Disney California Adventure
In somewhat ironic fashion, on our first trip to Disneyland, last August, we were overwhelmed by California Adventure as a whole, the park that many locals trash, but underwhelmed by World of Color, the nighttime spectacular that many have anointed as the park's redeeming attraction. My initial impression of the show was that, while technically impressive, it was little more than a quick Disney montage show.
When describing it to Walt Disney World fans, the most apt comparison I could previously make was to PhilharMagic. By contrast, however, I thought PhilharMagic works really well because the montages (if you can even call them that since they're basically new "footage") are entwined with one another with a central storyline. World of Color's montages are not.
That said, seeing it again totally changed both of our opinions of the show. Without a doubt, this was because of the front-row viewing area. It was well-worth getting wet to have this vantage. While the show still is a bit montage-ish in nature, the opening and conclusion tie the show together pretty nicely. Plus, from the front, the grandeur of the show really does compensate for any storytelling shortcomings.
It's difficult to articulate why our opinions of the show changed so much, but I guess I would now compare the show to Wishes! Both are truly emotive. Standing alone, Wishes! would be a mediocre show, as it's just simple montages of characters wishing. However, taken as a whole, with the montages, Cinderella Castle, and fireworks exploding overhead, it's something magical. Not nearly as magical as Remember...Dreams Come True, but that's another caption for another day!