World of Color at California Adventure

Updated March 6, 2020

Ready to see a show unlike any other?

World of Color is it. This has been a favorite of Disney fans for over 7 years now and it’s the premiere entertainment option at California Adventure.

There’s a lot to know about this show, including how you can pull FASTPASSES for it, where to stand in those FASTPASS reserved areas, which restaurants host Dining Packages that offer reserved viewing for the show, what the Dessert Party is all about and more.

Let’s get started!

Basic Info

World of Color debuted in 2010 and has been dazzling guests ever since. It’s truly a unique experience in that all images are shown on sprays of water that come together to create a screen to capture the images.

Disney shares:

“To create the approximately 19,000 square-foot projection screen, nearly 1,200 fountains shoot water 200 feet into the air. Watch the water dance and the perfectly timed pyrotechnics explode!

As the show’s extraordinary elements are woven into a kaleidoscope of imagination, the spectacle sweeps and expands across Paradise Bay, while the astonishing soundtrack lifts your spirits, spanning decades of Disney movies from the classics to the most recent releases.”

World of Color shows year round once or twice each day, depending on the season. Visit the Disneyland website to see when the show is running during your dates. Change the calendar at that link to your timing. Entertainment is often added 60 days in advance – sometimes even less. Keep checking back if you don’t see it for your visit.

World of Color – Season of Light shows during Holidays at Disneyland, a seasonal celebration that lands early November and lasts until early January. Visit the Disneyland website to see when the show is running during your dates.

There are four ways that you can see World of Color. Let’s look at what each involves to see what is best for your crew.

Using a FASTPASS to see World of Color

The WOC FASTPASS is the only FASTPASS at California Adventure that is “disconnected”. This means you can hold it and any other FASTPASS at the same time. This is unusual because when you hold any other FASTPASS, you cannot pull another until the time to arrives. So many more details on FASTPASSES can be found in this post.

Using a FASTPASS for the WOC show allows you to enter designated viewing areas that are close to the water (which is the “stage”), with some allowing front row viewing. Disney wants every guest possible to grab a FASTPASS for the show because it keeps the audience loading in an organized fashion, rather than thousands of people all showing up at once, clamoring for a spot.

I share several strategies on when to grab this FASTPASS during your morning strategy in this post on how to start your day at California Adventure. Check that out to find a game plan that works for your crew.

So, get yours at the start of your day and hold onto it until showtime. The FASTPASSES are free and available to all park guests. You may pull a WOC FASTPASS at the kiosk located to the right of Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, on the path headed from Grizzly Peak to Paradise Pier.

If you are using MaxPass, simply select the FASTPASS from your app. No need to visit the distribution kiosk.

When you pull your FASTPASS, you will be assigned to either the Blue or Yellow section. Blue is distributed first in the morning, followed by Yellow. If there are two shows that evening, the machines will distribute both Blue and Yellow for the first show and then after that, Blue and Yellow for the second show.

You will not get to choose your color, but you may ask the cast member on duty at the kiosk for what is currently being distributed if you’re aiming for one color or the other. I prefer the Blue section, so I encourage you to follow one of the plans in the post linked above on how to start your day at California Adventure, as they all direct you to get your FASTPASS early, which should give you the Blue section.

All guests age 3 and older need a FASTPASS to enter the viewing sections. Children age 2 and under do not need a FASTPASS.

An hour prior to showtime, arrive at the Blue or Yellow section. Your WOC FASTPASS will show that you should not arrive more than 30 minutes prior to showtime, but people will start congregating about an hour prior and I suggest you do the same. You can nominate one person from your group to do so. He or she can politely use a blanket to section off the space needed for everyone in your party. The blanket cannot be left unattended, however. In just about every other post I have written about saving space for parades or shows, I mention how much I love the Matador blanket. It seats 4 adults and folds up to fit in your pocket. I have mine with me at every Disneyland trip, when we go to the beach, at the park, etc. It is worth every penny. Find this blanket in my post on what to buy from Amazon prior to your visit.

So, you’ve arrived. Take a look at where I suggest you set up to watch from each section:

Blue – Stand on the bridge, as close to the railing as possible.

Yellow – Move as close to the water as you can. The Yellow section borders the dining package sections in the middle. You may get wet if you’re front row, so be prepared. If the wind is blowing toward the audience, you can get soaked. At other times, you won’t feel a drop.

Pull your WOC FASTPASS in the morning to the right of Ariel’s Undersea Adventure in Paradise Pier. The FASTPASS kiosks look like this:

Booking a Dining Package to see World of Color

There are three dining packages that provide a similar “FASTPASS” to the ones mentioned above. When dining at one of these options, you will receive this FASTPASS (or return ticket) at the end of your meal when you pay your bill.

