World of Color is Back at Disney California Adventure! But Why Was it Gone So Long?

World of Color, the nighttime water, light, and music spectacular at Disney California Adventure, is back to nightly performances after an unscheduled 10-month hiatus.

World of Color

But why was it gone so long?

The show went into a planned refurbishment period on April 13, 2018, and it was expected to return in late June when Pixar Pier opened. (I was hoping for some new Pixar-themed scenes in the show.) Guests were able to reserve World of Color Dining and Dessert Packages for that time period. But in June guests with reservations were informed that they had to be canceled. So summer came and went, with no World of Color… just the show platforms floating on the surface of Paradise Bay.

World of Color Show Platforms

The holiday version of the show, World of Color – Season of Light, was expected to return for the holiday season. The large package boxes, which house the devices that make the floating hearts used during the show, were installed in their usual places in the viewing area. I spoke to a show producer in early November who told me Disney “hoped” the show would return before the end of the year.

World of Color Season of Light

In December, The Orange County Register reported the show would not return until sometime in 2019. Disney did not cite the exact reasons, but attributed the ongoing issues to an incident that took place during regular maintenance when a hatch wasn’t properly closed before a platform was submerged. Oops. Electronics + Water = Big Expensive Repair.

In early February rumors started flying on social media about the return of World of Color on February 22. The show was not listed on Disneyland’s on-line park schedule but World of Color Dining and Dessert Packages were available for booking for dates February 22 and beyond. Disney has done little to promote the return of the show – it didn’t even appear on the online entertainment schedule until the morning of February 22.

I saw the first show on February 22 and can say that it looks just as good as ever. The fountains didn’t have any opening night jitters, the lasers performed brilliantly and the fire spouts never missed a cue. I was kind of hoping for something new, but there were no changes as far as I know.

World of Color

The crowd was excited about the return – it was the most attended World of Color show I’d seen in awhile, especially considering it was a 10 p.m. show on a very cool (by Southern California standards) night.

World of Color

If you are planning to see World of Color, check the Daily Times Guide to make sure of the show time, but for the moment the show is scheduled for a single performance each night, at 10 p.m. when the park closes at 10, and at 8:15 when the park closes at 8. You’ll need a FastPass if you want to be in the viewing area along Paradise Bay – these are available at the kiosks next to Ariel’s Undersea Adventure – the side of the building closest to Grizzly River Run.

World of Color FastPass

If you don’t have a FastPass, standby viewing is available on a first come, first serve basis. It is more difficult to see the projections from the standby areas, but there is still a good view of the fountains, lasers, and fire effects.

Are you happy to see the return of World of Color? Let us know!

And if you’d like to get taste of the World of Color experience, be sure to check out this video:

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Laura Gilbreath is a native of San Diego, CA. She has been making the trek up Interstate 5 to Disneyland since she was a small child and terrified of talking tikis and hitchhiking ghosts. She and her husband Lee enjoy trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as sailings on the Disney Cruise Line.

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