Lucky 300 Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at World of Color

On Thursday, August 26, 300 lucky people, including myself, got the chance to take a peek behind the scenes of California Adventure’s new nighttime spectacular World of Color, as well as learn about the show’s development and a Q&A session with the show’s creators. The meet-up was hosted by Disney Parks Blog.

We checked in outside the California Adventure park where we received some goodies — we got a special Disney Parks Blog pin (you can’t buy these anywhere!) and a color print of a scene from the show (very pretty!). We were given our special wristbands and tickets, and we were on our way.

The meet-up went down in Studio 17 in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot. Studio 17 used to house an interactive version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’. All of the guests were provided with refreshments and could take photos with a unique, psychedelic-looking World of Color ‘frame’. At around 7:30 P.M., the lights dimmed and the room was illuminated by colored spotlights. After a couple minutes of hearing some of the World of Color soundtrack, the black curtains were pulled back to reveal our seating area. The stage sat in the middle while two viewing screens sat on the left and right sides of the room.

(L to R) Heather Hust Rivera, Sayre Wiseman, and Steve Davison.

Heather Hust Rivera, writer for Disney Parks Blog and Disneyland Resort Public Relations, gave all of us a very warm welcome and introduced us to the wonderful people who were responsible for World of Color and its amazing success — Sayre Wiseman, Director of Production at Walt Disney Imagineering; Steve Davison, a Disney Parks Blog author and Vice President of Parades and Spectaculars; and Mary Niven, Vice President of Disney California Adventure park and Guest Services.

Davison showed us footage of the soundtrack recording stages at Abbey Road Studios that he shot with his iPhone, as well as a never-before-seen animatic of the show that was created back in 2008 and shows early concepts for the show. Thanks to Davison, I learned that inspiration from the show came from “The World of Color” by the Sherman Brothers back in the 1960s.

Wiseman shared some stories about her experiences while bringing the show to life, and Niven talked about some of the  challenges that arose when it came to making park guests’ experiences as fantastic as possible. Niven shared that she was pleased with show reviews from park  guests that had seen the show, but the best review of all was from her granddaughter who said her favorite part of the show was the magic.

Once they were finished sharing their memories and stories, the meet-up guests got their chance to ask questions about the show.

It was showtime! We were escorted from Studio 17 to our reserved viewing area for the show. We had been given a vibrant caramel apple that I couldn’t stop marveling at the entire walk to Paradise Bay. I had never seen these apples before, so I’m going to guess that they were only available to the meet-up guests and staff that night. (Chip featured them as a Disney Food Confession. That post can be viewed here.)

Our viewing area was great. We got to see some of the fun and interactive pre-show with lit-up puppets: Tigger, Lumiere, Genie, Mike Wazowski, and Sebastian. Then the lights dimmed and the music began. My heart fluttered a teensy bit because it meant that I was seeing the show for my fourth time.

Thank you to Heather, Steve, Sayre and Mary, as well as all of the other Disney cast members who made this event happen, for having all of us and for teaching us so much about the show! I can’t wait for the next meet-up!

Our goodies:

Disney Parks Blog pin (not available for purchase!)

Color photograph print of World of Color

World of Color caramel apple

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Chip and Co Past Writers and Friends