PHOTOS, VIDEO: Experience the Barge Parade as EPCOT Prepares for ‘Luminous The Symphony of Us’

    One of the big selling points for Luminous The Symphony of Us was a clean World Showcase Lagoon at the start of each day thanks to movable barges that are navigated from a backstage marina to the Lagoon in the afternoon. The movable nature of the hardware mimics Illuminations: Reflections of Earth where the Lagoon was clean each morning and then the hardware was moved out onto the lake in the late afternoon/early evening ahead of the nightly performance. While visiting EPCOT recently, we decided to document the barge parade that will occur daily as operations allow.

    First, from what we understand, the barge parade isn’t happening daily just yet due to higher-than-average crowd levels at EPCOT thanks to the holiday season. In short, if crowds are going to be high for the day, EPCOT ops might ask the fireworks crew to leave the barges on the Lagoon overnight instead of impacting crowd flow operations, however short the interruption might be. That said, we should see a more normal cadence of the barges being taken back to the marina after park close and a clean Lagoon for the morning and early afternoon hours once crowds normalize after the holiday season.

    All that said, we were able to catch a nearly full barge parade on a recent visit to EPCOT, with only the centerpiece pyro tower remaining in the Lagoon overnight. Below, we have a multi-angle look at the barge parade, which occurred in the early evening yesterday in two waves. The barges come out three at a time, with the bridge between China and the Outpost open for about 12-15 minutes for each wave. The bridge was lowered between waves, which were separated by about 30-45 minutes as crews secured the first three barges, and then drove back to the marina to prepare and stage the next three barges for the trip out to the Lagoon.

    Luminous Barge Parade Video & Photos

    And to see the payoff of the hard work of the fireworks crew, here’s our video of Luminous The Symphony of Us!

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