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AFT Blog

Welcome to the Applied Flow Technology Blog where you will find the latest news and training on how to use AFT Fathom, AFT Arrow, AFT Impulse, AFT xStream and other AFT software products.
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Who said pipe flow can’t be fun? Disney’s World of Color water spectacular

In 2010 the Walt Disney Company created a mind-boggling new night time show called World of Color at the Disney California Adventure theme park which is part of Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. For anyone who ever doubted that flow can be fun, you need to see this show!


A few weeks ago I saw World of Color while in California with one of my kids. While it was not the first time I have seen the show (OK, I think it was the eighth time), my son and I were reminded of how excellent this show is. There is nothing else like it.

The Walt Disney Company has a long history of using technology to tell stories and entertain. World of Color is a show they designed that uses water (and a lot of it), light, projectors, fire and music to entertain their guests.

The show uses 1200 synchronized fountains and 29 projectors to deliver Disney movie highlights and present them through a fluid media. The movies clips are shown right on a screen of water. Jets of water are propelled vertically 200 feet (65 meters) into the air during the show.

World of Color at Disney California Adventuref

While I would like to say that AFT software was used on the piping for this show, the fact is I do not know. Disney is one of our customers at multiple locations including the theme park resorts. We do know some of the projects on which our software has been and can speculate on others based on questions they have asked. But they are a secretive group and we do not know about World of Color.

For some engineering information on World of Color check out this online article:

Eight types of fountains grace the show, among them four butterfly fountains, which create a graceful fluttering effect; six dancer fountains, with intertwining swirling dual nozzles; 10 geysers that shoot up more than 200'; 12 flower spouts, providing streams emulating blooming buds; 76 single-water whips with heads that can turn in any direction; 65 dual-water whips to create vertical patterns and fan-like designs; more than 400 chasers, so-named because their rapid sprays produce a chase effect; and more than 600 grid fountains, positioned 8' apart, whose network of vertical sprays creates large-scale designs. Disney worked with The Fountain People, based in San Marcos, TX, to develop the fountain effects.


As an insight into AFT culture, Disney plays a role in our regular staff meetings. Thanks to our hard work and innovation and thanks to our large base of customers around the world, we have grown a lot in the last few years. This has led to a lot of new initiatives and new ideas - and new versions of established products - as well as entirely new products (in the pipeline, so to speak).

To foster an environment of openness to new ideas, I established the “I Love That Idea!” award. This award is a mounted Mickey Mouse figure in his wizard hat and is passed around by staff when they hear a good idea from another staff member.

The popularity of this award led to a second award initiated by another staff member not for good ideas but for outstanding effort. It is a mounted Buzz Lightyear figure with a saying printed on it “Good Work, Space Ranger!”.

As the President of AFT, I want our workplace to be a balance between excellent technology and just plain fun. My experience with World of Color helps give me ideas and inspiration which contribute to our creation of the best pipe flow simulation products in the world. That is part of the reason we say that AFT provides Dynamic solutions for a fluid world™.

And go see World of Color when you get a chance!

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Friday, 19 August 2022
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