OK; let’s have a little World of Color!
I mentioned it briefly before, but World of Color is a new nighttime show in “Paradise Bay” at Disney California Adventure (DCA). Think a souped up, colorful Bellagio show, with giant Fantasmic! screens, some of them in layers like 3-D, and then with some new effects you’ve just plain never seen before. The show is part of DCA’s $1,000,000,000 effort to make the park into an all-day destination.
The show is meant to be viewed from Paradise Park, though you can also view it from the back side around Paradise Pier. (Do you think they use the word Paradise enough?)
To view from Paradise Park (which is more or less standing only), you must obtain a Fastpass, which always requires planning. I’d recommend the first show at 9 PM because there’s an amusing “pre-show” to get the crowd excited, with puppetry, kind of silly music, etc.
That said, if you despise shows where they try to make you get involved, you might want to miss the pre-show, which would make the later show a better choice. I was so excited, I was singing right along with the performers.
Anyway, your choices to obtain Fastpasses are:
- Line up for a Fastpass at the Grizzly River Rapids ride. You can probably get in line before the park opens and I’d definitely suggest you get there at 9:30 AM or earlier. You may not really know whether you’re in a good section or not until you’re actually put into the viewing area. I believe they distribute the 9:00 PM show Fastpasses first, then the 10:15 PM Fastpasses. If a third show is announced (which I’ve heard will be happening throughout the summer), the 11:30 show’s Fastpasses will be distributed at that time.
- Buy a picnic package for about $15 plus tax. You get a modestly-sized meal and a Fastpass for World of Color to some section. You can order online for the first World of Color viewing at 9 PM, or walk-up and buy one for the second World of Color viewing at 10:15 PM. They’re not offered for the third show. You won’t know for sure which section you’ll be in. I’d suggest you bring ponchos, just in case. This blog has a good review of this and tells you how to order online.
- Buy a reserved dining package for about $37-$40 plus tax and tip at either Ariel’s Grotto (no princesses) or Wine Country Trattoria. You’ll get a 3-course (or so) meal and a Fastpass to the special reserved dining section, which is overall better than the picnic section. You can get this for the 9:00 PM or 10:15 PM show. Call 714-781-DINE for reservations. Be prepared to hold!
We did the reserved dining package, and since we went on the first public opening day, I think that was a great idea. But I think the best value is probably the picnic package, as you get a reserved seat with little wait, and some food.
Regardless, you want to get to your designated waiting area BEFORE the time on your Fastpass. Yes, your Fastpass will say no early or late entries will be accommodated. But Disney has been letting people line up, and sometimes even enter, early. Your goal when you enter the park (unless you’re abnormally tall) is to get right behind a railing, a low wall, a rope that marks a walkway, etc. You don’t want people’s heads coming between you and the show.
We had a reservation at Wine Country Trattoria at 4:40 PM on Friday, June 11, 2010.
For our dining package, we were seated indoors (tip: if the weather is good and you ask to sit outdoors, you may be able to see the Pixar Play Parade!). I think I mentioned in a previous post the major trouble I had in that I called for a 4:00 PM reservation shortly after the dining package was announced, then called back a few days later to confirm, and they didn’t have me down for the World of Color dining! I’m not the only person who has had issues with Disney Dining on this one, so I would DEFINITELY call them and then call back again to confirm.
A man in a suit–an online post leads me to believe he’s the head of restaurants in the parks–asked us how we were/did we plan to go to World of Color (when we said ‘yes’ he said he guessed that from our salads!) and when did we book our meal. So I told him our reservation story.
Early reports included an appetizer of some sort. Disney Dining and allears.net had reported “A wine country sampler of Bruschette, Prociutto and marinated olives, roasted vegetables, and caprese salad.”
This is what we got.
If I had recalled what we were “supposed” to be getting, I would have been more dissatisfied; as it was, the “crostini” was pretty good, but not at all what I’d consider to be an appetizer.
The salad was interesting, but I liked it.
There was a pretty big delay before we got our entrees. Luckily we had plenty of time.
Once we ate and FINALLY paid (it took about 25 minutes between when we finished our dessert and when we finally got the receipt to sign!), we took our World of Color Fastpasses and hung out for about an hour before the show. More on that later!
I thought the overall meal was pretty decent…but I ate at Ariel’s Grotto the following day for a Princess lunch (well, more accurately, a princess linner or lupper) and that food was slightly bigger, with bigger portions. I have seen pictures of a fabulous dessert at Ariel’s too, though I’ve heard mixed reviews as to the taste. So I’d give Ariel’s the edge for this one, unless you want to meet the princesses there and don’t want to eat there twice. We didn’t want to eat there twice in one trip so that’s why we picked Wine Country Trattoria and that was OK.
Of course, if we hadn’t had a light meal, I might not have had room for THIS!
The Fastpasses VERY clearly said to arrive between 7:30 PM and 8:30 PM, and that early and late arrivals would not be accommodated. We went toward the mass of people at the barricades by Paradise Pier around 7:20. Good thing we did; we asked and they’d already let some people through!
It was a veritable maze of ropes but we finally reached the viewing area. We stood just behind the ropes that formed a walkway on the right side, with a center view of the Fun Wheel. There was tons of room to sit before the show, but they asked people to get up about 8:15 (not us, but people, so we got up anyway).
The view really was practically perfect; no heads in our way. The actual area was, I estimated, about half full (someone else here said 30-40%). Since people paid a good amount of money to secure these spots, I don’t think they’ll fill up that area TOO full. I’ve also heard they’re purposely underbooking, though.
This area was a semi-wet area; we got almost rained on during one or two scenes, and misted on as well, as evidenced here. I think the Cast Members call it “wet”.
If you arrive before the first show only, there is a little Carnivale of Color show. Some people consider it “can’t miss” because of the puppets. I thought it was cute but mostly I was just so excited to be there. Yes, when they told us to sing along I actually did! And when they sang “Something, something, something good” I believed it. We were literally probably 15 feet away from the female “face” performer, unobstructed view.
Just a few photos of the show proper; it’s hard to photograph and watch at the same time, and it’s so wide, I couldn’t really zoom in.
There is a small “encore” show after, so don’t rush out when the show ends–stay a few minutes to watch. We did so, then made our way to the Blue Sky Cellar area to wait out the crowds a bit.
It was a technically beautiful show and well worth seeing. It’s hard to compare to Fantasmic! because it’s completely different, but it was beautiful, and is definitely worth planning to see. Make the effort to go!
If you’re going in the next few weeks I’d definitely recommend a picnic or reserved dining package–anything that will get you a Fastpass without much hassle. The picnic meals are really the best deal, as you get food, a tote bag, and a bottled soda, plus viewing (not as nice as ours usually, but nice) for $15.
If you are going without Preferred Reserved Viewing (i.e. the most expensive option), I’d suggest you bring a Dollar Tree poncho for everyone in your party, just in case. We did not need ours though!
Next time I’ll have some tips for meeting characters, especially princesses!