We caught a preview of the new nighttime spectacular “Wondrous Journeys” – and this is one fireworks show you won’t want to miss!
The big Disney100 Celebration is finally here, and we’ve been lucky enough to check out some of the most exciting happenings taking place at Disneyland Resort in honor of the Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary. One of the most exciting? It’s Wondrous Journeys, the all-new nighttime spectacular that blends fireworks with projections, lighting, and moments with your favorite Disney characters into one seriously impressive show!
What, exactly, is in store for Guests during each show? Here are all of the details on Wondrous Journeys, and our thoughts on why it’s absolutely a spectacular worth catching during Disney100!
“Wondrous Journeys” Lights Up Main Street, U.S.A. – and Beyond!
Designed as a tribute to the 100-year history of Walt Disney Animation Studios, Wondrous Journeys is filled with the images, music, and storytelling of all of your favorite Disney films. It’s a literal journey, as each performance includes nods to all of the studio’s films to date – 62 films are represented, including the upcoming feature Wish – meaning there are a whole lot of moments to catch!
According to Jordan Peterson, Show Director for Disney Live Entertainment, “‘Wondrous Journeys’ honors the legacy of Walt Disney Animation Studios through a story that mirrors the journey of an artist: starting out with big dreams, buckling down to do some really hard work and finally seeing something that you dreamt about for so long come true. Along the way, all Walt Disney Animation Studios films to date come to life through brand new projections, special effects and an amazing score.
Speaking of the score, you’ll hear 18 different Disney songs throughout each performance of Wondrous Journeys. That includes an all-new original song, “It’s Wondrous,” with music and lyrics by Duddy Brown and GRAMMY Award-winning artist Alex Geringas.
Cast Member Christopher Lennertz, Composer, Music Director, and Arranger, says of the music, “What sets Disney Animation apart is the ability to bring so many iconic songs together and experience the sum of all those feelings, while still celebrating them individually. When guests hear the musical score for ‘Wondrous Journeys,’ we hope they will feel as if they’re experiencing these stories for the first time again.”
The spectacular turns Disneyland Park into a magnificent canvas, too. While most of Disneyland’s previous nighttime entertainment lit up Main Street, U.S.A., Wondrous Journeys involves other areas of the theme park in the show. Both the Rivers of America and “it’s a small world” will also feature exciting projections, giving Guests more opportunities to catch the show – and plenty of different viewing spots to check out on return visits.
Special Effects Are One of the Stars of the Show
When it comes to impressive magical moments, Wondrous Journeys is full of them! The heart of the show is its state-of-the-art projection effects, which surround Guests with the hallmarks of animation: blank pages of paper, pencil sketches, and splashes of color. Disney characters come to life from these materials, covering Sleeping Beauty Castle, the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A., the face of “it’s a small world,” and beyond.
Plus, these projections are actually customized for each primary viewing area. That means you’ll see a different version of the show depending on where you’re located – Main Street, U.S.A. will feature a totally unique experience compared to Rivers of America, for example.
And there’s one big special effect you won’t want to miss if you’re watching from Main Street, U.S.A.! At a climactic moment in Wondrous Journeys, Baymax from Big Hero 6 takes to the skies and flies around Sleeping Beauty Castle, with his rocket boosters sparkling in the air.
Our Thoughts on “Wondrous Journeys”
WDW Magazine was lucky enough to get a preview of this incredible nighttime spectacular, and trust us when we say you don’t want to miss Wondrous Journeys during the Disney100 Celebration! It’s a must-see piece of entertainment – and we know it’s going to quickly become a fan favorite.
Here’s what Danny Shuster, our Creative Director, thought: “The show feels joyous and exciting and optimistic. It’s definitely going for an energetic and uplifting tone as opposed to a sentimental reaction.” But it will make you emotional, too! The appearances of characters and key Disney Animation Studios moments throughout the company’s history will certainly tug at your heartstrings.
The many, many characters were another high point of the show. “Since [Wondrous Journeys] features elements from ALL 60+ Disney animated films, everyone gets a chance to see their favorites,” Shuster said. “It also unlocks core memories from lesser known properties you may have missed or forgotten.”
And the combination of music paired with special projections and effects were, well, spectacular! “The music is incredible! So many hits, great flow through the show, the crowd was going wild with the song changes,” Shuster said. “The projections on Main Street are very immersive and purposefully used to help with the story of the show.”
How to Watch “Wondrous Journeys” at Disneyland
Throughout the Disney100 Celebration, Wondrous Journeys will run nightly. On select evenings, the show will be paired with sparkling fireworks (weather permitting, of course!). You can check the Disneyland app for show times.
Thanks to Disney for hosting us on a 3-day Disney 100 Press Preview at the Disneyland Resort where we we able to learn about the magic behind new offerings like World of Color – ONE, Wondrous Journeys, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, food and merchandise for the celebration. #Disney100 #DisneyParks #Disneyland