21 June 2010

To discover new frontiers

By now, most of us have seen the tests, commercials, and videos highlighting the wonderful new show coming to Disney California Adventure, World of Color. The new technology incorporated into this spectacular will surely leave guests in awe. Not being a frequent traveler to the West Coast parks, due to travel budget constraints, not want or desire, viewing the visual hors d'oeuvres leaves me with only one thought, wouldn’t it be great to incorporate these elements into the World Showcase Lagoon?

Okay, I hear the mass of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth devotees clamoring for my head already. So let me be clear, I am one of you. I would rather spend an evening with some good food and good drink, perched along the promenade for an hour or two watching twilight descend upon World Showcase, and then cap my night off with the best nightly display on property, than be anywhere else. However, I was also the young adult who thought Disney could not top the laser globe, world music, and lighting effects that included a candy-coated pavilion of the original IllumiNations. I have learned in my years that it is better to be cautiously optimistic towards changes at Walt Disney World, rather than to bemoan losses and dismiss alterations out of hand, only to have to eat my words later.

While I do not foresee a change, at least in this day in age, that would remove all barges from the World Showcase Lagoon, I do envision a vista with not so many barges peppering the waterscape. Aside from the benefit of not having as much of a flotilla arriving on the lagoon each night, the visuals are much more appealing. Think bursts of colored water all across the lagoon firing in unisons with the firework shells rupturing overhead. Imagine images of the world’s people, creatures, and wonders displayed closer to the guests on sheets of water. Picture a water ballet that would put the fountain in Innoventions Plaza to shame. Of course, these are just my ideas, but it does cause one to wonder.

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is a mighty guest draw each evening. For the extended period of time that it would require to install these new elements would Epcot simply run a truncated show featuring only fireworks or eliminate the nightly spectacular portion of its day all together? I say let’s turn back the clock a little. After all, with Captain EO making his interstellar return to Epcot this year, what’s old is new again. With that thought rolling around in my head, a limited engagement of an updated, say, Tapestry of Nations comes to mind. No matter what it is called, an engaging parade can pull in crowds, especially when it is only there for a narrow span of time.

While no one would be as sad as I would be if IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth blew out its torches for the last time, perhaps it is time to infuse the World Showcase Lagoon with some new technology. The possibilities of what could be with the World of Color elements are endless and electrifying, as are the prospects of what could fill-in for the show. As we continue are circles around the sun of this new millennium, we should be living up to the potential set forth by IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, not hamstrung by our adoration of it. In the end, we go on.


Luke said...

When I first saw what World of Color was all about, my initial thought (being a WDW passholder) was, "This would fit GREAT at Epcot!" I think an 'IllumiNATIONed' version of World of Color would be great at Epcot. By the way, first comment, but long time reader of your blog. Keep up the good work.

Unknown said...

Thanks for an interesting article. I agree that the World of Color technology could be very interestingly added to Illuminations. But no getting rid of the torches. Don't ask me why because I don't really understand it myself but one of my favorite parts of the show is when the narrator blows out the torches. ;-)

Jason G. said...

Great idea! I think many would easily scurry to the far extremes of the argument (Don't touch it! Replace it!). This was a smarter approach to the concept. It sounds like World of Color is a massive hit and I think they do want to keep it exclusive to DCA as that park needs to be unique and not repetitive of various Florida attractions. So I just don't see them ever copying it over wholesale. But the use of its technology would be very wise, just to enhance existing shows, like Illimunations. It would also bring renewed energy to that show and even perhaps draw more people to the park. And in some ways it could work as a teaser for World of Color. Show WDW guests a little of what's in store on the left coast and perhaps inspire them to make a visit!