Why World of Color Made Me Cry Last Night 1

imageLast night I experienced World of Color at Disney California Adventure for the first time. It was the last show before it went into renovations and I felt fortunate to catch it. In my eagerness, I waited two hours to make sure I had a good spot even though I had dined on the Carthay Circle World of Color dining package and had a voucher for a premium viewing area. Everything I’d researched in advance and the cast members last night before the show confirmed this meant I,d. E front and center, but it turned out I was not at the front — I was two viewing areas back. I’m still not sure if that was a mistake, a change, or a misunderstanding. But that’s not what made me cry.

It was spitting rain last night, and a wee chilly. The day had been humid and cloudy. But yesterday I was in Michigan where it is 14 degrees, so that’s not what made me cry.

imageI played the Fun Wheel Challenge before World of Color began. This is a game you can play on your smart device. It’s a bit like Simon, only the color sequences are displayed on Mickey’s Fun Wheel (awesome). I did pretty good I think. I didn’t win and get to control the Fun Wheel light for thirty seconds, but that’s not what made me cry.

The show itself was a marvel of lights, images, music, and special effects. For those who haven’t seen it, it is essentially a light show with images displayed on big fans of water spray. If you’ve seen Fantasmic!, it uses that same thing but World of Color does a lot more. The special effects were fun — the fire effect was bright and intense. Unfortunately, I’d inadvertently chosen a spot that was directly in front of a special effects cannon, so it went off a couple feet from my face several times. The first time was startling; the rest was just a bit annoying. But that’s not what made me cry.

I was really enjoying World of Color and was impressed by the music quality and sound, imagery, and wide scope of the visual field. Then the Frozen sequence started. Anyone who listens to me on my podcast knows that while I liked. The “Frozen” movie, I do think it is a bit overdone at the parks. I might have quirked an eyebrow when Elsa┬ábegan singing “Let It go.” Then it hit me. I keep this pretty secret, but now I have to spill the beans. “Let It Go” pretty much sums up me and my life over the past decade. I won’t go into the personal details (and there’s always my personal blog if you want to learn more) but really — this song could have been written about me. When I heard it loud and saw the amazing effects on the water, I began to sing along . . . and suddenly I realized how much the words of this song mean to me, and what it means to me personally to be standing here, alone, in Disneyland, watching this.


I came to Disneyland to work on the new edition of Disneyland. I have an awesome co-author (Ginger Jabour) and contributor (Kristin Billings) doing most of the hard work, but there are some things only I can do. So here I am, working hard and doing great. I’m able to update the book on my iPad as I tour around thanks to a new book editing system I programmed. I took photos of EVERY open attraction, eatery, shop, and entertainment for new features coming to PassPorter, including our mew Disney Trip Planner Tools (see DisneyPlanner.com) and our upcoming Online Guides. And I’m taking notes on my experiences for the PassPorter podcast with my awesome co-host Sara. I have some a LONG way since the first edition of PassPorter’s Disneyland. Big changes are underway because I have found the courage to make them. I feel like I am standing on the verge of a great new chapter for PassPorter, a chapter I am writing with all the experience of decades of hard work and with the courage to change. So when I heard Elsa┬ásing these words…

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I’m free!

… I cried. Tears of joy and happiness and freedom.

And as the show continued, the tears kept coming. It was moving and joyful. It summed up everything about Disney I adore and why I’ve chosen to make it my life’s labor of love.

At the end they flashed a sentence up in the water. It was so small and unheralded it almost felt like a personal message to me, and hopefully to the thousands of others standing there with me. It said, “All our dreams can come true if we have to the courage to pursue them.”


Yes, I believe this. It’s hard to be courageous, and sometimes that dream turns out differently than how you first envisioned it, but. Life. Has shown this to be true for me . . . And I hope others, too.

So I walked away from that show happy and awed, face wet with tears, moved beyond imagining.

Thank you, Disney, for World of Color.

About Jennifer Marx

Jennifer Marx is the author of more than 50 travel guides and the recipient of more than a dozen awards. She is also the co-founder and co-creator of PassPorter.com, an active community of enthusiastic travelers. Her amazing son, Alexander, is the subject of many of her posts and thoughts on family travel. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.

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