On Thursday night Disney's California Adventure premiered its new nighttime show, "World of Color." I was there for the red carpet event, the pre-show, and then the fantastic debut of the long-anticipated show. Packing the punch of both Disney and Pixar characters, the water show projected images onto water screens 200 feet in the air and 380 feet long across Paradise Pier.
The show lives up to its moniker "water spectacular." World of Color will both blow your mind and warm your heart at the same time. It's the kind of show you've come to expect from Disney, but with so many fresh twists and surprising elements, you'll want to go back again and again to catch everything.
"Every child is blessed with a vivid imagination." –Walt Disney.
Projected across the water, this quote kicks off the show and sets the mood as 1,200 fountains, 36 flame projectors, bubbles, fog, lasers and phenomenal surround sound launch you into the stories of Disney and Pixar amidst a torrent of technical feats that keep delivering the "oohs and ahhs" throughout the show.
"World of Color is all about the lyrics: 'each dream you chase, each wish you embrace will lead you to a magical faraway place,'" said Steven Davison, Director and VP of Parades and Spectaculars. Quite an undertaking for a 26-minute, standing-room-only show. But Disney delivers by making the show at once grandiose and very personal.
Scary parts? No, Sir.
I'd like to frame this portion by saying my kids are afraid of the Winnie the Pooh ride at Disneyland–capisce? They are scaredy cats and although they enjoy Fantasmic and portions of the fireworks show every year, they view the more scary, villain-packed portions through their fingers.
Now that I've seen World of Color twice, I can confidently say my kids won't be watching any of it from behind my legs. I would call the Buzz vs. Zurig and Pirates of the Caribbean sequences "intense," not scary. Fire and loud music ramp up the action, but never the nerves. The Lion King bit with Simba and the stampede is more emotional than frightening.
That's the word I would use to describe the whole show World of Color: emotional. Kids will respond to the music, the colors, the characters and the surprises with the delight and wonder that only Disney can deliver. I know that's how I responded–at one point hugging the utter stranger who was standing next to me. I could tell, we were both having a moment as Pocahontas started to sing "Just Around The River Bend" and the entire screen became a panoramic, crystal-clear scene of wilderness.
World of Color is really that good. So, go. Maybe not this week, maybe not even this summer, but put it on your bucket list of things to do in the next four months. Starting in the fall, the pre-show will change with every showing and there is talk of a holiday show as well. So carve out the time to go see it soon with your family.
"It's like our [Disney's] version of diner and a movie," Bob Iger, The Walt Disney Company's President and CEO, told me on the red carpet. Here are some of the ways Disney is making that happen:
Picnic meals with reserved viewing tickets: Order a picnic meal online or pick one up at Sonoma Terrace, Golden Vine Winery the day you want to see the show. Adult meals are $14.99–Taste of Asia, European Antiposto, Mediterranean Vegetarian–and the smaller kids's meals are $9.99. Click here to get the details and order.
All these meals come in a large World of Color tote and the kids' meals include a glow bracelet in each tote. Important to note here; you'll receive a ticket for a reserved viewing section with each meal. In my opinion, this is the way to go.
Dining packages with preferred viewing: Wine County Trattoria and Ariel's Grotto Restaurants offer pre-fixed meals at $36.99 for adults and $20.99 for the kiddos. It's the highfalutin' way to experience the show. Call (714) 781- DINE to order, or click here for more information. After dinner these lucky guests will be escorted to their own premier viewing area.
FASTPASS: To get the best view of the show you'll need to get some sort of preferred or reserved viewing–at least not through the summer. So, if these meal options aren't in your budget or don't sound delectable to you, there's always the FASTPASS option.
Pick up your World of Color FASTPASS at the Grizzly River Run Terminal. **They will not interfere with your other FASTPASS tickets of the day.**
The World of Color FASSPASS tickets are available every morning when the park opens and the four to six thousand passes that are available have sold out quickly, so get there early.
It will take some planning on your part, but it will be worth the effort.
I call the play-by-play of the Premier of World of Color
Please check out my photo slideshow of the Red Carpet event (Teri Hatcher, John Stamos, Jason Segal, Jamie Lee Curtis) along with photos of the exclusive pre-show, four different views of the show, and random facts about World of Color–all accompanied by my running commentary. This will really give you a feel for the show. Click anywhere on the photo below to get started…
Can't get enough World of Color? Check out these blogs.
Marcy of "The Glamorous Life." The World of Color Red Carpet (Unless I'm color blind.)
Lisa from "Babes in Disneyland." World of Color Review with Lots of Pictures.