You will not dine at any of these locations and view the WOC show from the restaurant. None of the restaurants are set up to accommodate seating during the show.

All guests age 3 and older need one of these FASTPASSES to enter the viewing sections. Children age 2 and under do not need a FASTPASS.

Your two options are:

Carthay Circle – This meal is superior and takes about 1.5 hours from start to finish. This restaurant is the nicest in DCA. Children are welcome, of course, but not all parents choose this option due to the length of the meal and because you will dine indoors. The viewing section for this dining package is the best option.

Wine Country Trattoria – This meal is the second in line as far as meal quality goes, but is really lovely. The meal takes about an hour and is a good fit for families with young children, as most of the dining space is outdoors. The viewing section for this dining package is good, too. Both it and Carthay have the most central views compared to the FASTPASS viewing sections. They also have tiered levels.

Storyteller’s Cafe – This is new as of January 2020. I’ll review it ASAP!

All three options require reservations. Reserve here or call 714.781.DINE. They can all be cancelled, however, within 24 hours of showtime and you will not be charged. If you don’t cancel, your credit card on file will be charged $10 per person on your reservation.

If you enjoy one of these packages, you do not need to pull the WOC FASTPASS at all. The FASTPASS or return ticket given to you at your meal will grant you entry to the viewing section.

For each viewing section, I recommend arriving an hour prior to showtime and setting up as close to the water as possible. Your ticket will suggest arriving 30 minutes prior, but people will start to hang out in that area an hour prior.

Some of the areas in these dining sections are tiered with gradual steps that lead down to the front of the viewing area. If you can set up at the edge of one of these tiers, you’ll be 8 inches or so above the people standing in front of you.

For pricing, menus, photos from each restaurant and so much more, visit my post on Special Dining Events. I have dined at each option and have taken many photos so that you can see exactly what each of these options includes.

Booking the Dessert Party to see World of Color

Even more coveted than the premier dining package is the WOC Dessert Party. Why? It’s the only option that includes actual seating. In chairs. Actual chairs.

You’re probably sitting in a chair right now thinking, “What’s the big deal?” It’s a big deal. At the end of a long day in the parks, a seat for this show feels like pure luxury.

I went into this option sure I would think the price was outrageous (it is) and so not worth it. I left wondering if I would ever have to watch WOC in any other way.

This option, too, is the only experience where you “dine” while you watch. Prior to the show, you’ll be offered up to two drinks (alcoholic and/or not), a bread basket, and a lovely plate of desserts. Every person has his or her own plate. No sharing necessary! Eat it all yourself.

So, why doesn’t everyone book the Dessert Party? It’s expensive, at $79 per person – adult or child. This event also requires you to prepay in full, unlike the other options, which require just a reservation. One more thing – Annual Passholder discounts don’t apply. That’s tough. I know. I still love this experience.

Guests age 3 and older must pay the $79 for this experience. Children age 2 and under do not require payment. They can share your plate and drinks. Non-alcoholic, of course. No booze for babies, please.

For lots more details including photos of the food and CHAIRS and everything you can expect, visit this link.

Using the Standby Area to see World of Color

The standby area for World of Color is a bit unpredictable, so I don’t recommend using it unless you don’t have another option. But, if you are unable to get a FASTPASS for viewing earlier in the day, the section set up directly in front of Ariel’s Undersea Adventure offers a good view.

This area gives you a broad view of the entire show, but you’re nowhere close to the front of the viewing area. (I actually really like this view, but understand some guests want to be closer to the water.)


  • Check out the Fun Wheel Challenge, which is a great way to keep everyone entertained while you wait for the show.
  • World of Color is a super impressive show, but its not without its challenges. I enjoyed it when my kids were younger and the little ones could be held up to see it. Now that they’re older and bigger, I can’t hold them and their view is blocked by adults. The entire viewing section – except for the Dessert Party – is standing room only. Because of that, kids often have difficulty with this show. Your best bet at allowing everyone a good view is to arrive early, get that Blue FASTPASS, and stand on the bridge in the front row.
  • Guests in wheelchairs and ECVs should pull a FASTPASS at the start of the day, along with everyone else in their party. An hour prior to showtime, find a cast member near the entrance to the Blue or Yellow FASTPASS section. That cast member will then escort you and your family/friends to a designated area that will allow you to see the show. Nearly the entire audience of World of Color stands for the show, so it’s imperative that you secure a spot in one of the sections for guests with disabilities. Otherwise, if you are unable to stand, chances are, you won’t have a good view. There are no chairs provided for guests with disabilities. The only option that provides an actual seat is the Dessert Party mentioned above.
  • Strollers are allowed in the FASTPASS and dining package sections.
  • You might notice a 10:15pm World of Color on the entertainment schedule, even though the park closes at 10:00pm (or a similar timing at 8:00pm or 9:00pm, etc). This show is open to all park guests and is part of the daily schedule. While you can’t get in line for an attraction after 10:00pm, you can stay to watch the latest showing. The park won’t empty until all park guests have been through the line and have enjoyed the last attraction they’re queued for, which can run as late until an hour plus after official park closing, hence the later World of Color showing.

