The premiere of Disneyland's new World of Color nighttime water and lights show Thursday night kicked off the $1.4 billion expansion project under way at Disneyland Resort's California Adventure park in Anaheim, Calif.
The 25-minute show, which opens to the public Friday, takes place in the Paradise Bay lagoon and features a 1,200-fountain water and lights show, including water screens on which images of iconic Disney characters are projected. The show is enhanced by lasers, fire, lights and music.
"World of Color transforms the landscape of the Disneyland Resort and marks a major milestone in the expansion of Disney California Adventure," Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said at last night's event. "It will captivate our guests with an end-of-day experience that is exhilarating, emotional and highly memorable."
Staggs together with Bob Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Co. unveiled World of Color before an audience of media and celebrity guests.
World of Color has been five years in the making and kicks off expansion plans at the California Adventure park that will continue with a Little Mermaid attraction in 2011 and a 12-acre Cars Land that will be unveiled in 2012.
The hope, according to Disney, is to build upon the transformation of the original Disneyland park into a multiday resort destination, a project that began in 2001, when the Disneyland Resort was created with the opening of Disney California Adventure, the Downtown Disney district and Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
"The changes we're making now are really to enhance the Disneyland Resort and Disney California Adventure," said Randy Garfield, president of the Walt Disney Travel Co. and executive vice president, worldwide sales and travel operations, for Disney Destinations.
Garfield said the expansion project would cost $1.4 billion. In the past, it was estimated that it would cost between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion.
As for the overall vision for Disney's California Adventure, Garfield said, "To me, the primary enhancements are introducing more Disney and Disney/Pixar characters ... [adding] product that tells a story."