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Aug 17, 2010
I just returned from a brief foray to the urban jungle of LA and, of course, a trip to Disneyland and California Adventure. Nothing exciting was new since my last visit save the addition of the nighttime show at California Adventure, World of Color. I wasn't sure what to expect. When I arrived at the park and headed over to Paradise Pier to California Screamin', I surveyed the fountain setup they had in place. It was identical to the system used at the Bellagio, fountain types, placement, everything. World of Color requires you to obtain a FastPass for the show, which acts as your ticket. Generally by 11 AM, they run out and you're out of luck for the show. After I got my FastPass for the show, I headed over to Tower of Terror to complete my round of rides before the eight o'clock show.

7 PM: I arrived at Paradise Pier as instructed and at the correct time and exchanged my faux ticket with a spot by the water. Then, I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Seriously, it was one of the worst systems I have ever seen at a theme park, and I was shocked that Disney would make customers stand and wait for a show for a full hour. To make room for all of the herded people, no one was allowed to sit; the area was patrolled by employees telling people they had to stand on hard concrete.

8 PM: Finally, the show was starting. I was not in the best mood after standing for an hour and being surrounded by screaming, crying children. The show began just as any fountain show at the Bellagio. I was agitated, thinking, "I could drive ten minutes down the road and see this without standing around forever." And then, it happened. Colors filled the air and memorable scenes from several Disney films graced the presence of a screen created by mist in the air. Overall, it was an amazing show, hands down the best I've ever seen in a theme park. And the fact that it lasted a full half hour was nice. It was breathtakingly unique and incorporated groundbreaking technological elements with film and music. I don't how, but Disney manages to consistently crank out winners. The Tron: Legacy finale was excellent, as it utilized elements of every ride behind it. But the show had surprisingly MASSIVE drawbacks. First, every ride on Paradise Pier closed for the night by 7:30 at the latest for the show, which shocked me. That meant every main attraction at the park other than Soarin' Over California and Tower of Terror were inaccessible for the last two and a half hours of the night. Then of course, there was the issue of having people there an hour early with nothing to do. No one was happy about that. Yet somehow, everyone was happy, but thoroughly exhausted, when we left.

It seems unimaginable for Disney to be able to orchestrate one of the greatest 30 minute shows I have ever seen anywhere but make such egregious policy errors. I was dumbfounded. In the end, it was a good experience though. I've just never heard of anything like this before.
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