Leave me a comment if you have any questions!

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  1. Hi there,
    You mentioned staying on the bridge to watch the show (in the blue section), I guess I am a little surprised by this because in WDW, they wouldn’t let you stay on a bridge for a show. Just confirming that it won’t be a problem! Thanks!

      • So if the bridge is not included in fast pass to see wolrd of color and just stand by would you recommend viewing from there is we have a 6 yr old so they can see without a blocked view or still finding a place in the blue section? Is there a preferred place in blue section? Thanks so much!

        • The blue section is still available. If the bridge is open as standby and you can get a good spot, stay there. Otherwise, use your Blue pass to move as close to the front as possible in the Blue section.


          • Hi Casey! Have you been able to visit the park & determine whether the bridge is still part of the Blue Fastpass section? Visiting in February for the first time with my 5 year old (turning 6 during our visit). Since it’s off season WOC is the only nighttime show & I’m planning on that for her birthday celebrations. We have reservations for the Dessert Party but after viewing WOC videos online from both waterfront & Dessert Party locations, it seems waterfront is the most visually impressive. Would be helpful to know if the Fastpass sections have changed. Thanks so much!

          • Hey, Audrey.

            I have seen that it’s now standby and recommend that if you want to make it work (arrive an hour early -same drill). Many people like waterfront….they’re all good! Hope you love it. The Dessert Party far exceeds every other option in my opinion.

  2. I love your strategies and use them every time I visit the parks. This was our first time doing World of Color and we were told that the bridge seating is now “open to the public” and no longer part of the blue fastpass 🙁

  3. Casey, I just wanted to let you know your info is outdated. We went to World of Color on August 27th and got the Blue section by Fastpass. The bridge was NOT included in that section—it is now a standby area. I just thought it would be helpful for you to know to update this post for your readers.

    • It’s so helpful. Thank you. Another person commented with the same info recently.

      I’ve made a note to look into this and will edit my post with the best option asap.

      I appreciate this very much, Joy!

  4. Now that we can get FASTPASSE for World of Color through MaxPass, can we get it when we enter Disneyland during Magic Morning hour even before DCA opens? We are planning a trip in about 10 days and trying to figure out which day we use Magic Morning on our 3-day hopper tickets. I thought if we can get into Disneyland at 8:00 and book FASTPASS for WOC right away (DCA won’t be open til 9:00), then that would be the earliest time we can get FASTPASS for WOC. Have you tried it?

  5. Hi Casey. I’m looking at Dessert Party for the month of September, and they aren’t showing any dates available yet, although they should be showing for the early dates as it is 60 days out. Do you know if the only do dates on the weekend during this month?

    Thank you!

    • Hi there! Still no dinner reservations available in September for California Adventure at all, and no World of Color packages or showtimes, either. My planner’s heart is freaking out over here!

  6. Hey there! Sooooo I’m lost ? first ever trip to Disney is next month. I have my maxpass/ticket(?) on the Disney app. Do I go to the kiosk for my fastpass for WOC then they give me a paper ticket? Or do I need to enter DCA with a paper copy ticket?I’ve been reading so much I’m literally confusing myself. I want the best viewing of course. As soon as the rope drops I will go straight to the kiosk for the fastpass. If what I’m thinking is right lol. I hope this makes sense! Please help a very confused mama out. The happiest place on earth is giving me gray hair!!

  7. We would have a party of 5. My mom will be on a scooter. If we pull a FP for everyone in the morning and go to the cast member for the disability section when we arrive at WOC show will all of us get to stay with mom or will only 1 other person stay with her and the others go to the other section? Also if we stay in that section with her do the rest of us sit on the ground while she stays on scooter or would we stand?

    • Hi, there.

      It sometimes depends on how crowded the section is. Disney wants you all to enjoy it together.

