Disneyland is using its stay during the two-year pause of the World of Color and Fantasmic pandemics to update and update hundreds of technological elements and special effects of night spectacles that are often submerged.
Disney Live Entertainment director and screenwriter Wendy Ruth and producer Jennifer Magill spoke about the process of updating the nightly spectacles that saw “Fantasmic” at Disneyland and “World of Color” at Disney California Adventure, just as visitors remembered them during at a roundtable, a media panel on the returning range of entertainment at the Anaheim theme park.
“We had a lot to recover,” Ruth said. “We’ve been down for a while. It took time to get a lot of things back together, especially after they were sitting in the water. ”
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Disneyland teams exchanged some of the World of Color equipment that had reached the end of its life and the parts were no longer available for repair.
“The new equipment we have installed is similar to the original, but as the technology is always improving, World of Color looks even more brilliant than in 2020,” said Magil. “Incredicoaster’s lights are much brighter than before. Plus, our new 4K projectors are much brighter and clearer than the previous ones. ”
Disneyland returned the water shows “World of Color” and “Fantasmic” this spring as part of an entertainment package of night spectacles after two years away due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
World of Color is a technological marvel featuring high-resolution projections on fog screens and 1,200 synchronized water fountains in addition to the lighting, laser, fire and fog effects at Paradise Bay at Disney California Adventure.
“Fantasmic” – the 30-year-old predecessor of “World of Color” – has it all plus fireworks, a massive audio-animation dragon Maleficent and many Disney characters performing on stage at Tom Sawyer Island and aboard vessels on the rivers of America at Disneyland.
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Add to the complexity of both shows: Much of the technology is submerged.
“We have support teams that come regularly every day for these shows,” Ruth said. “What was needed was to get back there and figure out what to do.”
The 412-day pandemic closure of Disneyland and DCA gave crews unlimited 24-hour access to the rivers of America and Paradise Bay, artificial waterways that serve as water scenes for double night spectacles.
“It was a great opportunity while people weren’t in the park to work during the day, unlike our teams who came at night or before dawn,” Ruth said. “The opportunity to get to these details made a big difference. To be able to get to things that were in the background. “
“World of Color” and “Fantasmic” remained dark for another year after the Anaheim theme parks reopened in April 2021 due to coronavirus concerns about physical distancing and the large crowds the shows attracted. The continued stay allowed Disneyland to drain DCA’s Paradise Bay to restore the projection towers used for the World of Colors. The phantasm fountains were also drained so that crews could operate with typical underwater equipment without diving equipment.
“We were able to get the smaller crews back and really start digging into what needs to happen,” Ruth said. “The end result for World of Color was that pieces were waiting to be restored. We managed to get things back. “
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The end result of months of work: Restored special effects that were not in use, and sharper projections on the screen with brighter colors.
“The forecasts look staggering,” Ruth said. “Everything is so clear. You can see the clarity. “
Fantasmic received a number of new technological improvements in 2017 during an extensive rehabilitation and update of the night show.