney

After many delays, Disney has finally debuted its newest fireworks spectacular at EPCOT – but not everyone is impressed.

We may be approaching the end of Disney100, and Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary may be done and dusted, but the parks are still introducing new elements teased for both celebrations. The latest is “Luminous: The Symphony of Us,” EPCOT’s newest nighttime fireworks spectacular that’s finally arrived to replace EPCOT Forever.

Concept art for "Luminous: The Symphony of Us," the new fireworks at EPCOT
Credit: Disney

Related: Fireworks Officially Axed From Two Disney Parks

While the show was originally slated to debut in the fall to coincide with Disney100, its premiere was pushed back to December amid rumors that Disney was unimpressed with the original score composed by Pinar Toprak.

Last night (December 5), it lit up the skies above World Showcase Lagoon for the first time ever. However, it seems like the audience had many issues with the show – the biggest of which being the music.

“Production of the music was questionable and the original song wasn’t memorable,” noted X (formerly Twitter) user @ItsMeIsaacB. “Not bad but far from the best.”

Others were complimentary about the beginning of the show, with @2005WhiteSox05 describing it as a “home run.” The biggest issue for them was the show’s lack of non-IP songs.

EPCOT Forever fireworks explode in the sky
Credit: Disney

The soundtrack of “Luminous: The Symphony of Us” reportedly features iconic tracks such as “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story 2 (1999), “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (2019), and “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin (1994). In total, the show uses two tracks from the Toy Story franchise, two from Coco, and four songs featured in other Disney nighttime spectaculars.

“Wait wait wait. The track list for Luminous looks like crap,” wrote @Imagineer2017. “TWO Toy Story songs?! TWO from Coco? And seriously we’re gonna reuse FOUR songs from other shows?”

Others denounced the show completely. “I take back everything bad I said about past WDW shows [because] Luminous the Symphony of Us is terrible,” said @EpcotLuminous. “Nothing fun, unique or wow in this. Took the dull spoonfed narration of Enchantment, mixed with the poor pacing of Rivers of Lights to make: a much worse, cheaper Harmonious.”

“Harmonious” – the EPCOT spectacular introduced to mark 50 years of Walt Disney World Resort – was infamously unpopular with Disney fans who found its requirement to permanently moor barges in the center of World Showcase Lagoon frustrating. At the very least, “Luminous” is an improvement as it no longer obstructs the view of World Showcase during the day.

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

Some fans had kind words to say about the show in general. “Luminous is a good show and the best show they’ve had in Epcot in four years,” said @InfernoBarge. “They learned lessons from Harmonious which is good.”

However, he did note that none of these shows come close to matching the caliber of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” which was the nightly fireworks show at EPCOT for 20 years from 1999 to 2019. “While a good show, I’d be surprised if Luminous lasts 5 years,” he added.

Others were much more enthusiastic. @CultureNThrills praised the show for having “so many great moments, unique fireworks, a mix of original & Disney music. It truly feels like a successor to Illuminations. It’s definitely a must see at Epcot!”

@Muppetational agreed, writing: “Luminous might be my fave EPCOT show since Illuminations. Nothing will beat Illuminations but DANG I cried.”

“Luminous” is described by Disney as “a dramatic show designed to bring us all together” and remind us all of the ways that we are alike.

Marvel at a dazzling pageant of fireworks, fountains, music and lights set to an original composition. New music, along with evocative selections from the Disney songbook, come together to remind us that we are more alike than we are different.

New fireworks weren’t the only thing to debut at EPCOT yesterday. Just in time for what would have been Walt Disney’s 122nd birthday, the ‘Walt the Dreamer’ statue was finally made accessible to guests. After five years (or, to be specific, 1,825 days in which it rendered a whole area unwalkable), World Celebration Gardens also opened and showed off its new nighttime glowing effects, which generated a much more consistently positive response from fans.

What do you think of “Luminous: The Symphony of Us”? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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