President of Animal Kingdom
Refusing to float the barges out nightly was the single greatest misstep of this project.
I was holding off being critical of the Stargate until I saw it in action. And now, I'll be critical: Wasn't worth it.
First, a water screen's primary use is to be a screen. Which means it needs to present a clearly visible image. RoL failed at that when there was a slight breeze. And Harm fails at that by having the screen so far away that the translucent image is still too small and too faint to make out what's happening. Not to mention that its image can only be seen from about 30% of the people around the lagoon due to its fixed angle.
And its failure as a screen is amplified by the comparison to the tacos, which had clear, bright images.
The second purpose of a water screen is to not be there when the show isn't running. Take Fantasmic!, e.g.; its water screens work because they're big, and close, and they go away for the rest of the show. Imagine if the riverboat had to navigate past several large permanent screens. Water screens are supposed to go away when not in use. The Stargate doesn't go away.
It would have been better if there were giant arms lying on a barge that raised up for the show and spouted water screens. We see the arms in action. That could have done the trick. But then WDW decided on a Stargate and built it too big to trot out once a day.
It would have been better to fill the Stargate with more LED panels than stick with a water screen.
Even so much better: A giant globe mirroring SSE that was all LED. Much, much bigger than RoE's globe. And raised higher. It could have had an image of Earth during the day, and then been a show-stopper at night. And easily seen by people who were ten deep in a crowd at the lagoon's edge.
Things that happen on the surface of the lagoon can only be seen by the the first few rows of people along the shore. People further back only see the backs of other people. People in the crowds will at least see the colored fountains and the fireworks, but the images on the screens will be blocked for them.
Now, what's there can be salvaged for a much better show. But, unfortunately, what's there has inherent limitations built into them that the show has to find workarounds for.