Disney Castle with the text 'Disney 100' in platinum.
100 Years of Disney Introduction

Jan. 27, 2023, marks the 100th anniversary of Disney, and the company has 100 years’ worth of celebrations. Obviously, it’s going to be a worldwide event. Disney owns ABC, Marvel, and NatGeo, as well as other channels and studios. 

To kick off the celebrations, the studio has revamped its logo introduction. The new introduction features Tinker Bell flying over the village where the Disney castle sits, turning it platinum as she flies over it as fireworks shoot off into the sky. Paired with a new arrangement of When You Wish Upon a Star, the new tagline states “100 Years of Wonder”. This new introduction will air with Strange World, which came out this past Thanksgiving weekend. The introduction will air with all other releases throughout 2023. 

Disney100: The Exhibition

Disney100: The Exhibition is a gallery that showcases the company’s 10 decades of work. This exhibition will open on February 18, 2023, at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This exhibition will tour with stops in Chicago, Illinois, and Kansas City, Missouri. The exhibition will tour internationally starting in April 2023 with stops in Munich, Germany, and London, England. More stops will be announced in the future. 

This innovative and immersive exhibition allows visitors to set foot into 10 different galleries set in a 15,000-square-foot exhibit. Over 250 rarely-seen original artworks, artifacts, costumes, props, and other memorabilia will be on display. Some of these include Walt Disney’s employee badge from 1955; the Steamboat Whistle that was used for Steamboat Willie (1928); and a prop storybook featured in Snow White and Seven Dwarfs (1937). 

There will also be exclusive peeks into the creative process of many popular characters, films, shows, and attractions. These span from the beginning of the company to as recent as last year. Tickets are available here

Films and Shows

A plethora of shows and films are always expected from Disney. However, this year the studio pays homage to Disney’s most iconic symbol, the wishing star.  

Wish is an animated musical inspired by the company’s cinematographic history. It imagines a story of how the wishing star came to exist. The film follows Princess Asha from the Kingdom of Rosas, a kingdom where wishes can literally come true. One night, Asha makes a wish and meets Star, a cosmic entity, and chaos soon descends on the Kingdom of Rosas. Alongside Star and her goat Valentino, Asha embarks on a dreamy, epic adventure across the stars, visiting various worlds, and looking for a way to save her people from a looming threat. 

For the past few years, Disney has been turning many of its animated films into live actions. We’ve had Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Aladdin on top of many others, but now we’re adding The Little Mermaid to the list this year. The film did meet its share of controversy from a jaded part of the internet. Despite those dull outcries, it’s a highly anticipated film. The film opens nationwide on May 26, 2023. 

Haunted Mansion is another film getting a reimagining. The first film with Eddie Murphy was released in 2003. 20 years later, we now are getting a re-imagined film featuring Rosario Dawson as Gabbie, a single mother who moves into the mansion. She soon discovers it’s haunted and hires a zany cast of characters to exorcise the place. Acting alongside Dawson are Owen Wilson, Hasan Minhaj, Danny DeVito, and Jamie Lee Curtis. The Haunted Mansion will premiere on August 11, 2023.

Ready for another adventure into Neverland? A reimagining of Peter Pan is also hitting Disney+ this year through Peter Pan & Wendy. Peter Pan, played by Alexander Molony, is making his film debut. He has a background in voice acting, theater, and a few sitcoms. Wendy, played by Ever Anderson, is the daughter of actress Milla Jovovich and director Paul W. S. Anderson. She has been in Resident Evil, playing a younger version of her mother’s character. However, this is not her first time acting in a Disney film. She played a younger Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow. The film also features the talents of Jude Law, Yara Shahidi, and Jim Gaffigan.

Disney Parks and Resorts

At the D23 Expo, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products Chairman, Josh D’Amaro, presented new decor, food, and drinks that will come to the parks. There will also be new character experiences as well as more spectaculars. 

Two new nighttime shows, World of Color – One and Wondrous Journeys will begin in late January at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. World of Color – One is a revamp of the water, music, and light show World of Color that celebrates Disney and Pixar films. World of Color – One will tell the story of Disney through classics and new favorites. It also features a new song, Start a Wave.

Wondrous Journeys will begin in late January at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. This show will feature references to all 60 Disney Animation Studios films using the company’s state-of-the-art projections to turn Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle, It’s a Small World, and the Rivers of America into a whole new world. With the addition of fireworks on select nights, the show will also feature the new song, It’s Wondrous

Wonderous Journeys will replace Disneyland Forever, the show that has been running since 2015. Parades will also be returning this spring. We’re sure that there will be more changes to the show as well as certain characters around all the parks. A new nighttime show will come to EPCOT in late 2023, In Hong Kong Disneyland, a new statue of Walt Disney and Mickey will be unveiled. 

Disney Exclusive Merchandise

It wouldn’t be a party without exclusive merchandise. There isn’t a lot of information available about what’s to come in the year. However, we do know a little bit.

A new Disney ear hat and headband series were released on shopDisney. This particular set of ears features the iconic Mickey Mouse ears dripped in platinum. Why platinum? Platinum is a rare metal well-known for its durability and tenacity, much like the company. A pair of these ears started at $175 and run up to $200. These ears are no longer available online. 

New products celebrating each decade of Disney will also be coming in the coming months. This product line features Steamboat Mickey to represent 1920, Snow White for 1930, and Pinocchio for 1940. The rest of the years are unknown as of now.

For people who like books, there will be new titles celebrating Disney. These titles include Walt Disney: An American Original, Commemorative Edition; The Official Walt Disney Quote Book; The Story of Disney: 100 Years of Wonder, by John Baxter, Bruce C. Steele and the Staff of the Walt Disney Archives; and People Behind the Disney Parks: Stories of Those Honored with a Window on Main Street, U.S.A. by Chuck Snyder with original art by Josey Tsao. Each of these titles discusses behind-the-scenes information about the creation of the parks, films, and about Walt Disney himself.

More Celebrations

Just when you think that’s probably it, well, it’s not. Remember, it’s Disney. In addition, Disney will also be releasing a new website, Disney100 to keep the party going. This site will launch on January 1, 2023, but a sneak peek of it is available here.

ABC will also be showing a documentary to commemorate the anniversary. Disney: 100 Years of Wonder will take viewers through the history of the company by showcasing the company’s core values and philosophies that have impacted and continue to impact generations of people.

The album Lang Lang: The Disney Book will also release in September, celebrating Disney by reimagining iconic songs for the piano such as We Don’t Talk About Bruno, Life Is a Highway, and When You Wish Upon a Star. The Disney Music Group will release a vinyl collection that highlights iconic musical compositions from film, television, and the parks.

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