Since World of Color first debuted in June 2010, more than eight million theme park guests have gazed upon the nighttime spectacle of dancing fountains and vibrant projections, performed more than 2,100 times. Disneyland has regularly updated the show over the last 3+ years with new sequences and scenes from the latest movie releases. But it wasn’t until this Christmas season that an all-new World of Color show has finally premiered.
Making its debut in front of a crowd of press and Disney Parks Blog sweepstakes winners, World of Color - Winter Dreams showed off 30 minutes of holiday fun hosted by one of Disney’s newest characters, Olaf the snowman from the upcoming film “Frozen.” In attendance to help mark the new show’s debut was actor Josh Gad, voice of Olaf, alongside Imagineer and World of Color creator Steve Davison.
Video: Steve Davison and Josh Gad introduce World of Color - Winter Dreams
The crowd was given complementary Glow With the Show Mickey ear hats to interact with the new version of World of Color, adding an extra layer of visual pop to the already packed performance. It’s the second time Disneyland has created a big scene surrounding the Glow With the Show ears, first occurring with their unveiling in June 2012.
With everyone eared up and in position, Disney California Adventure ran World of Color - Winter Dreams for the public for the first time.
Video: Full World of Color - Winter Dreams debut show
The new show starts off with an unusual twist, a virtual choir assembled from Disney fans and singers who over the last few weeks submitted videos of themselves singing the same song online for composer and conductor Eric Whitacre to assemble into a beautiful mix.
From there, the show flowed through a variety of Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holiday songs, such as a “Toy Story” version of The Nutcracker, along with a few from Disney’s own songbook prominently featuring two full songs from “Frozen” - Olaf’s hilarious “In Summer” and Elsa’s personal ballad “Let It Go.”
Video: “Let It Go” from “Frozen” in World of Color - Winter Dreams
Other Disney classics make the mix, such as Bambi and Thumper sliding across the ice.
In the end, new lighting effects were used across Paradise Pier, illuminating the California Screamin’ roller coaster structure with a grid of color as the show’s fountains danced and Mickey’s Fun Wheel lit up. Nearly 700 high-power LED strobe lights now line California Screamin’, each with four individual control channels. Also added in the viewing area are six “snow generators” which create giant, floating snowflakes in six different designs. It’s an impressive set of additions that ought to carry forward well beyond the Winter Dreams version of the show.
“I’m thrilled and amazed to see ‘World of Color – Winter Dreams’ come to life on the Paradise Bay,” said Davison. “Each night as we worked on the programming, it was fun to see the magic happen as we blended the new music, animation, lasers and special effects into a dazzling holiday show.”
As with the Glow With the Show debut, the usage of the synchronized ear hats was impressive on this Winter Dreams debut night as a sea of heads all illuminated in time with the music. On an average night, the sight isn’t quite as dramatic with only a handful of guests wearing them. It’s a concept that needs to be be employed en masse to fully be enjoyed.
World of Color - Winter Dreams continues nightly at Disney California Adventure through January 6, 2014, included with park admission.
Video by Carmelle Marshall. Photos by Shawn Marshall and Disney.