Photos and Video

World of Color Time-Lapse Video

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Welcome to the Labs. We invited some of the most distinct photographers to come and work here. Unfortunately, none of them showed up. Instead, let me introduce you to the guy who runs our photo lab. Me.

While many of our tasks in the Labs are arduous, like determining how long it takes to walk from Dumbo to Splash Mountain (I still think we should calculate the time it takes to walk from France (Epcot’s) to Asia (Animal Kingdom’s) but then again, I don’t do these walking times), others can be really fun. Like my decision to shoot this time lapse video of World of Color. Did we really need a time lapse video for Touring Plan, wait time, or Crowd Calendar purposes? Probably not. But does a prominent search engine really need an animated doodle that changes every day? No. Some things you just do for the sake of doing something fun and cool.

And that’s how we wound up with a time lapse video of Disneyland’s World of Color. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a time lapse video is a video comprised of photos captured at a dramatically lower interval than that at which they’ll be played back. For example, one frame may be photographed every second and in video form, thirty of those frames are played back in a single second. Because of this, time in the video appears to “lapse,” or move faster than it would in reality.

If that explanation doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, watch the World of Color Time Lapse video below to get a better idea of what occurs in time lapse photography. Make sure to go to our YouTube page and watch the video in 1080p resolution there. It looks much better in high-def. While you’re there, click “Subscribe” so you can follow all of our YouTube antics. Perhaps antics is a strong word…we mostly post high-def Disney hotel room tours. But we have some other exciting projects in the pipelines, too.

The idea of photographing World of Color for time lapse first came to me this summer while flipping through photos. I realized I had a lot of World of Color photos, so many that I could make an “after the fact” time lapse video of World of Color from these photos I had already shoot. The video I made was chunky but fun, so I was hooked.

I had already shot other Disneyland Christmas time lapse footage on this particular trip, but doing a real time lapse video for World of Color wasn’t so simple. Luckily, on the day I was set to shoot this video, it poured. Well, maybe I’m playing fast and loose with the term “lucky” when referring to it raining. From the perspective of the time lapse video, though, it was lucky, as the rain cleared out the parks. By the time the late showing of World of Color rolled around, there were very few people waiting to watch. In fact, for most of the show, there was no one within 20 feet of me in the front row. This was definitely good, as a tripod is necessary for shooting time lapse, and heavy World of Color crowds often amount to a bumped tripod.

Other obstacles, such as the bright flashes of light from the fire in the Pirates of the Caribbean 4 scene, mist blown onto my camera’s lens, and deep blue lighting in some scenes also posed challenges. A few frames had to be removed from the finished product because of these issues. I won’t bore you all with the technical nuts and bolts of the photography-side of this project (look for a podcast episode covering that), but all told, I used 1,466 photos in this video, which presents the entire 26 minute show in less than two minutes.

So there you have it, a look behind the doors at one of the many world-changing projects we’ve created in the TouringPlans Labs. While we may not be making creatures like Waldo, we believe we’re making a difference. After all, “if something can’t be done with TouringPlans, then it shouldn’t be done at all. Seize the future with TP!”

What do you think of this World of Color time-lapse? Any questions? Any future time-lapse projects you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments!

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Tom Bricker

Tom is an amateur Walt Disney World photographer. He recently married his princess, Sarah, to whom he became engaged at WDW on the beach of the Polynesian Resort in 2007. Tom and Sarah have a miniature dachshund named Walter E. Dogsney and a yellow cat named Yossarian the Cat. Together, Sarah and Tom run the website Tom's photography can be found on his Flickr page ( and he can be contacted via Twitter (@wdwfigment) and Facebook (

3 thoughts on “World of Color Time-Lapse Video

  • Great video Tom (and Sarah).

  • This is a GORGEOUS video. I saw WoC with my wife for the first time a couple of months ago and you’ve definitely captured the magic. Kudos!

  • Thanks for the video. It was beautiful. Haven’t been to Disneyland for 3 years, so I haven’t seen the show myself.


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