World of Color

What is World of Color?

World of Color is a nighttime water and light show at Paradise Bay in California Adventure.  If you’re familiar with Disneyland’s Fantasmic show, it’s a similar type show minus the live characters and water boats. 

Fantasmic vs World of Color

The biggest difference between the two shows is that you’ll need a Fastpass to see WoC.  With Fantasmic, you can literally show up right before it starts and find a view where you can enjoy the entire show because they use three small “water projectors” on the left, center, and right of the “stage” that shows the same action.  WoC is in high demand and since the show takes up the entire “water projector”, really the only place to view it and enjoy is from the center of the viewing area.  Read on to learn about getting Fastpasses.

I personally love the Fantasmic show but I like to think of WoC as being 10 times bigger.  While Fantasmic has a story centered around Mickey’s dream, WoC is more of a tribute to the music, characters and beautiful animation of Disney’s movies.  There’s no real story behind it, just a wonderfully done show featured on water.

Getting Fastpasses

There are three ways to get a Fastpass to get a reserved viewing section


1. Wait in line

As soon as California Adventure opens, there’s a Fastpass Distrubtion center in front of the Grizzly River Run attraction.  The viewing section for this Fastpass is distributed at random and does not guarantee center viewing.

The line starts at park opening and you’ll need a theme park admission ticket for each WoC Fastpass.  These Fastpasses can run out quickly and I’ve seen people camp out in front of the California Adventure gates hours before the park opens.  


2. Pre-Order a World of Color Picnic Meal online

If waiting in line is not your cup of tea, you can go online prior to your trip and reserve a picnic meal that comes with a WoC Fastpass. 

Adults can pick from 4 meals:
European Antipasto
Taste of Asia
Mediterranean Vegetarian

Children can choose from 2 meals:
Junior All-American
Lunchbox Classic

Click here for photos of each meal.

All picnic meals are $15.99 and can be picked up any time throughout the day.  Each order includes a reusable WoC tote bag. 

You can order online at


3. Reserve a World of Color Dining Package

This is method will get you the best viewing possible!  I’ve done this twice and have gotten center viewing without waiting in any sort of line to get my spot. 

 You can dine at Ariel’s Grotto or Wine Country Trattoria and receive a Reserved Viewing Fastpass for WoC.  For dining reservations, call the Disney Dining Line (714-781-3463) at least 60 days before your trip.  

Ariel’s Grotto

$39.99 for adults
$20.99 for children ages 3 to 9 

Dine from 5:00-7:00pm to see the first WoC show
Dine from 7:05-8:30pm to see the second WoC show

 Unlike the lunch time dining experience, there are no princesses during the WoC dining hours.  This package is a 3 course meal and the food is superb.  If you’re traveling with kids under 3, they provide spaghetti with a meatball on a stick or mac n cheese for FREE.  Just ask! 

FREE meal for children 2 and under | Spaghetti with a meatball on a stick

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip with garlic, cheddar mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables

Dessert Platter with World of Color white chocolate film strip

Wine Country Trattoria

$29.99 for adults
$18.99 for children ages 3 to 9 

Dine from 4:00-7:00pm to see the first WoC show
Dine from 7:05-8:30pm to see the second WoC show

Dinner here is also 3 courses and costs a little less than Ariel’s Grotto.  However, we tried this dining package and were not impressed with the food or service.  We waited a long time to be seated (even though it wasn’t busy) and it took a while to get our food or beverage refills.  When you’re with a 2 year old, waiting around becomes difficult, especially if they’re hungry.

At the end of your meal, your waiter will hand you a Fastpass for the Reserved Viewing area.  Be sure to show up at least 30 minutes before show time to find a spot within your viewing area.

For more details on World of Color Dinning Packages, please visit



The Show

Once we got our Reserved Viewing Fastpasses from our dining package, we spent some time at California Adventure and headed over to Paradise Bay at 8:30 (half an hour before the show).  We quickly and easily picked a seating spot on the stairs and were comfortable in the center of the viewing area.

Without spoiling anything, it is a beautifully done show and the whole time DD was saying, “Wow!”  Her favorite characters were featured and recognized a lot of the songs. 

Overall, trying to see World of Color can be painless IF you plan ahead!  I’ve heard stories of last-minute attempts to see the show and it didn’t work out because they didn’t have a Fastpass or were stuck on the end of the viewing area and could not view the entire show.  I highly recommend seeing this show and choosing the dining package.  The cost might be on the higher side, but think of it as a Dinner and Show.  You pay for a 3 course meal and get preferred viewing of the show – all without waiting in a single line!  The not waiting in line is what sold me on the dining package in the first place. 

What was your experience like?  Did you try the picnic meals or wait in line for Fastpasses?  Post your story in the comments section.


About P.T.

Once I took my daughter to Disneyland for the first time at 14 months, I couldn't get enough. I literally saw the magic in her eyes and one of my "things" as a mom is to never let the magic slip away. Being an Annual Passholder and living 400 miles away from Disneyland is almost painful. Now that she's 2, she's a seasoned guest and has not run out of new adventures. Raising a Disney Kid is designed to provide helpful tips, planning info, reviews, and park updates for other parents visiting the Disneyland Resort.
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