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    World of Color

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Description And Comments

The 1,200 high-pressure water nozzles installed under the surface of DCA's Paradise Bay are the infrastructure for Disney's $75-million attempt to keep guests in the park (and spending money) until closing time. If you'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.

World of Color incorporates clips from dozens of Disney films, and characters in its 22-minute performance. The show's backdrop includes Mickey's Fun Wheel, which was fitted with special lighting effects for use in the show. Giant projection surfaces sculpted by sprayed water — even larger than those used in Fantasmic! — display custom-made animations, and flamethrowers spew almost enough heat to dry off guests standing in the splash zones. What'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 and the music includes some beloved Disney songs.

For the holiday season, World of Color - Season of Light is shown instead of the regular show. Season of Light uses classic Christmas songs and many snow-filled holiday moments from Disney films past and present.

Touring Tips

  • This attraction may offer a same-day Virtual Queue via Disney's app. If available, we recommend that you join the Virtual Queue.

You must join a virtual queue in order to access a World of Color viewing area at night. The virtual queue "opens" at noon each day in the Disneyland app, and you should join immediately if you want to see the show. If you miss out on the virtual queue or do not want to deal with that hassle, you can purchase a dining package that includes a viewing spot, or you can try to watch from outside the designated viewing areas--although the view won't be great, you can see aspects of the show from all around the lagoon.

See our step-by-step guide for how to get a World of Color virtual queue spot.

Entertainment value aside, World of Color is an operational nightmare. The effects were expressly designed to be viewed from Paradise Gardens Park, the tiered area along the lagoon in front of The Little Mermaid attraction. Unfortunately, only about 4,500 people, barely a quarter of the park's average daily attendance, are permitted to stand there for each show. 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 it's worth, but we still consider it not to be missed. A couple from San Jose writes:

Although 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 Mickey's Wheel. My son could not see the preshow at all, and I had to put him on my shoulders for the [entire] production. My back has not recovered. They need amphitheater reserved seating. We waited 90 minutes for the show to start when admitted.

The easiest (and most expensive) way of guaranteeing a World of Color viewing spot is via dining packages:

World of Color meal packages are offered by Wine Country Trattoria in DCA, or Storytellers Cafe in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. Wine Country Trattoria's fixed-price dinner runs around $59 per adult (and over $35 for kids) and includes an appetizer , choice of entree, a dessert, and a nonalcoholic beverage. Storytellers Cafe's package is priced around $44 for adults, $24 for kids, and includes the restaurant's buffet, a nonalcoholic beverage, and a special dessert. (The above prices do not include tax and tip.)

After your meal, you'll receive special tickets for each member of your party, permitting entry into a Preferred Viewing area reserved for dining package patrons. Note that you don't actually watch the show from the restaurant, so you'll want to eat early enough to make it to the viewing area. The viewing section for premium dining patrons is dead center along the waterline. Those standing at the front railing are likely to get soaked; we recommend finding an elevated step in the rear of the dining section (just in front of the Blue section) which will afford a better (and drier) view. To enter the dining package area, look for the illuminated white entrance signs between the blue and yellow sections, directly across from the Little Mermaid ride. 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; be sure to confirm when booking your meal which showing you’ll be scheduled to attend.

A word to the wise: You may get wet during World of Color. If you stand anywhere near the railing, pay attention to the splash zone signs; on a calm night, you'll be seriously spritzed. When the wind blows the wrong way (which is pretty much always), even those several steps back will get soaked.

If all else fails, it'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. 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 Gardens Park, near the bases of Mickey's Fun Wheel and Silly Symphony Swings, but the mist projections are illegible from that angle, so we can'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.

Attraction Photos

Special Comments

Not to be missed.

Special Needs

Other Attractions in Paradise Gardens Park

Touring Plans with World of Color

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