This past week, Disney held a series of Annual Passholder events for the new Glow with the Show enhancement to World of Color.
Using infrared technology, the new Mickey Mouse ear hats make for a very entertaining twist to the popular water, projection and light show at Disney California Adventure park. The ears of the hats cycle color in unison to the show, creating effects such as sparkles and waves through the audience during the World of Color performance. It is amazing to see this new aspect to the show, and it is an impressive use of this technology. The lights are activated during certain parts of the show, not to distract, but to enhance scenes such as the opening and closing scores and the Genie’s “Friends Like Me” scene.
We have also been told that the Mickey Ear Hats will interact with other areas of Disney California Adventure park. For instance, the hats will coordinate colors to stage lighting at the Mad T Party when the White Rabbit DJ is performing. The hats will also interact with areas of Cars Land, such as Flo’s V8 Cafe and the Cozy Cone Motel.
Here is a video montage of some of the most impressive scenes from the World of Color and ‘Glow with the Show’.
Although the World of Color aspect is impressive, it is contingent upon thousands of guests purchasing and wearing their new light-up Mickey ear hats. The ear hats were distributed free of charge to the media during the June 14th event as well as to Annual Passholders who attended the previews, this ensured that every guest had a pair of illuminated ears. As a result the special effect was impressive as thousands of heads were choreographed to the music. However, I have seen a regular showing of World of Color since the “Glow with the Show” ears were introduced and it is far less impressive. Instead of a sense of motion and choreographed light, you just see randomly lit ears dispersed across Paradise Park. This can actually prove to be a distraction as opposed to an enhancement. It is apparent that this is why Disney handed out thousands of free hats to Annual Passholders and played a recording after the preview which thanked them for attending and reminded them to return with their new hats.
Similar to how the 3D attractions work at the Disneyland Resort, I would love to see Disney provide guests who don’t wish to purchase the ear hats with a pair of ears on a headband which can be returned to receptacles following each show. This will help promote the sale of the souvenir hats while preserving the awe of ‘Glow with the Show’
The hats sell for $25 plus tax at various locations through Disney California Adventure park.