Disney California Adventure Park Guests Control the Action with the Fun Wheel Challenge

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

If you’ve been in the “World of Color” audience lately, you may have noticed that some of your fellow Disney California Adventure park guests have been really focused on Mickey’s Fun Wheel. Yes, some of our observant guests have discovered the Fun Wheel Challenge, which officially begins nightly starting November 16.

I recently talked to Jeff Voris, executive R&D Imagineer and Todd Bennett, director of Experience Development at the Disneyland Resort. The two and their teams have been working on this project for the past year – even giving guests a demonstration at the D23 Expo in August. Jeff told me that the idea behind the Fun Wheel Challenge is to give guests the opportunity to interact with each other and their surroundings while they wait for “World of Color” to begin.

Fun with Mickey's Fun Wheel at Disney California Adventure Park

“It’s about giving guests the chance to play. For us, that was the main purpose,” he said. “It’s about engaging with your environment and the people around you.”

So how does it work? It’s pretty simple. Once you’re in the “World of Color” viewing area, just join the PierGames Wi-Fi network from your mobile device, and the game plays within your device’s web browser. This special Wi-Fi network is available 45 minutes before the start of the first “World of Color” show each evening. No apps, no downloads.

“Our goal is to make it as simple as possible,” said Jeff.

Once you’re on, you are playing against other guests, with Mickey’s Fun Wheel as your giant game board. The Fun Wheel Challenge is a matching game in which you compete to match specific sequences of colors on Mickey’s Fun Wheel using your mobile device. And here’s my favorite part – if you win, you get to control the lights on Mickey’s Fun Wheel right from your mobile device.

And don’t forget your “Glow With the Show” Ears! Todd told me that the game has been designed to incorporate those as well.

Check out the Fun Wheel Challenge for yourself, beginning November 16 at Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure park.


  • Before watching Winter Dreams last night, the family and I took the Fun Wheel Challenge. The fun game kept us entertained while waiting for the show to start. Game worked well on the iPad Mini, iPod, and iPhone. We look forward to playing the game again next month.

    Happy Birthday Mickey!!

  • Erin, after enjoying Winter Dreams with the Blog meet up, I had friends who wanted me to join them on friday and the game started that night. It was a lot of fun and a few people around us that we didn’t know, just called out the colors and I found it a great way to meet new friends. And we exchanged Facebook info to keep in touch. Also my friend had her tablet with her and worked real well on that too. I did pretty good, but noticed, the faster you do it the more points you get. I will make sure the next time I go to have enough power on my phone so I can play again.
    Also it was so nice to finally to get to meet and talk with you. I love what you do to keep us informed on what is all happening around the parks. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

    • It was great to meet you, Margo!

  • This is a great example of Disney at it’s best.

  • Sounds TOT’s fun can’t wait to try it out

  • This is really innovative, and sounds like fun! It’s exciting to think of where else and how else this kind of technology can be used in the parks…

  • Next stop…Cinderella Castle? Not as many color changing options, but it would still be awesome!

  • Nick – If I read this correctly it sounds like it’s phone agnostic. As long as your phone supports browsing, it should work.

    Can’t wait to try it on our visit next month!

  • Sounds awesome. What a fun idea. I love how the imagineers are always coming up with new things.

  • This sounds very interesting. Love the fact that the Fun Wheel Challenge will bring everyone in the audience together in an interactive and very clever format! I’ll be sure to try it when I visit next month.

  • Sounds like fun! Do you know how long each game lasts? Is it just one game per night or several?

    I’m wondering how many winners will be selected each night to control the Fun Wheel lights.

    • There are several rounds, so several winners, each night.

  • This is compatible with all smart-phones, not just I-phones?

    • Nick – It has been designed to work on most mobile devices.

  • How cool! Should we bring our “Glow” Ears to tomorrow’s Premiere Meet-up or wait for another day? Thanks, Erin and Disney 🙂

    • If you’re coming to the premiere meet-up, you won’t need to bring your own ears (hint hint) …

  • Thanks Erin. I got a chance to play around with this before a World of Color showing last week. It’s like a giant game of Simon – it was simple to do and a fun way to pass the time. It brings people together, too – we started playing along with other guests near us, and calling out the colors.

  • How cool! Talk about taking “interactive” to whole new level. I can’t wait to try it out on my next trip!

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