Monday, November 14, 2011

Mickey's Fantasmic! vs. World of Colors

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of watching both the "World of Color" show at Disney's California Adventure, and "Mickey's Fantasmic!" show at Disneyland back to back.

Both shows are very well attended outdoor evening shows, so getting there early (and getting the Fastpass for World of Color) is highly recommended. Both shows are good and fun to watch.

What struck me more, though, were the differences both in style and execution.

World of Color - California Adventure
Let's start with "World of Color". This show transforms the big lagoon at California adventure into a colorful spectacle of water fountains, mixed with movie scenes projected on screens made out of water. The execution was flawless. The color effects are mesmerizing. The fountains fantastic. However, to me it felt like this show was "built by committee".

World of Color - Movie projected on water fountain
The show started off with a season appropriate opener involving a Christmas theme. The fountains were colorful and impressive. From then on short sequences from well-known animated movies, old and new, played back to back with fountain sequences. Some sequences where upbeat, funny, others a bit scary, or dark. I'm still scratching my head why a segment from "Pirates of the Caribbean, On Stranger Tides" was included. The mermaids in the segment are really not Ariel-style family fare... At the end of the show I was both impressed and disappointed. The technical part of it was fantastic, but the whole thing lacked ... heart.

Mickey's Fantasmic!
After a mad dash from California Adventure we made it just in time to Disneyland's Rivers of America for "Mickey's Fantasmic!" . This show also uses water screens for movie sequences, but uses the Pirate's Lair island as a very effective stage for Mickey directing lights, fireworks, and fountains, as well as acting as background for the witch's magic potion scene and even a full-size dragon.

Mickey and the Dragon

Some movie scenes mix with live action of dancing princesses, Peter Pan fighting Captain Hook with the crocodile on their tail... and generally, compared to World of Color, less computer-controlled, more hand-made action. Even though (maybe because) Fantasmic! was a bit less polished, to me it had a lot more charme.

Bottom-line: Try to see both shows, especially when you're in the parks more than one day. Watching the shows back to back is probably only feasible during a slow week outside the summer months, because the viewing areas fill up quickly. Even last week, on a somewhat rainy day, many people got there over an hour before the show started to reserve good spots.

Oh yeah, it's very hard to take any halfway decent pictures of either show...

1 comment:

Elvis said...

oh yes, fantastic!!