Description And Comments
The 1,200 high-pressure water nozzles installed under the surface of DCAâ€™s Paradise Bay are the infrastructure for Disneyâ€™s $75-million attempt to keep guests in the park (and spending money) until closing time. If youâ€™ve seen or heard about the spectacular fountain show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, World of Color is similar but larger, with more special effects and themed to Disney movies.
The show includes a new musical score and incorporates dozens of Disney films and characters in its 27-minute performance. The showâ€™s backdrop includes Mickeyâ€™s Fun Wheel, which was fitted with special lighting effects for use in the show. Giant projection surfaces sculpted by sprayed waterâ€”even larger than those used in Fantasmic!â€”display custom-made animations, and flamethrowers spew almost enough heat to dry off guests standing in the splash zones. Whatâ€™s most remarkable about the show is how the flashing colored lights and pulsating fountains combine to look like low-level fireworks. The effects are astounding, the colors are vibrant and deep, and the music includes some of Disneyâ€™s best songs without being overloaded by overly sentimental ballads.
You can even invest $25 in Glow with the Show mouse ear hats that illuminate in sync with the show; better yet, stand toward the rear and freeload by eyeballing others who bought them.
But while World of Color is aesthetically entrancing, dramatically speaking itâ€™s a bit of a dud. Disney spectacles have never needed especially strong story lines, but World of Color is so plotless that it makes Fantasmic! next door look like a Russian novel. The show is essentially a 30-minute montage of movie moments with awkwardly edited segues straining to tie them together. Despite the showâ€™s titular association with Uncle Waltâ€™s 1960s NBC TV show, and the retro theme of DCAâ€™s overall rebranding, thereâ€™s precious little vintage Disney referenced in World of Color. Aside from a brief cameo by 1937â€™s The Old Mill, almost all the featured films are drawn from the last quarter century, with lots of mist-screen time given to modern Pixar heroes such as Buzz Lightyear and Wall-E, and footage from the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film.
From time to time, a sequence will be temporarily added to the show in celebration of a holiday or to promote a new Disney product; for example, a Christmas season preshow features elves from Pixarâ€™s Prep and Landing shorts, and a Brave-based montage was inserted during the filmâ€™s summer 2012 debut. Thereâ€™s also a handful of obscurities mysteriously tossed in: Was there a fan club somewhere clamoring for more of Fantasia 2000â€™s flying whales? Ultimately, thereâ€™s enough dazzling eye candy to overwhelm any underlying emotional emptiness in the narrative.
Finally, World of Color has more false finales than the last Lord of the Rings film, so stay put until youâ€™re absolutely sure that the show is over.
- This attraction offers FASTPASS.
Entertainment value aside, World of Color is an operational nightmare. The effects were expressly designed to be viewed from Paradise Park, the tiered area along the lagoon in front of The Little Mermaid attraction. Unfortunately, only about 4,500 peopleâ€”barely a quarter of the parkâ€™s average daily attendanceâ€”are permitted to stand there for each show. Though demand has slacked somewhat since its opening season, getting a decent view for World of Color requires time, planning, and/or money, and therefore can almost seem to be more trouble to see than itâ€™s worth, but we still consider it not to be missed. A couple from San Jose writes:
Although the [World of Color] Fastpass line was horrible and waiting for the show was horrible, the show itself was simply amazing.
An Austin, Texas, mom found World of Color challenging:
World of Color was fantastic but hard for kids and shorter adults to see unless they are standing right in front facing Mickeyâ€™s Wheel. My son could not see the preshow at all, and I had to put him on my shoulders for the 26-minute production. My back has not recovered. They need amphitheater reserved seating. We arrived 1Â½ hours prior to DCA opening to get a Fastpass and waited 1Â½ hours for the â€¨show to start when admitted.
If you want anything approaching a decent view of World of Color, youâ€™ll need a special Fastpass, the securing of which can be an annoying adventure in and of itself. Here are your options for obtaining Fastpasses, beginning with the easiest (and most expensive) method:
Guests staying at Disneyâ€™s Grand Californian, Paradise Pier, or Disneyland Hotel are allowed to enter DCA through the Grand Californianâ€™s exclusive entrance and obtain World of Color Fastpasses 30 minutes before the general public. Youâ€™ll have to show a hotel key card to prove that you are a resort guest before entering the park.
