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World of Color — Behind the H2O — The Journey Begins

posted on January 8th, 2010 by Steven Davison, Imagineer, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment

Hi, I’m Steve Davison, and I’m an Imagineer with Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment. I’m joining the Disney Parks Blog this month to talk about a project that’s very close to my heart – “World of Color.” In the coming months, I’ll be sharing the latest updates on the show, some inside information and exclusive photos and videos.

As testing begins in the Paradise Bay Lagoon, through periodic blog posts, we’re going to be giving guests a behind the “water screen” look at the show as it is created. It will take months of programming to bring all the elements to life as we weave the tapestry of the show together. When you create a show you mentally put it together in your mind. Then you take those initial ideas and test them looking for the right look and feel. After a lot of trial and error, you finally get to see it come to life in front of your eyes.

But even before the programming sessions can begin, all the effects systems have to be brought on-line and fleshed out. With thousands of individual effects in the show, this meticulous initial testing process takes time. Every device has to be individually tested and programmed into the master show matrix. Once this is complete, the actual programming can begin.

One of the first effects elements to be tested was the fire system. Audiences are going to be really surprised by the World of Color fire effects. Because the units are randomly placed throughout the show platform, they will shock you when they appear. Here is a test video of the first look at the fire. While it is not the final program, it will give you a sense of the visual power it yields!

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort



Catherine on January 8th, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I am always amazed at the imagineering level at the Disney Parks. This one also sounds like a real winner. Oh please, let the booking process for our family vacation begin!


Fred from CA on January 8th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Thanks so much for the sneak peek Steven!

I’m really looking forward to World of Color! :)


Daniel on January 8th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

I can’t wait till they have this done. It’s been 5 months since I have been there. I need a road trip NOW !!!


Amy on January 8th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I am so excited! Thanks imagineers for a great show to look forward to. Looks great and I can’t wait to see the finished product!


Andrew on January 8th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

This may be my imagination, but in the last second shot, right at the very end… it kinda sounds like a chord from the climax of “Hellfire” from Hunchback of Notre Dame.


Rachael on January 8th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

That looks amazing! I can’t wait to see more videos from the testing stage, and finally see the full shot of what it looks like when the Show comes to life. Very Excited!


Michael on January 8th, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I was under the impression that all this was to be under water. Is the lagoon not full? If not, when will it be filled?


Penny on January 8th, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Welcome Mr. Steven Davison! I’m sure excited to see more from the world of color! I look forward to the next installment, because this one was awesome!


Kim on January 8th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Great sneak peek I can’t wait to see the “real” thing!!! I’m sure it will be AWESOME!


Diane on January 8th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I’m so excited for this. I remember when the bay had Luminaria and it was such a great show. Thanks a million Steven!


Doug from OH on January 8th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Very cool! Thank you so much for posting these updates! I know that myself and other hardcore Disney fanatics love to see this kind of stuff, so thanks! Can’t wait to see more!


Karen on January 8th, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Thank You!! It’s so cool to see videos of progress~ I visit the park often and I’ve taken many pictures of the steps to awesomeness.
I was thrilled the day water started to fill up Paradise Bay Lagoon, that I had to take video of my own. Cant wait till it’s ready to open. I’ll be there!

Thanks Steve


Annette from AB on January 8th, 2010 at 2:59 pm

The anticipation is better than Christmas.:)


Amy on January 8th, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I can’t wait!!! Disney is outdoing themselves yet again! I’m so excited, I want to be at the front of the line to see the unveiling! :0)


Evan on January 8th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

See, THAT is the type of Imagineering and investment we need at Walt Disney World.

Stellar stuff.


Perry on January 8th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Michael, the platform drops under the water level in normal operation.


Daniel from Herts on January 8th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Steve this looks like it is going to be amazing. Please give us a video of the imagineers at work when you start programming – I would love to see the thought process that goes into making the show


Fred from CA on January 8th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

…Oh, and Steven, I also saw your World of Color presentation at the D23 Expo, so I’m really excited about this!

This is just the kind of nighttime spectacular that California Adventure needs!


Mark on January 8th, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Steven, you never cease to amaze! Thank you for posting this video. We are looking forward to seeing the show when we come out to Anaheim in June. Haven’t been back to Disneyland Resort since our last trip in June 2001 and I’m sure we will have to see “World of Color” several times while we are there!


Randall from CA on January 8th, 2010 at 4:20 pm



Maureen from CA on January 8th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I was there yesterday…got to watch the water testing, incredible!! Can’t wait for the finished product!!!


Margaret from CA on January 8th, 2010 at 6:40 pm



Mary on January 8th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Mary from Santa Barbara, CA
I cant wait to see this when its open!!!


Andrea from CA on January 8th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

AWESOME! I have followed the progress during my 4 visits last year. Looking forward to the finished product. Will be there soon. Disney Imagineers are #1!


Madonna from CA on January 8th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Wow – we have been watching this all come together – can’t wait to see it when it opens – thank you for sharing this – please share more.


Laureen from TX on January 8th, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Nothing beats Mickey Magic! Can’t wait to see more updates.


Amanda on January 9th, 2010 at 11:37 am

Thanks for this Stephen, your work is simply incredible and inspiring. Any chance of us seeing a version of this in Orlando any time on the horizon? …. please?!? … :).


John on January 9th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Since California Adventure opened I felt that part of the park was always missing something. When World of Color started production it seemed to be a solid fit. This is going to be a gem.


Diana from sonora on January 9th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

the wheel looks fav!!!


Fred from WA on January 11th, 2010 at 4:24 am

Steve, very exciting to be the creator and artist in the design of the fire effects. I would love to have your job! You are very much on the “cutting edge” of stepping up to what we consider world class entertainment, which Disney is so well known for achieving.

Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!


Jonathan on January 12th, 2010 at 8:41 am

I’m a huge fan of the incredible music created for shows like Fantasmic, assorted fireworks productions and especially Gavin Greenaway’s astounding and moving composition for Reflections of Earth. I’m guessing the soundtrack for this show will be impressive and would love a little more info about it. Also, as much as I love the current EPCOT show (and would hate to see it go), I think it needs to be updated with impressive fountain and fire effects on a par with World of Color. From Ohio, I’ve been following the World of Color construction and I’m already thinking about a visit because of this show. Steve… any info you can offer about the soundtrack?


Yazmin on January 13th, 2010 at 1:25 pm

I’m also really looking forward to the music for this show. Steven – please give us a sampling of the soundtrack in a future blog entry! :)

I am really hoping Disney will eventually release a CD soundtrack for the show. I’m still waiting for the music from Magical fireworks as well as Parade of Dreams and Pixar Play Parade!