The Walt Disney Company has kicked off Disney100 – a celebration commemorating the company’s 100th anniversary. We were lucky enough to attend the launch of this celebration at Disneyland (we still can’t believe it!). We’re sharing everything you need to know about the Disney 100 Years of Wonder Celebration.
What is Disney100?
When Disney Parks first announced Disney100 at Disneyland, many fans were confused. Disneyland opened July 17, 1955 – it turns 68 this summer. Disney100 is a celebration of the Walt Disney Company, which was founded as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in 1923.
- Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio 1923-1926
- Walt Disney Studio 1926-1929
- Walt Disney Productions 1929-1986
- Walt Disney Company 1986-Present
Disneyland and California Adventure are all decked out in sparkling platinum silver, with touches of deep purple. Sleeping Beauty Castle is particularly spectacular, adorned in silver bunting, with two new fountains in the moat.
How long will the Disney100 celebration run?
The Disney100 celebration kicked off at Disneyland January 27, 2023. The company has not announced an end date for this celebration. Similar events have historically run for a year, though it’s likely some of the décor will transition in September for Disneyland’s Halloween celebration.
Sidenote: There’s a chance the celebration will expand to other Disney Parks, though nothing has been announced. Shanghai Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Resort could all host a celebration this year. Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris are both hosting anniversary events this year. If the celebration extends to those Parks, it’s likely it would occur on a more limited basis.
HOW DO I PURCHASE TICKETS TO DISNEY100?
Disney100 activities and entertainment are free with valid theme park tickets. Food, drinks, and merchandise are available for an extra fee. Don’t make the mistake of paying full price for your theme park tickets – snag official discounted tickets!
Authorized discount tickets are available through our travel partner, Get Away Today. They can be purchased as a part of a vacation package or tickets may be acquired as a stand-alone purchase, without hotel and travel accommodations.
Working with Get Away Today is easy. You can book online, or you can call and work with their wonderful vacation planners. They’re well-versed in events like Disney Lunar New Year and can assist with down-to-the-minute vacation plans.
Tickets purchased from Get Away Today are sent electronically to your email. You can enter the information into your Disneyland account, make your reservations and head straight to the gate, skipping ticket booth lines.
Be sure to use the Get Away Today promo code TE10 for an extra $10 off your ticket purchase.
What’s new for the Disney100 celebration?
Beyond a handful of pretty platinum overlays and pieces of Disney100 décor, Disneyland is opening new attractions, offering exciting entertainment, and showcasing dozens of delicious menu items throughout the Park. We’re excited to share all of the fun details!
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland – Available now
All aboard Mickey’s first feature ride at Disneyland. This fun new ride rolled into Toontown at the end of January, during the Disney100 kick-off.
Though the seven-minute ride (two min. pre-show, five min. ride) is like the existing ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, the Disneyland queue knocks it out of the park! This queue is filled with Easter eggs from Mickey films and shorts.
Getting a reservation for this ride is difficult. Read up on our tips to getting on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland, before your visit.
Mickey’s reimagineered Toontown – Available March 2023
Currently, a small portion of Mickey’s Toontown is open to guests with an Individual Lightening Lane or virtual queue boarding pass for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The remainder of Toontown is scheduled to open March 19, 2023.
New attractions and experiences withing Toontown include:
- Chip ‘n’ Dales GADGETcoaster, featuring extensive retheming
- CenTOONial Park water fountain, designed for interactive play
- Goofy’s House, featuring a playground with a soft spongy base, elevated clubhouse and sound garden
- Donald’s Duck Pond splash play area, which features giant spinning water lilies, balance beams and rocking toys
- Café Daisy, serving up diner classics
- Good Boy! Grocers roadside stand, offering up grab-and-go drinks and snacks
Attractions and experiences returning to Toontown include:
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin (complete with a shady new lawn area out front)
- Micky and Minnie’s homes
- Numerous interactive play areas
We love the interactive play areas in Walt Disney World. They’re a massive hit for families with small children (who, yes, would like to play on a Disney theme splash pad even more than riding an attraction). Some of Owen’s favorite childhood memories were developed at the Walt Disney World play areas.
Mickey and Friends Cavalcade – Available now
Mini pop-up parades, also known as character cavalcades, are a favorite! The Mickey and Friends Cavalcade runs daily at 1 p.m. Mickey and Friends run from “It’s a Small World,” down Main Street, where it ends near the Mad Hatter shop. The Disney100 cavalcade features a new song, “Share the Wonder.”
The cavalcade features a wide variety of Disney characters who dance down the parade route with flags and ribbons. Here are a few of the characters we’ve seen in this cavalcade more than once:
- Mad Hatter
- Peter Pan
- Captain Hook
The dancing characters are followed by a special Disney100 float carrying Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale.
Pop-up parades are our favorite – they do not require expensive party reservations or a long wait. Snag a spot along the route 10-15 minutes prior to the start of the cavalcade. The cavalcade lasts about 15-20 minutes.
Magic Happens Parade – Available February 2023
One of Disney’s most heralded parades returns to Disneyland February 24, 2023. The parade had a short run for two weeks in March 2020, prior to the Park’s COVID closure. During its brief run, the parade received rave reviews. However, it will be a new experience for most guests visiting the Park in 2023.
Magic Happens is scheduled to run at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. (check the schedule for updates and changes). It runs from “It’s a Small World,” between Alice and the Matterhorn, down Main Street toward the Park entrance and exits near The Mad Hatter.
The parade features nine full-sized floats, 90 individual performers and more than two dozen beloved Disney characters.
On a busy day, guests may begin reserving seats along the route an hour and a half to two hours prior to the start of the parade. The parade itself lasts about 40 minutes.
World of Color – One
One of the most popular shows at the Disneyland Resort is the World of Color water show at Disney California Adventure. For the Disney100 celebration, the show has been reimagined to celebrate characters and movie moments from Walt Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. This is the first time that characters from all four “worlds” are featured in a single production. The show features an all-new song, “Start a Wave.”
World of Color seating is available via virtual queue through the Disneyland appl. Distribution of tickets happens daily at noon. Guests may access the viewing areas beginning about one hour before the show.
Wonderous Journeys at Sleeping Beauty Castle
The most popular spectacular at Disneyland is the nightly projection show at Sleeping Beauty Castle. An all-new show, “Wonderous Journeys,” has debuted as a part of the Disney100 celebration.
The projection show features every single film released by Walt Disney Animation Studios over the last century, set to a new song called, “It’s Wonderous,” along with 18 classic Disney hits. Fireworks accompany the show on select nights (typically weekends and holidays).
Guests begin reserving seats for this show as early as 5 p.m. in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. To avoid the crowds, consider watching from Main Street, It’s a Small World, or Rivers of America.
The Disney Gallery 100 Years of Wonder
We love to walk through the Disney Gallery, located just inside the Opera House. For the last couple of years, the Gallery has housed “Happy Haunts Materialize,” an exhibit planned to celebrate the Haunted Mansion’s 50th anniversary.
The new, “100 Years of Wonder,“ exhibit pays tribute to the tie between classic Disneyland attractions and films.