best way to watch Harmonious

Hi all,
One of my least favorite things to do is to try to get/maintain a fireworks spot, which means we rarely actually enjoy these shows. We are usually getting on TT or Soarin' for a last ride. This trip (mid May) I am determined to fully watch Harmonious once and the MK show once, with as little stress as possible. I am debating a Harmonious dining package, but would also consider (prefer?) a dinner reservation with decent viewing, like the Mexico restaurant (and waiting for a window spot). Typically I avoid packages because they don't suit us, but this time around it might be the best option.
Does anyone have a recommendation or an experience they can share? We have access to international gateway so that helps avoid the crush. It is us and our college age son, so we have a lot of flexibility in how we do this. But for once I am willing to make this part of the plan and maybe splurge to make it more enjoyable.
I read about the 2nd floor balcony in Japan, but I hate the idea of standing in front of the restaurant windows and blocking others.

It will be less crowded than some other times of the year, so I don't know if I am making too big a deal out of this?

On a different note I am actually considering the MK dessert "after" party. If they had more real food (veggie tray, anything that won't kill me) it would be a no brainer, but the thought of trying to get my money's worth (I can't help it) and actually damaging my health is a deterrent! Or the opposite--eating $5 worth of desserts--we don't really drink, would have to pay full price for underage 20 year old, etc.--is hard to stomach! (Guess I just talked myself out of that one.)

Thanks for your expertise!
 

Micah008

Moderator
Staff member
We watched from Italy, and although it wasn't straight on to the center, it was pretty good with no trees blocking the firework views (which is an issue in many places). For Epcot fireworks I also try to consider which direction the wind is blowing that night, since somewhere around the World Showcase is guaranteed to get smoke blown their direction which can ruin the show.

ETA: For past Epcot shows we often watched from other places around the World Showcase, but for Harmonius we wanted to make sure to see the center water screen, especially for the first time watching it.

Our specific location is circled below. In Italy, most people fill in right by the water and on the bridges pretty early, but the spot we watched from didn't have an many people, and you still didn't have anyone directly in front of you.
1642166859532.png

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Here is a good article:
 
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RetroCOTfan

Well-known member
I second @Micah008's suggestion. On NYE, we had an ADR at Via Napoli. We walked out of the restaurant 10 minutes before the show was set to start (it was an early start time because of the holiday, but I can't imagine there are any other nights it would be significantly more crowded). We walked right up to the open area to the left of where @Micah008 circled (to the left of the "Italy" on the map there). It was fairly crowded, but we stayed toward the back. Since there is a slight slope downward toward the water, it was a perfect view. (Other than a couple of morons who felt the need to film the entire thing on their phone - but that's going to happen anywhere, anytime.)

Caveat: the shortest person in our family is 5'9", so if you need better sightlines for shorter people, maybe get there earlier and stake out a spot along the fence like @Micah008 indicated.
 

George

The ratio of people to cake is too big.
Other than a couple of morons who felt the need to film the entire thing on their phone - but that's going to happen anywhere, anytime.)
I'd like to know the percentage of the morons who actually watch the videos afterwards. And why.
 

RetroCOTfan

Well-known member
I'd like to know the percentage of the morons who actually watch the videos afterwards. And why.
E5eAFl5XEAgJT4o.jpg

Much to my wife's chagrin, I did loudly comment "Put the phone down, it's on YouTube." I left off the rest of what I wanted to say, which was, "In 4K, with multiple camera angles, and an embedded soundtrack."

I get snapping an occasional picture - I do that, just because it will show up in my TimeHop later and make me smile. But to hold your phone up, literally as high as you can hold your hand, for an entire 15+ minute show? Idiocy. (And apparently they have better circulatory systems than me.)
 

Micah008

Moderator
Staff member
Caveat: the shortest person in our family is 5'9", so if you need better sightlines for shorter people, maybe get there earlier and stake out a spot along the fence like @Micah008 indicated.
It was really good for our 11 year old (who is 4'5") to be able to stand up by the fence with no one in front of us.

Who am I kidding... at 5'7" I am the tallest in our family, so it was good for all of us. :RpS_biggrin:
 

Micah008

Moderator
Staff member
I'd like to know the percentage of the morons who actually watch the videos afterwards. And why.
to hold your phone up, literally as high as you can hold your hand, for an entire 15+ minute show? Idiocy.
Its even worse when they don't know how to turn off the lighting... (or don't realize its on). This happened to us at Enchantment by the people behind us, so everyone had a bright light shining on the back of their heads around us, and was blinded if we tried to turn around. :RpS_cursing:

Then of course the family in front of us decided to put their kid on the Dad's shoulders. :rolleyes:
 
We watched from Italy, and although it wasn't straight on to the center, it was pretty good with no trees blocking the firework views (which is an issue in many places). For Epcot fireworks I also try to consider which direction the wind is blowing that night, since somewhere around the World Showcase is guaranteed to get smoke blown their direction which can ruin the show.

ETA: For past Epcot shows we often watched from other places around the World Showcase, but for Harmonius we wanted to make sure to see the center water screen, especially for the first time watching it.

