Disneyland debuts Glow with the Show Mickey ears illuminating in sync with World of Color at Disney California Adventure

in Disney, Disney's California Adventure, Disneyland Resort, Entertainment, Events, Featured, Theme Parks

As a surprise to cap off a day of covering Cars Land and a night of partying on Buena Vista Street, Disneyland gave media attending last night’s special event a chance to be the first to see the new “Glow with the Show Ears,” interacting with World of Color.

The illuminating Mickey Mouse ear hats were announced just over a week ago, thought to make their debut as part of an upcoming series of Disneyland annual passholder events. But Disneyland unveiled them earlier than expected, wowing attending press by creating a sea of glowing mouse ears that sparkled and shifted through a rainbow of hues in time with each scene of the nighttime show around Paradise Pier.

Video: Glow with the Show Ears debut for World of Color

The glowing ears offer an impressive twist to the already colorful show that features vibrant fountains. Through a bit of Disney magic, not only do the Glow with the Show ears change colors corresponding to what’s being shown in World of Color, but different sections of the crowd change to different colors at different times, even turning on and off seemingly at random to create a twinkling effect. And with hundreds of reporters, friends, family, and other invited guests each donning the new ears, the debut added a new layer of depth to an already impressive show, continuing the “carousel of color” across the audience’s heads.

Some of the best moments featuring the glowing ears are highlighted in the video above, with crowd favorites including Genie’s “Friend Like Me,” the battle between Buzz Lightyear and Zurg, and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequence. Not every second, every moment, or every scene in World of Color utilizes the ears, which darken to allow viewers to focus on the show itself. Instead, big moments are made even bigger by bringing the color out of the lagoon and into the audience.

As shown at the end of the video above, it was especially amusing to walk among the sea of reporters all heading back to the Grand Californian hotel while still wearing the ear hats which once World of Color ended began cycling through colors. It was like the Main Street Electrical Parade made its way through the hotel lobby.

Though it’s unlikely an entire viewing audience of hundreds will gather together on a regular basis to all wear these special ears creating the same sort of unique scene that formed last night, if enough locals purchase the hats and attend the show often, World of Color will become even more of a spectacle. For those who have never seen the show, the ear hats may prove to be a nuisance, as it’s easy to be distracted from the main performance and focus on the twinkling hats, particularly if someone is wearing one immediately ahead. But locals and annual passholders are likely to see Glow in the Show as a reason to return to see the Disney California Adventure show more frequently.

Glow with the Show Ears are now available at Disney California Adventure for $25 and not only interact with World of Color but also the new Mad T Party in the Hollywood Land section of the park.


  1. Claen

    I know that some people are going to hate these, but I thought they were pretty awesome! They added to the show, but I’m sure having almost the entire audience wearing them was part of it. Having only two or three people in your section wearing them? Maybe not so much.

  2. Clay Matthews

    That looks like a lot of fun! It also looks a lot like Deadmau5 invaded Disneyland. Very cool photos.

    1. Bob Roberts

      Yay! Someone else who even knows who Deadmau5 is. Disney probably wants to take him to court over his oversized mickey ears but they should seriously work together. I can totally see this technology being AWESOME in his shows.

  3. cheryl polak


  4. Natasha

    Just wondering, do the ears light up at all when not in the shows?

    1. Troll

      Try reading the third to last paragraph. 🙂

    2. sareen

      YES! They DI LIGHT UP when NOT in the show. There are SETTINGS to choose from. ENJOY!

      1. sareen


  5. Dana

    Wow! This looks awesome! Ricky, did they have certain people stand in certain sections? I noticed at 4:17 that they lit up by rows.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Nope, that’s part of the Disney magic. The ears react to where you’re standing.

  6. Andrea Veneskey

    These are great! My grandchildren would love them.

  7. Rhianna

    Will these be integrated/usable at Disney World at all? I’d love to be able to use them in both parks…

    1. Ricky Brigante

      No announced plans for Walt Disney World.

  8. Lisa

    How long does Disneyland plan on keeping the technology with the show and the ears going? Is it just a summer thing, or if I go later on in the year (say September) will they still interact with the show?

    I went to the passholder VIP viewing last night and it was AMAZING! So I really hope that they keep this as a permanent interaction with the shows, and that they add other attractions along the way where they interact too!

    1. this was a great show with the hats and yes if more people in the crowd ware them will make that show so much better. it prettey cool how they glow with the show and snyc with every one around you. i have hared it will do some cool stuf with other shows in disney land and on the rides. but did have chance to do that yet.

    2. Ricky Brigante

      Disney hasn’t announced a timeframe but I imagine the technology will exist in the parks for a long time, since they’ll want everyone who has purchased a hat to be able to enjoy it.

  9. Cameron

    They seem to interact with each other too. My wife and I noticed a couple walking close together after the show and their ears were synced together. So we tried it and sure enough. When two get close to one another the pattern and timing will sync. Sometimes the colors will sync too. We tried it enough times to rule out coincidence. Pretty cool.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Disney has confirmed that they do interact with each other, along with detailing other technology as well: http://www.insidethemagic.net/2012/08/disneyland-details-ir-technology-behind-glow-with-the-show-mickey-mouse-ears-for-world-of-color-and-beyond/

  10. wiwdwfan

    It’s great but another $100.00 for a family of 4 It’s getting a little much.

    1. Joe

      Try getting rid of a few kiddos. Should save you a few ridiculous bucks.

  11. Kirk linn

    Can they embroider your name on these too?

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