World of Color Touring Plans: Tips and Tricks to See the Show

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If you know me then I’m pretty positive you know one thing: I love me some World of Color. I really love World of Color. In an I-hope-they-take-Fantasmic-out-of-DHS-and-put-World-of-Color-in kind of way. So as I prepare to head to Disneyland, I start planning how many nights I can see the show. All nights? Obviously. This requires a little touring strategy. Let’s discuss the best touring plan of all: The World of Color Touring Plan, of course!

To start: What is it? World of Color is a show in Disney California Adventure that sprinkles magic into your life. That’s pretty much it. When is it? At night! There may be multiple show times, so subscribe to TouringPlans.com and use Lines to find out when they are. Now that you get the gist of things. Let’s discuss how to “tour” World of Color!

The “Zones”

FASTPASS tickets for World of Color list both a show time and a zone. The zones are separate viewing areas where people stand to watch the show. Let’s get familiar with the zones in Paradise Park. I found this picture on the DISboards (thanks user!), and it is helpful:

The zones are: VIP, red, preferred dining, blue bridge/blue, and yellow. A dining package is required to enter the preferred dining zone (we’ll talk about that later), and there is a picnic package (later… we’ll get to it later) that gives you entry into either the blue or yellow zones. Other than that (I’m not sure how to get into VIP), the color of your FASTPASS will depend on when you obtain it. Where do you obtain FASTPASS tickets? By Grizzly River Run.

Hint: If you stay at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels, you can obtain World of Color FASTPASS tickets earlier than the general public by using the entrance to DCA at the Grand Californian Resort. Do this if you can.

Obtaining the FASTPASS

Obtaining a FASTPASS ticket for World of Color is similar to joining the rush towards Toy Story Mania! in the morning at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. People line up long and early because the time you get the FASTPASS determines two things: which show you see and what zone you are in. Tickets for the first show are distributed earliest; and within each show’s FASTPASS distribution period, the best zones are distributed earliest.

My advice is this: you want to be in the blue or yellow zones, and you want the early show if there is more than one, especially if this is your first time seeing World of Color. This is because if you are waiting for the second show while the first is going on you will lose a bit of the “first-time magic.” Clearly the red section provides a slanted viewing angle, and while the blue bridge is an option, that angle is slightly off, too. To obtain a FASTPASS, line up early with the other herds of cattle–I mean people–and wait.

Getting To the Show

Know that getting a FASTPASS doesn’t mean that you’ll waltz into your section 10 minutes before showtime and get a fabulous spot to see the show. Quite the opposite! I recommend getting there an hour early and waiting in line, especially if you have a larger group!

Dining and Picnic Options

I’m a fan of the dining package option, even if many aren’t. It is just a fantastic way to go about your day regularly and then see the show without thinking.

You’ll have to call Disneyland Dining (714-781-DINE) and make a reservation for the package. Hint: Get the early seating and see the early show! The dining restaurant options are Ariel’s Grotto and Wine Country Trattoria. I’ve only been to Wine Country Trattoria, and it was a nice experience. We ate outside, and they had little heaters going. Sigh… Where was I? Oh yes, dining. There is a set menu and a set package price for each restaurant. After you are finished eating you’ll receive your FASTPASS tickets with your paid bill. Simple as that. Hey, you were going to eat dinner anyway, right? I recommend still getting to the preferred dining section at least 30 minutes before showtime.

The picnic option I’ve never done, and I’ve heard the food choices are relatively limited. They run about $15, must be ordered in advance (or by walk-up if you are lucky), and then picked up at the Sonoma Terrace between 11:30am and 8:00pm. Then you get your FASTPASS for the first show if you reserved in advance. Keep in mind, these are just FASTPASS tickets for the blue or yellow section, so still get there an hour early.

Beer and a Water Show?

