- Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 1.5
Some of the scenes are a bit menacing and so much larger-than-life, they may scare very young children. Also, the flame effects are quite intense.
- Fastpasses required for prime "Paradise Park" viewing area. They are distributed early in the day for that night's shows.
- Guests can also reserve a viewing spot by purchasing a dinner/show package with both table service and picnic meal options available. Info about the packages and how to make reservations is available at Disneyland's Web site.
- The show can be seen from other (non-reserved) spots around the bay, but they do not offer ideal viewing.
- Depending on the time of year, one or two shows are scheduled nightly. Based on that day's demand, Disney California Adventure may add a third show. (Fastpass-only prime viewing available for the third show.)
- Note that audience members may get wet depending on wind and weather conditions.
- World of Color Photo Gallery
- World of Color Video
Luminous Palette of Colors
Like all great attractions, however, the technology largely fades into the background, and the story takes center stage (although the wow factor is ever-present). Unlike Fantasmic!, the nighttime spectacular at Disneyland Park and Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida, World of Color doesn't tell a linear story. It's more a hodgepodge of classic scenes loosely grouped around broad themes such as love (the WALL-E scene is a gem), friendship, and danger--and all showcasing a luminous palette of colors.
The clips aren't necessarily lifted directly from the original films. The Toy Story scene, for example, shows the first time that its characters, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, meet. "When you actually watch the film, there are a number of cuts and shots," says Sayre Wiseman, Director, Show Production for Walt Disney Imagineering. "What we needed was a one-shot, so we had to reanimate it from scratch."
But World of Color is more than a series of clips projected onto a water screen. By cleverly incorporating the fountains, lights (Wiseman calls the LED technology "liquid paint"), lasers, and other show elements, the presentation is a dazzling tapestry of color and spectacle. The animated scenes set the tone, but the fountains grab the spotlight. Using a variety of fountains, the show's designers have them gently swaying, soaring high in the air, playfully whipping to and fro, or performing other synchronized movements to stunning effect. The unsung heroes of the production may be the lasers. They imbue the fountains with rich hues of color and make them sparkle and shimmer.
Surprising Degree of DepthThe precision with which all of the elements interact is quite remarkable. For example, plumes of water shoot impossibly high while bathed in color and punctuated by lasers. On a dime, they stop, and menacing flame projections overtake the bay with blasts in sync to the clips' music. The combination of elements gives World of Color a surprising degree of depth. With the action happening on a variety of shifting planes, the show pops in a way that no 3-D film could ever hope to achieve.
World of Color is able to deliver its considerable wow factor without relying on the go-to attention-grabber, fireworks. "We wanted to keep [the presentation] organic," explains Steve Davison, Vice President of Parades and Spectaculars (such a title!), Walt Disney Imagineering, about foregoing the pyrotechnics. "We wanted it to be pure and simple."
Simple? The presentation is majestic, inspired, and eye-popping, but not simple. It took months for programmers to learn how to use the sophisticated control center that stitches all of the elements together--"how to make it sing" as Davison puts it. He says that the designers discovered a lot of happy accidents during the testing phase, and made alterations to take advantage of those discoveries.
The system is nimble enough to quickly make changes to the presentation. According to Davison, it's possible to program multiple shows and run, say, two different productions on consecutive days. He hinted that Disney might consider developing limited-run shows to tie in with themes such as Halloween or Christmas. That would give you all the more reason to nag your family and friends to accompany you to Disneyland for some wonderful, wonderful color.