Our specific location is circled below. In Italy, most people fill in right by the water and on the bridges pretty early, but the spot we watched from didn't have an many people, and you still didn't have anyone directly in front of you.
View attachment 11606

View attachment 11605

Here is a good article:
Thank you!
 

bnoble

he's right
I'm willing to give Shoulder Kids a pass, because otherwise they tend to just be in a sea of legs, and that stinks. (No, I never did this for my kids, because they are heavy and I am not that nice.) And I get taking the 15-second clip. But, yeah---there are "professional" recordings of all of these that are far better than anything you, I or, the guy over with the ipad is going to do.
 

lovett1979

Well-known member
My stance on the "shoulder kids" issue is: no kids on shoulders. Instead, hold them on your hip like you do a toddler. They can see, and they're not obstructing anyone's view any more than a standard adult.

Yes. I held my 6-year-old "nephew" for the 20 minute Happily Ever After fireworks on my hips. I had to alternate sides ever so often, and it was NOT comfortable at all, but I would never block people's view by shouldering him (not that I think my back could handle that either). And yes, the people recording are ridiculous under any circumstance, but those who have their lights on (and have no idea of this fact) are the WORST! When able, I do always ask them to turn the light off. It really ruins the viewing experience for everyone behind them.
 

mack

Member
Micah008 - about how early did you need to be out there to get that spot? (And about how early do you think folks are grabbing the regular front line type spots)?

Thanks
 

bnoble

he's right
I remember being struck by the crowd in DLRP that collectively sat through the entire Disney Dreams (which was excellent by the way.) That seemed so much more civilized.

Either way, I'm not going to get worked up over the shoulder kids. Y'all who do the hip thing are great and all, but I don't expect it from everyone.
 

Micah008

Moderator
Staff member
Micah008 - about how early did you need to be out there to get that spot? (And about how early do you think folks are grabbing the regular front line type spots)?
We were there only about 15-20 minutes before the show started, and got that spot, since it doesn't "look" like a great spot even though it worked well.

I am not sure how fast all the 'regular' front line spots in Italy filled up, but as we walked around the World Showcase to get to this location there were very very few front line spots we walked past anywhere. I would guess some of these people were there an hour or more before the show, but we were still on Spaceship Earth at that time instead.
 

Micah008

Moderator
Staff member
I'm willing to give Shoulder Kids a pass, because otherwise they tend to just be in a sea of legs, and that stinks. (No, I never did this for my kids, because they are heavy and I am not that nice.)
Either way, I'm not going to get worked up over the shoulder kids. Y'all who do the hip thing are great and all, but I don't expect it from everyone.
You must not be 5'7" :RpS_biggrin:

Honestly though, the bright light from the camera was much worse than the shoulder kid, since that we couldn't move or shift a little to get away from that. You can usually move just a little to view around the shoulder kids.

We actually did the hip thing until our kids were just too big. I even held my 11 year old up like that last week for the last 30 seconds of Enchantment, but that was about 25 seconds too long for me. Our 13 year old is taller than my wife now, so we are at least past that stage with him.

Either way... the viewing for Harmonious was so much better in so many ways than crowding into MK.
 

ThemeParkCommando

Active member
I tended to piggyback my kids. That way I could shift my weight a bit, and they could just rest their head on my shoulder to see. The last one I did was my 7yo granddaughter at EPCOT, in the area for viewing provided by Rose and Crown.
 

Anne

Well-known member
I tended to piggyback my kids. That way I could shift my weight a bit, and they could just rest their head on my shoulder to see. The last one I did was my 7yo granddaughter at EPCOT, in the area for viewing provided by Rose and Crown.
Was that the new Rose and Crown dinner package for harmonious? What did you think of the viewing area? We have one booked for March since we were planning to have a dinner at Rose and Crown anyway, just weren't sure if it was an ok place to view and worth the extra for the meal vs ordering off the regular menu.
 

ThemeParkCommando

Active member
Was that the new Rose and Crown dinner package for harmonious? What did you think of the viewing area? We have one booked for March since we were planning to have a dinner at Rose and Crown anyway, just weren't sure if it was an ok place to view and worth the extra for the meal vs ordering off the regular menu.
This was back in 2014, so it was still Illuminations. But I doubt the 'viewing area' has changed. The area was a walkway down to the patio seating. I remember a rock wall on the right, kids not allowed to sit there. Not the most comfortable viewing area, and you have to be at least 10 or so to get a good view. Smaller kids can't see from the ground.

If you are really lucky, you will score a seat on the patio, where you can watch and still dine. Managed that once, and had a lovely dessert plate and hot chocolate during the show. Great memory there!

For Harmonious, I'd bet you'd only have an angled view of the stargate.

I'd probably pay the money if I was planning to eat there anyway, especially if planning to eat near the time Harmonious will start, simple because finding another place will be a pain. Also, it is possible you will get a ticket to a reserved viewing area from the front area near the entrance to WS. They've done that before too, and that is one of the best places to watch Harmonious.
 
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