Our former Disneyland Researcher, former Disneyland Cast Member, and current amazing dude Reilly Williamson helped with a ton of the information in this article (thanks Reilly!), and he has even one more tip. If you pay the cover for the Cove Bar you can see World of Color at a fantastic angle from this venue above Ariel’s Grotto. Enjoy a beverage and the good feeling of not having a headache from analyzing FASTPASS options. I love this option for nights you hop over to DCA without ever grabbing a FASTPASS or dining package, but when you still want to enjoy the show and have a beautiful night. Take note!

So there are some touring tips for my favorite Disney Nighttime Spectacular (I haven’t seen Remember Dreams Come True yet), and I hope you enjoyed it. As much as I would love to be an expert on World of Color, I’m just a true fan. So if any of this information has changed, been updated, or is outdated please leave a comment or email me at katie@touringplans.com, and I’ll update the post. Your consistent support of this site and blog, whether in the form of comments and suggestions or submitting times into Lines, helps us always be the best we can be.

I’ll leave you with a little video for your viewing pleasure. Let me know what you think of the wonderful World of Color in the comments of this post!

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Posted on October 6, 2011

4 Responses to “World of Color Touring Plans: Tips and Tricks to See the Show”

  • I’m a WOC addict! I totally love it and want to figure out a way to put it in my backyard. Agree with the article, except for one thing. The second viewing time is remarkably better! I just discovered that last month, since I usually tried going for the first viewing time. The second viewing time is less crowded and have the opportunity to see a lot easier (and better). I have also tried their picnic meals, which are pretty average, but are the best way to guarantee a good viewing section without spending a lot of money (and also if you know you’ll be coming in to the park later in the day without a chance to get a Fastpass). However, picnic meals are not food allergy friendly since they can not be changed to accommodate allergies.

  • Hello, I’m a Cast Member at the resort and I love this site and I think you do a great job! Just wanted to let you know that there have been some updates to the viewing section. I’ll go from left to right.

    On the boardwalk, Both red and yellow share the boardwalk section at a certain point. They start sharing the boardwalk from where you have the other yellow sections starting and ends where the red is on the boardwalk. The area sticking out that you have currently marked yellow is now preferred dining as well as half of that giant blue blob. The rest of the blue blob or the giant circle area is now apart of yellow. As for the arms sticking out of the blue blob, for the lower arm, preferred gets the upper half while yellow gets the beginning, and for the arm above that one, that is all blue section. And finally, blue bridge should not go down that far. It stops where those two lush green trees are on the far right hand side of the photo. Also, the bridge is part of blue section so if you get a blue fastpass, then you are more than welcomed on the bridge. And as a cast member, I always tell folks that if they have not seen the show, to go onto blue bridge, because it is 1) elevated and therefore easier to see the whole show in all its glory, especially for little ones 2) not that many people fit on there so having 3 or 4 heads in front of you is better than 15-20 heads that you might be behind in the viewing area and 3) quick access to leave when the show is over.

    Sorry it’s kind of long but I hope this helps and makes everyone’s planning a little bit easier. And I definitely liked what you said about getting there early. I always tell people that it doesn’t matter what section you have, if you get there late or close to show time, you won’t have a great view. Also, if you get the second show, read your fast pass for where you have to meet up and at what time. Have a magical day everyone!

  • Hi Katie – I really enjoy your blogs and have a complicated question for you.(maybe you make a blog story about it or direct me to one?) Me, my wife and son live in MD and have been to Disney World for 3 week long trips over the last 4 years and have loved every second of it. Now, after seeing all of the things you have posted about Disney Land, we have a great interest in going there, but costs(flight price doubles) and conveniences (we love the Magic-Your-Way feature at the World – doesn’t appear there is one at the Land) are obvious factors. But, we could save a little money by only staying 3 or 4 days at the Land as opposed to the World since I’m guessing the Land won’t require a week to enjoy? Thoughts?

  • Now that they have these light up “Glow With the Show” ears that become part of the show, does this change where you would want to see it? Should you watch from a bit further back to get the ears in your field of vision as well?