Disneyland Update: Fantasmic! and World of Color Returning, Downtown Disney Changes, Rise of the Resistance Standby Line

Another week, another Disneyland update! Between the holidays and a few things being announced at the recent D23 Destination D Event, news has come out quickly in the past few days. What better way to get through it all then a quick update. In this post, we’ll cover nighttime spectaculars returning, Downtown Disney evolving, it’s a small world rumors and Rise of the Resistance moving to a standby line.

As you can see, there’s bunch of news to cover and only so much time. Might as well get right to it instead of adding a witty (by my standards) paragraph. We’ll start with the biggest news!

Fantasmic! and World of Color are Returning in 2022!

Since reopening last spring, Disneyland Resort has been without two of their most popular shows – Disneyland’s Fantasmic! and California Adventure’s World of Color. Both stretch the imagination of routine nighttime spectaculars, adding a story element instead of the traditional firework shows. There did appear to be some infrastructure problems to both shows, along with the slow buildup to bringing entertainment back. Both will be returning in 2022!

Mickey Sparks Fantasmic DL

This is great news and not overly surprising as we’ve seen them working on both of these areas often while in the parks recently. The water has been drained around Pixar Pier for weeks and there are tents set up as workers have been mulling about the fountains. Over at Disneyland, a small section of Rivers of America is also drained. While I’m sure they would have liked for both shows to debut before the Christmas season, having them pull in guests during a slow time in 2022 also makes sense.

As for when the shows will actually open, I think that’s anyone’s guess. They may not actually be working right now and, as we’ll cover in another part of this update, that can really delay things. I’m hopeful that the 2022 date means shortly after the new year but there’s no way of knowing until we get more information. Gun to head (aahhhh, help me!!), I’d say the shows will open in the first half of the year.

World of Color lasers DCA

Like I talked about in our last Disneyland update with Big Thunder Mountain, both of these shows add to the capacity of the parks in a major way. Having both shows back will be a boon not just in the way of excellent shows but also in operations. More Cast Members will be brought back, more guests will be let into the park and the overall experience will keep improving! Personally, I can’t wait to sit along the Rivers of America and watch one of my favorite shows in the world.

Downtown Disney Changes

Another announcement during the D23 event was that the old AMC theater in Downtown Disney will be torn down to make way for more shops and dining. The theater has been defunct for quite a while now and I was under the impression that that was to make way for a future hotel expansion. Maybe I made that all up in my mind? There is an expansion to the Disneyland Hotel on the table but that appears to be in a different section of the resort.

I don’t have many opinions about Downtown Disney as I don’t spend much time in the area and find it largely disappointing. I go to quite a few movies and wish there was a theater still there, to be honest. That said, the whole area is so bland that fresh blood in the way of shopping and dining could inject some life into Downtown Disney. Tearing down the theater should add a more open concept to the area and, I would hope, help the aesthetic. Time will tell on all of this but I’m slightly optimistic. As optimistic as I can be about Downtown Disney!

Rise of the Resistance Goes Standby

We knew this was coming with WEB Slingers and Hollywood Studios version of Rise of the Resistance moving to standby lines and now Disneyland’s edition has moved to that, as well. November 22nd was the first day that the attraction went standby, with wait times in the one to two hour range. Like WEB Slingers, Disneyland is reserving the right to still go back to the virtual queue at anytime.

ATAT room RotR DL

Frankly, the timing of this is surprising as it’s a busy holiday week at the resort. With the attraction running well, Rise routinely makes it through all of its boarding groups quickly so maybe they think they can add capacity by going to standby at this point in time. Strangely, the attraction hours have it closing at 8 PM but I do not know if it ran past that or not. I’m hoping so.

Ultimately, I think this is good news but also a sign that Lightning Lanes are heading to Disneyland Resort before too long. I fully expected the virtual queue to be in use at Disneyland until the new year. As for strategy on when to go on the ride, get there early or do it right before closing. If you opt for the latter then make sure to check on when the attraction actually closes.

“it’s a small world” Issues

The famed “it’s a small world” attraction has been down for over a month now, at first to transform to the holiday overlay but now it appears that there are bigger issues with the ride. If the rumors are true, the ride may be down for months. Those rumors consist of there being a crack in the boat track, meaning the water won’t stay in. I do not know how true any of that is but there’s some validity to it considering how the ride is still closed. At this point, the planned closure is over and guests are in wait and see mode.

IASW Holiday Christmas DL

Disneyland is apt to these things happening, unfortunately. It’s easy to forget that some of these attractions have been around for over half a century. While I’m not excusing keeping the proper maintenance for these classics, things are bound to happen with systems that have been around for so long. We probably won’t ever be privy to how this issue popped up, unless you want to weed through message boards and decide for yourself what’s true and what isn’t, but it does seem to be serious. Hopefully Small World bounces back before the holidays are over but at this point, I wouldn’t put my money on that.

That’s it for this update! I expect the news to slow down around the resort for the next few weeks before we get some information about what Disneyland is planning for the first part of 2022. That should include shows returning, Main Street Electrical Parade and another DCA Festival.

DL Christmas Castle side

What do you think about this news? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below. Planning a trip to Disneyland Resort? Check out our Disneyland Trip Planning Guide to help you out. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends and like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!

1 reply »

  1. HOORAY FOR FANTASMIC AND WORLD OF COLOR!!! Those shows are the bomb and I miss them so much. I’m really happy that they’ll make a return in 2022, especially Fantasmic, which is my favorite show at Disneyland. I’m sorry to hear that ‘It’s a Small World’ is experiencing some issues and I hope Disney will fix the crack in the boat tracks soon. ‘It’s a Small World’ is such a crucial ride to Disney overall. You can’t help but think of ‘It’s a Small World’ when somebody mentions Disneyland.

    Liked by 1 person

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