Wondrous Journeys nighttime show is a new must-do at Disneyland

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Celebrating each of the 60-plus films released by Walt Disney Animation Studios in the past century, the nighttime spectacular Wondrous Journeys at Disneyland is an impressive blend of musical score, projection technology and pyrotechnics.

The show officially debuted on Jan. 27. 

“This has been a great journey as we begin to think about what this was about — this was a collaboration between the Disney Animation Studios, and the Disney live entertainment team,” Disneyland president Ken Potrock said. 

Both, he said, are “great storytellers in their own right.”

Together, they created a show that I could not find fault with.

The show includes an original song, “It’s Wondrous,” as well as 18 Disney songs recorded by an 80-piece orchestra with 16 lead vocalists and a 33-voice choir. It uses elements from every Walt Disney Animation Studios film created.
Everyone will find represented an animated film they like. 

One of the show’s most powerful moments came from layering together songs from “Beauty and the Beast’s” Belle, titular characters Hercules and Moana, and Quasimodo from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” It’s an unexpectedly powerful musical moment that blends their songs serendipitously. 

It’s complimented well by projections on the castle (others take place throughout the park, including on the façade of It’s a Small World) and pyrotechnics. The quality of the projections is impressive.

One of the show’s biggest upsides is that multiple Disneyland spokespeople said it is just as good when weather curtails the use of pyrotechnics. 

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After seeing Wondrous Journeys live and revisiting it several times on video, I’m having a hard time finding fault. It appeals to fans old and young and has some surprise-and-delight moments, like Baymax flying about the castle. Its score is stirring.

It’s a new must-do in Disneyland.

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