World of Color Review - March 2011

According to Disney, "The World of Color nighttime water spectacular weaves water, color, fire and light into a kaleidoscope of fantasy and imagination. More than 1,000 jets of water form incredible shapes in time to the music as Disney characters come to life on a shimmering veil of mist."

This is all true.  World of Color is a masterpiece of color, lights, sound and water.  Unfortunately that is ALL World of Color does.  In this show there is no variation.  No live characters, no story at all.  In fact, World of Color is a depiction of many much loved Disney and Pixar movies.  Yet at the same time it leaves beloved favorites stuck in the past.  With a cursory visit to Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Bambi, this show tends to stay with the current movies.  Glaringly absent though is any mention of Disney's newest Princess Rapunzel from Tangled.  Instead there is a piece from Tron, a large Disney failure that has been added to the show. 


World of Color is beautiful.  The soundtrack is very well done and will hopefully be added to the next Disneyland Resort CD.  In fact I was singing along with most of the music.  Taking the most popular song from each movie was brilliant.  For the guests watching this was all familiar.  Movies they loved and songs everyone knows. Even the theme songs without words are those that everyone has heard before.  What Disney guest does not know the theme for Pirates of the Caribbean (the movie) or Wall*E.


The show flows well from one point to another, blending pictures in a way that there was  no emptiness in the show.  If there were no pictures the pyrotechnics were used to seamlessly blend one movie to the next.  There were definitely a few high points that the throngs of people standing to view the show really liked.  Two movies that did take the world by storm, one of friendship and one of a quiet love between two characters.  Both the Toy Story and the Wall*E parts of World of Color were greatly appreciated.  In fact it really made me want to watch Wall*E again. 


World of Color is loved by almost everyone who sees the show.  After it was over I was confused.  It was a show I did like, and I definitely loved the music, the colors and the lights.  But this is a show that takes a big commitment to see.


In my opinion the biggest problem that the show has is 'sameness'.  Everything is the same.  And it is done with old technology.  There is no story here.  Disney's original show, Fantasmic! premiered the technology.  More than 10 years ago. 


The other big issue with World of Color is the viewing area.  The Paradise Bay Lagoon is huge, and Disney expected to fill this area with happy guests.  The problem here is that less guests fit into the area than first projected, and many of the guests are complaining.  Having to stand for more than an hour to see a show that you must stand for is not something most people can do without creating pain.  Walking all day is one thing, but then being required to stand in one place for more than an hour can be pure torture for many.


Fantasmic! premiered at Disneyland in 1992.  At Rivers of America the guests are required to sit, so that everyone can see.  In 1996 Disney's Hollywood Studios did one better, creating a special area for their version of Fantasmic!, including stadium seating, which drew rave reviews.  So what did Disney learn from this experience?  Obviously nothing.


And a show that requires a fastpass to see?  So let me get this straight.  To see World of Color I must stand in an impossibly long line to get a fastpass, or spend a great deal of money for a meal to get a fastpass.  And with the meal, you don't even get a SEAT?  For Parents this is a nightmare.  In able for children to see, they must be at the front row of a section, and this is absolutely not feasible for every child to get a front row standing position.


So you have your fastpass now what?  You go to a specific area and wait approximately an hour to be led to your standing area.  You, along with the 100's of other guests in your section try to find that perfect standing area.  Once you find your spot you again stand until the show begins.  In about 30 minutes the show will begin, and the guests stay upright.  The show is approximately 26 minutes long.  Disney, please give us a seat.


World of Color may be beautiful and much loved, but it has many problems that need to be solved before this guest will see it again.


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