So the wifey and I spent 3 days at DLR to check out the World of Color show and enjoy some sun and magic. Before we left, we made reservations at Ariel's Grotto for the WOC Dinner Package on Sunday and the Picnic Meal on Tuesday in hopes of seeing the show twice.
We stayed in our usual room #1500 at Paradise Pier which is on the top floor and the very last room on the building overlooking Paradise Bay. As far as a view of the bay is concerned, it is the best room in the hotel. We checked in around 10:30 but our room wasn't ready yet. We were the "Big Kahuna" family of the day and got balloons, leis, pins, photos and our picture taken with Surfer Goofy. A nice way to start our trip.
So, it was off to DCA we went. We entered DCA from the Grand California Entrance around 11:00 and the line for WOC fast passes was still really long. Ha Ha, we have Preferred Passes waiting for us. Tee Hee, Tee Hee.
We strolled past the Grizzly Peak area again around 4:00 and the WOC fast pass line was only about 5 minutes for the 11:15 showing so we grabbed a couple.
Our dinner reservations were for 5:20 because I wasn't sure when they would let people into the viewing area and I wanted to secure a good spot for taking pictures.
We were seated promptly at 5:20 and it was downstairs we go for dinner.
I am posting a picture of the menu so I don't have to describe each item. I will say that everything we had was OUTSTANDING. It was all perfectly prepared and far, far exceeded our expectations.
This is the Appetizer trio that is "All You Can Eat" so they will bring you more of any item if you want.
The wifey and I both are Meatasaurases so we both ordered the Santa Maria Tri Tip. It was an ample 8-9 oz. portion and was cooked perfectly. The Cheddar Herb Mashed Potatoes were also delicious as were the veggies.
After the main course, this was the dessert platter that we received. AMAZING! It was enough for 4 people but I wiped it out almost all by myself. Who can pass up chocolate right? I did think it was kind of funny that the White Chocolate Ribbon still said "Disney's" California Adventure instead of "Disney" Oopsie!
We finished our gluttony around 6:00 and both of us (who are restaurant people and pretty savvy diners) felt it was well worth the money, just for the meal itself, regardless of the WOC fast pass. I would do the meal again without hesitation. (Annual Passholder discounts do apply)
When we exited the restaurant I noticed a CM roping off the area for the show so I asked him where the Preferred Viewing are was. (he didn't know) I asked him when we should be there to make sure we had a good spot for taking pictures and he told me that they won't let people in until 7:30, so 7:15 should be fine. Great! this will give us time to head back to the hotel and take our luggage up to our room so we won't have to do it at midnight when we are tired. So, I'm up in our room looking down at Paradise Bay at 6:40 and see everyone heading into Paradise Park already. DAMN IT!!!
We rush back down to the park and were able to get a good spot for the show. The Preferred Viewing area is in the Yellow Section and is 4 levels up from the water. I grabbed a good spot at the top of the stairs right above and to the left of the play fountain. The lady in front of me was only about 4'11", so I could easily take pictures over her head. I'm a happy guy.
Given the extreme lack of capacity for the show, I do have to say that I was surprised and somewhat disappointed that they let strollers into the viewing area. This was even more frustrating because everyone with a stroller used it as a snow plow-like weapon to get through the crowd and to take up as much space as they possibly could. Every stroller was parked either sideways or crooked, just to take up more space. Literally, 20% of the space in our area was taken up by strollers. I sincerely hope that Disney can find a way to control this a bit better in the future and make it possible for more people to enjoy such a wonderful show.
About 30 minutes before the show starts they have a little Pep Rally to get you hyped up for the show. It is a bit cheesy but the puppets are impressive and what else are you going to do for a half hour.
And now... On with the show! I am posting some pictures from this location so you can see what it was like in the Preferred area.
I posted the above image so you can see the difference between it and another later.
After the show ends, there is about a 3 minute pop version of the World of Color song and the fountains & Mickey's Fun Wheel all light up and make for a very pretty show. To be perfectly honest, those pictures are prettier than the show itself. Examples...
So we headed to the Grizzly Rapids area that is the staging area for the people waiting for the later shows around 10:15. The atmosphere and attitude of that crowd was much more lively and fun that the early crowd was. They were all there for a good time and we had a blast even waiting in line.
Our fastpasses for the 11:15 show were in the Yellow area and were 2 levels below where I was for the early show. They were actually better than the Preferred area. We grabbed our spot and noticed that no body was on the boardwalk right on the water. I asked a CM if we could go down there and she said "Go Ahead, anybody can". We hustled down right on the railing dead center to the show and fun wheel. The finest spot possible for the show. We had ponchos with us and I had a cloth to dry off my camera lens, so we were ready. Yes, you do get wet but it is so worth it.
"I can't stress it enough that seeing the show from the water level is the only way I would see that show again. It is 100 times better from the boardwalk than it is from further back." From the back areas, you cannot see the water surface and miss the beauty of the light and fountains on the water.
On with the show!...
Here is the shot of the balloons from UP taken from the water so you can compare it with the shot above.
And a few more fountain pics.
The next night, we camped out to see Fantasmic and get some pictures of Murphy, which I had not seen before. That will be an entirely different post. After Fantasmic, we headed back to our room to watch the WOC show from there. On the TV, channel 46, they play the music from the show while it is going so we could watch the show and hear the music to go with it. Lovely.
Here is what the show looks like from that vantage point.
First our view of Paradise Bay.
And... the fountain show afterwards...
On Tuesday, we picked up our Picnic Meals (Salmon and Fried Chicken) and passes to the show. The fast passes for that were in the Blue section but we were tired and didn't feel like hanging out for the show and then a 90 minute drive home. We found a nice couple speaking to a CM who didn't know anything about the show or that you had to have fast passes for it so we gave them ours. It is always nice to make someone elses day when you can. Even the CM was stunned that we gave up our preferred area fast passes.
There isn't much to say about the picnic meals other than AVOID the Salmon. Not Good! The chicken was ok but for $12.99 (when ordered online) and it comes with a soda or bottle of water, it wasn't a bad deal for avoiding the fast pass line. I do recommend the picnic meals as a way of not wasting so much time in line for the fast passes and it is a decent meal for the price.
P.S. All of the pictures (and a lot more) are available in full size on my Flickr page.
And just for good measure, I made a short little photo slideshow/video set to the music from the show for you to experience it a little better.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrQ9CpasKHk"]YouTube- World of Color.wmv[/ame]