Luminous The Symphony of Us is the brand new nighttime spectacular at Epcot. It debuted on December 5, 2023, which was also Walt Disney’s birthday. I was there for the first show. I watched it in the back of the park on the bridge between the United Kingdom and France Pavilions. I was with a dear friend who was catching the Disney Skyliner after the show, so I thought that would make it easier for her. It was a great place to watch from.
While we’ve had Epcot Forever for the past few months, Luminous The Symphony of Us is actually the permanent replacement for Harmonious. I loved that show, but I know a lot of people didn’t. I have a feeling that Luminous will be around a lot longer.
Luminous The Symphony of Us is not a normal fireworks show. I felt like it’s kind of a combination of World of Color at Disney California Adventure and Rivers of Light that used to close the day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with some fireworks thrown in. That’s a terrible description, but this is my initial reaction and that’s all I could think of while watching it. A good part of Luminous is a water and light show, set to music. Most of the fireworks are down low, around the water elements, but there are still some that are shot into the sky. There are no water screens or projections. I usually love projections, but it was nice to watch a show without them. Luminous doesn’t need projections, they would take away from the show.
The narration for Luminous The Symphony of Us was strange to me. From where I was watching I couldn’t understand a lot of it, and what I did hear wasn’t uplifting. I know that it is trying to pull at your heartstrings, but I don’t really want to think about dying (I’m pretty sure that’s what it said) when ending a day at a theme park.
I also wasn’t a fan of the music. If Disney is trying to go for a non-traditional Disney spectacular, why include popular Disney songs? I didn’t like the updated recordings either. I don’t know if the mixing was bad or if I was just standing in the wrong spot, but I’m not planning to download these recording anytime soon. So much thought was put into the music for Harmonious, and this, to me, seemed like an afterthought.
Overall, though, I enjoyed Luminous The Symphony of Us. The show is visually stunning, absolutely gorgeous. The finale alone is worth the time it takes to find a good viewing area.
Speaking of viewing, if you have a clear view of World Showcase Lagoon you should have a fantastic view. Luminous isn’t a show where you need to be in the front or the back to be able to see everything. If you find a spot where you can see red lights in the water before it starts, you won’t miss anything.
If you’re an IllumiNations or nothing person, you’ll be disappointed in Luminous The Symphony of Us. But IllumiNations isn’t coming back, no matter how much people want it to. Luminous is a spectacular show, and I plan to see it again soon. I have a feeling that it’s one of those shows that I will like more each time I watch. And who knows, maybe the narration wasn’t talking about dying. Maybe that part was about trying to get out of the parking lot at the end of the night. That can pull at the heartstrings as well.