Founded as the Disney Brothers Studio in 1923 by Walt Disney and Roy Disney, The Walt Disney Company turns 100 years old in 2023, and celebrations will take place across each division of the company and across the country.
The company has grown substantially from just an animation studio to a $160 billion entertainment giant that includes Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, ESPN, ABC, Hulu, the Disney+ streaming service, and more.
Dubbed Disney100, the company will mark the anniversary across the company with celebrations honoring Walt Disney’s legacy ranging from new nighttime spectaculars at Walt Disney World and Disneyland to traveling museum exhibits to a new animated feature film dedicated to the legacy of the animation studio.
“It’s remarkable we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company. Walt is the gift that keeps on giving. All these years later, we can’t forget that this was all started by a man with no money and big dreams,” Marcy Carriker Smothers, author of “100 Disney Adventures of a Lifetime”, “Eat Like Walt,” and other best-selling Disney books shared.
Disney100 Disneyland and Walt Disney World Celebration
During the Disney100 announcements, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro described the Disneyland Resort in California as the “heart of the entire celebration.” The Disney100 celebration at Disneyland will include two new nighttime spectaculars, the return of a short-run parade that debuted just before COVID, and a new attraction.
“World of Color – One” is a new fountain show highlighting the legacy of the entire company’s 1oo years of storytelling. “Wondrous Journeys” is a brand new Disneyland projections show that pays tribute to all 60 Walt Disney Animation Studios films. It takes guests on a journey showcasing artistry, music, storytelling, and heart. On select nights Wondrous Journeys will also have fireworks.
The Magic Happens parade only ran for two weeks before the Disneyland Resort closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is returning this Spring. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will also open in Toontown, bringing this popular ride which originally debuted at Walt Disney World, to the west coast.Image Credit: Pexels
The new Disneyland entertainment launches on January 27, 2023. Based on the precedent set by other launches, Disneyland tickets and reservations for that day will likely fill up.
At Walt Disney World in Florida, a brand new nighttime spectacular will replace the currently running Harmonious spectacular on the World Showcase Lagoon at EPCOT in late 2023.
In addition to these large-scale launches, the theme parks will feature new platinum-inspired park décor, specialty food and beverages, and character experiences, including a special platinum look for Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Disney has stated that they will continue adding to the Walt Disney World events calendar to honor the 100th anniversary.
At Hong Kong Disneyland, Disney will unveil a new statue honoring Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse near Cinderella’s Golden Carousel.
Disney Films Celebrating Disney100 in 2023
Walt Disney Animation Studios announced the upcoming film Wish at the 2022 D23 Expo as part of the Disney100 celebration. Wish is an original animated musical inspired by the Walt Disney Studio films’ legacy and features all new songs by Grammy-nominated artist Julia Michaels. The story looks into the future for the studio exploring how the “wishing star” that Disney characters wished upon came to be.
A new studio logo featuring the platinum-designed castle will honor the Disney100 celebration in front of all Disney theatrical and streaming releases which will include the live-action retelling of The Little Mermaid, the new Haunted Mansion inspired by the theme park attraction, and a reimagining of the Peter Pan story in Peter Pan & Wendy.
Disney100: The Exhibition is a traveling museum exhibit that utilizes immersive technology throughout ten galleries in the 15,0000-square-foot exhibit to showcase hundreds of objects from The Walt Disney Archives, including more than 250 pieces of rarely-seen artworks and artifacts, costumes and props, and other memorabilia.
The Disney film legacy in these galleries spans Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Strange World, along with Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic.
Disney100: The Exhibition will open on February 18, 2023, at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The next two stops on the North American tour will be Chicago, Illinois, and Kansas City, Missouri. There are also exhibits in Munich and London.
Much of the merchandise offered during the Disney100 celebration is platinum inspired. Disney shared that “platinum is a rare, precious metal known to withstand the test of time, just like beloved Disney characters.” An additional merchandise line will celebrate Disney through the decades, and new books from Disney Publishing will provide fresh looks at the company’s history.
ABC News Studios will also debut a new “once-in-a-lifetime documentary event” to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company. The film will capture the story through the lens of the core values and philosophies of the company rather than a linear telling of 1923 until the present to better highlight how these values represent an “ever-changing world.”
Disney is celebrating their 100th anniversary across every part of the company and has already guaranteed that there will be more special activations and events added throughout the year leading up to the company’s actual anniversary on October 16, 2023.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.