On November 13, Disney California Adventure’s World of Color show transitioned to its holiday version, “Winter Dreams.” The Winter Dreams show debuted during the 2013 holiday season so this year is Disney’s second time around with it. The show has been changed significantly since last year and while it is hard to top the stunning regular version of World of Color, Disney has certainly learned some lessons since 2013. In a nutshell, the new version feels much more Disney.
The beloved Olaf the snowman is still prominently featured in Winter Dreams:
The 2013 version of Winter Dreams was met with mixed responses from guests. I, for one, liked the idea that Disney was taking chances and even attempted Winter Dreams in 2013 – while acknowledging the show left something to be desired. One of the oddities in 2013 was that much of Winter Dreams drew on the Frozen animated movie, but when Winter Dreams debuted, Frozen was still two weeks away from theatrical release. I personally saw Winter Dreams the day after seeing Frozen. In addition, with 20-20 hindsight it is now clear that the popularity of Frozen caught Disney unprepared in numerous ways. Now that Frozen has taken its place as one of the top Disney animated movies ever – if not the top animated movie – the Disney company has expanded its Frozen offerings across its parks and merchandise offerings.
With Winter Dreams 2014, Disney has brought more of the Frozen elements into the show. My memory is certainly not perfect but it seems they also added numerous new and unique Christmas segments from the Toy Story family of characters. While the show still does not compare to the normal World of Color show, I think the 2014 version hits much closer to the sweet spot of feeling like Disney while also embracing the holiday theme – including several holiday sing-alongs which guests happily joined in singing. The sing-alongs included some well known songs from Christmas as well as Hanukkah.
The Oscar Award winning song Let It Go is again included in Winters Dreams, but this year when it played one could feel an emotional response from the audience. The gentleman next to me gasped when Let It Go began and felt like he needed to explain himself when he told me quietly about his niece who sings this song frequently.
Altogether, Disney has made significant improvements to Winter Dreams and – especially with guests more familiar with the Frozen movie and characters – has moved this show closer to what Disney guests all want to experience. Namely, that “Disney” feeling which is so hard to quantify but “we know it when we see it” type of experience.
Elsa sings Let It Go:
Anna sings Love is an Open Door as well as Do You Want To Build a Snowman?:
Sing-along portion of Winter Dreams included the always popular song Feliz Navidad: