VIDEO: Behind-The-Scenes Tech Walkthrough of Disneyland’s “Wondrous Journeys” Nighttime Spectacular

Chuck Mirarchi

Disney Live Entertainment has shared a behind-the-scenes tech walkthrough of Disneyland’s recently debuted “Wondrous Journeys” nighttime spectacular, showcasing the team responsible for the show’s projections, pyrotechnics, and special effects that bring the magic of Disney’s centennial celebration to life.

In the video, KC Wilkerson, the principal media designer for Disney Live Entertainment at the Disneyland Resort, stands on Main Street U.S.A. after the park closed for the day, with Sleeping Beauty Castle in the background. Additional projections can be seen on the façade of “it’s a small world” in Fantasyland.

Wilkerson offers a rare look at the control room, featuring a wall of screens that provide the director and a team of technicians a live view of the production as its occurring. The lighting, audio, video, and special effects are all monitored and controlled from inside. From a workstation, Wilkinson explained what is necessary from the team of three or four technicians to ensure the perfect show for Disneyland guests.

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The show, which takes place primarily at Sleeping Beauty Castle and Main Street, U.S.A. features nods to every Walt Disney Animation Studios feature film to date, from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to “Strange World.” Additional projections can be seen on the façade of “it’s a small world” in Fantasyland.

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Technicians also give a first-hand account of what it takes to produce the nighttime spectacular each night. Travis Kelley, a video designer, explains how the Disneyland team transforms graphics to map projections across “it’s a small world” and Sleeping Beauty Castle. Then, Disneyland Stage Technicians Thomas Cunningham and Sunita Townsen share a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to project these transformations onto the facade of “it’s a small world” each night.

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The exclusive video tour also takes viewers to the rooftops of Fantasyland in Disneyland Park for a first-hand look at the pyrotechnic controls for “Wondrous Journeys”, giving a closer look at the 50-foot flames that are a staple of the nighttime spectacular.

Watch the full “Wondrous Journeys” Nighttime Spectacular from Sleeping Beauty Castle and “it’s a small world” below:

“Wondrous Journeys” premiered at Disneyland on Friday, January 27, as part of the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration. You can also watch our view of the “Wondrous Journeys” projections on Main Street, U.S.A., here. The nighttime spectacular is produced each night for Disneyland guests beginning at 9:30 p.m., weather permitting.

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  • Chuck Mirarchi

    Just like many Disney fans, Chuck has been passionate about anything Disney ever since he was a child. He and his family's first trip to a Disney Park were in 1972 when they went to Walt Disney World. Chuck particularly loves anything that has to do with the history of The Walt Disney Company.