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Color Panels are objects in Super Mario 3D World, appearing in bonus areas. As the name implies, they light up in different colors when activated, which can be done simply by stepping on them. When all the Color Panels are lit, a Green Star appears. Color Panels are found in five levels in the game: Really Rolling Hills, Sunshine Seaside, Bob-ombs Below, Rainbow Run and Night Falls on Really Rolling Hills.
In Bob-ombs Below, the Color Panels, when lit, reveal an 8-bit sprite of Mario from Super Mario Bros.. If Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad or Rosalina gets the Mega Mushroom hidden in the bonus area, they can perform a ground pound to light several Color Panels around them at once. In this level and both versions of Really Rolling Hills, when all the Color Panels are lit, a cover of the ground theme from Super Mario Bros. can be heard in the background.
In Rainbow Run, this time the Color Panels form an 8-bit sprite of Link from the original The Legend of Zelda. Upon lighting up all the Color Panels, the "Item Get" jingle from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time can be heard. An arrangement of the Legend of Zelda theme also plays in the background afterwards.