Tis the season to be hopefully? It doesn’t have quite the same ring, but when we’re talking about a HarmonioUS Christmas show it just fits. As you know, we’ve been tracking the progress of Epcot’s new nighttime spectacular for some time. With our latest update looking at the progress of the new barges. A common theme among all of our most recent articles is around Disney’s desire to bring back a nighttime spectacular to Epcot as soon as possible. Could this mean we’ll have a HarmonioUS Christmas show after all? Let’s head out to World Showcase Lagoon to see what’s happening!
Or should we say quasi rumor? Let’s be honest all rumors have some level of truth to them. Just some have more truth than others. As the rumor goes, Disney has been working around the clock on HarmonioUS because they have a target date in mind. That date, the last two weeks of December 2020. Or, otherwise known as the holiday season. With the new Park Reservation System Disney is better able to predict crowds levels well in advance. So much so, they have been extending park hours on busier days.
We’re still five weeks from the “holiday season” and Disney has already extended park hours for Epcot to 10 am to 9 pm. By far the longest Epcot will be open since pandemic related closure in March 2020. But it raises the question of why. Why would Disney keep Epcot open until 9 pm when the park has been mostly empty after 7 pm?
HarmonioUS Christmas Show
All signs are pointing at the potential of a Harmonious Christmas show. This would more than likely not be the full HarmonioUS production, but instead some type of night time entertainment. According to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, Disney executives after pushing to have some level of a show ready for the holiday season. It could be as simple as the centerpiece barge displaying some Christmas elements with a few fireworks or a more elaborate production. A lot will depend on the overall construction progress, as Disney does not want to rush out the full show if it’s not ready…like they did with Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
But, it still raises the question of why? Why would Disney push for a two-week holiday show?
Connecting The Dots
Before we connect the dots, we have to look at the bigger picture. Similar to how Disney World used the wait and see approach for reopening, by letting Universal Orlando reopen a month plus in advance. We’re seeing a similar trend with nighttime shows. On October 26, 2020, Cinematic Celebration returned to Universal Studios Orlando for the first time. With physically distanced markings around the lagoon, the show went off without any issues. So much so, Universal has scheduled additionally showings on select nights. Additionally, Universal is bringing back the holiday nighttime show on Hogwarts Castle over in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
This leads us to believe that Disney is looking to follow suit with Epcot. Similar to Cinematic Celebration, a Epcot nighttime specular would take place around a large lagoon and have adequate space for physical distancing. Especially, with current crowd levels.
Ok, back to our dot-connecting. Debuting a HarmonoiUS Christmas inspired show would do more than just bring back a nighttime show to Epcot, it opens up a variety of revenue streams for the park. First and foremost, it would give guests a greater reason to stay at Epcot later into the evening, all while enjoying food, drink, and shopping. Epcot would once again be a “full-day” park, especially during the Future World construction. Additionally, it’s well-known that the restaurants around Epcot’s World Showcase thrive when the park has nighttime events, whether it’s the different festival shows or just a nighttime spectacular. The restaurants thrive due to very popular dining packages Disney offers to coincide with the shows. Which leads us to our dot. It opens the door for Disney to bring back different popular ticketed events like a modified Dessert Party (physically distanced of course) and/or Dining Packages, with reserved seating for the show.
A lot of moving parts. For us to see a HarmonoiUS Christmas nighttime specular a lot of things have to continue to go down the right path. The truth of our rumor is Disney’s desire to debut some type of nighttime spectacular at Epcot sooner than later. Will it be in time for the holiday season? That’s the big unknown and why this should be treated as a rumor. We’re hopeful we’ll see fireworks return to Disney in time for the holidays, but only time will tell. This will be one of the many things on our Disney Christmas list!
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