An Insider's Look at Disney's New World of Color - Celebrate

May 19, 2015, 10:28 PM · Along with fireworks and its electrical parade, Disneyland added a third nighttime spectacular in 1992 with Fantasmic! Set on the Rivers of America in Frontierland, Fantasmic! created a new form on nighttime entertainment by blending a live stage show that played on Tom Sawyer Island and Disneyland's rivercraft, with lasers, pyrotechnics and revolutionary new water screens, upon which were projected scenes from Disney's animated classics.

Nearly two decades later, in 2010, Disney welcomed a new generation of water-screen-based entertainment to develop World of Color, which played across the esplanade at Disney California Adventure. Set on the Paradise Bay, World of Color uses much larger water screens than Fantasmic!, allowing this show to paint its scenes on a grander scale. Coupled with dancing fountains and a touch of pyro, too, World of Color has become a hit on its own, challenging Fantasmic! for the loyalty and attention of Disneyland visitors.

World of Color

As a screen-based show, World of Color also gives Disney's creative team more flexibility than they have with Fantasmic! Disney can edit new scenes into World of Color much more easily than they could block and rehearse the more traditional theater of its elder sibling across the way. Indeed, since World of Color debuted, Disney has swapped the original show for new versions, including the World of Color - Winter Dreams edition that in 2013 introduced fans to a little Disney animated film called Frozen, featuring its soon-to-become ubiquitous anthem, "Let It Go."

This weekend, Disney California Adventure will open the newest version of World of Color: "World of Color - Celebrate," honoring the 60th anniversary of the Disneyland Resort. Unlike the other two Diamond Anniversary shows — the "Disneyland Forever" fireworks and the "Paint the Night" parade — nostalgia will play a larger role in this version of World of Color. Mickey Mouse and Neil Patrick Harris (the voice of California Screamin') will introduce the show, which will start with snippets from classic Disney cartoons such as Steamboat Willie and Plane Crazy before moving on to Fantasia and modern Disney films, including, yes, Frozen. Walt Disney will make appearances during the show, which also will pay tribute to classic Disneyland attractions.

With the clips of the park's opening day and nods to its most beloved attractions, one wonders why Disneyland didn't swap names with the fireworks show, and dub this production "Disneyland Forever" and that show "Celebrate"? Alas.

World of Color - Celebrate debuts to the press tomorrow night and to the public during the 24-hour party on Friday evening.

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