More Behind the Scenes Stories

World of Color — Behind the H2O — The Journey Begins

Steven Davison

by , 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!


  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • the wheel looks fav!!!

  • 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.

  • 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?!? … :).

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

  • ……………wow……………

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


  • 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!

  • …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!

  • 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

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

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

    Stellar stuff.

  • 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)

  • The anticipation is better than Christmas.:)

  • 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

  • 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!

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

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

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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 !!!

  • Thanks so much for the sneak peek Steven!

    I’m really looking forward to World of Color! 🙂

  • 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!

Comments are closed.