Plan your Viewing Visit to Disney's World of Color

Think your teenagers have outgrown Disneyland? Think again. I have two teenagers, one is in college and came home for the last holiday break, and we headed to Disneyland to check out Disney's two new nighttime attractions: ElecTRONica and World of Color, both located at Disney's California Adventure park.

Ten thousand jets of water power World of Color at Disney's California Adventure. Photo S. Valle

World of Color is a musical, Technicolor water tribute to the timeless films and larger-than-life personalities Disney has created over the last two decades. From the Little Mermaid all the way to the latest film TRON: Legacy, the thunderous musical fountains will move you to recall emotions like the joy of that first visit to Disneyland with your tots, or perhaps remind you of Toy Story 3's stirring theme of seeing a child off to college (the later particularly resonated with me).

And, well, let me warn you that you may even have to break out the tissues. 

View of the crowds in the  reserved area for World of Color at Disneyland Photo S. Valle

World of Color at Disney's California Adventure Park opened last summer and is drawing huge crowds to the eye popping fountains. If you're lucky to have your college child come home for Spring Break (mine didn't) this is a great time to plan a family getaway to Disneyland — especially if you live in Southern California and take advantage of the 2fer. If you have teenagers, I recommend you have a set plan to see this particular attraction, and make the best of  this time together.

To get the top seats in the house for the 25 minute water show, which are front and center, it is advisable that you do a bit of homework before packing the teenagers up and hitting the maingate.

You don't need to purchase a separate ticket to see World of Color, it's included with your general admission. But, there are ways to get a great seat with a little planning. It's possible to show up and brave the crowds, however, you'll likely have to carve out a spot and save it for at least an hour before the show to get a good view, and you are not allowed to sit in the front-facing area since it's roped off for those with special tickets. (Also, if you plan to have dinner while watching the show, the food courts get extremely crowded and the lines can be frustrating and take up a lot of time.)

To avoid a teenage meltdown once you're there, I highly recommend you pre-plan with any of these World of Color viewing options:

Dinner and a Show at Ariel's Grotto – Reservations are a must. You can enjoy a character dinner, and then head to your pre-assigned seating area after.

Picnic Boxes – Pre-purchase your choice of boxed meal and take it along with your area-specific ticket to watch the show.

Fastpass – These are available at Grizzly Peak and will assign you a return time and a specific viewing spot. Make sure you get them as early in the day as you can because they run out!

NOTE: Most attractions on Paradise Pier close prior this show.

After the show on the man-made lake, make your way through the swelling crowds to the Hollywood Pictures Backlot at California Adventure to the techno-fun zone of ElecTRONica. You walk in and find the ground beneath you has turned into The Grid; Flynn's Arcade waits in the very back of the lot, while DJs, lights, sounds, games, lounges and bars are fashioned exactly as you saw them in the movie TRON — and it is one huge party every night! It is a favorite with the young adults. Glowing suits, dancers and smoking, blue and green glowing drinks are a few of the innovative things the older members in the family can enjoy. Check the website for a calendar of activities.

ElecTRONica at California Adventure Park at Disneyland. Photo S. Valle

World of Color is not be missed. It made us relive our family's childhood years with the it's remarkable liquid representation of over 15 years of beloved movies and characters our family grew up with. I can even say that a tear or two were shed, and not only by yours truly. Hitting the block party together at ElecTRONica immediately after the emotional show, brought us right back to the present…and in true Disney form, took us a little bit beyond our expectations.

Disclosure: Disneyland gave me complimentary tickets to review the shows and theme parks.

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