If I were a programmer, what would I do to World of Color? Or, more realistically, what would I like to see the Imagineers do to bump up the existing might of this already spectacular, but versatile and changeable, show? So many things they've done already are incredible. The rising waterline in the "Little Mermaid" sequences, and the fluorescent bubbles? The sparkles in the air at the start, and the way the entire lagoon's blue coalesces into a towering column of blue, with colorful sparkles flowing through it? The magnificent trees, starting as "flowers" and then closing and rising, during "Pines of Rome" before "Pocahontas"? Just incredible.
First, remove POTC from the main show completely. Keep it, and make it one of a number of rotating encore songs.
Give the special effects fountains chances to shine. For the Pocahontas sequence, completely kill the mist screens for a short time, use all Grids and Chasers to create a carpet of green with dots of color trailing around, bring up the butterflies and let them run, each lit in a different color, so that viewers have a chance to see them.
During the end sequence, give the fans a chance to do a ballet-like dance. Use the rings' Whips moving, at low pressure and with a single color, to surround the Dancers, tilting and twirling with brighter, changing colors. Give the fountains themselves chances to shine, with the projections as backup only and, more importantly, give the fountains chances to wow the audience with no projections at all. Imagineers and programmers, if you're reading this: You've got some special, custom equipment out there that exists nowhere else in the world, and is capable of some jaw-dropping stuff. I'm not saying kill the projections and film scenes, but those fountains can do more than just focus attention on the mist screens.
Run one sequence where the platform begins empty. Sparsely-scattered Whips on the front and back arcs in a dark color like dimmed blue trace across the open space, and seem to draw more Whips to join them. As each Whip moves, projected images appear in the misty wakes. More and more images appear until the wall of moving Whips forms a chaotic projection surface. Have this effect run for an entire scene and then break up again, bit by bit. This could be a "wow moment" where the show still uses projections, but has the fountains support them in an unusual way.
Another 'wow moment' idea, which would need some careful handling to look right: Among other moving fountains, turn on twelve Whips with movable fans. Twelve fans; twelve projectors along the back. Face the fans' flat sides toward the audience, and project a character's face onto each. At random points, flip individual fans 180 degrees and quickly change the projection, so that they seem to have a different image on each side of the sheet of water. This need not last long, and could be part of the middle section of the projection-on-Whips sequence described immediately above. Or, it could be part of a bow at the end, giving a sort of visual run-through of every character who's been in the show; end this with all the fans rising to full pressure and then tilting down and back up, bowing to the audience.
Fire all the Blow Pops as the very last bit in the show, and project something interesting into that column of mist.
That tilting center mist screen? Chances are, if it is swung forward so that it overshoots the three forward projectors, at least some sort of projection (if only patterns like moving water or a wave whitecap) could be projected onto it from beneath. Or, place a character on this screen while upright - swing the screen forward, and have the character appear on it using the front projector(s), falling - then use the Whips in front to make a "splash". Bonus: Use the Grids' lights to send that character's colors washing across the lagoon, or bring up the front screen and have him pop up there, with another upward "splash".
I would also want to see a smoother transition between Mufasa's death and the transformation. Cut to black after that. Start up "So Close", and bring up very gentle water expressions in muted colors. Then slowly build up the power, being that "So Close" can convey sadness in a sense as well, and slowly segue into the transformations. Address the sadness directly, and use "So Close" to smoothly transition into the rise, as do all the great Disney films.
Oh, yes, and please do more with the fog. And the fact that it can be switched on and off in various zones of the platform. When the ONLY effect in use is a mist screen with projection, fog can be used to hide some of the equipment below; however, it could also be a thematic element in and of itself, for example when Carl's house rises into view, and during the whales sequence. Oh, and about "Up"... Please lose the "Hello! I am Doug!" bit - it's a little jarring here. If the "Up" sequence needs to be short, just have Carl rise up and away, greeting the viewers, and pulling the next scene up from below.
The thing about this show is that it's already amazing... but yet, so much more can be done. The effects that are possible are endless. Given the chance to work on this show somehow, I think there are more 'wow' effects that could be done. But I'm going to give the Imagineers credit, and assume they'll do some after-hours testing and start to go "Wait, wait... Wouldn't it be cool if we...? The audience won't believe THIS!"
P.S. I do love Heart's "These Dreams", but I think they want to stick to all Disney music for the show. I can also think of some non-Disney songs I'd love to see run past this amazing show. "At The Beginning" (end title from "Anastasia") comes to mind - with no projections at all, just fountains, building up in power and coming back down to a gentle, misty end.