      There are a couple of sections at WOC. One has benches, so if you’re able to all stay together, you should have a bench to sit on. Otherwise you would stand.

  8. Do you know or know where I can find out if there is handicap viewing in WOC locations from the dining package? My husband and I both need to stay in our chairs but would like the premium view included with dining.

    • I haven’t seen disability sections within the dining package areas. They have them elsewhere, but I haven’t seen them in the dedicated sections. I’ll check on this ASAP and update my post if I find any differently.

  9. Hi Casey. I’ve been reading up on your posts. Very helpful info! Thank you.
    On your April 9, 2019 update, you mentioned that we can use MaxPass to get the FastPass for WOC but lower in the post, you mentioned MaxPass is not yet connected and must go to kiosk to get FastPass. Would you mind clarifying if we can get the FastPass now using our MaxPass app? Appreciate it!!!

  10. Hi Casey!
    First off, thank you for this blog! I’ve used so many of your tips and tricks over the years and feel like a Disneyland expert, even though I only visit once a year.
    We have used Wine Country Trattoria’s dining package for WOC twice now, but for our next trip in June we will be dining at Carthay Circle. Yay! You mentioned the viewing sections for both dining packagea are different, but on the map there’s just one arrow that points to the reserved dining section. Is Carthay Circle dining more center, and Wine Country Trattoria off a little more to the left (if looking at the water)?

  11. I have reservations for the dessert party and the forecast calls for rain. Is there any cover in this area? Does it get cancelled if there is rain?

  12. Hi Casey – have you heard anything about the WOC Dining Packages returning? My family and I are making our first trip to Disneyland in August and don’t want to miss it. I have been told by numerous people that the dining package is the way to go for this show. Thanks for all of your great information! I have used it for planning and just to get excited for my trip 🙂

    • Hey, Ellen. I have heard many rumors, but nothing yet from Disney that confirms any of them. Once I do, I’ll update this post and share on I would reserve what you want and then see if it changes. Fingers crossed for you!

      If the dining packages don’t happen, go by my plan to the Blue FASTPASS and set up on the bridge an hour prior. The view is fantastic and actually better than the dining packages and it’s free!

  13. I notice you have recommended the bridge if you have kids, is the view as good from here compared to the front section in the main bit?

    • It’s actually better. You’re looking out over water instead of a sea of people. Unless you time your day to get the Yellow section and get front row, you’ll be behind lots of people. The bridge has a wider space for guests to get to the front.

  14. Hi Casey! We are getting ready to take our boys on our first Disney trip and cannot wait! I do have a question, and I am not sure if you have answered it yet, so if you have, my apologies for missing it. Can we use maxpass for World of Color, or do we need to have a paper fast pass? 14 days and counting!

  15. Hi. We are going to do a very late start at Cal Adv tomorrow and I was wondering if you knew how late I can get a fast pass for WOC. I probably won’t get into the park until 3:00. I’ve been lucky before without a fast pass and a kind CM allowed us into the Blue Area just before the show started, but know not to expect that every time. There are two viewings of Fantasmic that night so I’m wondering if I’m better off trying to snag a stand by for the second Fantasmic viewing. I’m an AP, so it’s not critical that I do either but sure would like to see one of the shows while there. Thank you. ?

    • Hi, Lori.

      I wouldn’t count on a FASTPASS for either show at any time with a 3:00pm arrival.

      Use the standby option for the later Fantasmic! Or, use the last minute tip I share for WOC – which is to watch next to Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. I elaborate more on that in this post.

      Hope you can work in one of those. Good luck!

  16. Hi Casey, first off, this site is SO helpful! I’m a reasonably experienced WDW visitor, but I’m going to Anaheim for the first time in a few weeks.

    I’ll be in the parks for two days in February, but only one night. We’re planning on doing Disneyland on Thursday and CA on Friday, we’ll have to leave for the airport around 4 on Friday. 2 adults, no kids.

    Two part question. The times for shows on the night I’m there (Thurs Feb 1) are 7:45 for Fantasmic, and 9pm for World of Color (9pm is closing time for both parks that day). 1. Is it possible to see one and then run to the next park to see the other, and 2. is it worth the extra $90 for ParkHopper tix just to be able to do that? I don’t think we’d go between the two parks during the day for any other reason than World of Color.

    Wild card, though: the Lunar New Year event is during that time and there seems to be a show for that — any experience with that? It seems like in past years it ran right before World of Color, but it’s only six minutes long? The website doesn’t have great info on that show or parade.

    Any advice most appreciated, thanks!

    • Hi, Kathy. Thank you for your kind words!