World of Color meal packages are offered by the Wine Country Trattoria. The fixed-price dinner runs $40 per adult ($21 for kids) and includes appetizer, your choice of entrÃ©e, dessert, and nonalcoholic beverage. Lunch is $30 ($19 for kids) from a more limited menu. Priority Seating reservations are a must, especially during busy seasons (see Part 4 for dining details). All lunch and dinner patrons at Carthay Circle Restaurant who order both an entrÃ©e and an appetizer or dessert are eligible for VIP World of Color viewing at no additional cost. After your meal, youâ€™ll receive special Fastpasses for each member of your party, permitting entry into a VIP Preferred Viewing area reserved for dining package patrons. Note that you donâ€™t actually watch the show from the restaurant, so youâ€™ll want to eat early enough to make it to the viewing area. Though expensive, this is the only way to be guaranteed a central viewing spot with minimal crowding. On nights when there are multiple World of Color performances, early eaters receive passes to the first show, while those eating later get tickets to the later viewing.
A counter near Wine Country Trattoria sells boxed picnics, including a light dinner, bottled water or soda, and a World of Color Fastpass. Picnics can also be preordered online at disneyland.com and may sell out on busy days. Wine or beer is available for an extra charge, and you get a reusable World of Color tote bag in which to carry your meals. Though served cold, the picnics are remarkably tasty; we can vouch for the European cured meat and aged cheese antipasto, and the Asian miso-glazed salmon and soba noodles. Kids pay the adult price and can choose from PB&J or fried chicken. Even if you donâ€™t want the food, many locals consider it worthwhile for the Fastpass alone. Note that the picnic Fastpasses do not entitle you to sit in the VIP section reserved for the higher-priced dinner packages.
For a $10 per person cover charge, you can watch World of Color from the Cove Bar. The view of the projections is less than ideal, but no reservations are required, and you can sit down with an adult beverage during the show.
Free Fastpasses are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis from the Grizzly River Run Fastpass machines. Make sure that you get passes for your whole party at once, or you may end up in different sections or showings. These machines are disconnected from the rest of the parkâ€™s Fastpasses system, so your World of Color ticket wonâ€™t interfere with other attractions. On busy days they may all be claimed by early afternoon. If seeing the first World of Color show of the night is a priority for you, we suggest getting a Fastpass within the first 30 minutes the park is open. When a second show is scheduled, Fastpasses for the late performance can often be had well into the afternoon.
Once you have your Fastpass, youâ€™ll notice that youâ€™ve been assigned one of two color-coded sections. Yellow is the most central viewing area and stretches to the right side (near the Golden Zephyr), and blue includes the left side and and bridge. A special section is available upon request for disabled guests, and a prime area in the middle is reserved for VIPs and dining package purchasers.
Your Fastpass also includes a return time window. You wonâ€™t be allowed into Paradise Park before the start time, but the best viewing spots will all be claimed shortly after opening, so donâ€™t be surprised to see people lining up an hour before the area opens. Once inside the viewing area, try to move to the front of an elevated area. Youâ€™re best off at the front of an elevated tier farther back, rather than at the rear of a lower section, as these readers from Langley, British Columbia, discovered:
World of Color was great, but even with Fastpass it was hard for me to see (wearing flat shoes and being 5'5"). My husband, who is 6'4", also found himself bobbing around trying to see. When we got there, we had good line of sight, but as people stood up and put their kids on their shoulders, it became difficult.
If you stand close to the railing, pay attention to the splash zone signs; on a calm night, youâ€™ll be seriously spritzed, and if the wind blows the wrong way, youâ€™ll get soaked.
If all else fails, itâ€™s theoretically possible to view the show from various points around the park, but employees with flashlights will vigorously shoo you away from all the obvious vantage points. The best ticketless viewing spot is next to the Golden Zephyr, to the right of the yellow section. Unticketed viewing is also available immediately in front of The Little Mermaid attraction. You can see many of the fountain and lighting effects from the opposite side of Paradise Pier, near the bases of Mickeyâ€™s Fun Wheel and Silly Symphony Swings, but the mist projections are illegible from that angle, so we canâ€™t recommend it for first-time viewers. On nights when there are multiple performances, you have better odds finding a good spot for the last show.
After the show, if you are headed to the hotels or Downtown Disney, you can bypass the crowd at the main entrance by exiting through the Grand Californian.
Not to be missed.
Other Attractions in Paradise Pier
- California Screamin'
- Golden Zephyr
- Goofy's Sky School
- Instant Concert! ...Just Add Water
- Jumpin' Jellyfish
- King Triton's Carousel
- Mickey's Fun Wheel - Non Swinging
- Mickey's Fun Wheel - Swinging
- Operation: Playtime! - featuring the Green Army Men
- Paradise Garden Bandstand
- Phineas and Ferb Rockin' Rollin' Dance Party
- Pixar Play Parade
- Silly Symphony Swings - Single
- Silly Symphony Swings - Tandem
- The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
Touring Plans with World of Color
|One showing at 9:15pm|
|Opening Date||June 11, 2010|
|Scope and scale||Super Headliner|
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