      The lunar addition to the show is brief. In my opinion, it’s not worth the stress to try to do both shows. I would stick with Disneyland.

      You could get out of there and to WOC in time, but it’s chaotic.

      If you want to do both, go to the standby section I mention in this post if you don’t have time to grab a FASTPASS earlier that day.

      And, check out this post for a big park overview and a section for WDW vets:

      Have the best time ever!

  17. HI! We will be at Disneyland Dec 7-11 (our 1st time) with our 4 year old daughter. We booked a character lunch at Ariel’s Grotto, do we still get a FASTPASS for the WOC show? Is it that only a dinner option?

    • You will still need a FASTPASS for World of Color, as the meal you’re booked for is a character dining experience and does not include WOC viewing. Definitely grab FASTPASSES in the morning.

  18. Hi There! Have you heard anything about the closing of Ariels Grotto? My husband and I are headed that way in January for his first time and I was really wanting to go to Carthay Circle for it’s dinner package/World of Color but when I went to go book it its not available even though its 60 days in advance!! Was wondering if you heart the scoop on whats going on at California Adventure. 🙂

    • Ariel’s is closing down for a total renovation that includes all of Paradise Pier turning into Pixar Pier. I recommend Carthay Circle for WOC, either way. Keep checking back. They may not have added these options yet. Disneyland isn’t great about the 60 day mark. Keep checking.

  19. Quick clarification-in the Blue section, on the bridge, you can lay out a blanket? Is this a huge bridge? I am having trouble envisioning all sorts of blankets on a bridge!

    • It is a large bridge. Not many people do it and I recommend, of course, being respectful to those around you. But, it’s totally fine to show up an hour prior and section off a small space for your crew. You can’t leave it unattended. But, it’s good to have just a bit blocked off.

  20. Hi Casey!
    We are making the trip back from Nashville and Bringing friends this time!! Last time we had a perfect spot on the bridge with our blue fastpass, as you suggest ;-). My question is…. you say to lay out our Mattador (best buy ever) and have someone stay in our spot. I remember doing this last time, then I had to go down to the base of the bridge to get in a line of people to scan our pass and race back up the bridge to our spot. Is this the same? It ended up being fine, but does everyone need to be in the line and scan their passes and race up to our Mattador spot or can 1 person be in line (scan all of the tickets) and everyone else wait at the spot?
    Thanks for all that you do!
    Christa Patton
    (I gave you all of the photopass screenshots from 2/2017, love seeing my family on your site!)

    • Yay, Christa! I remember you!

      Glad you love the blanket as much as me. I’ve used it dozens of times! In and outside of Disneyland.

      Well, they have cracked down on saving spots for shows since you last visited. You will likely not be able to enter the Blue section until everyone else does. Cast members have been patrolling show areas and advising guests to keep moving until the sections are officially set up. With that in mind, you should be able to scan one of your FASTPASSES, enter the section and secure your spot with the Matador. Then, the rest of your crew can arrive closer to showtime. No reason for you all to have to wait.

      I recommend walking by 1.5 hours before showtime to see what the crowd looks like. Front row Blue is awesome! Worth the time invested.

      Hope to see y’all this trip!

  21. Quick question – I hope! We are going to Disneyland for the first time this October. We are looking forward to seeing World of Color but are curious on the handicap seating situation. My questions are:
    * should we still pull a Fastpass if we plan to use the handicap seating? (my daughter will have a Guest Assist Card if that matters)
    * can the whole family sit with her in the handicap area – there are 4 of us total (including her). In Disney World let allow the whole family stay together for shows.
    * will she be able to see from the handicap area if she is seated in her wheelchair? Will there be people standing in front of her blocking the view?

    Thank you very much! Your site has been super helpful in planning our first trip!

    • Hi, Kris!

      Go ahead and pull FASTPASSES. Just in case. Disability sections at Disneyland can be a little unpredictable. The WOC FASTPASS is disconnected, so getting it won’t prevent you from grabbing another.

      Arrive an hour prior to showtime to inquire where the disability section is. Explain your limits and why you would like to sit in that section. Your whole party should be allowed to join, as you suggested. Also explain your concerns with visibility due to her wheelchair. They should set you up accordingly.

      Have the best time!

      • As Casey said, you must have a Fastpass to be placed in the handicapped seating area. On our last few experiences there were benches for those with disabilities. The CM emphasized that only the person with the disability may sit (if not already in a wheelchair or ECV obviously). Everyone else must stand. However, once the show gets started if there is room you can sit. I have always had no problem with this, but it is just the two of us, so your experience may vary depending on number of people in the HC area at the time.

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